Senior Living for Hams
[See our big list of Ham Radio and Senior Friendly Community Links.]
There are some 750,000 FCC licensed radio amateurs ("hams") in the US and over 2 million worldwide. About half of US hams have gone beyond the entry level license to gain access to a wide range of frequencies and techniques to allow them to communicate across the world.
Many hams are entering retirement and considering a move into a retirement community. What are the opportunities and problems of trying to continue in Amateur Radio in such a community? We are finding that a number of senior living communities look with favor upon the needs of the ham operator, either as a single operator from an apartment or as a member of a club of two or more hams.
This web article is aimed at two important audiences:
- Administrators of retirement communities. What is Amateur Radio? Who are the "hams"? Why would we want to support ham radio activities in our facility?
- Radio amateurs considering how to keep active with their chosen hobby after moving to a retirement community. What's a reasonable request for an antenna? How do I approach the management? How have other hams worked out these problems?
Antennas are part of every radio amateur's life. Here are some of my notes on antennas.
- SteppIR Beam. The SteppIR antenna here has been a mainstay for ~14 years. It is a 3-element yagi-type antenna that is tunable between about 14 and 54 MHz. Mine runs at about 40 ft above ground level with a Yaesu G-1000DXA rotator. Frequency tracking is automated through a serial connection to the Flex 6500 transceiver.
- SteppIR Maintenance. Like any mechanism, the SteppIR needs occasional maintenance. Click here for information on a current set of problems at AA6E -- and their resolution (mostly).
Transition, May, 2019: Because we are moving to a new QTH (Evergreen Woods), the antennas at our Branford QTH have been removed. Hopefully, some new ones will sprout at the new location before long. See the maintenance link for a few more details.
AA6E QSL designs
AA6E will QSL (confirm contact or SWL reception) 100% on request. You may send your card direct or via the QSL Bureau. You may also QSL via the Logbook of the World (LOTW) (preferred), eQSL, or QRZ.com.
Martin Ewing, AA6E
28 Wood Road
Branford, CT 06405