Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Radio Rescue BY Lynne Barasch

TITLE: Radio Rescue
AUTHOR: Lynne Barasch
PUBLISHER:  Frances Foster Books (released 10 Oct 2000)
ISBN: 0374361665
Goodreads RATED: 5 of 5 stars

What do the following people have in common: Michael Faraday (1791-1867), Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872), James C Maxwell (1831-1879), Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894), Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) & Lee de Forest (1873-1961), read the book to find out!

In the Author's note at the beginning of this book it states that the boy in this book is actually her father, who was the youngest to receive an amateur radio license, at that time: 1923, 10 yrs old. Even with this information, the book is not found in the non-fiction area of the Salt Lake County library. (Later found to be in the non-fiction area of the Orem Public Library) At the time, phone calls across the country could take hours to be connected and overseas calls were completely impossible. But there was another form of communication emerging, using electronic signals in Morse Code. Those who use this form of communication were quickly nicknamed HAMS. More importantly, this form of communication made it possible to communicate with others around the world!

Back in this day, it was a must to learn Morse Code, as that is how this system worked. Now, it is no longer a requirement, but in my opinion it is always good to learn new things. One trick this young boy used to learn and remember Morse Code was to tap out everything he saw or thought as we went about his business everyday. What a great tool, works for learning so many things, including most any language...translate any and everything you can, as you learn more and more vocabulary. As I, and many others, know from experience, if you don't use it, you lose it! ..and that is just sad! Another thing he did that is a great learning tool to help remember things is to buddy up with someone who was already licensed and experienced. They can offer so much by example and mentoring and, often most important, encouragement!

Ham radio operators are always on the job and available during emergencies. Often times the phone lines are down and power out and such, leaving every other form of communication impossible. Hams are still needed and used, I would encourage everyone to check into getting licensed. If I can do it, anyone can! It was quite simple, spent a Saturday morning at a class that went over the test info, got to take practice tests to my hearts content and then took the test for real. Passed it on my first try. I have yet to really use it, but it is good to know that I can, if and when I need to or choose to! For more information, check out this website for the Amateur Radio Relay League to find Exam Sessions near you. If you are in Utah, check out the Utah Amateur Radio Club for more local info!

I enjoyed this cute story about something that most would think is completely obsolete. I assure you it is not obsolete! I recommend this book to everyone. It is a children's book and can be used to teach about other forms of communication. Or maybe, someone in your family has their license and can share their experiences alongside this story. Or even used to just learn more about something an ancestor was greatly involved in.....enjoy and let me know what your thoughts are!

My favorite quote would be the following, after this young boy met a local HAM, Bill, who, at 17 was mentoring this 10 yr old. They had the following conversation:
"How would I ever sort it all out? "Dot by dot and dash by dash," Bill joked. Then he laughed and said, "Didididit didit." It was until I read the notebook that I discovered what that meant. Laughter in Morse code!"

Oh, and one last note, here are our call signs - Steve: KB7ZVU since 1993 Rebecca: KD7ZCP since 2003 If you have yours, share your call sign below, if not, go get it now and then come back and let us know what it is and then enjoy!