How I Spent $55 to Study for Two Ham Licenses, Pass the Exams, and Buy a Transceiver, by Allen C.
Until recently I thought of ham radio much like a boat or swimming pool. Having known amateur radio operators most of my life, I saw it as something that was better to have a friend with one than expend the time and expense myself. One of the first things I did after purchasing my retreat land was obtain the addresses of licensees in my area from the FCC database and plot them on a map just in case I need to seek their assistance later. Having acreage in a secluded community deep in the wooded mountains of Appalachia means cell phone service is not available. In the interest of OPSEC, I personally dragged all the materials over the mountain and through the woods to single-handedly build our retreat. When I was assembling and setting the rafters for the cathedral ceiling and installing the plywood sheeting and metal roof, my wife became concerned I might fall and become injured (despite a safety rope and harness). Unable to self-rescue by hiking or crawling out, if I were seriously injured on Friday, my wife not expecting me back to civilization until Sunday evening would not know to send the neighbors looking for me. It finally occurred to me that even without a license, a 2 meter handhold radio would allow me to call for help because of the emergency operation provision.