ZANESVILLE, Ohio – One local man’s hobby has allowed him to experience the entire world without ever leaving his basement.
Everett Jackson started his amateur radio station, WZ8P, back in 1962. Since then he has used his station in the basement of his Zanesville home to communicate with someone in every single country in the world. His passion started when he was just a teenager.
“I loved the radio and I wanted to talk on it but it was illegal because CB radio was for small businesses. So my dad says ‘you need to get an amateur radio license.’ So he brought home some 33 1/3 records and I sat in bed and I played them and I listen to these records for two years to learn Morse Code to be able to go and take the exam and get a novice license,” said Jackson.
It took Jackson 32 years to reach his goal of talking to every country. He now has a binder with post cards from every nation and island he’s been on the air with.
While on air Jackson uses the phonetic alphabet to pronounce WZ8P as ‘Whiskey, Zulu, 8, Papa.’ For the past three years, WZ8P has won a North American amateur radio contest to see who can communicate with the most stations within a 30-hour period. Last year they contacted 1,600 different stations.
“It’s a hobby that many people enjoy. One day you can be talking to a king or royalty in some nation and the next day you can be talking to a cowboy in Wyoming eating beans,” said Jackson.
Jackson said amateur radio is a hobby that he would recommend to everyone.
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