My name is Abby and I’m thirteen years old. I’m in the seventh grade and live in Nashua, New Hampshire where I am a straight-A student and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. I play flute and oboe in the band and I also play soccer, tennis and I have received my junior black belt in karate. I am a member of a Destination Imagination team that has competed in the Global Finals representing the state of New Hampshire and placed 17th in the world… twice!
But, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that I’m a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (AB1BY, formerly KC1FFX)! You may ask what gets a young girl interested in Amateur Radio? Well, I have my dad to partly blame for that! He was a new ham and was very excited about amateur radio and wanted to share his new love with my brother, Connor (KC1GGX) and myself. In January of 2016, he told us about the ARRL’s Kids Day on the Air and let me operate his rig. That was it. I was hooked! He registered me for the next Technician Class Licensing Class through our club, the Nashua Area Radio Club (N1FD).
I received my Technician Class license in March of 2016 when I was eleven. I took the club’s licensing class. It’s a two-day class over the weekend with the exam held on Sunday night. That Sunday I passed the exam for my Technician Class license. In October I took the club’s General licensing class and upgraded to General Class.
Finally, on April 30th, 2017 (the day after my 13th birthday) I successfully passed my test to upgrade to my Amateur Extra Class license! It was a very hard test. I took the licensing class, which was 3 long days and I spent several months of studying with some help from my dad (KC1ENX) and a lot of help from my Elmer and friend, Fred (AB1OC). Fred spent many, many hours with my dad and I helping me understand the difficult material – I think my dad learned a lot too!
I am very lucky to be a part of the Nashua Area Radio Club. It is a very active club and there is always something to do. The members are awesome Elmers and don’t treat you like you’re a kid. They have given me a lot of help and it makes me want to help other kids get involved with amateur radio.
Some of my friends joined us for this year’s ARRL Kids Day on the Air even though we were having a bad snow storm! The Nashua Area Radio Club does a lot of youth outreach activities and I am really looking forward to the High Altitude Balloon launch that is coming up in June!
You may hear me on the air calling CQ DX! I love chasing DX (my farthest contact is New Zealand on 100 watts!)and contesting. I also enjoy mobile and portable operating. I have done a couple of Summits on the Air with a 2m HT and an Elk antenna and participated in National Parks on the Air at St. Gaudens NHP. I also like to Fox Hunt and I am learning CW through our club classes. I have been a part of the N1FD team that has taken part in the ARRL Rookie Roundup for SSB, RTTY, and CW and have been an operator for the 13 Colonies Event as K2K.
I am most excited about Field Day! Last year’s field day was a blast and the highlight of the year for me. We spent Friday setting up antennas, tents, and stations. Friday night I was allowed to sleep out – although I really didn’t get much sleep. I was busy “testing” out the radios. Once field day began I was on the air most of the time. I even operated most of the night on Saturday until I finally crashed for some sleep.
Our call sign is N1FD or Number 1 Field Day and it’s for a good reason. This year we are going to have a better setup than last year, which is hard to believe.
I’m really happy my brother, Connor (KC1GGX) will be joining me this year. I think he got interested in radio last year when he saw the setup that the club had. He is going to have a great time this year!
There is so much to do with Amateur Radio and I look forward to trying many new things. There is always something interesting and fun to do and so much more to learn. And that is really what got a young girl interested in Amateur Radio. 73!
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