How many chasers are ham radio operators??

Are you a licensed amateur radio operator?

  • Total voters
Dec 9, 2003
Colorado Springs, CO
I know that a number of chasers are licensed amateur radio operators. I am curious how many of the members of this forum are licensed, and if any of you participate in the hobby outside of storm chasing?

I, for one, have been a part of the hobby for two years now. I am a general class ham who is quite active in the hobby. I am also the president of our local amateur radio club, which is kind of humorous since the ave. age of our club members is about 25 years older than I am :)
Best thing that I ever did was to get my license. I have made alot of friends on Skywarn nets all across the Plains.

Chris Sokol/KD5ILI
Mobile Weather Concepts
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
ham is cool

Getting my license helped me become a better chaser and makes the experience more fun. I expect people who use CB radio have a similar experience--it's a way to chase 'with' others, but retain autonomy and independence in terms of decisions and strategy. I have good friends I've chased with for a long time, but only in the same vehicle once or twice, yet their voices are all over my videotapes, coming over the radio. It's one of the coolest aspects of the chase for me, and I can't imagine not having it.

You can have long storm-related chats on the way to target, and on the way home, and even while in chase mode to a lesser extent. If you're on the storm and don't want to talk anymore, you can turn it off. A few of your friends might be several miles north of your location, and, if you're also communicating with people to the south, you might have long sections of the dryline under surveillance with eyes you trust. Cell phones work for this, too, but radio is easier and free of charge. On a long drive home, a radio talk can keep a chaser who has to get home for work the next day awake on the road.

Another important point is spotting. If you have a radio, you can report what you see. This is a nice option to have. Similarly, you can ask for help from fellow chasers or locals if you have a problem. On May 8, 2003, Scott Eubanks' van got stuck in the mud. We were in a poor cell area, and if he hadn't told me over the radio, I would not have been able to get help for him. Considering that there were tornadic supercells buzzing around at fifty knots, it was sort of time-sensitive.

I've learned a lot about the weather on the radio, asking questions and comparing notes with others. Storm structure, strategy--once, many moons ago, Gene Rhoden popped into our little QSO and gave us some great motel tips in deep west Texas. 2 meter radio allowed me to listen in as Al Moller and Sam Barricklow compared approach strategies as we convoyed May 5, 2002. I didn't have much to tell these two, of course, and was all about listening, but my partner Jeff Lawson found a road option they hadn't considered, which helped all of us arrive in time.

The ham test is easy, the radios are relatively inexpensive and chasers are always selling old models for pennies on the dollar. Can't go wrong with amateur radio.

I have a question for those chasers with higher grade licenses. Do you use much outside the 2 meter band while chasing? I know some Skywarns have moved to 70, but was wondering if other chasers are chatting with HF or other long-distance rigs.

Amos Magliocco KC5VPD
Originally posted by Tim Stoecklein
Dan, if that means you are getting ready to take the test, let me know if you'd like some links to some great study aides.

Sure pass them on. I'd be happy for any help.
Having your license I think helps alot when being on the road 12-14 hrs a day. A great way to discuss topics along the way and chat with new friends on the open road.

Great to pass on some storm information and call for help if need be when chasing in a group. I find myself chatting on the air alot when chasing....

Jeff Gammons - KG4PGA
For those interested in study materials check out these two websites, they offer practice tests which are similar in nature to the ones you will be taking. The questions are taken from the exact same question pool as the one you will take, and they are placed in random order each time you start a new practice test.

I suggest you get the technician study book first though, or some of the questions might start to discourage you. I studied off and on for about two weeks, took these practice tests, and aced the entry-level exam.

Hope these help you. If you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me.
Ham Radio

I have ordered my study guide. As soon as a receive the book, I'll start studying and take one of the local tech license tests.
Re: Ham Radio

Originally posted by Bill Hark
I have ordered my study guide. As soon as a receive the book, I'll start studying and take one of the local tech license tests.

Campus Library has the review book. :D
I would like to echo everything Amos said. Ham radio can greatly increase your chase experience (enjoyment, ease, and plain success).

Scott KB9VVP
I knew that there were some of us here,
Dan why wait til march, I had a friend that took his test last thursday, to be honest I had my doubts, it takes him a long time to catch on to new concepts but he did it.

Melissa contact the Aksarben radio club at
talk top them they will help you out!.

If you want help getting ready to take your test, go to
and sign up if the link does not work go to and type in ham radio help group. I pop in there from time to time.

73 KCØQNB, Ryan licensed since Agust 2003