Ambitions in the Radio Zone

I’ve basically started this so people can express or discuss their ambitious radio world adventures and ambitious targets.

So to get the ball rolling :

I aspire to holding, preferably long-term, every qualification-criteria technical grade radio op and engineering license. From an operational angle, having worked with every known (obscure, yet to be implemented and lost) radio system and operational mode. The travel the world part of that got killed by ill health and co-vid and being unwilling to visit the USA and it’s external governed territories for political reasons, kinda destroyed part of the scope, but a lot is still viable.

In fact, my first step towards this happened when I got a full grade US ham license legitimately without ever going there. I was part of group of UK hams (I got roped in, as a non license holder, because I had a very wide knowledge and degrees of experience of radio systems at 17, high level dev/design and construction experience etc) who were (for two months each year) invited security cleared resident at a USAF base here in the UK. We worked for free as tutors to enhance the scope of radio and telecoms knowledge made available to their techs and comma and security personnel about stuff they may encounter but got limited scope to become familiar with 'back home. But being technically resident, we had an opportunity to sit and progress through qualifying criteria for US ham license grades, and our regular residency allowed license retention and use when in applicable territories under UK reciprocal license arrangements and parallel qualify for US reciprocal licensing as US residents as US residency was a minimum requirement then for getting reciprocal use of a US Ham license in the territory where outside the US.

So I actually got operational airtime here and abroad as a technical reciprocal licensed US ham before I ever sat my RAE and got my M1 call sign. Sadly, the annual residency ceased after 5 years after a DOD crackdown, policy changes when the UK had a higher terrorist risk (as judged in the USA) for a time and we were ‘persona non grata’ at the base as a result. 5 years later the bureaucracy caught up and our US licenses were withdrawn, but we were allowed to retain the call signs as a good will gesture. But I never reveal or quote mine, since aside from it’s historical significance, it’s also a point of painful contention because that ‘non grata‘ status still remains at remaining bases (are there any here still?) but worse of all, that exclusion affected my ability to enter USA and US territories - and being treated like a criminal isn’t part of my travel plans.

So I got two of my ham tickets, one historical, and could claim at least on commercial technician/engineering ticket if I wanted to contest reasonable grounds for a retrospect issue that never got completed due to having no way to collect my docs (which were sent to the base) and probably they ended up in security hands.

Still, it was a small parts of the bigger adventure where some got achieved and some waiting for opportunities and motivation to shove me the right direction.

OK, over to you - bare your radio ambitions soul fearlessly with pride, and if there’s a story behind it, go spill - it may inspire others.