Transmitting Positivity

Paula High-Young
7 min readApr 12, 2020

The Internet Isn’t the Only Way to Socialize at a Distance

W5FHA (Don) making contacts around the world, at our local, annual ARRL Field Day in June 2006. -Photo by Paula High-Young

Ham Radio — Keeping People Connected
I am a licensed amateur radio operator, aka a ham radio operator. In New Mexico, we are incredibly lucky to have a vast network of amateur radio operators, amateur radio repeaters, and radio clubs — in addition to our
national organizations. As such, we have several “nets” throughout the week.

My (KZ5YL) station — August 2019.

Amateur Radio Nets
A net is an on-the-air gathering, at an arranged time, on a predetermined and publicized frequency, of amateur radio operators who take turns checking-in. We use nets to practice for emergencies and to keep in touch.

Some nets are topic-specific and open to members of particular groups — usually with ham-guests welcome toward the end. Other nets are open to any licensed hams, and the topics are open to pretty much anything allowable on-air. There are rules — unlike CB (citizens’ band) radio.

CQ, CQ, CQ. . .
Another way we “gather” on the air, is by getting on a frequency for which we are licensed and either putting out a “CQ” (seeking other hams to respond) or joining in a conversation already in progress.

Corrales, NM amateur radio tower & thunderstorm. -Photo by Carol Dickey.

When we do this, we can talk with people in our local area, across the state, or around the world. It just depends on the frequency we’re using. It’s a great way to meet new people with common interests — and stay connected.

We usually have club meetings and plenty of other ham radio gatherings in person. But of course, those are all canceled or on-hold for now, like all social get-togethers — during the coronavirus pandemic. But the positive is — we are a group of people focused around our mutual over-the-airways connections.

What I’ve Learned in Conversations
A curious thing I’m noticing in on-air conversations, many people are talking about all the great things they’re getting done around…



Paula High-Young

Holistic health writer & editor. Life & Wellness coach. “Ham radio” operator KZ5YL, photographer, & hot-air balloon pilot.