Welcome to Handiham World.
Photo: Pat, WA0TDA, poses in front of the Honda Driving Simulator at the Mazda car rental agency in Chitose, Japan. Note the Handiham baseball cap! In Japan one drives on the left side of the road.
I'm back from Japan, and have some awesome jet lag, so this will be a short one! Today is the day of the big FEMA emergency test, so you might drop me a line and let me know if your radio club or ARES group did anything special to participate, or if you even heard any alerts.
My XYL and I had a nice visit with son Will, KC0LJL, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Although I had hoped to check into some Handiham nets from there, I just could not make the time shift work for me so that I could stay awake to make that schedule. It sure was hard to flip days and nights for 10 days, then do it all over again. One of the oddest things to wrap my brain around was that one can leave Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon and arrive back in Minnesota on Tuesday morning, thanks to crossing the International Date Line while flying east. It reminded me of that book by Jules Verne, "Around the World in 80 Days" in which the protagonist, Phileas Fogg, wins a bet by circumnavigating the globe in 80 days. At first he thinks he lost the bet, but because he traveled east around the world, he actually gains a day and is able to win the bet after all. It's been a long time since I read that story as a boy who hoped someday to see the world! In the novel, Phileas Fogg traveled from Yokohama to San Francisco in 22 days by steamship. Thanks to amateur radio, I can travel the world via DX any day.
Japan is known for its amateur radio manufacturers and enthusiasm for amateur radio in general. While on the road with XYL Susie driving, I spotted plenty of HF beam antennas, but who knows how many wire or VHF/UHF antennas that I missed? One day we visited the city Tomakomai, a port city south of Sapporo. There was one city block where I saw a real cluster of ham radio antennas, and I'm estimating a half-dozen beams or rotary dipoles in that single city block! That's just amazing!
While in Japan, I was not able to get on the air using an HT because I did not apply in advance for a JA license. I did, however, enjoy getting on HF using the Handiham Remote Base station W0ZSW and checked into the PICONET on 3.925 MHz. If you are a remote base user, please consider checking into PICONET, which has a long-time association with the Handihams.
For Handiham World, I'm...