Smith Kiker 2

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Smith Kiker 2 - Smith Kiker ham radio operator NTSU photography...
Smith Kiker ham radio operator NTSU photography professor Paris native Hy KAREN CLARK "C.Q., C.Q, Hello C.Q. Calling C.Q. This is King Baker Five United Mexico." Mam radio operators may recognize KB5UM as the call sign for Smith (Smitty) Kiker, a former Paris resident now living in Denton. Kiker works as photography professor for the North Texas State University Journalism Department. He is the son of Mrs. Virginia Kiker Bills of 320 Shady Oaks Lane. Although he spends most of the day supervising the university's photojournalism photojournalism program, Kiker spends most of his free time with his second love — ham radios. "I've never gotten into anything, other than photography, that offered so much satisfaction," he said. It took about two years for Kiker to advance up the radio license ladder from a novice class operator to an amateur extra class operator. "1 didn't break any records, and I didn't try to," he said, "but the day 1 got my first license (in May 1978), I went out and bought my first transceiver." S1NCK THEN, Kiker has invested about $2,000 in his hobby, "adding a piece here and a piece there until I had what I wanted," he said. "What he wanted" includes includes a radio room in his house that contains one high frequency transceiver, three very high frequency transceivers, transceivers, a citizens band radio and a portable two- meter band radio. A 45-foot antenna in his backyard transmits and receives radio waves virtually all over the world. QS1. C'AKns (that confirm radio contact) from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries cover the walls of his radio room. Wyoming was (he last slate Kiker contacted in order (o earn a Worked All Slates certificate. Many western stales are hard to contact, he said, because there are so few radio operators there. Alaska was also a hard stale for him to contact for the same reason. One of Kiker's favorite aspects of ham radios is communicating in Morse code with foreign operators. "There's something significant in knowing you have the capability of talking to someone clean across the world," he said. Kiker has contacted foreign countries including European and South American countries, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. A QSL card from ' Czechoslovakia is one of Kiker's favorites. The card came from an operator who was working to complete his license. Before operators in Czechoslovakia can make on-the-air contact with other operators, they must first listen in on someone else. The Czechoslovakian listened to Kiker and sent him the card. INTERNATIONAL conflict conflict is not as apparent on the radios, he said. "With all of the tension the United States has with Russia and its satellite countries, you can talk to those guys on the radios, and you don't fee] the animosity." Topics of discussion usually include an exchange of location and transmission quality, followed by an exchange of weather conditions conditions and age. The conversation conversation could also include discussions of occupations, radio equipment and families, he said. In the United States, Kiker talks with some regularity to Walt McBernie, an ' amateur extra operator in Lee Roy, N.Y., and Charles Ammons, a high school student in Manor, Ga. "It's pretty common in radio to develop friendships with people you know you will never see," he said. ALTHOUGH KIKEU has been a ham radio oeprator for just a few years, he has worked with radios in some form most of his life. In the National Guard he gained experience as a radio operator. When he was growing up in Paris, Kiker helped his father with his radio and television repair business. "Most of my jobs consisted •of 'lift here son,' " he said. "I didn't learn a lot about electronics from him," Kiker said. "He didn't encourage encourage me because he believed that some day radio and television would be disposable. Of course I was too busy playing with cars and chasing girls to learn much." "One of the main reasons I decided to get into ham radios was that Daddy had a ham license back before World War II. He was first licensed in the Jate 1920s. His call sign was 5AAR. It was one of Die first. I wanted to do amateur radio, because he had done it," Kiker said. The equipment used by the early operators was much more basic than equipment used today. "Most of the equipment they used was homemade — homebrew," he said. "Dad used only code for transmissions, transmissions, he didn't have a mike for voice transmissions." transmissions." Kiker said amateur radio went through its infancy in his father's generation, and he wants to carry on the radio tradition. It may have been his experience helping his father install television antennaes and his memories of homebrew equipment that prompted Kiker to install his 45-foot radio tower in his backyard. He bought a .CB tower and modified it to his own needs using metal odds and ends. The tower is anchored in the ground by four feet of concrete that also contains two broken CB radios, a smog pump from a truck, part of a lawn mower and live ammunition — "just stuff we wanted to get rid of," he said. IN IJENTON. Kiker is secretary for the North Texas High Frequency Association, an amateur radio club. One of the major activities of the club is taking mini-expeditions to spend 24 hours operating rigs "running phone". The club has run phone twice from Telephone, Texas, opened the Moscow (Texas) Olympics, and transmitted from the decks of the Battleship Battleship Tex as. Some members of the club are a part of Sky Warn, -a group of amateur radio operators who alert citizens to incoming storms during tornado watches and thunderstorms. The club also provides classes for people attempting attempting to learn Morse code and become licensed. "When you consider that no matter what you do for recreation, you'll have to pay for it, amateur radio is a lot safer for me than owning a boat or learning how to fly." Kiker said. "There's something about it that you can't turn loose. It's just like photography, it grabs you and you can't let go. "There are always new worlds to conquer with it," he said. As a radio operator he contacted recently said, "Roger. Roger. Fine business, Smitty." Classified Ads Get More Results ALL-JERSEY MILK, MTURALLY GDOI)I The real honest farm flavor NELSON'S JERSEY FARM

Clipped from
  1. The Paris News,
  2. 18 Mar 1981, Wed,
  3. Page 23

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