A chance encouter on the airwaves in PDX

Portland, Oregon, has been my second hometown for many years. More recently, it’s become my favorite vacation spot. Even more so since there’s a Ham Radio Outlet located there. I bought both of my base station rigs there – my FT-7800 in 2007, and my FT-857D in July 2010, and whenever I’m in town I pay them a visit.

Still, I find that, what with all the other things I do on vacation, sometimes I hardly touch the HT. Today is my last day in Portland for this trip, so I decided just to check out the bands on the HT. While scanning up and down the 2 meter band I happened across 146.70 (pl 100), and caught the tail end of a “YL net.” YL, in ham speak, means woman (“young lady”).

Yes, I know, I’m no YL, but when I heard two OMs (“old men”) check in, I figured it would be OK for this OM to check in. (In ham speak, men are always old regardless of age, and women are forever young.) So I called, “whiskey hotel seven golf golf, portable whiskey seven.”

I must have caught net control off guard since she asked for my call again. Maybe she was wondering why a 7 station is signing portable W7. I did get a nice warm welcome once I said that I was visiting from Hawaii.

Anyway, it was nice to be able to use the radio on vacation. I really should make it a habit to use it more often when I’m out and about on the mainland. Maybe next trip.

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