XENIA — Ham radios have no boundaries as there are operators all over the world.
There are also no age parameters. Just ask Riley Lorang.
The 10-year-0ld from San Jose, California obtained his tech license at age 8 and his general license last summer when he was 9. He actually started getting into it as a first grader but kind of let it go until the last couple years.
“I always wanted to play with the radios with all the buttons,” he said when asked what got him interested in amateur radio.
He definitely has had a great experience, communicating with hams from as far away as Russia, South Korea and Trinidad and Tobago, just to name a few. Lorang owns four radios, according to his father, John, who was licensed in the early 2000s.
“I spoiled him,” John said. “He just decided he wanted to do it.”
The younger Lorang had to obtain the tech license online due to COVID, but when in-person tests were offered he was one of the first in San Jose to sign up and be tested.
This is his first Hamvention.
The Wagner siblings — Bernadette, Benedict, and Agnes — are a little more experienced in Hamvention, attending their first in 2019 before COVID shut things down for a couple years. Benedict, 13, has been licensed for four years. Bernadette, 15, and Agnes, 12, have had their licenses for three years.
“I went to meetings with my dad and I thought it was fun,” Benedict (AD8FQ) said.
His favorite part of amateur radio is participating in contests where he and others in his club try to contact as many people as possible from a specific place.
Agnes (AD8IR) took the lead from her brother and some friends who were ham operators.
“I thought it wold be cool to talk to my friends,” she said. “I like to play with the digital modes.”
That’s where the radios and the internet mix for an added dimension.
“Some of my favorite (activities) are ones where you don’t have to talk a lot,” she added.
Guess why Bernadette (K88LWO) became involved.
“I just kind of got dragged along into it,” she said. “The other kids were getting into it.”
Also a scout with Boy Scouts of America, Bernadette has noticed a trend amongst her peers.
“A lot of other scouts that I met recently are into ham radio,” she said.
However the Wagners — who are from Stow, Ohio — became involved is fine with their father, Nick (AC8QG).
“It lets us do some things as a family,” he said.
Agnes and Benedict will be presenting at Saturday’s youth forum.
Greene County also has myriad youngsters involved in ham.
Xenia 13-year-old Zachary Klinc has been licensed for two years. He first became involved by going to a meeting with his dad, Eric.
“I like doing the races,” he said.
Zachary attends those races — horse, 5K and marathons — and charts how many people pass by his station.