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Call Sign 5CY
Many have admired one of the legends of America, Howard Hughes. Certainly I have. Movie maker, aviator, industrialist, a real performance guy driven by testosterone and the quest to be the best. Many have claimed that Hughes "was" the leading edge of technology.

Hughes was a Ham operator long before he got into movies or aviation. He was interested in electricity and built radio sets as a 12 year old youth in Houston. Howard's room was on the second floor, facing north. There he assembled his shortwave radio equipment and using his new call sign 5CY in 1919, spent hours flashing messages to amateur operators all over the country and to ships at sea.

With fellow radio enthusiasts, he formed the Radio Relay League, a local organization of young amateurs like himself. Since Howard had the latest equipment, the boys usually met in his room.

When studying and training to become a Ham you will become aware that the FCC regulations and rules do not refer to Amateur Radio as a "Hobby".

It may be a hobby to the license holder. You'll be playing and absorbing the wonderful technology and it is a rewarding educational experience. However, there are responsibilities. The FCC, the United States Government, your State and local Government and Municipality know that Amateur Radio is a "Public Service". You are the Caretaker and Operator of  Amateur Radio, especially for Public Service "Emergency  Communications".

Ham Radio has been rewarding and educational for me. When many of my school friends were in college I wasn't there, never went to college. I seemed to have more exciting projects to focus on. Rotating machinery, most of it "loud", racing boats, motorcycles, cars, airplanes, etc. Aviation was one of the most rewarding long term educational events. As my friends were coming out of college I was flying the aircraft I built all by myself. All that moved me on from the loud racing machinery to commercial aviation. Ham Radio was my next rewarding educational experience.

I noticed some years back that the number of licensed Hams in the USA was almost exactly the same as the number of licensed pilots in the USA. What can we read into that?

~ N5CNN  -- another caretaker of "Public Service Amateur Radio".


Who was a Ham before becoming really famous?

Call sign, "5CY", Houston, age 12, Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (Humble, TX, December 24, 1905 Died in the air over Gulf of Mexico, April 5, 1976).

This early Hughes Amateur Radio activity was washed away by subsequent publicity.

Click for another famous Ham.