XENIA — There’s one potential drawback to sharing a passion for amateur radio with two teenage daughters.
“When the girls get on there, all these guys jump on there wanting to talk to them,” said Mobile, Ala., resident Joey McCullough of his daughters, Niki, 19, and Robyn, 16.
But the older McCullough can deal with that in exchange for the girls sharing his passion for ham radios. The three are among thousands attending 2017 Dayton Hamvention at the Greene County Fairgrounds through May 21.
“We’re pretty active,” Joey said.
Niki and Robyn both giggled and pointed when asked what got them into amateur radio at a young age.
“This man,” Niki said looking at dad. “I was going to the luncheons and the club meetings. (I liked) the people.” She figured it wouldn’t be that difficult to pass the test and obtain a license herself.
“All I have to do is study for a couple days,” Niki said.
Robyn, 16, also got into ham radio for the camaraderie.
“The group of people (are great),” she said. “I (was on the radio a lot) when I first got my license.”
For Niki, the best part is going from hearing someone’s voice to seeing their face.
“It’s cool to be talking to someone on the radio and then meeting them in person,” she said.
For Lisa Ferguson, 23, it would be cool to be able to talk to anyone.
The Cincinnati resident, who recently moved to Southwest Ohio from Arizona, has been licensed for four years but she has no equipment.
“I’m out here hoping to find some (handy talkies),” she said. “The best I’m hoping for … the bottom of the market but still usable. Walking around here I’m feeling I’m clearly behind.”
She got her start in ham radio while at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
“I worked on a cube satellite,” she said. They used amateur radio for that, and, along with classmates, used the school’s equipment to help out at local races and community events.
This is Ferguson’s first Dayton Hamvention.
“This is a lot bigger than the one I used to go to,” she said. “It’s fun how international the community is. (But) this is a bit overwhelming.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.