In the woods of Massachusetts, pairs of contestants huddle in tents filled with communications equipment. Their voices soar through the air, riding waves into the atmosphere, as they comb through static and noise for a response from the other side of the world. They’re searching for loot—in the form of other voices in the sky. The rarer their contact, the more valuable their treasure.
Joining them in their quest is author J. K. George, an experienced radio operator himself, who guides the reader through the exciting world of amateur radio competition and the intriguing characters of the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship. The competitors hail from across the planet—from youthful challengers to veterans with decades of radiosporting experience.
They battle computer malfunctions, getting lost, and staying at the top of their game for 24 hours in a hot, stuffy tent. The final scores bring surprises, disappointments, even a recount, and decades-long friendships will be damaged in the fight for the crown of amateur radio—the ultimate “contact” sport.
I’m a sucker for championships. If you gather the world’s elite in almost anything I’ll tune in, from soccer and the Olympics to competitive crossword puzzle solving and Starcraft. I figure it gives each sport (define as you will) a fair shot – if I don’t like watching the best of the best it’s obviously not for me.
So I jumped on this book when I saw it – radiosport! Who knew there’s such a thing? And complete with a World Championship, where teams have 24 hours to contact as many people in as many different locations as possible via shortwave radio. To do so they set up low-power radio stations with standard equipment at assigned sites like a state forest, an abandoned mental hospital, or next to a military runway. Generators set up in the woods, what could go wrong?
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