Now that spring has finally sprung, most families are considering what they will do this summer…preferably something that will get the kids outside and away from their electronic devices, something that will be fun not only for children, but for parents and grandparents, and – if you’re really lucky – something where everyone involved might learn something! Sounds like a lot to ask for from one family activity, doesn’t it? Lucky, one man has an answer.
Enter J.K. George, an author and ham-radio enthusiast for more than 50 years, who had caught the attention of World Radiosporting Team Championship (WRTC) chairman Doug Grant with his first book, Reunion, was invited by Grant to come experience, and write about, the 2014 WRTC – held in the United States for the first time in nearly two decades. Eager to be a part of the ‘Olympics of Ham Radio,’ George enthusiastically agreed and caught a plane to Massachusetts to participate in this highly-competitive, yet nearly invisible, international competition – the stories from which comprise his new book, Contact Sport: A Story of Champions, Airwaves, and an Amazing One-Day Race Around the World [Greenleaf Book Group; February 1, 2016].
“It goes without saying that I love the hobby of amateur radio,” says George. “When my Boy Scout troop visited a local ham operator in his Nautilus-type cocoon of mysterious glowing vacuum-tube radio gear in 1957, I was hooked. Now, many years later, the thrill is as strong as ever. I hope that Contact Sport will allow some additional people, especially young people, to explore and appreciate the magic of radio.”
Topics the entertaining and dynamic J.K. George can discuss include:
- The unbelievable excitement and daunting challenges competitors face in this exclusive race
- Amateur radio as an excellent vehicle and fun way to introduce young people to STEM educational choices and careers
- The dramatic, and ultimately flawed, final decision of the judges deciding the top three teams from last year’s event…the event’s most controversial finish to date
- The ways amateur radio increases one’s exposure to the wider world of geography, languages and cultures of others
- How Morse code is still an effective communication tool, especially in radiosporting
- The science of radio-wave propagation, and the effects of sunlight on the atmosphere
- How the world continues to shrink with the advent of global technology
- And much more!
Please let me know if you’d like to schedule a time to speak with Mr. George. Complimentary review copies of Contact Sport are also available upon request. Mr. George is also available for features, guest posts and speaking engagements.
J. K. George (radio call sign N3BB) has been an avid amateur radio enthusiast, with special love for Morse code and radiosporting, since his teenage years—over fifty years ago. He started his hobby listening to short-wave broadcasts and long-distance AM radio stations. George is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he was president of the VT Amateur Radio Club and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Engineering after serving as Chair of the Advisory Boards for both Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as the College of Engineering. He completed his master’s degree at Arizona State University, specializing in semiconductor materials physics. George’s professional career was primarily at Motorola, where he worked in the semiconductor business for nearly forty years and served as corporate vice president for nearly fifteen years. Following his retirement, George was a founding member, and served for six years on the advisory board, for KUT-FM, the public radio station of the University of Texas at Austin. Contact Sport is available now.