KJ4YZI, EL97

My name is Eric Hofer, and the callsign is KJ4YZI. My radio hobby passion started at 9 years old when I discovered my dads CB radio in his 1986 Datsun in Miramar, Florida. He would come home from work and I would sneak out to the car to try to talk to people on the interstate. When he found me a few days later, he got mad for a second, but then he was happy. For my 10th birthday I asked for a CB radio in my room. That’s what I got. An Audiovox 23 channel crystal CB from a local pawn shop, a mag mount outside my bedroom window on a steel angle and two 6 volt lead acid batteries wired in series.  Every day after school I tried talking to people, but soon realized nobody could hear me. I then learned how to tear apart a handheld microphone to find the mic element wire was disconnected. I soldered it on myself, and away I went. Soon after that I had GE 40 channel handhelds, Cobra 29 LTD classic, a JC Penney 23 channel base and god only knows how many I can’t remember. Years after that, I met Patrick (Smoker) KI4LUY on channel 19 in Sebastian Florida. Eventually I went to his house and he was showing me some cool radio stuff. He turned on his Icom V-8000 and said “Hey, do you know what ham radio is?” I did not. But when he keyed the microphone on the local 146.640MHz repeater and the repeater gave it’s ID in spoken words, I was absolutely hooked. He made a contact on FM showing me the clear range compared to CB. I left his house with a technician class study guide, and the rest is history. I was first licensed as a tech in 2005 as KI4MQJ. I spent 4 years as a tech before upgrading to general. I learned so much in those 4 years and met a lot of people. I borrowed an Icom 735 from Pat for a few weeks to get on 10 meters as a technician class.  Once the band opened, I was hooked on HF. Upgraded to general class, and bought from Patrick my very first HF rig, the Yaesu FT-450. Spent a lot of time on 6 meters and 10 meters, then progressing on to the other bands. I have made a lot of antennas, tried a lot of different ideas and made a lot of contacts.

This is what geared me to start this journey, making videos about all things ham radio on YouTube. I would meet someone and ask them “So what’s the best way to turn this 1/4 wave 2 meter antenna into a 5/8 wave for more range?” And normally the answer was “Stop being cheap, just go buy one” or “You can’t do that, it won’t be as good”. But I couldn’t settle for that answer.  I also was turned off by the forums on QRZ and eHAM because those people would do the same thing. So I wanted to spread my knowledge of all the years I have spent in this hobby, to the people who are wanting to get licensed or may be getting the same treatment as I have on the forums. There is so much to learn in this hobby and there is something for everyone. God gave me a talent to speak to complete strangers and spread a little bit of “easy to understand” knowledge across the internet and across the airwaves. Nobody should be afraid to ask questions or buy a new piece of gear. Hopefully my videos show you a new piece of gear you are thinking about, and maybe it helps you make a decision about purchasing it. I’ll just show you what it is and what it does. YOU determine if you should get it. Anyways, I could write on this post for weeks with all the stuff I have done or wanted to do, I just wanted to give you a little bit on where I started and why I started this. It makes me feel good with the thousands of comments/emails that I helped someone learn something in this hobby. If you learned something from my videos, consider throwing a buck in the donation button. I would greatly appreciate it. There is SO MUCH I have yet to accomplish on videos, you just have to watch and see. 73 de KJ4YZI