THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
14 Wriel hi rer-
members of the Skvwarn Net. "When
there is a net, I participate if I'm on the
"I enjoy talking to people." Pollak
says. "It's pleasureable to make new
friends. I meet local HAMs and some-
times HAMs from other states when
I'm traveling." His call letters are
Pollak estimates that he spends
ten hours per week at his hobby,
whether actively communicating or
just listening. Much of that time is
while driving his car. A hig booster of
the hand-held radios, Pollak has used
the equipment via telephone patch
through another HAM to call his wife
or even the police. He once called the
fire department from his car to report a
fire caused by a downed power line in a
field off Telegraph Road. When his
sons go off to college, Pollak believes
the family will communicate via
amateur radio. "It is a reliable, inex-
pensive means to communicate with
He has invested $2,500-$3,000 in
his hobby, starting simply and then
adding or trading. "There's newer or
more sophisticated equipment on the
market every few months, but I'm
satisfied with what I have." What he
has includes a computerized microp-
rocessor incorporated into his system
for transmission of Stone messages and
his 45-foot tower behind his home,
eaily seen from La hser Road.
The antenna atop the tower is 26-
feet long and 26-feet wide. Pollak
erected it with the help of neighbors
after receiving a permit from the City
of Southfield. "Some cities, like Far-
mington Hills, have ordinances that
hamper HAMs," Pollak says, but he
believes the hobby's benefits should
not be restricted.
HAMs are regulated by the Fed-
eral Communications Commission
and the Amateur Radio Relay League.
There are an estimated 500,000 HAMs
in the U.S.
A HAM booster. Pollak is trying
to reorganize a novice class for the Oak
Park Amateur Radio Club. So far, son
David is the only one signed up. Son
Brian, age 8, has already learned most
of the Morse Code.
"David is really a computer hob-
byist," Pollak says. "Computers have
really taken away some of the
enthusiasm for amateur radio."
David's enthusiasm for computers cost
Pollak his integrated system often
enough that Pollak finally purchased
a second computer for David's use.
HAM operators must know Morse
Code and the FCC regulations and
pass an FCC test for licensing. A basic
transmitting and receiving stilt ion can
be purchased for as little as $150, Pol-
He stresses amateur radio, with
its power, range and thousands of fre-
quencies, over citizens hand iCBi
radio, which is limited to five watts of
power and 40 channels.
"I've talked to all parts of the
world, every continent, both the North
and South poles, Russia. Maybe I
shouldn't say this in The dervish News.
But several years ago on Dec. 24th I
was in contact with a scientific or mili-
tary station near the North Pole, and I
got the usual line about Santa Claus
not being there right now."
As far as Harold and Rose
Shwedel are concerned, Santa Claus is
living in Southfield and is known as
WA8GQZ. "Ed Pollak's father is a
diabetic," says Harold, "and Ed has to
go and give him shots every day. Yet
when we had this problem of com-
municating with Ken, Ed still had the
time for a guy like me."
Adds Rose, "People are really
wonderful at a time like this."
Friday, October 11. 1985
rrr sllunrl i r1 1 1,1