T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T     J A N U A R Y  – F E B R U A R Y   2008


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Also, we welcome "letters to the editor" for publication and your reactions to anything on the Catalyst pages.


In Future Issues...

Inside the Doors of Building 33

Dual-Use Technology

Research Roundup

International radio symbol

Kids' Catalyst

—The Joys of Amateur Radio

Driver’s license . . . ah, freedom!  But you have to wait until you’re old enough,
and then you are still limited in where you can go and how fast you can get there, and you have responsibility for tires, gas, insurance, etc. It’s not all fun.

But there’s another kind of license. . . one that will allow you to go to the other side of the country or overseas. Or to the moon or a space station–and you’ll be going at the speed of light!

What’s more, even if the power goes out—and you have no computer, no video games, no TV, no phone service—you could still be talking to people all over the world and you could also be helping with emergency assistance during something like a power outage.

Welcome to the world of amateur radio. There are people at their own radio stations all over the world, with radios, big and small, who aren’t limited to listening to that little section on the FM dial. With their receiver and transmitter (and license), they can listen and talk to people as far away as the space station—and beyond, once there are people beyond the space station. And you can, too.

The catch? Just as with a driver’s license, you have to take a test to get your amateur radio license, but it’s a test on information you’ll be excited to learn because it will allow you to operate a radio and to know what you’re doing.

There are lots of people who can help you get started, such as NIMH’s Andy Mitz (call sign WA3LTJ) of W3NIH, our very own radio club—the NIH Radio Amateur Club.

Steve Saletta (NINDS) operates one of the Emergency Communications Center radios

The radio club operates the Emergency Communications Center at NIH; it’s housed on the third floor of Building 11, the power plant. And that’s where the group meets the first Saturday of each month.

Andy can be reached by phone at 301-402-5573 or e-mail.

Information on how to apply for and get an amateur radio license can be found at the Federal Communications Commission website.

And the best site for information, according to Andy, is the American Radio Relay League.

Jennifer White
call sign KB3QFD 

The NIH Catalyst is published bi-monthly for and by the intramural scientists at NIH. Address correspondence to Building 2, Room 2E26, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892. Ph: (301) 402-1449; fax: (301) 402-4303; e-mail: <catalyst@nih.gov>.

Michael Gottesman
Deputy Director for Intramural Research, OD

John I. Gallin
Director, NIH Clinical Center

Henry Metzger
Scientist Emeritus


Fran Pollner

Christopher Wanjek
Director of Communications, OIR

Shauna Roberts

Yvonne Evrard
Julie Wallace
Jennifer White


David Davies, NIDDK
Dale Graham, CIT
Elise Kohn, NCI
Susan Leitman, CC
Bernard Moss, NIAID
Paul Plotz, NIAMS
Joan Schwartz, NINDS
Gisela Storz, NICHD

Ronald Summers, CC


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