Jack Parker - W8ISH
Jack has always had radio in his blood. As a kid, growing up in Kettering, Ohio, he would listen to distant AM stations at night. Jack even built a crystal radio thinking it might get him better reception. In his freshman year of high school Jack started working part time at WDAO radio in Dayton, Ohio. He wanted to be a disc jockey playing the Top 40 hits. Of course, that took an FCC Third Class license with broadcast endorsement. It was his first encounter with FCC examiners.
After high school Uncle Sam liked his style and the Army made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Jack spent three years with American Forces Radio in Germany and then back to Ft. Harrison in Indianapolis to teach photojournalism at the Defense Information School.
Jack’s 45-year TV news career started at WTTV in Indianapolis as chief news photographer. After 10 years and a national spot news photography award he moved up the street to WISH TV. As a photojournalist he was assigned a microwave news vehicle as his take home vehicle. Jack was the first photographer in the Indianapolis market to include an engineering function as his normal daily routine. That sparked an interest in electronics and amateur radio. His next goal was to qualify to drive and operate the Ku band satellite truck.
While Jack was earning his degree in practical electronics at the local Indiana-Purdue University campus, the WISH TV engineers encouraged Jack to test for the Novice license. By 1986 Jack had learned the code, passed the exams and became an Extra Class licensee
For Jack, the past three decades as an amateur radio operator have been filled with rewarding contacts and even more new friends. In the year 2000, he developed a series of workshops, held at local universities around Indiana, to discuss what we can do to draw more people into amateur radio. Those three workshops drew interest from hams from across Indiana. Also in the year 2000, Jack was honored with the Indiana Outstanding Amateur of the Year award.
Jack continues to be involved as a VE and enjoys teaching amateur radio license classes. As an operator he operates HF for special events, spends hours operating the digital modes and participating in Field Day and other ARES and RACES events. During 2016, he operated from five of the national parks during the National Parks on the Air event. Jack’s love of sailing took him across the Atlantic Ocean in October 1992 as part of America 500, recreating Columbus’ crossing 500 in 1492. He operated maritime mobile aboard the Tievoli, a 33-foot sailboat from Indiana. This was an international event with sailboats from twenty-seven different countries.
As a correspondent for Amateur News Weekly and now for Amateur Radio Newsline Jack looks forward to bringing you stories from his little part of the world.