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James Pike Biography

                                               How did James Poles Begin?

The love of ham radio!

But it was more than that...

It was November 1994, and we in Apple Valley R.A.C.E.S had a call out because of the heavy rains storming within the high desert of California.

At the time, I was an assistant radio officer for the group, and was in charge of the call out. After reaching 10 to 14 members and directing them to the Headquarters Fire Station (with radios set to the Primary Simplex Frequency), I myself then headed for the Fire Stations to set up the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). When I arrived, I was briefed by the Fire Chief and subsequently issued members their assignments. They were sent out into the field to complete these assignments.

Can you imagine what really happened? Because of the rubber duck antennas on all the hand-held radios, I was only able to reach 4 members out in the fields. Their radios simply were not effective enough to reach the EOC. This in turn put their lives at risk.

I made the decision to find an inexpensive, easily constructed but rugged antenna for all EOC members. I researched every publication I could find because I discovered the "Copper J Antenna". Using that as a basis, I constructed the antenna and distributed them to every member by December 1994.

Having been told that the workmanship was of high quality, I was also told to take them to the local ham swap meet. Well, I did just that. I took about thirty of them to the swap meet held at Walnut High School in Colton (the Inland Empire Amateur Radio Club). About 28 minutes after I was set up, I was sold out!!! I expanded to the Pomona Ham Swap Meet, and TRW swap meet, the Fort Tuthill Ham Fest, and the Key city Hamfest (Abilene Texas). The antenna has been so well received, that I have sold several thousand since 1994.

And that's how we got started!



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