When it comes to Applewood Manor’s official author, here is a little trivia you probably didn’t know. I am a Ham–licensed Amateur Radio Operator KJ4ZVO—known on the air as Kilo, Juliet, Four, Zulu, Victor, Oscar. I’m just one of the three million Amateur Radio Operators worldwide. Seven hundred thousand of those are in the U.S. And Hams love to travel. The mountains around Asheville provide the height for their radio signals to reach places in the country and the world still on their bucket list and Applewood Manor is the perfect home base while in the area.
Radio operators are always interested in the history of their hobby and the development of radio technology. We are always looking for the opportunity to meet other Hams and share stories about antenna design, equipment and radio adventures including volunteer assistance and message forwarding during emergencies and disasters. That makes Asheville a natural destination for us. There are several Amateur Radio Clubs in the area. One of the most active is the Blue Ridge Club open to all persons interested in Ham Radio communications. They meet monthly, except in December, on the first Tuesday of each month in Jackson Park at 7:00pm. The meetings are held at is 801 Glover St. Hendersonville about a 30 minute drive from Applewood Manor. It is a large brick house above the tennis courts. Meetings cover a wide range of radio topics. As they put it from A-Amperes through Z-Impedance.
Another reason Asheville is a vacation target for amateur radio enthusiasts, is its Radio Museum. The museum is only three miles from Applewood Manor, located on the campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Room 315, in the Elm Building on Victoria Road. Over 100 vintage amateur and commercial radios are on display and the museum tells and illustrates the story of early experiments and eventual commercialization of the technology—the internet of its time. There is an artistic side to the museum—exhibits of beautiful wooden cabinets, displays of luxury and glamor, as radios arrived in homes. On the educational side, the museum includes demonstrations of how radio waves work. For the novice there is the hands-on opportunity to beep out their names in Morse code, hear old radio dramas on period radios and see a live demonstration of a spark transmitter, the earliest wireless device for sending and receiving messages.
Radio technology continues to take us into the future. Many of the devices now in common use exist because of that technology even though the user probably doesn’t realize it. Cellphones are two-way radios. GPS systems, Bluetooth devices are radios utilizing electromagnetic waves. It is radio waves that connect us to wireless internet routers, open car doors with key fobs, etc. The radio enthusiasts who maintain the museum have done a great job with the facility and with their website, https://www.avlradiomuseum.org/, that invites visitors (licensed radio operators or not) TO EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF RADIO WAVE WIZARDRY!