First things first…Thank you to AJ, NK4O, for my nomination and to N3JT, K1DJ, NS8O, K1EBY, K6RB, W0BM, N7US, KR2Q, N5OT, and KO4VW for sponsoring me. Your support is very much appreciated.
It’s hard for me to believe that all this started officially back in 1984. That’s when I received KA2VAJ. I remember how nervous I was during my first CW QSO with Jerry, KA2FKO (SK), who was just across town. About two years later, in the spring of 1986, I earned NQ2W after struggling to get to 20 wpm. The struggle was a result of learning code the wrong way.
Don, WA2OEP (SK), was shaking his head when I walked in to the Novice class (two or three weeks after it started) proudly claiming I knew Morse code, “An A is dot dash, a B is dash dot dot dot…” At the time, I knew no better because I never really talked to anyone about amateur radio or Morse code and how you should learn it. Suffice it to say, I learned the hard (aka wrong) way.
Unofficially, my interest in radio communications started in the late ’60s with a portable shortwave receiver and a set of walkie talkies. In the ’70s, CB radio caught my attention. Throughout those early years of my life I knew about amateur radio…we lived next door to a ham in New Jersey. He had a ground mounted vertical in the backyard but he never talked to me about it…maybe I was too young. One of my uncles who lived in California was a ham…way too far away for a shack visit and long distance phone calls were expensive. At Clarkson, I knew fellow students who were hams…heck, they even talked to the space shuttle. But, I never really knew amateur radio.
So, I’m NQ2W living in Lowville, NY using an Icom 745 mostly SSB. I buy an HW-8 and never look back. I’m all in CW QRP…having a blast. A move to a new residence puts HF amateur radio on pause for about 15 years. A move to Albany, NY and the kids at college allows me the chance to get back into HF. This was about a 10-year period all CW QRP…chasing DX and contesting. New radios…the computer and internet playing a huge role in hamming…LoTW. Wow!
I retired in 2016. We moved and built a new house on the side of a mountain (Dixon Hill). In the fall of 2021, I was finally able to get an HF station back on the air. Still CW QRP…contesting and chasing DX. I really enjoy the contesting. It wasn’t that long ago that I entered my first CWT…fast…seemed even faster than the NAQP or CQ WWDX. Even as I write this, I am in awe of the CWops…you guys and gals are good. I hope to someday be as proficient at CW as you are. I may have learned the hard way but I’m doing my best to keep learning and improving.
I am a life member of ARRL, NAQCC, FPQRP, and SKCC and a member in good standing of HVCDX (Thank you Mike, K4RUM, for your encouraging wisdom and support).
When I’m not doing ham radio, I’m doing something else. Usually, I’m working on the house or maintaining our 20 acres of woods. In my spare time, I enjoy fishing out of my Hobie Pro Angler 14, walking (and not working) in our woods, or tinkering/building station accessories. My wife and I have been married for 29 years. We have two adult children with families of their own. Our four grandchildren are getting the amateur radio exposure that I never received. I don’t know if they’ll ever become hams. If they do, I’m certain they will be introduced to and learn Morse code the right way!
We share a great hobby. Radio technology, itself, is amazing but it’s the people you meet behind the radio that seals the deal. A lot of us will never meet face to face. Heck, a lot of us will never actually “talk” to each other. But, we will communicate and make lifelong friendships. We will have a positive impact on someone’s day, week, month, year, and life. I know how much amateur radio has enriched my life. I am honored to be a member of CWops!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.