Craig Szczutkowski , N2DA

CWops# 2806, from Forest , VA , USA.---->View on Google maps

It’s an honor to be a member of CWops – many thanks to my CWA Intermediate Advisor, John, AJ1DM, and my CWA Advanced Advisor Joe, KK5NA. Thanks to both of them and CWA I have gotten back to really enjoying CW.

I’ve been a ham since 1970 – WN3OWX, then WA3OWX in PA, before getting my Extra and current callsign while living in Syracuse, NY in 1977. Though I worked a lot of CW in my early days, my time on the air lapsed soon after my college years. I had fun working in military electronics and public safety mobile communications engineering, product development, and later, in marketing and international sales. I kept my license and a station on the air, but was fairly inactive until about 10 years ago.

After some good-natured prodding from my college-era ham buddies to get back on the air, I joined their sideband sked, and less often, their CW sked. But my CW was rusty and I struggled to keep up at 15 WPM. Luckily, one of them (John, AJ1DM) is a CWops Member and Advisor who, each time a new semester rolled around, invited me to sign up. While I passed on his initial invites, after COVID-19 hit I felt the time was right. I completed his Intermediate class in May 2020, and Joe’s (KK5NA) Advanced class this February. Boy, what a difference the two classes have made – I’m back to really enjoying CW and am more proficient than I had ever been in my younger days. I enjoy CW ragchewing, occasional contesting, QRP’ing, and DX’ing. I also enjoy restoring old tube and transistor radios.

Until a few years ago, my main rig was the HW-100 I built while in high school in 1970. I picked up an ‘old’ Drake TR7 from a ham friend in 2013. Felt like I entered the modern era, with solid state and the 100 Hz digital readout! Been using a Kenwood TS-590SG since 2017. I also have a Ten-Tec PM2B QRP rig which I just put on the air after about 40 years. I still have my novice receiver, a BC348-Q (recently rebuilt the power supply) and recently bought an old Knight T-60, which was my novice transmitter back in 1970. I tend to mainly work 80, 40, and 20 Meters with the TS-590SG, but am looking forward to 15 and 10 opening up again.

My antenna is a 130 ft center fed (ladder line) multiband dipole strung to fit in the attic. With a Dentron Jr tuner, it loads up pretty well on 80 through 10 Meters, and I don’t have to worry about windstorms and falling tree branches!

My wonderful wife of 23 years, Laurie, enjoys quilting as much as I enjoy radio. Fortunately, the pandemic has been conducive to both of our hobbies! We love travelling and visiting with friends and family – hope to be able to get back into it soon.

I look forward to meeting more CWops members on the air, as well as encouraging other hams’ use of CW.

This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.