Dave Thompson , AG7TX

My interest in radio began decades ago when I was a teenager. I played with Citizen’s Band a bit but really wanted a ham license. Unfortunately I knew no Elmer so my interest was set aside.

I came to amateur radio in April 2019. At breakfast one morning, my friend mentioned that he was studying for the Technician examination. It was something I had looked at a few years before and then set aside when other things demanded my time and attention. I simply said “I’ll do it with you.” I got my license in April 2019.

My family all lives far from me and I was concerned about the loss of commercial telephony should the unthinkable occur in my region. I saw amateur radio as a way to get a message out should I need to.

Later that year I decided that learning Morse code would be part of being a well-rounded operator. We had a little group that gathered once each week to “practice” but it was really just a social event. So I applied to CWA. I started the first of 2020 and finished the CWA courses in February 2021.

My operations are mostly portable because of noise at home. (It’s a common problem.) But I like the outdoors anyway, so this is an excuse to get out, set up a portable station, and work the bands a little. Morse code plays well into my interest in SOTA and POTA and operating a radio while out camping.

Our little group of operators also do expeditions for a variety of events. These include Field Day, the 7 Area QP, the Nevada QP, and many others. We go find a location where we can activate at least two counties. This has led me to a number of beautiful places here in Nevada and a lot of good fun and fellowship. I sometimes write an after-action report and post it on my weblog,

I am now the CW operator for our little group. I am still learning to run a frequency (the SOTA activations help) and spend some time S&Ping.

I am grateful for my instructors, Jim (N7MU), Mike (N7ID) and Ken (K4EES), and Buzz (AC6AC) and Rich (N4DPM) for their guidance, encouragement, and mentoring. I also made many friends during the CWA coursework and remain in touch with a number of them.