David McNeil , W6PHO

CWops# 1903, from Columbia , CA , USA.---->View on Google maps

At age 13 fell in love with CW and ham radio (in that order), studied for my novice (reading breakfast cereal boxes in code), and built Heathkits.  I was hooked for life.  My Elmers were in the University of Arkansas club (W5YM); I was a charter member.  Soon I was contesting, and as K5GRT I won the CW Sweepstakes for the Arkansas section in 1959.  I also qualified for copying W1AW at 20 wpm, in 1958. 

I lapsed into inactivity during my college years.  When I acquired a family, a Stanford Ph.D. (in European history) and a teaching job (San José State University), I was too busy for the hobby, although I missed it greatly. My half century of QRT included several years living and working in France and Italy.

Then came retirement and a new wife, who provided me with a radio shack. It’s a cottage in her back yard among tall pine trees, in Columbia, a rural foothills community outside Sonora, California. I invested in an IC-7600, began making wire antennas, and got back on the air in 2014. My new Elmers are in TCARES: the Tuolumne County Amateur Radio and Electronics Society. With their encouragement I recently upgraded from General to Extra and finished my DXCC (sixty years after my first DX contacts).

I have also set up a station at my San Francisco home (IC-7300 to a 80/40 dipole barely off the roof). It was there that I stumbled into one of K6RB’s CWA sessions. When I later signed up for the CW Academy, Will (WJ9B) helped get my copying speed up to well over 25 wpm, and I got over intimidation about CWT speeds. In keeping with my desire to improve my code skills I work only with paddle and ears. I also enjoy the further challenge of operating with only 100 watts and wire antennas (no amp, no keyboard).

I am delighted to be part of the CWOPS club and look forward to QSOs and other activities with you.

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