Derek brown, WF4I

CWops# 3250, from Pleasant Garden , NC , USA.---->View on Google maps

I got interested in amateur radio during high school in the mid-60s but did not get licensed. Learning Morse code was a “requirement” for all classes of licenses then and I could not master the 5 wpm required for a Novice ticket. Practice material then was listening to an LP (record) or copying W1AW off the air and I lacked a suitable receiver. In the late 70s my interest in radio was re-kindled and I signed up for a Novice course and later a General Class course. I was licensed in the spring of 1977 as WD4HFV and retained that callsign until I upgraded to Extra and became WF4I. By this time code practice material was available on cassette tapes which worked much better for me. However I learned CW “the wrong way” – slow character speeds, counting dits and dahs, and writing everything down. That severely limited my progress but eventually I was able to meet the 20 wpm code requirement for Extra. This is why I have great enthusiasm for the CWops CWA, learning code “the right way,” fast character speeds and head copy.

About two and a half years ago I learned about CWops and the CW Academy. Already copying over 20 wpm, I signed up for the Advanced Course and committed to an hour of practice daily. Our CWA advisor, K6HP, encouraged us to participate in CWTs. The 0300 session was the only one available to me with my work schedule and I had to get up for work about 4 ½ hours later which did not work out. This past August I retired and was finally able to participate in the 1300 and 1900 CWTs. Before retirement, I purchased a FTdx10, a WinKeyer USB and set up N1MM Logger. I am a neophyte contester but I’m slowing improving.

My amateur radio interests include SOTA, POTA, WWFF – both as activator and chaser, QRP, ragchewing and building or modifying radios and accessories. I get on SSB or digital modes occasionally to work a new park but have a strong preference for CW. I chase DX but not as avidly as in my earlier years in amateur radio. I am a Volunteer Examiner and assist in exam sessions locally. I belong to ARRL, QRP ARCI, QRPCC, SKCC, the High Point (NC) ARC and the KnightLites QRP Society (NC). I had a varied professional career that included the US Army Signal Corps, outside sales, industrial & RF electronics and materials planning. Outside amateur radio, I enjoy fly fishing / tying, SCUBA diving, traveling and doing fun stuff with my wife, Glenda. We are also a multi-cat family.

I am thrilled to be a member of CWops; it has been a long-time goal. My thanks to AB4PP for nominating me and for K5UV, N9TTK and N3JT for sponsoring me. I hope to be a regular participant in CWTs, to engage my fellow CWops in CTXs and, most important, to constantly improve my CW skills.

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

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