Doug Jones , AF4T

Age 64, married. Currently working as a commercial credit analyst in the retail private label division of one of the larger banks.

When I was young, I always loved visiting my paternal great uncle “Doc” W4ABX (SK). Watching him fire up the Heathkit DX-100 and talk to people in exotic far-away places was amazing. With his encouragement and help, I joined the ranks as Novice class licensee WN4MYZ in 1969 at age 13 1/2. Within a couple of years, I had worked my way up to Advanced class and traded the N in my callsign for a B.

Took a couple of years off the air while in college but picked it back up in 1978 with the proverbial “wire out the window” … of a 17th floor apartment! And upgraded again to Extra class and received my current call sign AF4T.

In 1982, a combination of several things caused me to go mostly QRT, except for 2 m for a while and occasionally being guest operator or Field Day with the local club. I kept the license renewed, though. This hiatus ended up lasting for 36 years. After my parents passed away, I found myself with a suburban lot big enough to put up an antenna and no restrictive covenants … and so I find myself back on the air again.

Much has changed since the 70’s and 80’s. For example, I don’t need a room full of teleprinters, punched tape machines, and modulators to get on RTTY; Doc would have been amazed if he could have seen it. But when you get down to it, to me real ham radio is when you’re pounding the brass! (Except these days, you’re probably pounding plastic …)

PS: The picture is older, I wish my hair was still that color.