Hal Messer , K3ATO

I want to thank Bud, AA3B, for nominating me and also all those who sponsored me for membership into CWops. I’m looking forward to meeting many members in the upcoming months and years.

My wife of 57 years and I have three sons, five grandchildren and have lived in Muhlenberg Township near Reading, PA for 54 years. Although she is not an amateur radio operator, my wife has been very tolerant and understanding of the amount of time that I commit to this hobby.

My interest in Ham Radio started after my grandfather gave me his PHILCO-610 “tombstone” radio. I would listen to it every day and often late into the evening. I remember hearing W 3 Empty Beer Mugs and many other strong stations, but had no idea who, what or where these people were.

Luckily, our newspaper carrier, Dan Irving, was W3JMH. Dan, now a SK, became my Elmer. I am very grateful that I was able to meet Dan, and for all of the help that he had given me over many years.

I was licensed as KN3ATO in 1957 and CW is now my first love, although, I have to admit, that wasn’t the case when I was taking my Novice CW test. I gained more confidence as I prepared for each trip to the US Customs House in Philly to take the General and Extra exams.

I taught high school mathematics in the West Reading & Wyomissing Area School Districts for 36 years. After talking most of the day while teaching it was a pleasure to chat with my fingers in the evening. I mentored a ham radio club at the high school for many years and am happy to say that some of the members of that club and I remain close friends.

My shack includes several vintage pieces of gear which I use mostly on CW. My main rig is a K3 with the KAT500 tuner and the KPA500 amp. I frequently operate the vintage gear on CW with an old J-38 key. My SKCC number is 13992.

I have a very modest antenna farm consisting of a Zepp for 80m and 40m, a small Force 12 beam and an inverted L for 160 meters. I like chasing DX but still have not confirmed Crozet Island, Macquarie Island or North Korea.

I am a member of FRC and CW contesting has helped me improve my sending and receiving skills. Contesting, chasing DX and rag chewing on CW make up about 90% of my operating time. I have been privileged to frequently operate from NE3F’s contest station. My SSB operation is normally limited to contesting and my almost daily check in to the Rooster Net which meets on 3990 kHz every day of the year.

In addition to spending time with our three sons and their families, my wife and I enjoy going on cruises and attending car shows where we show our 1952 Street Rodded Chevy BelAir 2-Door Hardtop.