Before I get started on me, I’d like to pass along a huge thanks to Scott Gilbert, KF7GGN and Will Baber, WJ9B my Level 2 and Level 3 instructors. Without these guys, I wouldn’t be any further along on CW than I have been for the last 20 years! A heartfelt thanks to both of them, and everyone else that makes CWA “go”!
I work as an IT manager for a state University today (24 years there now). I was first licensed in 1995, but Amateur Radio has been a part of my life since I was old enough to talk. My father, W0RAE, survived 47 years with Motorola, in their 2-way division. Because of this, I was dragged around to radio sites from a young age, and he provided me with many things radio to play with.
After all the crystal sets and WWII era radios, I received a Kenwood R-2000 general communications receiver, and shortly after that, Dad came home with a Model 33 Teletype. Learned a lot playing with all that stuff. After struggling through learning enough CW, I eventually passed the 5, 13, and 20 wpm tests over the next few years and then promptly forgot most everything.
A very close friend of mine, Gary Atkins, W0CGR, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. I visited him nearly every day for his last 2 years. He was FOC and an incredible CW operator. He made a comment to me one day. He said, “You’ll never be a CW op, you say you will, but you’ll always have a mic in your hand”. I think that was his way of getting me in gear. That was my inspiration to learn CW again and make it stick!
After a few years of struggling myself, I finally enrolled in Level 2, then followed up with Level 3 of CW academy through CW Ops. I’m proud to say that my excellent instructors and supportive classmates have produced a student that finally broke through the speed barrier and learned to leave the pencil on the desk! Although I am a DXer at heart, the ability to operate contest style or ragchew at these faster speeds is a dream come true to me.
I am still chasing paper to hang on my wall, but I am having a great time on CWT and finally feel confident enough to do CW during Summits on the Air activations which I plan to do a lot more of this year. I am only a few days away from standing up my third tower, a 65-footer with beams for 12/17 and 30/40 on it so the aluminum artwork continues to grow at my QTH. I am running a Yaesu FTdx-5000 with the Yaesu Quadra 1Kw amp behind it as the primary rig. I have beams up for 6 through 30 meters and verticals for 40 through 160 meters (plus a SAL-30 for RX) but am always looking to better the station.
I hope to work many of you on the air in the coming months with my shiny new CWops member number, 1995! Very proud to be a member and part of this new family of CW friends.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.