My experience with ham radio began when I was in seventh grade and attended hobby classes sponsored by church. My favorite class was “Preparing for The Novice Class License”. After the novice I passed the technician, general, many years later the advanced and twenty years ago the extra. My first station was CW only, a Heathkit DX-20, AR-3 receiver and a 130-foot end fed wire that went directly to the antenna connector of the DX-20, that was before my experience with coax and SWR.
My journey with keys began with a J-38 and a flameproof. One of my friends showed me his hacksaw blade bug. I built one with a full-length blade, then one with a shorter blade. The first commercial bug was a Japanese hi-mound in a black case. When I saw in the ARRL handbook a diagram for a two-tube electronic keyer I built one and use two straight keys back to back on their side as a paddle. However, the loud relay was annoying, so I purchased a used Vibroplex original deluxe bug. That was my favorite key for a long time.
When I bought newer rigs the keyer was built in and I switched back to an electronic keyer.
In June of 2012 I drove past a park and saw antennas set up for field day. I stopped and met a friendly group of hams from the Tennessee Valley DX Association. Their fellowship and monthly meetings have enhanced my operating and enjoyment in ham radio.
Most of my operating has been CW rag chewing and occasional roundtables on 40 meter SSB, primarily focused on antenna experiments. Last May while listening for a CQ on 40 CW the band immediately came alive. Wow, something happened! I copied the exchange and did a quick search on google for CWT and discovered the website for CWops. I called my friend Ted, W4NZ to learn more about the organization. Since then he has been coaching me for CWops, contesting and improving my CW skills. The next Wednesday I was ready at 1300. Since then I have been on Wednesday mornings whenever possible, each week seeking to improve my scores. In the past my operating has been casual, but now I have goals and a purpose when I turn on my rig.
My operating time has adjusted to the flow of life, marriage, two children and serving as a minister for 44 years. I retired in 2015. My current station is a Ten Tec Eagle, Logikey K-5 and a 92-foot ZS6BKW, modified G5RV.
Other interests include, hiking, playing the mountain dulcimer and learning the banjo. A big thank you to my sponsors. I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the CWops organization.
We are transitioning to Sacramento, CA in October and will be setting up an antenna system in November.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.