I became a Ham in 1991 while a Marine officer stationed in Adak, Alaska (NA-039). My major at the Naval Academy was Systems Engineering with an emphasis in communications systems and my occupational specialty in the Marines was Signals Intelligence…so ham radio was a great way to turn my interests toward a great hobby. I was also very fortunate to have Elmers and volunteer examiners serving on our little island with me. I was assigned a 3 area call sign because my home of record and place of birth was Pennsylvania, and as I moved up to Extra class I kept my original issue call because “Lyndon Baines Johnson” got me noticed in several pileups. I loved CW from the beginning, but also was forced to use CW when I could no longer use the microphone while my pregnant wife was sleeping in the next room. I had a straight key back then and used my IC-735 and Butternut vertical to make many contacts as N3LBJ/KL7.
I lived and operated outside of Detroit for 3 years before moving to Winston-Salem, NC where we have lived for 21 years. There is a gap in my log from 2002 through most of 2013… when I was raising 3 kids and other important stuff. When I set up my old rig and connected it to the wires in our attic to be sure it still worked before selling it…I got the bug again! Now I’m on the air several times a week. I’ve tried the digital modes and I sometimes use the microphone to get the DX contact, but I mostly enjoy DX hunting with CW.
I have an IC-7200 and an IC-7300 is in the mail (can’t wait!) and I have defied the HOA with a stealth vertical and an end-fed horizontal wire. The ground mounted Hy-Gain vertical includes about 30 radials buried under the grass. The end-fed horizontal allows me to work 80M – which I find to be a must during this part of the solar cycle. I use a Begali paddle, but have recently been using keyboard keying – I use UA9OV’s CW Type on top of HRD’s DM780 – an $8 USB to serial adapter and a 1/4” stereo splitter allow me to use the keyboard and the paddle interchangeably.
I am an IT executive at a large and growing logistics company, and my family will always be my first priority, but I do manage to find time to get on the air and to pursue my other interests which include basketball, soccer, football, target shooting, working out and teaching youth Sunday School. During the summer, I tend to spend weekends and money on our old boat on Belews Lake, NC.
Thanks for letting me in the club! I found you on Wednesday nights at 0300 UTC and now look forward to finding ways to participate and to give back to our “unique art form”.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.