November 18th, 1975 was the day I received the call sign that I still have today. I was 13 years old. I am thankful for my dad (Tom WAØUJZ) who gave me all of the support I needed to pass the Novice code and theory back then. After I received my license, I worked CW using a Heathkit HW-8 QRP transceiver and a Heathkit HD-1410 electronic keyer, both of which I had assembled. I really enjoyed hooking my rig and keyer up to some lantern batteries and throwing a 15 meter dipole up between two trees in the park, at our cabin, or just in our backyard. Back in the mid to late ’70s, it seemed like 15 meters was frequently very usable. I was absolutely thrilled to get New Zealand with 2 watts! In the ’80s, I played around with 2m packet radio. Around 1995 I did a deep-dive into RTTY using an old Commodore VIC-20 and a Kantronics Hamsoft cartridge terminal program. It seems I’ve always had a strong interest in data modes. In 1999, we sold our home (along with my tower) to another amateur radio operator, and for various reasons I went QRT for about 20 years. In mid-2021, with my XYL’s encouragement, I rekindled my love for the hobby/service and have happily discovered that there are many more areas of interest available to amateur radio operators today! Thankfully, I didn’t let my license lapse!
Today, I’m right back where I started – throwing wires up into trees and running my QRP rig off of batteries at the park! (Nebraska winters necessitate a car-mounted vertical.) I am fairly heavily involved in Parks on the Air (POTA). I have been hunting and activating using SSB, FT8, FT4 and CW, but I’m activating using CW mode only these days. I absolutely love CW and its simplicity! I’m really looking forward to activating new parks wherever I go, and I hunt whenever I can. POTA activations are great practice and build some skills in me that might otherwise be neglected. You can catch me at my nearby park (K-4011) every weekday around 2220z, except for Tuesdays when I start around 2020z. I’m on day 115 of consecutive daily activations. We’ll see how long I can keep that up, but so far so good.
My first involvement in, and introduction to, the CW Operator’s Club was via the CW Academy in early 2022. I’ve completed the Intermediate Course and am enrolled in the upcoming Advanced Course. I’m determined to keep improving my Morse code skills! I treated myself to a couple of beautiful Begali keys and a K1EL Systems WKUSB WinKeyer3 for integration with software for use in contesting. I am now fairly easily copying 30 wpm, but there’s still lots of room for improvement. “Head Copy” was a new concept for me a year ago, and has definitely helped me to improve my copy speed and accuracy.
I want to thank Steve Anness (KJ5T) for nominating me for CWops membership, and for the others who sponsored me. I am thrilled to be a member of this fine group, and I’m very much looking forward to my involvement here. I also look forward to meeting others in the group. Look for my participation in the CWTs!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.