I appreciate Don (N1DG), Ken (JN1THL), Thomas (DF7TV), and Mats (RM2D) for their sponsorship. In particular, Ken eagerly recommended me to CWops at the Hokkaido Ham Fair 2023 (see Ken’s article on December 2023).
My first license, JI3XOK, was issued in 1981 when I was 12 years old, just after I passed the telephone – and telegraph – class exams. During my high school days, I enjoyed a young ham life. I often visit JA3RL, the Kansai area headquarters station of the Japan Amateur Radio League, where newcomers can learn operations in both phone and CW. Seniors encouraged us to get a higher license, and finally, I got first-class in 1985.
However, I couldn’t continue the ham life because I left my home to enter Hokkaido University. I majored in applied physics for some reason. I had trained as an experimental physicist in graduate school. Fortunately, I defended my PhD thesis in 1997. I found a job in the university and became a professional scientist. On the other hand, my first license expired.
Time has passed. The internet era began. I made a Facebook account to share pictures with my photographer friends (I also like so-called alternative photography, such as cyanotype). Oneday, one of my old friends found my Facebook page. Other old friends followed him soon. They still keep their licenses and enjoy ham lives. Since nobody used JI3XOK, I decided to get my old call sign. I built a ground plane antenna for the 20-meter band and restored an old Kenwood TS-120. I also got a good straight key. I soon found that I did not forget the Morse codes at all. Yes, I really came back where I had been.
Last year, I got another old Kenwood TS-820 and restored it to send 100 watts output. It made me need an 8-area license to avoid the 50-watt limit of Japanese mobile amateur stations (I have lived in Hokkaido, so my 3-area license is restricted as the mobile station). My call sign is now JM8SMO. I love this new call sign because the suffix sounds symmetrical in the Morse codes. I will enjoy the art of communication with this group of CW enthusiasts.
Hope to see you on the air.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.