I was first licensed in June 1967 after having spent many lunch hours with others in our fledgling J.E.B. Stuart high school radio club learning the code and practicing. My novice ticket, WN4GDO, arrived in the mail the morning our family left for a driving vacation to Expo ’67 – argh, that was painful!
I became WB4GDO that Fall as we continued our practice. I homebrewed a 75-watt 6146B transmitter from the 1967 ARRL handbook. The rest of my station was a Lafayette HA-230 receiver and a 60’ Windom (I could have killed myself free-climbing trees to hang it). I have fond memories of working Europe and the Soviet Union during the peak of cycle 20 using this transmitter, a Vibroplex original, and my brand-new Drake 2C receiver.
College, marriage, work, children: many years intervened before I bought a vacation cabin that had some space for a long wire antenna, and my interest was rekindled. I found the code came back readily, did some studying, and in 1986 successfully sat for all the test elements and received my current call WC6Y. A new Icom-745 transceiver and a 200’ long wire up 40 – 60’ and I was back in business chasing DX on vacation weekends. Somehow, I never got around to using the microphone that came with my new transceiver. Then a start-up company intervened, and many more years passed.
Now, remarried in 2007 and at my wife’s topographically generous QTH, I started thinking about loops, or maybe even a Yagi or quad, in back, mostly out of sight … One thing was certain, I wanted to hear and send code again. I purchased an IC-7300 (wow what a difference 20 years makes!), shot a myAntennas half-wave end-fed multiband antenna into the trees at about 60’ and was back in business.
For my birthday Michelle bought me a gorgeous Begali Signature. I was listening to W1AW trying to get past a 20wpm plateau when I had a QSO with Rob K3RB, who invited me to join his then ongoing level 3 class. I was/am so grateful! The materials and tools are great, and Rob is a fabulous instructor/coach. Thank you to my sponsors, and I am very pleased to join your ranks as #2155 (nice # for CWTs!).
My current radio interests include working some DX and preparing for cycle 25, building a station (I have a SPE 1.5K-FA on order!) that will meet Michelle’s aesthetic approval (given that it’s in the back of the period family room on her Majorelle table), finishing and using my “vintage station” Drake R-4B, T-4XB, and Vibroplex original bug, and ragchewing in my spare time! Other interests include my three grandsons, a granddaughter due this Spring, a very large garden, escorting Michelle through a busy social calendar, indoor rock climbing, and collecting/buying/selling Civil War and other tokens (see www.cwtoken.com).
Thanks again to my sponsors and especially to Rob and I look forward to seeing you all on the air!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.