My best friend’s dad was a ham and he helped us learn CW and get our first ham licenses. I got my Novice license when I was in the 8th grade (WV6UHZ). I progressed through the Technician and General Class licenses later on. My main rigs were the Heathkit HR-10 receiver and the DX-60 transmitter. I got them after a sustained lobbying effort on my parents. My General expired when I was in college and I went QRT for 50 years. I got the bug again after playing around with a cheap SDR radio and was re-licensed in 2018.
Even after 50 years I still remembered the Morse code but I had to work to get my speed up. I used a bug when I was a kid but I can’t seem to make one work well these days. I finally made the transition from straight key to paddle. I have worked CW almost exclusively since day one. Nowadays I try to work as many CWTs and K1USN SSTs as I can.
The CWA classes have been a great help in getting my code speed up and learning about contesting. I had great advisors and I am proud to have been nominated and sponsored for CWops Thanks to those who made it possible! I don’t really have an Elmer so the CWA classes helped fill the void.
The current sunspot cycle was not a good time to take up amateur radio again, especially with HOA restrictions and compromise antennas. So I dabbled in digital modes in the beginning which allowed me to work some DX. Then I got hooked on Summits on The Air (SOTA). I have been able to work several European stations from here in Oregon with 10W using my Elecraft KX2 and a random-length wire up a 30-foot fiberglass pole. I like to chase SOTA, too, and I am also a 2X Shack Sloth.
I have 2 ham shacks. One is in my detached garage where I have a Kenwood TS-590SG and a Comet CHA-250 vertical and a 30m dipole in some trees. I run digital modes remotely from my office with this rig. My other setup is in my basement mechanical room where I have an Icom IC-7300 and a 20m/40m EFHW antenna up about 20 feet. This is the rig I use most often due to convenience. HOA restrictions prevent me from putting up a really good antenna so it is hard to compete with stations with gain antennas at high power.
I also have several QRP rigs that I use from time to time but I don’t get out very well at home. But SOTA activations have demonstrated the advantages of altitude when operating QRP.
My interest in electronics started at an early age building crystal sets and code practice oscillators. I loved reading Popular Electronics magazine as a kid. I especially liked the Carl and Jerry column (only the old-timers will remember this). I ended up studying electronics engineering in college. Most of my career in engineering was in circuit design for integrated circuits. I retired after 29 years at Intel. Before retirement I designed some of the power management circuits in the Core™ i7 prototypes. My other big hobby is astronomy and astro-imaging. I am the membership VP for our local astronomy club.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.