I got my novice license in 1957 at the age of 15 and upgraded to general the next year and escaped the crowded novice band segments and crystal control. I still value the training I received working up to 13 WPM in what was like a DX pileup with a wide-open receiver. The mind is an amazing filter. Still phone was not an option for a poor high school/college kid so I stayed with CW on HF and built a two tube six meter AM rig and could check into a local RACES net. In November 1962 I received a call to report to the courthouse in a neighboring county to do a shift as the state emergency net NCS. I was so occupied with calculus, chemistry and such that I didn’t know that the Cuban Missile Crisis was underway and we were close to war.
Over the years I continued to work mostly DX on CW as the job and family allowed. In 1978 I upgraded to Extra and received my present call.
After retiring in 2000 we moved to Florida and had a small lot and homeowner’s association, so I was only on VHF but joined the newly formed ARES group just in time to be a shelter operator for three hurricanes. In 2011 bought a used HF rig and explored the world of stealth antennas and the digital modes.
In 2014 we moved back to north Alabama and now I have a half acre and no HOA. I use a 43 ft. vertical because my XYL and kids freak out even when I climb ladders. After confirming 200 countries on CW and 150 on digital, I decided to polish up my CW abilities. The fist is not as nimble as it once was so I started working the CWT sessions for practice which led to me writing this.
I have a homebrew interface that allows keying the new TS-2000X with the keyer, straight key, or the computer using the Fldigi QSK tone so I might send a contest exchange with a macro and revert to the keyer for something not programmed or a ragchew. My new hearing aids came with a Bluetooth repeater that can be connected to the rig’s audio and it is better than any headphones because it applies the equalization my ears need.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.