Mark Choate , AA0YY

CWops# 2809, from Pacific , MO , USA.---->View on Google maps

Hello to all my brothers and sisters in Morse. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of this group. A special thanks to Joe KK5NA, my CWA advisor, and those who sponsored me. Thank you thank you thank you.

I became a ham back in 1990. There was still a code requirement then so I had to learn it. I hated it! I only did it to get the General Class license. Which was 13 wpm at that time. But somewhere along that road I began to like it…. No, prefer it to all other modes. It also helped that my first few Elmers were advocates of CW so a lot of my exposure was to that mode. So it began.

The first few years the solar cycle was great! You could lay a piece of coax across your lawn and work the world on HF barefoot. My skill just naturally progressed with time but I had developed a few bad habits, one of which was I used a pen & paper. That tended to limit my CW speed to my writing speed. As I aged, and arthritis set in from twisting too many nut drivers my whole life, it really became a problem trying to keep up. I operated around 18 wpm most of the time and for years never improved on my skill. I knew what I had to do. I needed to lose the pencil.

Fast forward to May 2020. I retired from the Postal service where I had worked in every area of maintenance they offered. COVID hit in March and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was hanging Plexiglass in every Post Office in the St. Louis area. Anyway, now I’m retired and now there is no excuse. Everyone is on lock down. I got the time. I signed up with CW Academy. My instructor Joe KK5NA introduce me to several learning tools, warned me of some pit falls to avoid, and encourage me along the way. As they say, the rest is history.

Other hobbies are motorcycles, woodworking, quilting (yes I quilt, my wife taught me) and photography my grandson who is 9 years old.

I have two adult boys, and currently no pets but I sure love dogs. Been married to my one and only gal Christine N0VGR since 1983. She retired in May as well, but quickly rejoined the work force, working for the local school district as a substitute nurse. She’s an RN. It keeps her license active and is going to help when I buy that Elecraft amplifier Hi Hi.

I was in the US Navy, enlisted, “blue shirt”, Aviation Electronic technician. Seven years active duty and three more in the reserves. My QRZ page has several picture and some of this same info if you are so inclined.

I play in some contests…. Usually not for a score but to cherry pick the DX. I can see the fun and excitement of “running” them in a contest so I don’t poo poo contesting but will often escape to the WARC band for a rag chew and everybody wins.

If you hear me on, please say hello. I am so stoked for CW now. I give the credit to CWops and the CW Academy program.

This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.