My first interest in radio began back in the late 80’s and early 90’s with talking to truck drivers on family vacation drives. Then I met a “CBr” who lived down the street from me. He had a gigantic 11 meter band 3 element Quad antenna on his roof. Skip?? What’s that? Texas?!?! How is that possible?? Hooked….
I realized what I was doing was illegal and frowned on. Not being the one to ruffle feathers, I decided that I was going to get my license. Enter the year 2000 and I became a Technician (I waited because of the code requirement!) with callsign KB9YOJ. Quickly becoming bored with VHF/UHF repeater work, I gave home built antennas a try. I succeeded with a copper J-Pole made from pipe, and it worked great! Another hook……. Then I went to Dayton Hamvention in 2000. Whoa! Blown away. Hooked……
For about 10 years I worked in cabling, alarm systems, management, more cabling, and then a career at Indiana University in Networks and Telecommunications. I purchased my first house, and upgraded to General in 2010. By 2012-current I have worked as a Wireless Network Engineer.
I erected a second-hand Butternut HF6V with a DX Engineering radial plate and 60 radials. Paired with my Kenwood TS-570SG, my first HF station was on the air. I was inactive and found SSB to be silly at times. The proliferation of strangeness that existed on 80 and 20 meters SSB kinda turned me off.. I hated the license frequency limitations too, and that half of my bandwidth was basically “unused”.
Then I got married, had kids, became inactive, and moved again. I needed a challenge. I decided that I wanted to “do the things that I had always wanted to do” in ham radio. That meant CW and Amateur Extra. In 2018 I started a ham club and we put on our first Field Day. I was instantly blown away by my good friend and Elmer Joe K9UR at Field Day running the CW station. He made CW look easy! And super cool. Thanks Joe! Hooked again!
Since then I completed CWA Beginner, became involved with LICW, and created a business building EFHW antennas. I upgraded to Amateur Extra and callsign K9EI. I got involved with a contesting group, met and played radio with some of my favorite Ham Radio icons, and dove head first into Parks on the Air. I also mess with YouTube a little bit. I’ve been organizing the local Field Day since 2018, and love operating CW. I’m still learning and practicing and I just signed up for CWA Fundamental. My next challenge is head copy proficiency, rag-chewing, and CW contesting. I should have done this sooner! To think I was scared of CW back in the beginning is now funny. Look at me now!
Besides amateur radio, I enjoy the solace of fishing and spending time with my family. Thanks for the support and nomination to CWops!
This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.