When I was in high school, my electronics teacher offered to give anyone who got licensed an “A” for the year. He taught us what we needed to know for the written and we had to learn the code on our own and he administered the tests. So five of us got our licenses; however due to the cost of rigs in the 70s none of us got on the air. This experience helped perk my interest in electronics and I got an electrical engineering degree from Michigan State.
After graduation, I went to work for Texas Instruments in their military group as a design engineer and later transferred to their semiconductor group as a DSP marketing manager. After about 5 years, I was recruited by Samsung Semiconductor to be the worldwide sales manager for sales to Compaq/HPE selling server memory and I retired from that position earlier this year.
In 2019, for some reason, YouTube suggested a ham radio video which perked my interest and a month latter was licensed. At the time I focused on SSB; however I was very disappointed in the level of activity: basically the only contacts I got were during the occasional weekend contest and my activity level dropped off.
In 2022 while looking at all my equipment I decided to try CW. I spent the next year listening to an app on my phone, I thought I had to be able to rag chew to get on the air. Then I stumbled upon LICW they pushed students to get on the “fast” and I realized I already had the basic skill need to do POTA hunting and SST.
In late April I made my first contact during a SST and have since become a contest junkie. I now do 6+ contests (including 2, sometimes 3 CWops tests) a week and it has really accelerated my instant character recognition. I’m now on track to hit my goal of 40 wpm by May 2024. Also, in an effort to move to the next level of decoding comprehension, I am also trying listen to CW audio books (I have a long way to go on this goal).
My big surprise on this journey has been the level of CW activity on the bands compared to SSB, there is always something going on and a contact to be made. I look forward to participating in the CWops activities as a member and would like to thank my sponsors W6SX, NE5A, K5UV, N4BP, KC7V, N5NA, KM4FO, KR2Q.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.