Richard Thompson , VE7XT

I would like to thank Gil N2GG for the nomination and Rob K6RB for the tremendous mentorship during our Academy program. Thanks to all my sponsors and the great CW operators from the CWTs.

My interest in radio started at an early age with a transistor radio given to me one Christmas. That radio led to hours of late night listening to broadcast stations from around North America. My father recognized my interest in radio and was always very supportive. The following Christmas I received a Radio Shack DX-160 shortwave receiver. With some wires strung between the trees I became an avid shortwave listener and quickly found the ham bands. Thanks to the Maple Ridge Club and their amateur radio course, I was successful in obtaining my amateur license in 1976. At that time the Canadian license required you to pass a 10 wpm code exam and then operate for a full year on CW before you could write your Advanced License. I filled several logbooks with CW contacts over that year and had no problem with the 15 wpm requirement that was part of the Advanced license exam. That year of required CW operation was successful in making Morse code a permanent part of my ham radio experience.

I had a great group of high school friends who all got their amateur radio licenses around the same time. We played in contests, did Field Days and experimented with equipment and antennas. We were all lucky to have had a great group of local experienced hams as mentors including Lee VE7CC who introduced us to CW contesting.

In the early 80s I was at the University of BC (UBC) studying Ecology and Fisheries Forestry management. Although university reduced the amount of time available to play on the radio, I was still able to have fun at the UBC club station (VE7UBC). Many of the UBC hams spent their breaks visiting in the shack or in front of the Collins S line making contacts. We tried to operate most of the major contests from the club station.

Amateur radio has been a great hobby with new things to try and skills to practice and improve. I still enjoy chasing DX, and have earned DXCC Honor Roll, 5 band DXCC, and DXCC Challenge. The challenge of the chase, especially working that rare DX on CW, is still exciting. Hopefully once COVID has passed, people will get back to DXpeditions and the remaining DXCC entities I need will be activated. I can dream. 3Y, P5 anyone?

I spent most of my working life as an Aquatic Habitat Biologist for the BC Provincial Government. My wife and I both retired in 2019 and plan to spend some of our retirement traveling and camping. My KX3 is always ready to go. Dayton and Friedrichshafen are travel destinations on the list. I hope I get a chance to meet some of the CWops members during our travels.

Like so many things in life, there is always room for improvement. I continue to work on my CW proficiency. More CWTs, contests, and DXing I hope will contribute to improvements in my CW skill.

I am honored to be part of the CWops organization, a group of Amateurs dedicated to CW. Thanks. See you on Wednesday.