Rick Mead , W7VQ

CWops# 2441, from North Salt Lake , UT , USA.---->View on Google maps

I would first like to thank Gary Stone N5PHT for my nomination and all those who sponsored me. I would also like to thank Serge Nikiforov NS6K who was my advisor for Level II CW Academy and my current advanced class advisor Rob Brownstein K6RB.

When I signed up for electronics at my high school, I discovered they had a radio club and a club station K7KIR. This was my introduction to amateur radio. I was fortunate that I was learning the theory in my classes while learning Morse code and FCC regulations through my club.

I passed my Novice class in 1966 and after what seemed like forever received my call WN7FTW in the mail. The following year I upgraded to General with a call change to WA7FTW.

My first rig was a Heathkit HR10 receiver and DX60A transmitter. My dad helped me put a 40 m dipole along the roof of our house. I was fortunate to get into the hobby at the height of a good sunspot cycle. After getting my General license I built a Heathkit SB101 transceiver.

Because I had my amateur license I was recruited and joined the Utah National Guard 19th Special Forces Signal Company in 1969. At the time I was pursuing an EE degree from the University of Utah. My dad retired from the US Army after 30 years. Growing up in a military family I learned the value of service.

After basic training I attended radio school at Fort Jackson, SC. This is where I really got a taste and appreciation for radio operating procedures and increased my Morse copying speed to between 25 and 30 wpm by hand. This was for five letter encrypted word groups; definitely not head copyable.

Between work and family I was in and out of the hobby and now that I have more time I have gotten back in and have an Amateur Extra Class license. Getting back into the hobby my code speed had fallen. While working to get my speed back I was told about CWops. The more I have learned about the organization the more I have come to appreciate the commitment and mentoring that is done. I will be offering my help as an advisor to help others and keep Morse code part of the amateur radio toolbox.

I love trying to work DX and like trying to work those stations on every mode they are on. I am a member of my local ARES and state RACES. I participate in NTS nets and EMCOMM exercises. I still enjoy building; especially antennas. I look forward to CWT each Wednesday and look forward to contacting more members during the contest and just rag chewing on the band.

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