Rowdy Ratts , AJ6AN

Thank you so much to CW Academy and to my instructors, David Roy Godden, KK6M and Buz Tarlow, AC6AC for their mentorship, guidance, and encouragement in learning CW. Unlike my first time around learning code, my instructors made the learning environment fun and entertaining. The CWA curriculum and tools worked wonders on my head-copy and sending abilities, while the regular Zoom meetings kept me engaged and motivated to continue. One of the activities Buz assigned our class was to write a CW themed haiku, to be sent to classmates during a class meeting. I had a ball writing haiku’s, this one being my favorite (which I’m probably more proud of than I should be…):

My message to you
Three dits, three dahs, and three dits
My boat is sinking”

I was born and raised in north-east Kansas. My family moved out of state several times, but always ended up back in Kansas. I’ve lived in Kansas, Arizona, Oregon, Texas and California. I do miss the regular seasons, but living on Mt Laguna, CA at least gives me a decent winter season, not to mention lots of tall pine trees as antenna supports. I run an ICOM IC-7300 to a 10-40m OCF dipole at 40-50’. Soon I plan to add a 2nd wire antenna, perpendicular to the OCF.

I work as a field technician servicing cash and coin sorting machines in banks, vaults & casinos etc. It’s fun playing with loads of money to test machines. At the end of the day, though, it’s just paper I can’t take home…

I was first licensed in May 1999 (KF6WJB) after passing my Tech+ exam and 5wpm code test. Earlier that year I discovered amateur radio as a suitable emergency communications system for a remote private school north of Los Angeles. That station featured a 2 meter mobile base station with a 15-element beam and did a great job getting a signal out of the valley. About 6 months later I upgraded to General class, passing the 13wpm code test with some difficulty.

Eventually I bought and assembled a 40 meter Ten-Tec QRP CW kit and nervously made a few contacts with a straight key & wire antenna. Unfortunately, I did not know anyone else active in amateur radio and became inactive for quite some time. I did manage to keep my license active though.

CW now comprises about 90% of my amateur radio activity. I hope to work you all in the next CWT.