Ruth Willet , KM4LAO

CWops# 2063, from Cana , VA , USA.---->View on Google maps

I was first drawn to amateur radio through a lifelong fascination with Morse code. During a casual conversation with a friend, I was introduced to ham radio and found out that Morse code is still in use today. That’s when I decided to get my ham radio license. I was licensed, in June 2015, at age 16; the only licensed ham in my immediate family.

My first event as a licensed ham was Field Day 2015, with the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society Field Day, near Atlanta, GA. It was incredible to see Morse Code in action for the first time, and I was absolutely fascinated with this mode. While I was there, I was introduced to my first CW mentors, Mac NN4K, Paul W4KLY, and Dozier WA4DEO. When I expressed a keen interest in learning Morse Code, Mac signed me up for his Level 1 CW Academy class, starting that fall.

With much enthusiasm and dedicated practice time, I quickly learned Morse code. As I worked to become proficient in this mode, I also studied for my General class license. In January 2016, my new mentors came over to help me set up my first HF station. Paul, Mac, and Dozier were soon my very first HF CW QSOs. I was thrilled to pass the General class license that next weekend, and thus started my adventures on HF.

I loved being on the air and spent as much time as possible talking around the world. I began exploring contests, chasing DX, participating in CWOps CWTs, and working special events. The program that got me more comfortable on HF was National Parks on the Air. NPOTA taught me how to be a good operator, and I began chasing parks and then activating them with other hams on both SSB and CW. The more I operated CW, the faster and more consistent I got, both rag chewing and operating contest style. Operating from the Caribbean island of Saba, as a member of the 2016 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure, improved my copying speed dramatically and got me addicted to the thrill of running CW pileups from rare locations!

CWOps has been a good place for me to meet other hams and improve my CW skills. I completed the Level 2 CWOps course this past January. I plan to take the Level 3 class soon to ensure I have a solid foundation of learning and the knowledge in the future to advise CW Academy classes. I enjoy operating in CWTs using 100 watts and an wire and look forward to participating in many more! I so appreciate my mentors continuing to push me to improve my skills.

I am a Junior at Kettering University in Michigan, where I am completing a double major in Engineering Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Kettering University is an engineering and business school with a unique schedule based around a co-op program. Students alternate 11 week academic terms with 11 week co-op terms working for professional companies. because of this schedule, I spend about half the year in Michigan, half the year in Georgia at my co-op job, and any time off with my family in Virginia.

Due to my frequent travels, having a mobile ham radio station is most convenient for me. I regularly operate on Amateur radio satellites. It is exhilarating to track and talk through tiny cube sats orbiting the earth. I enjoy making fast paced contacts to a variety of places. I treasure time getting to know other hams and have joined clubs wherever I live. I recently restarted the Kettering University Amateur Radio club. When I am at co-op, I work toward the goal of at least one CW QSO a day, preferably a rag chew to keep my copying skills sharp. Finally, I enjoy giving back to the community by writing articles and giving presentations on a variety of subjects.

I am honored to be CWOps member #2063 and look forward to working many more of you on the air.

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