While I had no exposure to ham radio when growing up, from scouting I developed an interest in science and exploration. My interest in ham radio came about fairly recently, coinciding with my Air Force retirement in 2018. I was learning about different applications of software defined radio and ham radio licensing was noted as a requirement for certain experiments. My initial investigations of ham radio sent me down a rabbit hole, resulting in my passing of the Technician and General class licensing exams 8 days later. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Living under the restrictions of apartment life has shaped my initial ham radio focus areas. Without the ability to setup an external antenna or operate at higher power, I sought to do my best under the circumstances, passing the Amateur Extra class exam, operating portable, participating in EMCOMM, and most recently supporting remote amateur radio license testing as a volunteer examiner. I have also built an effective ceiling-mounted 40m full wave loop antenna that has so far allowed me to make contacts in Europe, South America, and Oceania.
These apartment restrictions were also a factor in my interest in CW as I had learned how much more effective CW was than SSB for the same amount of power. As a history buff and communications specialist, I had an appreciation for Morse Code’s legacy from the earliest days of radio communications and its civilian and military use throughout the 20th century. I also sought the challenge of learning to operate Morse Code at high speed, which was how I learned about CWops and CW Academy. Thanks to Joe KK5NA and Mark K5GQ who were my CW Academy advisors and are fantastic mentors. I also want to thank Nizar K0NM for his article “Learning CW at 70”, which I recommend as a inspirational guide for learning CW at any age (CQ Amateur Radio, Sep. 2018, pp. 38-40). Joe, Mark, and Nizar’s contributions to ensuring the future of CW are a great credit to CWOps.
Currently I operate entirely CW and primarily contests, although I plan to do more rag chews. Since Feb 2020, I have worked most every evening CWT and many contests and state QSO parties. While not yet competitive, I do enjoy beating my personal best. I hope to complete WAS soon.
I currently work in the cybersecurity field.
Besides ham radio, I also enjoy sci-fi, hiking, photography, reading, and travel, which I hope to pick up again once Covid-19 restrictions are behind us. In the future I look forward to joining a DX-pedition where I can combine some of these interests.
Thanks to Mark K5GQ, Joe KK5NA, Bruce K8UDH and Gary N5PHT for their nomination and sponsorship of my CWops membership. I am honored to join such a highly esteemed group of CW operators.