I decided I would like to be a ham while listening to my parents Normende table radio as a kid. It had a great sound and was all band, AM broadcast, and FM, but also shortwave and longwave. Although it did not have an outside antenna, I could still hear VOA and the BBC and Morse code operators on shortwave. In cub scouts I tried to get my communication badge but found no patience for the code (and no one to learn with). But I was interested in all things electrical and built many crystal radios and strung up many (useless) antennas. Radio communication was going to be part of my life somehow but learning code was not high on my list so I did not pursue ham radio. Well, life happens and although I attended a 3-year college course in electronics and specialized in communication, I never got very close to radio.
Fast forward to my last few working years as a high school teacher of electricity shop and I expressed a desire to be a ham to my wife, and she gave me a Christmas present of a course to get my amateur radio certificate from my local amateur radio club. So, in 2019 at age 67 I was finally a ham.
I thought I was going to talk to hams all over the world as part of my retirement. Well, that did happen but once I proved to myself it could be done with my equipment some of the shine wore off. As I learned at the course there are many paths in using amateur radio. I did not think competitive radio was a thing but members of the club convinced me it was (thanks Vic VE3YT). I did not see myself as competitive but I am. And competing with Morse code also turned into something that interested me even though I had put off getting the certificate because of the code. So, you just never know what paths will open up if you keep an open mind. That challenge of learning code has been way more difficult/entertaining than I ever thought it would be. So lifelong learning is a “thing.”
Because I very much enjoy building things both mechanical and electrical, this hobby suits me down to the ground (and puts things up in the air too). I like building and experimenting with antennas and I am fortunate that the neighbours don’t complain and I have over a ½ acre to play in. I have two guyed towers, one with wires in a fan dipole for 40, 80, and 160 meter, and one that carries a three element tribander of 20, 15, and 10 meter. And there is a copper pipe J-pole for 2 meters. I own an Icom IC7300 and an Elecraft K3.
Since I like teaching, I have volunteered to help train new hams (in electronics) to get their Certificate of Proficiency in Amateur Radio in the course given by our club.
This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.