I’m pleased to be a new member. I retired in 2004 as a corporate pilot from a major US corporation with 22,000+ flight hours logged in various corporate jets to include the Gulfstream G-IV SP. My residence is 15 miles east of Ellijay, GA with property bordering the Chattahoochee National Forest. My other hobbies include restoring older radios, gardening, home improvements and enjoying life with my family and friends. I am married with one daughter and my XYL Sherry was licensed in 1995 under the code requirements but is seldom active.
My first interest in radio was with a crystal radio set that I received as a Christmas gift at an early age. My father was an SWL and I occasionally used his old Hallicrafters to tune around for aircraft which it did not receive. I learned Morse code while in the Boy Scouts from my scout master who was a Korean war veteran in the signal corp. The code was taught to me from a chalkboard which is not the best way to learn Morse code. My musical training as a teenager has definitely been a benefit to my code proficiency. Never thought much about amateur radio until I met Ken, K4TEA in high school. In 1960 at the age of 16, I acquired my Novice license and upgraded to Technician class a year later. My license expired while attending college and was re-licensed in the mid-70s after my military service. I was not very active in the hobby until the late 80s when I joined the Southeastern DX Club in 1991. My main interest is CW with occasional digital and phone contacts. All my CW contacts are manual and I do not use a keyboard and definitely do not use CW decoding software. I am on the ARRL Honor Roll and have a total 347 countries confirmed of which 335 are of the present country list. My total country count on CW is 332 with 8 Band DXCC. I was a Volunteer Examiner until the FCC dropped the Morse code requirement. Being a supporter of the use of Morse code, I did not enjoy being a VE after the FCC’s decision. I honor most CW operators and take the time to have a QSO with operators desiring to use this useful mode. My plans are to be active on the bands with CW, chase DX and hopefully participate in the weekly CWT.
My present shack consists of an ICOM IC-7610, Yaesu FT-2000, Nye Viking MB-V-A tuner, Alpha 91B, Collins 30L-1, Drake C-Line, Kenwood TS-830S, Collins 75A-4, Hallicrafters SX-100 MKII, Johnson Viking Ranger, Johnson Courier amplifier, Johnson Viking 1, Heathkit DX-40 & Hallicrafters SX-110 which was my Novice station. I use an Idiom Logikey with N3ZN 9+, Begali Signature and Kent iambic paddles. Occasionally I will dust off an old McElroy or Vibroplex bug just for nostalgia. My days of operating with a tower with multiple antennas are behind me. Today my antenna setup consists of a vertical 80 meter Delta Loop and a 80 meter Off Center Fed dipole. Life is still good on the air.
I would like to give special thanks to W4NU, K4OY, KB4WLF and K4PI for their encouragement and sponsoring me to be a part of the special group of CW operators.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.