I am delighted to be a new member of CWops. Thanks to Advisors: K6ZO, Don-Level 1, N3HEE, Joe-Level 2 and AC4BT, Jerry-Level 3 for their relentless tutelage. Additional gratitude goes to CWops members WD4EXI, Val and K2UFT, Dick for their time devoted to practice, advice and encouragement. I would be remiss in not giving a big “merci beaucoup” to those sponsors NN6T-Glen, WB0SND-Mike and N4PIR-Gary for their support.
I live a few miles north of Atlanta, Georgia in a suburban community called Brookhaven with my wife and a few Red-tailed hawks and Barred owls that inhabit the woods in our backyard. Occasionally, I have seen White-tailed deer, opossums and snakes back there as well. My horizontal loop “Skywire” antenna is strung through a maze of trees on this portion of the property.
I became interested in amateur radio when I was 13 years old in 1962. I took the written exam, code test and was awarded my Novice license. My callsign was WN4JMB. My wonderful Dad and I went down to the radio store in Chattanooga, TN. He bought me a National NC-270 receiver, Heathkit DX-35 transmitter and a straight key. I find it hard to believe that he let me build a mast out of a 16 foot 2×4 that was mounted on top of our (his) nice house to support my 40 meter dipole antenna. I joined the ham radio club at school. They let me borrow a Vibroplex Bug to use with my station. This was a contributing factor for my interest in Morse Code many years down the road. I currently have several bugs in my collection and consider mastering them as a formidable challenge.
My father was a woodworker and made his own fishing lures. He even built a BBQ grill out of river rock and iron grates he had specially made. He always welcomed me to be his assistant with these hobbies, where I learned how to make things and be creative with my hands. One day we went to the local construction landfill and found 300 feet of high quality wire. This is when my interest in radio began. My friend next door and I built an intercom system and some Knight Kit receivers together. I started listening to shortwave broadcasts from all over the world. The Voice of America and BBC World Service were two of my favorites. I was intrigued by WWV for the “every minute” Greenwich Mean Time report, and the sounds of the radio operators on the ham bands. Soon thereafter, I got my amateur radio license. It did not take long for me to fill my logbook with CW contacts from throughout the United States, Canada and South America. With the “bug” key, my code speed improved to about 13 words per minute.
My Novice license expired and I sold my radios to a friend who had received his General Class License. I used the money to purchase a nice stereo system. At least the funds remained invested in electronics! Then I left for Emory University and on to Berkeley where I studied environmental science and was off the air for 53 years until 2016 when I became re-licensed and am QRV again as KB4WLF.
I was accepted into the Quarter Century Wireless Association (# 37064) and have received the 55 Year Award after undergoing an extensive callsign research project by Callsign Historian, Pete-KL7KM. It was most interesting working with Pete. He was instrumental in helping with Mike Baxter’s (Tim Allen) ham shack in the TV series, Last Man Standing. I am also active in SKCC (#15582), FISTS (#17883) and NAQCC (#8063).
I love the CW mode and would rather have a good Morse Code rag chew than anything. You can frequently find me on 80M or 40M on the lower end of the band. I like to chase DX on 30, 20, 17 & 15M as well. I also work a little AM phone on 75M from time to time which pairs well with my interest in old radios. I found my original Novice, National NC-270 receiver. It has been fully restored. Other working boat anchors in my collection are: Johnson Viking Ranger, Valiant, and Viking II transmitters, Hammarlund HQ-170 receiver and Henry 2K-3 amp. I also have a collection of vintage code oscillators and telegraph keys including a very rare Brown Brothers ES single lever paddle that is a fantastic instrument. For a modern rig, I use a Yaesu FTDX3000 with a LP-Pan 2 SDR Panadapter and Begali Sculpture Mono key.
I am a retired environmental scientist/engineer; my highest profile project being with the US Department of the Interior restoring the Statue of Liberty in the 1980’s. I have worked for engineering firms since then on a wide variety of civil and environmental projects. I have remained active at Emory University with some of their programs.
My other interests include: antique broadcast radios, chess, guitar and harmonica playing, drafting and calligraphy, G scale bonsai garden railroading, culinary arts, fishing and boating, the shooting sports, wood turning, knife and pipe collecting, golf and standup paddle boarding.
Getting back into radio has not only been refreshing, but a true adventure. Without the CW Operators Club, I may never have improved my code skills to enjoy sending and receiving like I do now. I am frequently asked: “Why do they call you Wolf?” The ops in Level 2 said that Dwight was not a simple enough name for the CWT. I suggested Wolf, and they all agreed it would be an easier name to send and remember. Thank you CWops! I look forward to meeting many of you on the air, in person (or on Skype, hi, hi)!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.