Hey, just for the record, although my name shows above as Charles, I go by my middle name, Fred. and as of 20 March 2016, I've been licensed for 50 years. Hard to believe.
I adhere and heartily endorse the DX CODE OF CONDUCT . Wish everyone did; it would make our hobby so much more enjoyable! If you haven't read it, click on the link and do so.
Traffic Cops - you're worse than those who are calling on the DX frequency. Stick to your own knittin'. Oh, and four letter words, and insults have no place in this hobby. If that's your style, go back to CB
If you're trying for a DX station in a pileup, the first rule is LISTEN. Too many are so busy transmitting they'd never hear if the DX station came back to them. If he came back the the "W7Z" station, and you're a K9Q, why in the world do you think he'd actually respond to you just because you're calling when he's trying to hear someone else. Do you talk over others when you have a conversation in person?
Believe it or not, by using good operating practices, you'll probably work MORE DX and the DXpeditions will work more of us. It's a simple concept.
Above all, remember -THIS IS A HOBBY!!!!! You won't die if you don't work the DX station this very minute. Keep it in perspective.
I'm just a little peanut whistle, currently running a Kenwood TS-590 (fabulous radio) at100 watts and an OCF dipole. But even with this modest little station, I'm currently sitting at 319 countries worked and 309 confirmed. Also have 5BWAS, and working on finishing 5BDXCC ( just need 80 meters)
I still like good old fashioned paper QSL cards, but everything is uploaded to LOTW. I also frequently upload to EQSL, and I'm AG, but don't yet actively puruse any of their awards. Being a long term ham, I still prefer the traditional ARRL awards. It's just part of who I am
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First licensed as WN7GZA in 1966, I've been a ham for nearly 45 years now. For about 20 years (1991-2011) I was inactive due to starting and running my own business, which took all my time and energy.
But in late 2010, I caught the bug again.. A temporary antenna went up in late December 2010, and I now have an OCF at 65 feet, which is working gangbusters. I typically work over 200 countries and all 40 zones each year for the Marathon, even with my modest station.
During my career, I've been involved in nearly all aspects of the hobby. Dxing, contesting, ARES, president of the local radio club and repeater association, founder of TOPS (The Oregon Packet System), satellite communications, even a couple of experiments with TV. You name it, I've probably been involved.
My daughter, Hollie, KA7SJP got her novice at the age of 6 and her tech at the age of 7. She was the inspiration for the Cindy Wall series of books on ham radio, and Cindy even used her call as the call of the main character, Kim.
Once Hollie got her license, my wife, Kathie, decided she could't be shown up by a six year old, and she got her tech, and is N7JFD. Following that, my father in law, Budd, got his license and became KA7TOG - Tired Old Goat, we called him. We lost him in 1998, but ham radio became a big part of his life. Two years ago, my younger daughter got her Tech license (KG7ESG).
I still like good old fashioned paper QSL cards, but everything is uploaded to LOTW. I also frequently upload to EQSL, and I'm AG, but don't yet actively puruse any of their awards. Being a long term ham, I still prefer the traditional ARRL awards. It's just part of who I am.
The following is just so I can keep a record.
Took the Novice test in early March, 1966, license arrived on March 20, 1966, just before my 15th birthday.
First contact - W7AQL, March 22, 1966
General test July 3, 1966, License arrived 9-11-66
Advanced test April 76, license arrived 9-3-76, 18 weeks after the test due to the paperwork getting lost at the local FCC office. Working through Senator Hatfields office, got a special temporary authorization to work until license arrived.
Extra test December 8, 1978. License arrived Jan 2, 1979 with new call - AF7S, and that's been my call ever since. It's a great CW contesting call, so I'll never change it to one of those using my initials - plus I'm sure W7FM is long gone. (My first name is Charles, but I go by Fred, my middle name, thus the FM)