My grandfather gave me a shortwave receiver when I was 9 years old. The year was 1968. Santa Claus brought me a 1.5 watt walkie talkie when I was 11. I hiked to the top of the Verdugo mountains in Glendale, California with my 1.5 watt walkie talkie and I made radio contact with Texas and New Zealand. I was learning radio propagation. At 13, I purchased a Drake 2B receiver and Heathkit DX-20 Transmitter from Frank Cuevas-W6AOA of Henry Radio in Los Angeles. I started building antennas. In those days, Henry Radio was the largest supplier of used equipment. My neighbor-W6ZGZ built me a screen modulator for the DX-20 and helped me to learn morse code.
I was first licensed at the age of 14. My call sign was WN6CEI. Three of us (kids) in the neighborhood got our licenses about the same time. The year was 1974. Matt Zilmer-WN6EGJ now W6NIA, Steve Wilson-WN6GFM now KA6S, and I, caused choas to the neighborhood. I interfeared with televisons all over the block with my homebrew 4-1000A amplifier. Infact, my neighbor, Ernie Hollis-W6ZGZ gave up watching TV! At 15 years old, I passed my general and was issued WB6CEI. Then at 18, I passed my extra class at the local FCC office in Long Beach, California, and was issued the call sign N6ZV.
At the age of 19, I was off to South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean (on my first dxpedition) with Neal Sulmeyer-AE6E now K4EA. We had the opportunity meet Dave Larsen-ZS6DN. In fact, we operated from ZS6DN, while staying at his ranch for a week. The year was 1979. Then, we were off to the island of Mauritius. The last stop was Swaziland, where I operated as N6ZV/3D6. While in Swaziland, I had the opportunity to meet 3D6BP.
In 1980, Steve Wilson-KA6S and I went back to Africa and the Indian Ocean. Our first stop was to the island of Mauritius, where we operated as 3B8ZV and KA6S/3B8. Our next stop was Rodrigues Island, where we operated as 3B9ZV. We had the opportunity to meet Jacky-3B8CF and Moossa-3B9AE. Steve Orland-AA6AA joined us in Mauritius, and we were off to the Comoro Islands, where we operated as D68GA and D68XX. Our last stop was Tromelin Island with FR0FLO and FR7BP, where I spent my 21rst birthday. We were there for ten days. FR7BP is now a silent key(SK). A future Tromelin Island Dxpedition is planned for November of this year. The Northern California DX Foundation is sponsoring the team. For more information, visit www.Tromelin2014.com Also visit http://www.iletromelin.blogspot.com
I returned to the Comoro Islands in 1983 and donated my radio equipment to "Dr. Bill" Barnett. "Dr. Bill" was licensed as D68WB. Visit http://www.d68wb.blogspot.com for more information on Dr. Bill Barnett.
In 1990, I returned again to the Comoro Islands, where I set up a fifty foot tower and a beam antenna in the small town of Mitsamiouli, on the north island of Grande Comore. I also installed vertical antennas for 160,80 and 40 meters. I was very active in the CQWW CW and SSB contest from 1990 to 1993. Dr. Vince Thompson-K5VT-D68VT(SK) joined me in the Comoro Islands in 1990 for the CQWW CW contest. We worked all bands, 160 thru 6 meters, including "oscar satellite" using the call signs D68GA.
Other trips over the years have included Mayotte-FH0GA, French Guiana-FY0GA-CQWW, Martinique-FM0GA, Gualdelupe-FG0GA, St. Martin-FS/FG0GA. I had the opportunity to meet and operate with Michel-FM5CD, Mario-FY7YE, and FH8OM.
Darrell Bevan-N6DX and I operated as VP2VHL & VP2VHK.
I also had the opportunity to operate from KH6XX---KP2A---N6DX ---&--- K6SE.
I have operated using the following call signs-----WN6CEI-----WB6CEI-----N6ZV-----N6ZV/3D6-----3B8ZV-----3B9ZV-----D68GA-----D68XX-----FR0FLO/T-----FR7BP/T-----F0GA-----FH0GA-----FP0GA-----5Z4GA-----FM0GA-----FY0GA-----FG0GA-----FG0GA/FS-----VP2VHK-----ZS6DN-op-----KH6XX-op-----W4RKC-op-----W3HAC-op.
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