Hello from the Oregon coast, CN74, Lincoln County, USA!
Elevation 0', Tsunami Hazard Zone
A ham since my high school days, Amateur Radio has been a major influence ever since. My interest in radio and all things tech started off with a bang, spending my first 20 working years rockin' listeners out of bed as an FM rock jock. But about when video killed the radio star, I shifted gears and 'got a real job' in Information Technology serving education and public power. Never mind the five years I spent reposessing cars for a living. You did make your payment, right?
Now retired, I share the radio shack with my lovely xyl Annette N7SG. She's SSB, I'm CW. Believe it or not, we first met when my signal came blasting through her stereo speakers three doors down. Not all radio interference leads to bad relations with the neighbors! We got married, she got her Extra ticket, and we've been living hammily ever after. Did I mention I spent a few years in sales, too?
Annette and I enjoy several phone nets, but most of my on-air time is spent on CW, the last Amateur Radio operating oasis and happy haven for crusty OT's like me.
When not pounding brass or building QRP rigs, I enjoy RV'ing, playing guitar, and sampling the local seafood! See you on the air!
73, John K7FD
The RED ROOSTER hand key
Try building the RED ROOSTER hand key! In less than an hour, you can have your very own! All it takes is a silicone oven mitt (available from kitchen stores or Amazon), 2 brass brad contacts, mono plug, and 2 conductor cable. Punch two holes, solder it up, and you're ready for action!
Simply slip your hand inside Red's beak and flap away for flawless dits and dahs! Key clucks optional.
Want a hot tip on sending CW? Stop using periods at the end of sentences. I believe ARRL code practice is to blame for spreading this bad habit, having a brainless computer send text from the pages of QST. In any event, do your fellow hams a favor and leave those periods out and use the telegrapher preferred prosign BT dahdidididah. You're not writing a letter, you're pounding brass. Nothing takes the air out of a good CW QSO quicker than copying a bunch of boring didahdidahdidahdidahs sent over, and over, and over. If I'm listening to you send periods and you suddenly lose me during our QSO, you'll know I went to sleep! ZZZzzzz
History of K7FD, the early years
If you've read this far, you might as well stay around for the whole story, hi! Sometimes someone will ask how I became interested in Ham Radio and I always find it interesting we seem to stumble into it in a variety of ways. But I suspect my way was fairly typical of many a half century ago, bumping into a family friend 'ham'. In my case, it was a chance visit with Joel, WA7BYF (SK) in Napavine, Washington. Joel was 13 and I was about 10 years old. But Joel had some neat radios in his bedroom, ones his uncle had given him. If I remember right, one was a Johnson Viking. But what I remember most was listening to Radio New York Worldwide that day. Wow -- New York! Can you believe it? I couldn't and it made a big impression on me. Shortly thereafter, I diverted my life savings for a BB gun over to a knightkit Star Roamer shortwave radio. It wasn't long before I had QSL cards from Radio Japan, Radio Australia, and others pasted to the wall above my bunk bed. Popular Electronics even issued me an SWL 'call' -- WPE7COH. I listened to Hilversum Holland and The Happy Station, laughing nightly at Tom Meijer's antics on the air. I thought to myself, that's what I'm going to do some day!
The Star Roamer wasn't much by today's standards but it was enough to pick up Hams talking to each other. Not long after, I found a copy of the ARRL LIcense Manual and began to study on my own. I had some help with the code; my dad was a signalman in the Navy and nightly practice began with him at the helm. Soon I passed my Novice and waited patiently for that envelope to arrive from the FCC. Eventually it did and I became WN7IHO. All of 1967 I hung out on 40 meters with my Ameco AC-1 transmitter; I even received a special pink 'QSL' from the FCC monitoring station in Alaska! In any event, it was time to upgrade.
Again, it was my dad assisting as he drove me downtown in his '66 Bel Air to take the General exam. Several floors up in a big building, I found a hallway of other exam takers. We all clutched our dog-eared license manuals. I wasn't old enough to light up and smoke but all the others did as we waited for the results. Some of us passed, some didn't. It took me a couple of tries, always struggling with the theory. Along the way, I upgraded to a Heathkit HR-10B and DX-60. Then picking a lot of strawberries paid for a Galaxy V Mk III. A little later, bussing tables bought a new Drake TR-4.
Eventually I made it to Extra by the time I entered college. In 1978, I changed my call to K7FD, celebrating fun times experienced at Field Day. Fast forward through life's ups and downs, and to this day I continue to enjoy the world's greatest hobby. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Last modified: 2013-12-12 04:40:06, 9182 bytes cached
This user has no active logs