In the big inning...
I was age 11 and Popular Electronics SWL WPE7COH. Many late nights were spent DX'ing on my KnightKit Star Roamer; Radio Nederland's Happy Station, HCJB's DX Partyline, Moscow Mailbag...the good old days. It wasn't long before I was 'all in' on all things radio...and ham radio was on the horizon!
K7FD circa 1969, then WA7IHO
Contrary to popular belief I did not get my ticket from inside a cereal box. My elmer was a dog-eared copy of the ARRL License Manual. A novice since middle school, I upgraded the old fashioned way, in front of a mean and nasty FCC examiner. I still remember the code exam starting with that series of rapid-fire V's!
According to the Radio Amateur's Code..."the radio amateur is BALANCED. Radio is a hobby, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community". So I begrudgingly strayed from all things radio to fit in with the rest of the well-rounded world, knowing full well I'd never be BALANCED.
Graduating from Oregon State University by the thinnest of margins, I worked a series of odd jobs and the occasional even one along the way. After chasing bad loans and repo'ing cars for a spell, I ended up spinning the hits during the late 70's & 80's as a rock n' roll morning man on the FM dial. Our station motto was we're better than we sound! Then video killed the radio star.
Reinventing myself, somehow I became a 'computer expert' - not to be confused with someone who actually studied Information Technology and has degrees to prove it. But armed with a little self-taught knowledge, I battled against pc's, networks, and nitwits for 23 years before calling it quits and hanging it up for good.
Long ago, I ran a Heathkit DX-60/HR-10B combo, Galaxy V Mk III, Drake B Line, and other relics of yesteryear. My first transmitter was an Ameco AC-1. It got out so well I received a special 'pink' QSL from the FCC monitoring station in Anchorage, Alaska! Today the ham shack sports some fine Ten Tec plastic radios, a couple of Elecraft rigs, and assorted QRP gear. Sometimes even an import will sneak into the line up. Forty meters is my favorite band with 3 half-wave slopers in a switchable array.
Now retired and a full-time ham, I've shared the shack with my lovely XYL Annette N7SG for 18 years; we first met when she came over from 3 doors down to complain about RFI. She's a phone op, I'm CW.
This year marks my 48th year of continuous brass pounding. My other interests are few but I am a firm believer in all play and no work. I avoid gardening at all costs. I especially enjoy rainy days when I must remain inside and hidden in the ham shack.
Did I mention I dislike gardening?
Build the straight key!
All it takes is a Red Rooster silicone oven mitt (available from kitchen stores or Amazon), 2 brass brad contacts, mono plug, and a 2 conductor cable. Punch two holes, insert brads, 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; chirps and birdies guaranteed!
Works best at the crack of dawn.
Sometimes it can be a real zoo around the K7FD radio room! Shack mascots Snowball and Keno take a late night turn at the controls. They're responsible for throwing monkey wrenches into my projects, repairs, & restorations!
Thanks for visiting and here's to our next QSO!
73, John K7FD
Field Day, overnight shift. QRZZzzz.
1975186 Last modified: 2015-05-19 03:26:54, 8029 bytes
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