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I have been a licensed Ham since around 1970 with my Novice callsign of WN7RKA when we were living in Wyoming. As soon as I was eligible, I obtained my Conditional and Advanced licenses, finally getting my Extra Class license in 1973. By this time I was using a FTDX-560 Transceiver with Remote VFO. I was a serious DX'er back in those days, having obtained DXCC in just over a year using only Dipoles and other wire antennas. From about 1974 to 1980 I was inactive due to living in apartment complexes.

In the early 80's, I moved with my job to Walla Walla where I started becoming involved with the local Amateur Radio Club, W7DP. They had their own club station with a Tri-band beam and I started operating from the club whenever I could. For a DX'er, having a beam antenna is their dream :) So I managed to work almost 200 countries, obtaining DXCC and other awards for the club. I was also President of the club for a couple of years and they were a great bunch of people to be associated with. However, around 1986 I became inactive again.

Which brings us to the present day. A few years ago, I became married for the first time in my life, having met my wonderful wife Genny. I bought a nice house out in the suburbs of Spokane for us to start our new life. Several months ago, I decided I needed a hobby again. "Hmmmm, I have property now, and plenty of room to put up a tower and beam!". Easier said than done, especially when it comes to getting a permit in this county. If you want to hear a story about bureaucratic nonsense, just ask me sometime :) I eventually was able to get the permit, and now have a 3-element SteppIR up at 72 feet on a US Tower TX-472 crank-up. It's not a monster antenna, but it does the job :)

I hope someday to move out in the country and start a REAL antenna farm, but that will remain in my dreams.

John K7KB


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