After many years on QRZ.COM as a supporter I thought I should say something about myself. This area will be a work in process and I will add more info as time permits.... and probably get less wordy.
I was first licensed in 1963 as WN9QQB in suburban Chicago. I became intersted in radio first as a shortwave listerner at age 11 having built a Knight Kit Star Roamer I received for Xmas. After listening, writing to shortwave stations for QSLs and such, I became hooked. Our neighbor across the street. who was one year older than I, got his Novice license, then his General. I was over there a lot, fascinated by the idea of actually communicating via radio and not just listening. His dad let me borrow his 78RPM Navy Morse Code records and that's how I learned the code. I was kind of a duck to water with it and after getting Novice it didn't take long to upgrade to 13wpm and General class - WA9QQB. My first "real" rigs were a Knight T-100A and R-100A which were kits that I built.
My primary interests were CW and before long I was working DX and chasing countries. Moved quickly to Advanced and then to Extra (20WPM). I just had to get to that lower 25khz of the bands where the DX was. After getting Extra the Knight kits were sold to get, and build, a Heath HW100A. Now, that was the cat's meow. Every day after high school I was home trying to work DX with the 14AVQ vertical my dad and I put up on the roof. It didn't take me long to get my first 100 countries... Did I say I was hooked?
Fast forward a bunch of years which I may fill in later....
Joined the Navy Reserve in 1969 and served a stint at NAS Memphis, Millington TN were I spent a lot of free time in the W4ODR shack on base. Got transferred to NAS Willow Grove in Willow Grove, PA and while stationed there I met the girl who has been my wife for 43 years. Circumstances as they were I ended up being a permanent resident of Pennsylvania and got the call sign WA3VLB.
In early 70's we lived in an apartment complex which meant no antennas. So, my solution was to get a mobile rig, a Swan250. I started picking up the microphone and ran into the County Hunters on 20 meters. Now this was interesting... especially since I was a mobile operator and quite honestly the only way I know of working all counties is by working mobiles. So, I started putting them out on the net. Now I'm hooked again... I'm actually the "DX" with staitons working me in a pile-up. After about 4 years of constant county hunting (running coax out the apartment window to the Hustler mounted on the car for operating fixed at night), and running 500+ counties mobile I got 'em all and was issued
CQ Magazines Award, ALL Counties MIXED ----- USA-168
I'm proud of that achievment. It ain't easy. Now over 1200 hams have worked them all. Many more than once. Why? Because it's there to be had if you have the interest. I will admit it is a little bit easier now with a spotting page and the Internet. In the old days if you got a "one ringer" on your home phone it usually meant that you best get to the net because there was a county you needed as the needs list was published in the monthly newsletter as you got down to those elusive 100 or so. Thanks for all those "one ringers" guys. I remember my wife waking me up late at night because someone in 7 land (3 hours behind us) had told someone to one ring us.
My wife and I met so many great people by way of county hunting both with her riding shotgun with me and logging and going to national and regional county hunter conventions. It was some really fun times. And guess what.... now I'm KW3F and I'm trying to work them again... this time ALL CW. Again this wouldn't be remotely possible without the many CW mobiliers that are always putting out counties on the CW Nets. I've got just under 400 to go to get them all CW. All the County Hunting Info you could want is at http://www.countyhunter.com/
These days you'll find me active on CW HF chasing counties, chasing countries (about 240 confirmed), playing QRP, and now some digital modes - PSK, Olivia, Feld-Hell, JT65, and whatever else I may see on the waterfall. I enjoy contesting and although I only operate 100w to a very compromised 40-10 meter wire on our small lot I can compete in the pileups. I've learned it's not necessarlly hardware (although that helps, a lot) but it also involves skill. Don't ever let low power and compromised antennas spoil the fun!
I'm an active member of SKCC (Straight Key Century Club) and I really enjoy the Straight Key WES's (Weekend Sprints) and all the other things available to the > 11,000 membership. Who says CW is dead? We're using straight keys and having a blast. Check out http://www.skccgroup.com/ and join us.
I left out a complete section about my involvement with NASWA (North American Shortwave Association), http://www.naswa.net/ and the Winter SWL Festival http://www.swlfest.com/ held every year for the past 27 years here in suburban Philly but more about that another time. Listening to stations outside the ham bands is another hobby all in itself, which a great many of us hams started doing before we got our licenses.
Thanks very much for reading this and thanks to all the great Amateurs, Shortwave Listeners, and radio hobbyists I've had the pleasure to meet on the air and in person. 73 - Bob KW3F
1602435 Last modified: 2015-01-12 22:14:20, 6001 bytes
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