I joined this great hobby in January, 1961 as WV2QPW. An SX-110 and a DX-20 running 40 watts were all I could afford with paper-route money, but I would not trade the memories of starting that way for anything. Callsign changes have included WA2QPW, WA4BTC and then N4GG in 1977, when vanity licensing and the N-block opened up. I am the original holder of N4GG.
Currently I chase DX and contest from 1.8 to 50 MHz - CW being the preferred mode. I occasionally appear on SSB. The current station includes an FTdx5000 and an FT-1000MP set up for SO2R contesting, a pair of ACOM 2000A amps, and an often changing collection of wire antennas in the back yard. On 6M the amplifier is a 1KW brick out of the retired WSB channel 2 TV transmitter here in Atlanta. Thanks WSB! Contest software is WRITELOG. SO2R and auto bandswitching gear is home-brew running off W9XT band decoders. I highly recommend Gary, W9XT's Unified Microsystems products. Three of his XT-4 keyers travel with me on M/2 contest expeditions.
I don't chase awards other than DXCC, but after 50 years I have a few:
DXCC Honor Roll: Mixed/Phone/CW, DXCC on 160, 9 band WAS/WAC, 5BWAZ, WPX Award of Excellence w/160 endorsement, A-1 Op, AND The Royal Order of the Wouff Hong. I am a member of the Southeat Contest Club (SECC) and the Southeastern DX Association (SEDXA).
I am a retired EE, MBA and Aerospace Executive with 30+ years in everything from receiver design to forming entrepreneurial start-ups. In addition to my Amateur Extra license, I hold what was a First Class Radiotelphone Commercial License with radar endorsement (the FCC converted all those to "General" some years back). I consult to the electronics industry and enjoy writing for QST, NCJ and other publications.
Ham radio was passed down - my dad was on the air with spark and obtained the call 2NJ in 1916. In 2010 I completed building "Blue Lightning," an authentic 1910 1/2 KW syncronous rotary spark gap transmitter. It is pictured above. Blue Lightning has been to Dayton twice and to numerous club meetings. Visitors are always welcome and Blue Lightning and a presentation about our hobby's early history and the days of spark are available if your venue is not too far from here - contact me for details. Blue Lightning is NOT available for on-the-air skeds. I can play you an MP3 of how it sounds - that's as close to hearing spark on the air as you can get these days - which in some respects is too bad, but that's the way it is.
I enjoy paper QSLs although LOTW has been a real positive for myself and the hobby. QSLs for N4GG, NN4GG, PJ2/N4GG, PJ4/N4GG, TI5/N4GG, HP/N4GG, PJ4R and PJ4O:
LOTW, Bureau, or Direct. US direct: SASE appreciated. Non-US direct: SAE and 1 green stamp or IRC. I typically respond the same day I receive your card, this includes answering the bundles of incoming bureau cards. I have well over 100,000 QSOs in the LOTW. Bureau QSLs for NN4GG must be marked "N4GG-manager" or they will go to the wrong W4 QSL bureau.
VP2MHK QSOs were loaded into LOTW April 12, 2013. Paper QSL'd will be available later in the year.
Thanks for all the QSOs, I hope to see you on the air or in person soon
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