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As of Jan. 27, 2015, I have 345 countries worked and confirmed. Of those, 331 are on the current DXCC countries list which means I have qualified for DXCC Honor Roll, a long-term goal of more than 4 decades! The most recent new one worked was EP6T in Iran. The LoTW QSLs arrived just a day after the DXpedition closed down. You gotta love technology.

My ham radio story began on Feb. 9, 1969, when as a teen-ager and new novice operator I first took to the airwaves on 80 meters as WN4MEN. But within a couple months, I moved up to 15 meters where I immediately worked a ZD8 station on Ascension Island and got hooked on DX. My general class ticket followed six months later and so on.

Now, 45 years later, I'm still hooked on DX. Along the way, I picked up DXCC, 8-Band DXCC, DXCC Honor Roll, Phone DXCC, CW DXCC, Worked All Zones, 5-Band WAC, WAS and a few others.

For me, ham radio has been a multi-dimensional hobby. I love talking with people on the air but like trying new things too. New bands, modes, computer software. For years, I've been hooked on the challenges presented by weak-signal VHF on 6 and 2 meter SSB/CW/digital modes. On 2 meters, I have worked 40 states from Kentucky. On 6, I have worked all 50 states, all continents and 73 countries. (Guatamala, Sweden and Chile were my latest new ones on 6m.) I've even made some EME contacts on 2 meter CW. And many, many meteor scatter contacts on 2 meter SSB.

Along the way, I've been involved with QRP, HF mobile, tons of CW, public service communications, satellites and lots of digital modes on HF. And I love to ragchew too. In fact, I call CQ on HF SSB quite often. I keep reading posts from new hams who say they they tune around and seldom hear anyone calling CQ.  I don't know where or when they're listening. You won't hear many CQs on 75 meter SSB at night or even 40 meter SSB during the day. That's because big groups of friends tend to talk with one another almost daily. No need for them to call CQ. But that leaves a ton of other bands on which others are calling CQ -- folks who enjoy meeting new friends.

That's one of the great things about amateur radio -- it's a dozen different hobbies within a hobby. Bored? Try a new band or mode. That's what's kept me going for so long on the ham bands. Plus, I've made tons of good friends in person and on the air.

Ever been to the Dayton Hamvention? I have -- 38 out of the last 39 years.

I QSL direct, via the bureau or LoTW.

73, Dave, N4KZ






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