February 9 has long been quite a milestone date in my life.
Feb. 9, 1964, saw The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. Like million of young Americans, I watched at home that night and thus began my lifelong love of their music. Exactly 5 years later, my novice license arrived in the mail. That night, WN4MEN went on the air for the first time in the 80-meter novice band. My first QSO was with WN1--- in Connecticut. Never did quite copy all of his callsign -- a fact I blame on extreme QRM and a huge case of nerves on my part. And several years later, my first-born daughter was born on -- you guessed it -- Feb. 9.
Ever since my beginner's ham ticket arrived 45 years ago, I have been very active on the air with no periods of being inactive. After a few months of being a novice, I upgraded to general and became WB4MEN. The advanced ticket soon followed. After college I moved to Michigan and held a couple of 8-land calls. I upgraded to extra class in December 1979. I eventually returned home to Kentucky. My current call of N4KZ was issued in 1996.
Over the past four-and-a-half decades, my primary amateur radio interest has been HF DXing but I've been involved in VHF SSB and CW too. Currently, I have 342 entities worked and 341 confirmed all-time with 328 of those current and 14 deleted ones. (Need just 3 more for DXCC Honor Roll. Recently worked FT5ZM, Amsterdam Island, #342, and awaiting confirmation.)
On 2 meter SSB and CW, it took me more than 20 years but I finally worked 40 of the 50 states, some even by EME. And there was quite a bit of meteor scatter work done back in the 1990s. At present, I am not active on 2 meter SSB/CW but have tackled 6 meters with great enthusiasm. I have worked all 50 states on 6, in addition to working all continents and 70 countries so far on 6m. I have worked about 150 entities on HF QRP and also work HF mobile as well as various digital modes on HF.
Awards on my ham shack wall include:
Worked all Zones (WAZ), DXCC, 8-Band DXCC, 5-Band WAC, WAS, and several DXCCs for individual bands and modes.
My station is comprised of several rigs along with various antennas on my tower, including an 8-element log periodic that covers 13-33 MHz, and an 80-meter horizontal loop up 50 feet in the trees in my hilltop yard. My wooded 8-acre backyard slopes down at about a 45-degree angle putting my antennas about 200 feet above the ground below. As a result, I have a great low-angle take-off on all bands. My sloping terrain gives me a particular advantage when working on HF into Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean.
I have thoroughly enjoyed ham radio since I was a teen-ager and look forward to many more years on the bands.
I use Logbook of the World. If you don't use LoTW, I do answer all QSLs whether direct or via the bureau. SASE is not required but always appreciated. I no longer use eQSL.
73, Dave, N4KZ
Last modified: 2014-02-10 20:04:29, 3116 bytes
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