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My ham radio story began on Feb. 9, 1969, when as a new novice operator, WN4MEN, I first took to the airwaves on 80 meters. 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. Now, 45 years later, I'm still hooked on DX as the N4KZ adventure continues.

Today, I have 343 entities worked and confirmed. I just worked E30FB in Eritrea for No. 343. The LoTW confirmation just arrived. That's tremendous service from Zorro, the operator. It's my last African entity. (Oddly enough, I worked and confirmed ET3REL and ET3USA in Eritrea in about 1970 but it was part of Ethiopia at the time and didn't count for the now-independent Eritrea.) I don't mention that in a bragging way but rather to explain my long DX journey. I still have a few more entities to go but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Along the way, I picked up DXCC, 8BDXCC, WAZ, 5BWAC, WAS and a few others. Now, I need just two more current entities to quality for DXCC Honor Roll.

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 entities. (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.

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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