My introduction to ham radio came when I lived in Orange, Connecticut during my 9th grade days. Frank Roddy, K1DGX, was a classmate, and he would talk about his enthusiasm for the hobby. But, my family moved from New Haven to La Jolla, California in late 1958. It was there that I met Paul Paulsen, K6IXV, also a high school classmate. Paul was a General, and had a DX100 with a Halicrafters receiver in his garage. It was the hey-day of the sunspot high of highs. I helped Paul with the logging when he entered the 1958 CQ WW Phone contest. His 10 meter contact with XW8AL hooked me on DX!
Soon I had taken the Novice Test, and was on the air myself with an old DX-35 crystal controlled transmitter and an SX-99 Halicrafters receiver as WV6EPQ. My first QSO was on 40 CW with WV6ERM, now AA6AA. I had to wait some 20 years for Steve's QSL when I discovered who he was at the Southern California DX Club! By early 1960 I had passed the General Test, and moved on to a Heathkit Apache with a Hammarlund Receiver. My brother Bob was soon bitten with the bug, and followed with WV6IPY, and then WA6IPY. We erected a TA32 Jr. Tribander on a pushup pole, but really struggled to get out. Paul, Bob, and I were carefully nurtured by an old seasoned DXer, Ralph Culbertson, W6CHV. Ralph would take us to the San Diego DX Club Meetings which were always held in a member's home. So, we got to see what the real California Killowatts looked like!
I went off to Cornell University for a year, and joined the Cornell University Amateur Radio Club, W2CXM. That's where I met K2BYF, Bill McConnell, now N9US. Bill and I had a great time playing in the CQ Contest from Cornell. We have stayed in contact all these years. For a W6, it was a real treat working all those Europeans! But my heart was in California, so after my Freshman Year I returned to California. By that time the family had moved to Los Angeles in the Palos Verdes area.
I came home in December 1961 for Christmas to find a new beam on the roof, and wow, was that locaton better. When I returned for good in June, Bob and I put up a tower and a home brew 5 element 20 meter beam. Bob led the charge building an amplifier with four 811A's and a power supply with Mercury Vapor refcifiers, and we were on the air big time long path on 20. The DX followed from there. I had transfereed to UCLA, and commuted to class. So, I operated from home quite a bit. I became very close friends with Jerry Hagen, WA6GLD, later N6AV, who has passed away. Bob, Jerry, and I started making the yearly trek to the Fresno/Visalia DX Convention as Southern California DX Club members. My location was under the shaddow of one of the old DX greats, Don Wallace, W6AM. Bob and I had a key to Don's station for many years, and operated the rhombic farm occasionally.
After graduateing from college, I got an apartment of my own, then got married, and so from 1968 to 1972 I was not very active except as an operator at one of the multi multis. I helped out at W6RW, W6VSS, and W6ANN.
In 1973, I bought a house and put up a 70 foot tower with a 2 element 40, the 5 element 20, and a small home made duo-band 10-15 beam. In 1974 I joined the CQ WW Contest Committee, and became Co-Director of the CQ WW in 1975 with Bob Cox, K3EST. We took turns, alternating supervision of the CW and Phone duties from year to year until 1995, when I resigned from the Committee. In 1976 I passed the Extra Test, and was given the new callsign N6AR.
In 1984, I moved my family to Florida, and retained my N6AR callsign. I have remained active in DXing and Contesting over the years. I hold DXCC on 9 bands, am on the top of the Phone and Mixed Honor Roll, am just one off the top on CW, and am just 3 away from the RTTY honor role. I am active in the DX Challenge, have 5 Band WAZ, and am very committed to LOTW. I am also a member of e-qsl. I was a member of the Central Florida DX Associaton when it was active, but now I am a member of the Florida Contest Group.
I have only operated from 2 DX locations- as XE2BC in 1983, and off and on as HV3SJ in the late 80's as a guest operator. I believe I was responsible for a large number of first WARC band contacts from the Vatican. I hope to be active at Guantanamo Bay in the near future, as I have a daughter living there.
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