I received my first license (WN9IVI) in 1963 while I was in the 9th grade at Nicolet High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After several failed attempts to copy 13 WPM in front of an FCC examiner, I finally earned my General class license in the spring of 1964. At that time, I operated using a Globe Scout Deluxe (75 watts Xtal controlled) and a Hallicrafters SX-110.
After college at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, I began my professional life as a high school teacher in Slinger, Wisconsin where I married Alane Donay. That tolerant lady has put up with my hamming for 37 years. In 1972 I took a group of Slinger High School students to Chicago to take their General exams and they challenged me to earn my Amateur Extra. With my students watching I couldn't afford to blow the code talk about motivation. In those days I was using a Drake R4-B and Hallicrafters HT-37.
In 1976 I went to Utah State University to work on my Ph.D. When I told the FCC that I had moved to Utah they vacated WA9IVI and assigned WB7FHL to my station. I was despondent What a lousy call! A few months later the FCC offered a deal to Amateur Extra License holders. We could request any unassigned 1X2 call. I wanted a call that was similar to my 9th area call. Since all the 1X2 K and W permutations of WA9IVI were taken, I requested N7IV. Since I didn't want to risk the possibility of another WB7FHL event, I didn't request a new tenth area call when I moved to North Dakota in 1991.
I have three children. The oldest, Mark, is a civil engineer living in Syracuse, New York. He works for the wind power division of Cazenovia Equipment Company. Mark’s call is KA7CAO. So far Matt is the only other CW-active ham in the family. He passed his Extra Class exam in 1998 (KI0NH) and he was awarded the ARRL Foundation’s Barry Goldwater Memorial Scholarship as an undergraduate student (2002). He currently works as a mathematician for Matrix Research in Dayton, OH. Lisa, our baby, graduated with a degree in Economics, Mathematics and Philosophy from Gonzaga University and currently lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband Justin.
My primary rig is a Ten-Tec Omni VI Plus and my antenna system includes the quad shown on the electronic QSL, a switched array of 5 sloping dipoles for 30, and a Carolina Windom '160' for 80/160. On 40, I have a double-extended zepp that doubles as a doublet on 80 and 160.
North Dakota winters can be a little chilly. So far the nastiest we've had included temperatures at minus 48 degrees F with winds gusting to 75 MPH. That kind of weather is tough on equipment and I am usually off the air in the summer repairing damage from the previous winter and spring.
My QSL shows the quad and our shot NE to Europe in the fall of 1996. The picture at Matt's QRZ site (KI0NH) looks west and shows the Quad in the winter in the same year. I try to post my logs to LOTW and Eqsl.cc on a regular basis and I also QSL 100% via the Buro. If you need your QSL card more quickly than "via the Buro," just send your QSL card to my QRZ.com address. No SASE, IRC, or Green Stamps are needed.
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