Hi all, I am a quadriplegic in a wheelchair due a diving accident in 1973 at age 16. I am a Christian and God has blessed me with a great ham station.
I was licensed in 1978 as WD5JPE. I stayed a novice 2 years and worked (made contact with) lots of CW (Morse code to all you non-hams). Upgraded around 1980 and got extra class in 1983 with call sign NM5Z.
I am an avid DXER (DX is what hams call foreign countries) and favorite mode is CW. After my accident, I could not write very fast so learned how to head copy CW. I earned the DXCC award first and later made the mixed Honor Roll with 315 confirmed (photo below) and now have 336 confirmed. I became a W5YI Volunteer Examiner and assembled our clubs first VE team. I worked CW on field day and QST published a picture of me, a quadriplegic with paralyzed fingers,working CW in the November 1991 field day issue.
In 1998 my health took a nose dive and I spent the next 7 years in bed with a large sore on my backside, a common ailment to wheelchair users. I couldn't use my equipment in the bed and didn't know if I was ever going to be able to get back up in my chair so I sold all my equipment. My logbook and all my confirmed QSLs were destroyed during my time confined to the bed so if you worked me please email the contact info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can enter it into my log.
In 2005 I had the sore surgically repaired and got back up in my chair. I had no equipment and couldn't afford to finance it as I did before . I started getting the bug again in 2010 and placed ads on qth.com and eham.com expressing my desire to get back on the airwaves on a budget. I got an almost unbelievable response from many generous hams who provided me enough equipment to get back on the airwaves.
On 9-1-2010, I became fully active with a Ten Tec 585S, thanks to Al K9XR, a Bencher key and a dipole for 80 meters up about 30 feet. I am right handed and worked CW with my right hand when active before but when I started practicing in 2010, I discovered that I couldn't send very good so I switched to the left hand and did much better. It was a struggle retraining my brain to send left handed but have mostly conquered doing so but still struggle occasionally. Around November I upgraded to a Kenwood TS-570D, thanks again to Al K9XR, and added 40 and 30 meters to my dipole. I worked 163 countries on the dipoles before putting up a beam.
In 2010 my good friend Richard East, N5IAW, gave me 40' of tower and put it up for me. I became the owner of a K4KIO Hexbeam thanks to Jeff W0XV and many other generous hams. W0XV put the hexbeam together and then Glenn K2FF, Jeff W0XV and Bob K5DWI installed it on my tower. The hexbeam works surprisingly well despite it's odd look and shape and has proven to be a pile-up buster.
I have worked and confirmed over 100 countries on 10-80 metersas of 5/15/2013 and plan on applying forthe 5 band DXCC award. My total country count is now 336. The clublog shown below is missing 15 years of my log which is why it doesn't show my current country total. See you in the pile ups.
March 10, 2013 - I was honored and humbled to be featured in an article by the Pentecostal Evangel, a national publication published by the Assemblies of God. The photo they ran along with a link to the article is on the bottom of this page. Click the photo to see the article.
March 22, 2013 - I received an envelope from the ARRL today but had no idea what it was. Upon opening it, I was SHOCKED to find that I had placed first in the 2012 ARRL DX CW Contest Mississippi Section Single Operator Unlimited High Power section. I don't enter contests to win them but rather to have fun so this was sure a surprise. Photo below.
David / NM5Z