I orignially earned my novice license at 14 (1981) as KA7NNB in Arizona but became inactive very soon after (girls and computers if I remember correctly) and did not renew my license. My interest was rekindled upon relocating to New Jersey. I earned my General class ticket in Nov 2000 as KC2HDB, changed my call to W2RDS and then upgraded to Extra a month later. I am interested in all aspects of the hobby but my main focus is on chasing paper (have earned WAC, WAS, DXCC on multiple bands, and WAZ), contesting, and DXing. I enjoy QSLing and I QSL 100% all cards received direct or via the buro so please send me a card if we worked and I will get one right back to you.
I started contesting the first day I was on HF. My call was issued a couple of days before the start of the 2000 ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB contest. My TS-520 (my dream radio back in my novice days), MFJ antenna tuner, and dummy load arrived that same week (all via ebay). My 20m Dipole and coax arrived Friday and I spent Saturday morning getting the dipole up in my garage (in a sort of 'L' shape). I made 7 Q's before the contest started and I then managed to make about 150 contacts in the contest on 20m (I had no coax switch so attempting to load the 20m dipole on another band would require swaping cables and there was no time for that!). I have been hooked ever since. I operate both SSB and CW contests but my code speed is still lacking to be competetive in that mode.
Currently the station consists of a TS-950SD, TS-570D, a Heathkit HA-10 "Warrior" amp (on loan from K2SMD and not yet operational), a Butternut HF6V vertical and usually there is an A3S Tribander, or a VHF/UHF array up on a AB-577 military tower(see picture below). On VHF/UHF I have a FT-736R with a 2m/70cm vertical, a 5 element 2m beam and a 6m dipole in the attic. Backup radios include the TS-520,and an FT-221 2m all mode. At various times the second radio has been an FT-1000MP Mark V or Icom 756 Pro III (really miss both of those radios but sometimes life happens.).
I am active on APRS, running UI-View32/WinAPRS at home, and a Kenwood D700 in the car, along with a TH-D7G/eTrex for portable operation.
73 and I hope to see you on the air.
Rick - W2RDS
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