Originally from North East Ohio, my wife Lois (W7LJH) and I have retired and moved to Arizona. My station is almost the same as I had in Ohio with the addition of the Flex5k. Most of my operating time is spent in contests or chasing DX. I have 320 confirmed, and 327 worked from both here in Arizona and Ohio. 5BandWAS and two Triple Play awards are "on the wall"! I enjoy just about every aspect of Ham Radio including, RTTY, PSK, JT65 and phone. While not much of a CW op, I try to chase DX and contest a little.
All of this got started when as a kid on his bike with a 2 watt CB walky-talky, I talked to a station in Bayamon Puerto Rico. I soon found myself at the door of my mentor, Chuck Ports W8PWA(sk). Chuck took me under his wing and tried his best to get me to start copying CW... well that just didn't work! As far as I was concerned, CW was all that noise below the phone band. I remember once at Chucks station, he was after this one station... he called and called, after about 15 min. he made contact with the station and gave the mic over to me to say hello. The station we worked was K7UGA in his hotel room just before the acceptance speech for the GOP Presidential nomination. I ran home with the news, only to confront my brother. I said "you'll never guess who I just talked too"! Well my brother was watching the Convention on TV that night. The TV host had said that Goldwater was in his hotel room talking on his "Ham Radio" (my brother also knew I was at Chucks place).... "Goldwater" he said... I was crushed!
After many years of the garbage on CB, I just couldn't take it any longer and signed up for a Novice class at the Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) ARC. Well.... two months later, in 1976, WD8ODD Tech was in the mail. The trip to Detroit to take the test was great! In the years to come, I served as President of the club for 4 years.
In the 90's I had several repeaters in the Akron, Ohio area. Some on packet, one on APRS and 2 on FM. The last one, on 147.135Mhz(+) was a full coverage machine for Akron, Ohio. It had a voter, and plans were to put up 3 remote sites so the area could be covered by handhelds. (The sites were already in hand!) After making a mistake of listing the church radio club that provided my TX site as the "Sponsor" of the repeater, the group at the church pushed me out of the coordination for the repeater. While I was on vacation, the church group, built a repeater from my controller, put it under their call sign, and packed up my link, TX and cabinet. They even had the balls to use my link receiver freq and the audio from the receiver site they couldn't steal for their input.... Words to the wise, if you make it so they must destroy the cabinet to get to your equipment, you have the required evidence for a theft charge! I want too know how they sleep at night? Must be easy with all the praying while "in the act" at the church!
Now that I had all the "public service" desire removed from me, I moved on to DX and Contesting.... and have never looked back. Now if I could only work a P5 !!!
I upload to eQSL and LoTW every two or three days.... Thanks for your QSL via electronic means.... If you need paper, please send SASE! Thanks...