The radio bug started for me at a very early age. I was eleven years old and in the sixth grade. I can remember my father having an old Hallicrafters receiver and a long wire that ran from the house to the garage, and listening to short wave in the evenings with him. At age twelve I became an active SWL and applied for a SWL call through a program The Popular Electronics Magazine had in the mid 1960's. I was given the SWL call sign WPE8HUD.
My first Elmer was my uncle, Don Stettner, K3CPK. He lived in Lancaster, PA, and would come to visit a few times each year. He drove a Buick Special, and had a Clegg 99er mounted inside the car and a three ring halo antenna mounted to a mast that was mounted to the rear bumper. He would let me sit in the front passengers' seat and listen while he worked some of the locals on six meter AM. I thought this was fantastic, and soon started studying for my novice license.
Both my parents were very supportive and encouraged me to work to get my novice license. Since neither knew the Morse code, my mother hooked me up with an old friend of her's named Don Stucky, K8UPG. Don was my second Elmer and spent weeks teaching me the Morse code and worked with me to get me up to 5 wpm, so I could take my novice test. He gave me my novice test, I passed the first time, and was issued the call sign WN8RCN. I was thirteen years old, and in the eight grade.
Next I needed some gear so I bought a Knight Kit T-150A transmitter kit with my allowance and put it together. My uncle Don gave me a National NC-188 receiver, and I put up a dipole and was on the air. I was on the air every day. Back in those days however, the novice license was only good for one year, then expired. So you needed to study for the next license and for me it was the general license. The code came easy, at 13 wpm,the theory hard, and it took me three tries before I finally passed and received my general license and my call was upgraded to WA8RCN.
Once I had my general license, I was set for a long time, and started doing a lot of operating, contesting and DX'ing.Eventually got my advanced license,and then the extra. Kept the same call. Most of my operating was on CW as it is still today.I operate very little phone. I remained active throughout high school and college.While in college at Kent State University I was part of a group of amateurs that started up the KSU ARC under the call sign K8GRA.
After college, I began teaching eight grade American history in a local community.I was also one of the club advisors and started up a radio club for the 8th & 9th grade students, and licensed about 10 junior high students. Many are still licensed and active today. The club call sign was WB8URC. We set up a station in the back of my room, and the students could operate during the day when they had a free period. I would take the club members on field trips a couple of times a yearto places like the Dayton hamfest, the WJW TV studios, and to the Dentron Radio factory. There at Dentron I became very good friends with the owner, and was offered a job. I accepted and was the production manager for Dentron Radio for almost five years.
After my stay at Dentron I moved on to become a program manager at Goodyear Aerospace. There I worked for fifteen years as it changed hands to Loral Defense Systems, and eventually to Lockheed. While working at Lockheed I was asked, by a group of engineers at Telxon, to help start up the manufacturing side of a wireless company.I accepted and the Aironet Wireless Company was born.After three years Cisco System Inc, bought Aironet.. I have been employed as a Supply Chain Program Manager for Cisco for the past fifteen years.
Other hobbies include hunting, fishing, and boating. I am a cross bow deer hunter, and each year start hunting deer in Ohio the last weekend of September through the first weekend in February. I also shotgun and muzzle load hunt for deer.I do a lot of pan fishing in the spring and early summer, mostly catching large amounts of blue gills in Ohio. I have a number of boats for fishing and one for skiing, that I keep docked at a local lake.
I have had a number of radios and antennas during my ham radio career. The most notable antenna was my 4 element quad on a 30 foot boom, I had set up on a Union Metal self supporting pole at 55 feet. The quad was set up for 20-17-15-10, seperate feedlines going into a Drake switch box, and turned by a tailtwister. Perpendicular inside of the quad was a 6 meter beam, 6 elements on a 21 foot boom, and above that a 10 element ,2 meter beam. I actually kept the quad up and working with numerous repairs for 28 years before a huge ice storm destroyed it beyond repair, not to mention the overload on the T2X, and how many times the broke the gears in it.
Currently I have a number or radios. They include : Ten Tec Omni V, Ten Tec Omni VI, ICOM IC-746 PRO, Kenwood TS-850SAT, and an ICOM IC706 MKIIG. I have two MLA 2500 amplifiers, and a MLA 1200, thatI converted over to six meters. I work almost all CW and I'm active on 160-2 meters. I mostly chase DX and operate all the major and minor DX contests.
My antennas are as follows. I still have the Union metal self supporting pole at 50 feet in the back yard. It will take 20 square feet of antenna at a 100 mph wind. On the pole is a Cushcraft X-7 triband beam, for 20-15-10. Above it is the 6 element six meter beam, and above it is my 2 meter beam, 10 elements horizontal and 10 elements vertical. Off the top of the pole is an 80 meter inverted "V", and further back in the back yard is a 1/4 wave vertical for 40 meters with about 75 ground radials.
My ham station is located in the unfinished basement of our two story house.Nothing elaborate or special. I occupy the one corner of the basement with two desks full of radio gear. The set up works well.
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