Hello and thanks for visiting my QRZ.com page!
I've been a ham for over 30 years now and enjoy the hobby immensely. I enjoy receiving QSL cards and will respond to any that I receive, you do not need to send me an SASE if requesting my card.
I started out as a SWL & broadcast band DXer using first an old Realistic portable Astronaut 4 my dad got me in 1975, then an old Realistic DX-160 and later a Yaesu FRG-7 I bought with money from mowing lawns, and I still have all of those radios. Then with my dad's encouragement I got into ham radio, which led me into my career of electrical engineering in the aerospace field, a career I've enjoyed very much. (Thanks Dad!) I was originally licensed as KA9JRI in my home town of Marion, Indiana in 1980, then got my Extra Class 11 years later while living in St. Louis (my current call is a vanity I picked up around 1999).
I am now working as a electrical/computer engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at Naval Air Station China Lake out in the California high desert just west of Death Valley, where I've been working on ship defense missiles, F-18 aircraft mission planning systems, and most recently a video game used to train infantry troops how to detect IEDs. Most of my adult life I have worked at R&D military bases and large defense contractors, I find it rewarding to support our military and our troops actively through the work we do at these places.
Ham radio has led me to some interesting experiences, including getting to operate Collins Radio's (Rockwell Collins) huge "Comm Central" HF MARS station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the early 1990s where I ran phone patches between troops overseas and their families stateside. With all that power and antenna selections at my fingertips (all computer controlled) it was the ultimate "armchair" copy, and a truly rewarding thing to do bringing the families together to talk like that. I could even choose a separate transmitting or receiving station in three different areas thousands of miles apart across the continental U.S.to get the optimal separate transmit and receive beam paths (and yes, they can often be different when you consider lightning noise and such).
In mid 2011 I was seriously bitten by the DXing bug for the first time, always being a rag chewer before. Unfortunately at that time I had just moved to a rental house on a small city lot with neighbors close by on each side. So I put up a very short (30 feet long) heavily loaded inverted vee dipole for 40M through 10M and an 80M end fed half wave strung low around the lot for 160M and 80M, I only run 100 watts or less from my Kenwood TS-870s. So it is a pretty small station with an ERP probably well below 100 watts, but as I don't want to annoy the neighbors, I keep the power and antennas low key. But so far I've been able to work over 130 countries on CW and phone as well as all states since August 2011 and just received my first ARRL DXCC award. My wife had never known a ham before we met, and thinks I am insane. :-)
I also have an old TS-830S my dad got me in 1980 that is still going strong with all original tubes, a Heathkit HW-101, a NORCAL 40A, and have recently bought a new TS-590S on blowout that I intend to use on 6M which will be a new band for me.
Although I have the DX disease now I still enjoy rag chewing, on both phone and CW. If you're reading this I hope we've either just had a QSO, or will soon!
Ridgecrest, California USA "The Gateway to Death Valley"
That is me on the far left with my huge old Gold Wing Aspencade and some motorcycle riding buddies on a lookout point on a dune 300 feet above Lake Michigan just north of the town of Arcadia, Michigan on the west coast of the truly gorgeous Leelanau Peninsula. (Arcadia is the home of the first licensed woman pilot in the USA licensed in 1911, and she was first woman to fly across the English Channel). I hope to retire in that area where I dream of building a big low-band station overlooking the water.
My XYL Sharon posing on a rock next to the Kern River just west of where we live, we've been together since 2000:
My XYL with her older but very stout running Corvette on North Muskegon's "Scenic Drive" with Lake Michigan behind here. This is just a mile or two south of where W1AW/8 operated at the Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council's club shack recently:
Me on the Santa Barbara pier letting out a huge sigh of relief after discovering I had not dropped my motorcycle's key through the boardwalk into the ocean.
6155123 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:19:42, 5401 bytes
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