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My little 2016 Christmas Key from Morse Express    My Signal Electric R-63 brass Straight Key.

       SKCC Number 13782T Number 12165

I am 56 years old, and have been a ham since 1977.  After serving in the United States Marine Corps for a few years, I joined the Federal Government and spent almost 20 years overseas in the Foreign Service at various locations around the world during a 31 year career.  I am now home and enjoying the opportunity to live and work in the USA once again.

Main gear is an Elecraft suite:  K3/KPA500/KAT500, a Palstar AT2K Tuner, IC-706MKIIG for VHF/UHF, and my beloved FT-817ND when I want to play outside or just go QRP.

I have a K4KIO Hexbeam for 6 through 20 Meters mounted on Rohn 9H50 mast clamped into a 7 foot Glenn Martin roof tower on my back deck.  The mast and Hex are turned with a Yaesu G450 rotator.  The Hex sits at approximately 45 feet at the moment.  I am deeply indebted to Angel, NR3N (formerly KP3SK) who with extreme good humor and a no-quit attitude helped me get this antenna in the air despite a back deck compromised by nearby trees and several other challenges.  Thanks Angel!  The Hex is fairly impressive for what is really a folded 2-element wire beam; I consistenly see at least 2-3 S-units over my other antennas in all directions.

The Hex will have to suffice until I get a tower up after retirement in a few years.  For the low bands I have two ZS6BKW dipoles, one running East/West, the other North/South both at 50 Feet, a 160M Inverted L at 55 Feet, and a 43 Ft. Ground-Mounted vertical over 20 radials.  Given my 800 foot height up on a ridge, even my modest antennas do pretty well.

On receive, I also have a 500 Foot-long East/West beverage terminated towards the west, which is sometimes surprisingly useful in hearing signals even above 40M.

My main love is CW, although I also enjoy voice and the various data modes.  I am a big fan of the art of CW and have great nostalgia for an age when being a telegrapher was a mark of prestige.  I count myself among the few remaining former professional telegraphers, because I used the skill at work both in the Marine Corps and in my early Federal service for more than 10 years.  I was quite sad to see CW pushed aside at the end, but thankfully Amateur Radio keeps that fire burning for this incredible mode.

I am active in several CW groups including CWOps, SKCC, and FISTS, and love CW contests.

Operating awards include DXCC (over 220 countries since returning home and settling in VA, although God only knows what the total would be had I kept score as a teen) WAS, ARRL Centennal Points Challenge Top Level, the Top High Power score in the 2015 VA QSO Party, and operating as W1AW/4 during the ARRL Centennial. 

I live in Virginia, with a very lovely and understanding wife and four wonderful and as lovely daughters.

I have operated from several DX spots. Calls held: KE2FB/DU3, HS0ZCI, XU2FB, XUF2B, LZ/K2PI, ON9CPI, and M0DUO. 

The XUF2B is not a typo; when I went to renew my 2nd year in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian PTT handed me that call, a clear typo on their part.  When I objected, the PTT Minister himself said I could have that call, or none at all.  I relented of course.  Several Stateside hams refused to work me due to that call - calling me a pirate, among other things.  Their loss, since many ended up "not in log".

I am also an avid listener, and enjoy just trying to see what I can dig out of the noise or otherwise decode.  I have decoded space telemetry, orbiting satellite weather images, ADSB aircraft flight telemetry, all types of digital signals, and recently became interested in NDB - Non-Directional Beacon - DXing on Longwave and Differential GPS signals DXing, also on longwave.  There is room enough in the hobby to talk and listen!

My other hobbies are Photography (DSLR's and photo editing), Computers, Fountain Pens, gaming, running, and reading, particularly Science fact, Science fiction, history and biographies, and mathematics.

I have also been playing heavily with SDR, and have a number of RTL TV dongles, a Funcube Pro+, a SDRPlay RSP1 and RSP2, and an Afedri SDR. All a lot of fun, combined with my love of browsing outside the HF bands and remaining situationally aware of propagation, they are very useful and great for experimentation.

For two years as M0DUO I operated low power (5W and below - QRP) only, amassing over 85 countries, with my best contacts a few antipode contacts on CW using only 5W to a backyard 15 foot high dipole.  I fell short of DXCC for a few reasons, work and travel being one (I was away for many weeks each month traveling in Africa) and the fact that the sunspot count was zero almost through the entire period.  What I did do proved to me that QRP is no fluke, and doesn't require the other end to have super antennas to copy me, since I worked many QRP stations using antennas just as poor.

I have been on RTTY since the 70's.  Back when I started on RTTY I used an old Kleinschmidt Korean War era teletype and a homebrew TTU.  I do not miss the days of using a strobe light and tuning fork to get that thing to 45.5 baud, let me tell you!  I am happy that technology marched on, but the old mechanical teletypes were true marvels and probably the height of the electro-mechanical art before they were left behind.

I dabble in Meteor Scatter on 6M, although I am a small pistol with lots of patient people who are much more serious.

2017 will mark my 40th year in Amateur Radio, and every single moment has been wonderful.  This hobby is so rich, both in experience and people.  Thanks for reading this far.

A few pictures below.




My current shack




Taken at Manassas Battlefield, Manassas, Virginia. In the background, the statue of Stonewall Jackson, astride his mount. 

Some of my former QSLs





Why I get up every day:  my beautiful XYL and 3 of our 4 daughters


A recent picture of why I greet every day with profound gratitude.  My XYL of 26 years and wonderful mother of our children.  She lets me put up antennas all over the place, too!

Rachel at the Mic Nycie at the mic

If you worked us recently on Kids Day, these are two of my Daughters/operating companions and future Hams.

13 year old Rachel(L, now 16) and 16 year old Nycie (R, now 19)


Picture of local farm

Haying time at a nearby farm


A Polo game at the local Virginia Gold Cup fields

XYL pumpkin picking

XYL picking pumpkins, Fall 2013


XYL takes family portrait

My XYL takes a family portrait while I take a portrait of her taking the family portrait. Only in English could you say that in so few words and have it make sense!

8390478 Last modified: 2017-10-15 15:51:00, 13283 bytes

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