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K8TMK USA flag USA

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I moved with my family to St. Joseph, Michigan in 1954 and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1963. I attended one year of tech school at Valparaiso Technical Institute, before switching to Lake Michigan College in nearby Benton Harbor, Michigan.

After college, I worked as an assembly technician for V-M Corporation (Voice of Music) for several months before being drafted into the US Army. I spent most of my two years in the army working in data processing at Fort Meade, Maryland. After the army, I began working for Heath Company as a Service Technician in 1970, specializing in audio equipment. In 1974 I was promoted to a technical writer in the Manual Department. I wrote many of the Heathkit amateur radio manuals in addition to manuals in all product lines, except organs and furniture. I most recently worked as a Course Developer for the Heathkit Company (the company's new name). At the end, only the educational product line remained, and they produced courses under the Heathkit Educational Systems name. They also produced some educational courses under private labels. After much urging from the amateur radio community, the company attempted to re-enter the kit business,. Unfortunately, the company closed before it really got off the ground. In addition to my employment with Heath, my mother retired with almost 25 years and my wife left with over 20 years with the company. I eventually retired in 2007, but keep in contact with many current and former employees.

I got my Novice license, KN8TMK, in 1960 and worked my way up to Extra Class. Because my callsign was an original issue, I chose not to change it as I upgraded my license class. My main ham radio operating centers around DX chasing, and I have 354 countries confirmed (only looking for North Korea). After putting up with my hobby for 38 years, my wife Annie finally got her amateur radio license (W8ALK), and even worked her way up to the Extra Class license.

A few Heath Company retirees and myself got together and formed the Heathkit Amateur Radio Group, and we applied for the very appropriate callsign W8KIT. We use this callsign mainly for contests like Field Day.

I also have a General Radiotelephone License, which was previously called a First Class Radiotelephone License.

Besides amateur radio, I have moonlighted as engineer for several area AM and FM radio stations, such as WHFB in Benton Harbor (the most powerful commercial radio station in Southwestern Michigan).

6121145 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:17:10, 2540 bytes

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