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K9MK USA flag USA

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I am originally from Downers Grove Illinois, just some 20 miles west of Chicago.
I graduated from Downers Grove North HS in 1973 and then went on to College of DuPage (EET).
My Co-Op employer pushed me to stay in school so from there I went on to the University of Illinois in Urbanna Champaign from 1976-1979 for my BSEE.

I worked for Motorola Communications for 33 years in Land Mobile products, Cellular Infrastructure, and Global Operations.  I worked another 4 years with Nokia Networks developiing Remote RF Solutions for 4G Cellular.   Currently I am semi retired working the occasional consulting job, or learning how to be a rancher.

Previous USA calls:  WN9IJV, WB9IJV
DX Calls:  K9MK/VP2A, V2AMK, VP2MKD, ZF2MK
Guest Op from: 4X, 9M2, 9V, BY, DK, G, JA, KH6, OA, PY, SP, VE, & VS6.

I became interested in Ham Radio around the age of 10.  I was gifted some old monument SWL receivers from the late 40's and 50's and used to listen to the world.  In dark rooms, it was easy to get somewhat hypnotized by the warm glow of vaccuum tubes in these old radio's while listening to short and medium wave bands.  I was quickly hooked on listening to these guys called Hams.

In late 1966, my brother Zeke was stationed in Viet Nam. One day he was phoned patched to my Mom and I was allowed to say hi followed by "over". I had no idea then what it took to make that happen, but maybe it was through Barry Goldwaters station. All I knew is I wanted to learn how to do it too. Unbeknown to me my older cousin Danny was a boy scout in the late 1950's and he earned a badge related to ham radio. He let his novice lapse so my uncle saved his gear in storage. For Christmas in 1968 Danny and Uncle Gene gave me his Heathkit AT-1, a National NC-98, and Heath tuner, some coax, a few crystals, wires, books and what not. I got it working but was stalled on a license.

After a couple of years of SWLing my neighbor Bob WA9VNW (SK) introduced himself and became my first Elmer. In just a couple months of studies I nailed my 5 WPM and my Novice ticket in the summer of 1971. Trolling the novice bands I met my second Elmer, Pat WN9DDA (SK) who pushed me on CW and in just a few months together we went down to the Federal building in Chicago where we passed our Generals. Another hand full of months passed and another trip to Chicago I took the Advanced test and passed. Just out of high school I met Bob WB9NDP (W9ZV).  Bob pushed me hard to get my code speed past 20wpm. Sending 20 wpm with a hand key was harder than receiving. After several tries, we both passed our Extra.  From there this passion for Electronics and RF Communications drove me into my electrical engineering career.

Although it seems the number of rag chews seem to have fallen off 10X, I still love to listen to the old timers. 75M or 40M late at night you can still find two people just talking. And the amazing thing is they probably never met each other. Pat WB9DDA used to say, "I reached into the sky and found a friend".  Each time I call CQ or reply to one, that crosses my mind.

For gear I have been blessed with more than I need.  I currently have an Elecraft K3 and a FLEX6700 w/Maestro. For VHF I use an IC-910H with a host of DEMI, Elecraft, and DB6NT transverters (through10 GHz).  HF Amps: Alpha 9500, Alpha PA70V, Quadra, and an ARD-230c. VHF Amps: Henry 3002, and HB KW pallet amps.

Antennas: At the new QTH, simply not enough!  But they is a plan and many are already under construction.

I am a member of the American Radio Relay League (Life Member), North Texas Microwave Society, Lone Star DX Association, and the DFW Contest Group.  I am also a field checker for the ARRL awards program.

I am most proud of the following accomplishments in ham radio was achieving DXCC #1, Winning ARRL DX Contest as DX c ouple times, and winning CQWW MM-Class as DX.  I enjoy VHF contesting and usually place well with most entries.

The biggest pileup I ever heard or busted was 3Y5X on 75M, 3B6CF on 40M, 4W1 or 8Z4 on 20M, YA0RR on 15m, and A51PN on 10M.

The new station will be digital friendly with a basic EME capability. My goal is getting comfortable with the many computer applications that are out there that really make it easier and quicker to meet award objectives than ever before. I think they call this progress.

When I'm not on the radio, you can normally find me in the shop or on a tractor taking care of our ranchette (bailing hay or running cows).  When it rains, I'm in the shop repairing or restoring vinange radios for friends and select cliental.

For fun you may find me relaxing at our Whitefish Montana QTH (DN28TK) where I would like to try EME from there some day real soon.  Or you may find me driving my SSR with the top down, headed to the lake or one of the rivers to do some fishing.

Motto's and catch phrases:  1) Life is too short for QRP, but I respect those that try.  2) You can't QSL without making the QSO, so get on the air and make some noise.  It could be your next friend.  3) Don't fear until you have seen it, don't cry until you felt it, and don't laugh until you have done it.

 

8125780 Last modified: 2017-05-29 19:48:24, 5411 bytes

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