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My interest in radio began in the early 1960s by tuning around the AM broadcast band late at night. Eventually my father and I assembled an Allied Radio Knight Kit Star Roamer receiver and I immediately became fascinated with shortwave. Radio Moscow, Radio Peking and Radio Havana were constantly blasting out their anti-American "Yankee Imperialist" propaganda which was truly amazing to hear. During that time I sent away for a Popular Electronics magazine "Short-wave Monitor" certificate which arrived with the identifier, WPE9IGS. I still have it hanging on the wall of my shack. I also discovered the amateur radio bands marked on the face of my Star Roamer so I started listening to them too. Around 1964 many of my school friends and I became interested in CB radios so I built a Knight Kit C-22. My father sent in the FCC license application and we were assigned KLK-1543. My friends and I had a lot of fun using those radios. In fact, I still use one today whenever we go on a road trip. Some old habits are just too difficult to break.

In late 1967 as a high school student, I took my Novice test and received the call WN9WNQ. My first station was a Knight Kit R-100A receiver and T-150 transmitter with dipoles for 80, 40 and 15 meters. After about 6 months I passed my General at the Chicago FCC office and my call changed to WA9WNQ which I kept when I passed the Advanced in 1976. Then in 1981, I finally got around to taking the 20 WPM Extra during a lunch break from work and received KK9H. From the very beginning, DX chasing has been a favorite pursuit of mine. I am currently on the DXCC Honor Roll and I have DXCC on CW, Phone and RTTY modes as well as on each band from 80 to 10 meters. I am currently about 3/4 done on 160. I also have WAS, WAZ and 6M VUCC. I am active with two great local clubs, the North Shore Radio Club which I am also the club license trustee and the Northern Illinois DX Association who sponsors the annual W9DXCC Convention in September. I also have member numbers for Ten-Ten International, SKCC, CWops, GERITOL and QCWA.

My HF station is an Icom IC-7800 and IC-PW1 with a 130 ft. inverted-L at 50 ft. fed by a Drake MN2700 and a HyGain AV-640 vertical at 15 ft. I also have an Elecraft K3 used primarily as a portable and backup rig. When at home it is used to monitor 28.400 or 50.125 connected to a 10M vertical 1/2 wave end fed and a 6M halo. If you work me on Washington Island, WI (EN65) in late July, the K3 is connected to a LNR Quad Band end fed and a 6M dipole at 40 ft. When a touch of nostalgia hits, I fire up a homebrew 30 watt 6BQ6 novice CW transmitter and Collins 75A-4 receiver. For local VHF/UHF operation I use an Icom ID-880H for FM and D-Star and a Yaesu FTM-3200DR for System Fusion. I also keep a Kenwood TM-V71A packed in a bag ready to go volunteer events. Lately, I have been active with the new FT-8. I find it to be a very interesting and cleverly designed mode.

I am married and we have two adult children. I graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 1974 with a BA in Math and Economics and then from Vanderbilt University in 1976 with an MBA. Professionally, I am a financial advisor with the U.S. wealth management division of a North American bank and I also volunteer my time with FINRA as a securities industry dispute arbitrator. In 1997 I was elected Village President (mayor) of my home town, Northfield, and I served for two terms totalling eight years. Having grown up and lived there for most of my life made that experience both interesting and rewarding. Northfield is a relatively small Chicago suburb with a population of just under 5400 located about 17 miles north of downtown. I am currently still involved in local government by serving as a trustee of the Northfield Police Pension Fund. My other interests include golf, fishing, travel and Chicago Blackhawks ice hockey.

73, Don

 

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