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N1BUG USA flag USA

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First licensed October 1981 as N1BUG.  I have never held any other callsign.

My operation is 99% CW.  I hated having to learn it to get my license.  I swore at code and swore I would never use it.  But after getting on the air I gravitated toward CW and as the years have gone by my operation has become more and more biased toward it.  If it were not for CW I doubt I would have remained active in radio very long.

Soon after getting on the air I became interested in low band DXing, especially 160 meters.  I was intrigued by what I read about VHF weak signal operating and soon bought a used 2 meter all mode transceiver.  I enjoyed working VHF "DX" on aurora, meteor scatter and the occasional sporadic E opening.  In 1986 I became hooked on EME, and that became almost exclusively my operation until 1994.  In those days EME was the ultimate mode for CW lovers who enjoy a good weak signal challenge!

My operation was largely disrupted from 1995 to 1999 as I moved a few times.  I was mostly on HF and VHF with very limited antennas during that period.

In 1999 I started rebuilding a station, gravitating back to EME immediately.  For a time I was active on 50, 144, 222, and 432 MHz including EME on 144 and 432.

Around 2004 I began to experience a resurgence of my interest in 160 meters.  I put up my first real tower that year.  Not long after that, digital modes largely supplanted CW for EME work and I lost interest.  Digital modes took all the fun out of it for me.  The EME station and most of the VHF stuff was dismantled in 2006.  My second tower went up that year as well. After that I concentrated on 160 and 6 meter DXing until 2015.

In 2015 my focus shifted more toward HF DX.  The antenna farm was reconfigured with 6 meters being downsized and HF upgrades.

Almost taking on a life of its own, I have a passion for following the adventures of and working major DXpeditions, with particular interest in those to the antarctic and southern ocean regions. I wish I could go on an adventure like that!

I recently made DXCC Honor Roll. 332 worked, 331 confirmed, 330 verified as of May 2016.

From time to time I dabble in contesting but don't do it consistently enough to become really proficient.

For the last two years (2015-2016) I have been teaching Technician amateur radio licensing classes for the local club.

Since 1997 I have provided 2 meter repeater service to the Maine Highlands.  I do not operate on VHF/UHF repeaters or Echolink myself.  It is a way of giving something back to my community and to a hobby which I credit with my very survival.

I have also taken an interest in building "period correct" late 1920s radio gear. It is an interesting change of pace.

Building equipment has always been part of my amateur radio experience.  All of my amplifiers over the years have been either homebrew or modified commercial/military surplus.  The present 160-10 meter and 6 meter amplifiers are homebrew, each using one 4CX1500B tube.  They share a common high voltage supply which uses a "pole pig" transformer.  Many station accessories I design and build myself.

If there is one down side to amateur radio it would be QSLing.  I firmly believe in QSLing but for me it turns an otherwise fun hobby into a tedious and stressful job.  I upload 100% of QSOs to LoTW and do the best I can to keep up with direct paper QSLs.  My life and health circumstances differ from the average. Tasks which may be easy for most can be enigmatically challenging for me. QSLing is one of them. I would be more active on the bands if it were not for this.  I rely largely on LoTW for QSO confirmations I need for DXCC and wish more stations would use it.

 

My 1929 TNT Transmitter, built in 2011 using authentic 1920s parts

7352036 Last modified: 2016-06-01 00:00:47, 5135 bytes

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