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Although my given name is Jackie, I go by Jack. Jackie was cute when I was a toddler but not so cute now. Recently, I received an "88" on JT9, so I figured it was time to make a note on QRZ.

While teaching and living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, I met my Elmer and lifelong friend, Terry, WA0BHT. With Terry’s diligence, patience, and guidance, I successfully passed the “Novice” test and was issued WN0KXH in 1973. At that time the “N” in my call sign signified that I had a novice license.

My first station was a Heathkit HW-16 CW transceiver with matching HG-10B VFO, which I built while studying for my novice test. During that first year as a novice, my quest was to earn WAS. Unfortunately, I only confirmed 48 states, missing both Alaska and Vermont.  

During the spring of 1974, I traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota and successfully passed the general class license at an FCC testing office. That was long before the VEC program came into being. Also, there was no such thing as the internet or instant upgrades, so I had to wait for my official license, WB0KXH, to arrive through the mail. As I remember, it took about 6 weeks for it to arrive.

During the summer of 1974, we moved to Cokeville, Wyoming where I was hired as a sixth grade teacher, assistant football coach, and head wrestling coach. I soon applied for a 7th area call sign and was granted WA7ZZY in October of 1974.

During the summer of 1985 I upgraded to both the advanced and extra class licenses. Yes, I am proud to be a “Know code extra class licensee.” I believe this was the second year for the VEC program, so it made it easier to take the FCC exams. Shortly after my new extra class ticket arrived, I became a Volunteer Examiner and am currently a member of the Capital City VE Team here in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I changed my call sign to WV7G in November of 1988. During the fall of 1996, the FCC began issuing vanity calls, so I applied for and was granted N7MJ in November of 1996. I really wanted a 1 X 2 call sign with the suffix “JM,” but none was available in the 7th call area. I jokingly say that I was dyslexic and reversed the letters on my application for the vanity call. And yes, I am a child of the 60’s and know fully well what MJ stood for during that era. Trust me, that reference had no bearing on my choice for a new call sign.

My greatest thrill as a ham was when my youngest son, Chad, WA7ZZY, and my oldest son, Dan, KE7YUM, surprised me by getting their licenses.

The XYL and I retired at the end of the 2010 school year after a combined 78 years teaching school, which allows me to play radio more often as long as she doesn’t have anything more pressing on my “honey do” list. I really enjoy the digital modes, especially JT65 and JT9. I also operate phone and CW. I’ve started to operate some RTTY.

I recently received the Triple Play Award #1085, mainly because of the cooperative folks on the K3UK Sked Page. (http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.php?board=lotw) It’s a great place to find that rare state and/or DX station. If you need a Wyoming contact, I check into the board often. I also respond to emails.

My station consists of a Kenwood TS 2000, a Kenwood TL 922 amplifier (adds a little more fire in the wire when needed), and a Kenwood TM D710. I also have a TM D710 in my 2010 Nissan Frontier pickup, which is on APRS as N7MJ-9.

My antenna for 6M through 20M is a 3 element SteppIR at 40 feet, which I call “Big Bertha.” You can see a picture of it at the top of this page. I also have dipoles for 40M, 75M, & 30M. 





8292430 Last modified: 2017-08-25 03:50:57, 4401 bytes

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