Thanks for checking me out. If we've recently made a contact, I'll be glad to send you my card. I love collecting them too.
I decided after 41 years of hamming that I'd go for the final upgrade, so after a couple months of studying I passed the Extra exam in March 2013. Better late than never, as the saying goes. I'm glad finally to have all the priviledges bestowed on Extras, but it all started for me quite a while ago. I was first licensed as a teenager in 1972 as WN0HEG. I took my Novice test on WA0WNV's kitchen table on a cold winter evening in Feb. Then after building my 1st rig (a Heath HW-16) I was on the air, using the max allowed Novice power of 75w (input). A 40m dipole and a couple of rocks (crystals) did a great job from my northern MN QTH of Babbitt. No electronic key for me back then. Just a J-38 straight key (actually, an Ameco K-4).
I upgraded to General in 1974 as WB0HEG. My dad drove me 250 mi to the Minneapolis FCC office so I could take the written and code tests. I distinctly remember the moment when I passed the 13 wpm test. It was the last name called that day. The written test was a bit easier for me than the code was. I couldn't wait to crank the power up to the max (for my HW-16, that was all of 90W).
I kept that call through college, where I received my MSEE degree so I could design communications equipment and systems--what else would I do? I'm still doing that today and it all started with my uncle's donated QST's from the '50s. After college, I moved to San Diego, got married and bought a Kenwood TS-690S and a Cushcraft R-7 vertical. Then in '94, I upgraded to Advanced so I could catch an early gate in the vanity call program. In '97, I became NA6DX. That was about the time we moved to an antenna restricted community, which is where my current QTH resides.
Currently, I'm using a Cobra Lite (73') in attic. It is folded horizontally into a "U" shape to fit in the space. A homebrew 4:1 balun and an LDG 1000Pro tuner allow me to load it up from 3.5 ~ 225 MHz. I'm getting out much better than with the previous long wire up there. My most recent acquisition is an Elecraft KX3 and a Buddipole. I'll be working some digital modes soon, maybe from a remote location.
By the way, I'm still using that same J-38 key from 1972.
I love CW, but am working SSB too. Hope to catch you on the air. 73 es gud DX.
6424586 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:34:40, 2780 bytes
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