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So, if you are looking me up as we enjoy a contact, you will see that I live in Pownal, VT.  Pownal is the southwestern most town in Vermont.

As many others, I got started in radio as an SWL. In the late 60’s, my father had a Grundig tube radio with shortwave in it. I asked him if it worked and he said that it needed an antenna so we connected a long wire to it and it came to life. One of the first stations that we picked up was Radio Tirana. He showed me on the map where Albania was and I was hooked. In High School, I got my first scanner and CB rig. These held my interest along with listening to music through college. However, for the longest time, my real desire was to become a ham but I convinced myself that I could never learn CW.

I wanted more though, just talking on CB left much to be desired. So, after graduating college, I buckled down and started studying CW. Once I started, I found that it was not difficult at all! I had the whole alphabet down in just a few days! Then, I enrolled in a ham course at Barry Electronics in lower Manhattan, our teacher was Arnie Shiffman, WB2YXB. I passed the code and theory for the Novice license on June 28, 1983 and became KA2STO; I was 25 years old.  It was Arnie who told me that even if you don't want a QSL card, you do it for the other guy; he might need/want it.  I'm sad to note that Arnie Shiffman, the ham who ran our class and administered my novice test has since passed away.

My first station consisted of a Kenwood TS-430S, the matching power supply, automatic antenna tuner, a straight key and a Butternut HF6V antenna (to which I later installed the WARC band kit.) I lived in Manhattan on 100 Street and West End Avenue in a tall building and had full roof rights. My antenna was approximately 200 feet high with a very clear shot going north, east and west. To the south, I had some buildings half a mile away.

Four months later, on October 26, 1983, I got my Technician license and changed my call to N2ESN. I was still doing 100% CW working to get my speed up to the then required 13 WPM.

Three months later, on February 9, 1984, I got my General license and kept the same callsign. The tests were given by the FCC down on Varick Street in Manhattan and upon getting the good news, I ran from the exam clear across Manhattan to Barry Electronics to buy a Kenwood MC-60 microphone; finally I was allowed to use SSB! I also bought a used Kenwood 2 meter HT.

However, I kept on studying and three months later on May 10, 1984 got my Advanced license and changed my call to KD2HC. I started dating my future wife Dalina (who was licensed as N2MIA and now SK) which limited my studying somewhat. I upgraded my rig to an Icom 751, bought a Vibroplex paddle and subsequently ditched the straight key for good. And, I got interested in FM repeaters so I put up verticals for 144, 220 and 440 MHz. I also bought a Wyman ATV transceiver and enjoyed that mode for a few years via an ATV repeater that was on the World Trade Center.

One year later on May 31, 1985, I got my Extra class license and changed my call to NK2U. This is an FCC issued call sign (sequential, before the vanity program came about) but a fantastic one for CW!  I married Dalina in the Philippines in June.

Since then I’ve been through a few more rigs: the Icom 761, 746Pro, 756ProIII and the 7600. I also have a Yaesu FT-900AT that I took to the Philippines and operated with the vanity callsign DU1A. In May of 1990, Dalina, Shepp (our German Shepard) and I moved to North Arlington, NJ. My antennas were a lot lower, but I enjoyed Ham Radio every bit as much as I did when I was first licensed. In July of 2007, we bought a beautiful house in Pownal Vermont (approved by our dog, Kikai) which is a great location for DXing (the noise floor is very low and a lot of trees to hang wire antennas!) The station in Pownal consists of the Icom 7600,  a Heil ICM microphone on a boom with a foot switch and a homebrew G5RV up 55 feet. My primary interests are making friends, DXing, rag chewing and collecting QSLs. I like confirming contacts on QRZ.  When QSLing via mail don't send SASE; if I can afford a rig, I can afford a stamp!

On October 6, 2013, while on vacation in France, our wonderful and loving dog Kikai died. She was 12 and seemed to be in perfect health; she died of a heart attack. On October 21 2013, we adopted a new dog, Kulet (see below) a very, very mushy female German Shephard. As of yet, she shows no inclination in getting licensed...

I finally got 30 meters (9/2/16) in Vermont! I shot up a line (55') into a very tall pine tree, hoisted up the dipole. So far, the home brew antenna with a W2DU balun is working very well and am getting great reports. I have had 30 meters in NY/NJ since I've been licensed so I'm not new to the band. And, having 30 meters is great when the sunspots are low!

On December 1, 2016, my XYL, Dalina N2MIA died.  This was a tremendous loss and great sadness as we were married for 32 wonderful years.

And finally, ham radio is about making friends, not collecting awards or certificates.  I would consider it a big success if I make but one contact a day and friendship developed from that.  I have no interest in receiving and handing out 5/9s. 

2012, In Paris in front of store selling the best cheese in the world!

With Kikai (SK) at breakfast:

Old shack North Arlington, NJ:

Old shack Pownal, VT:

Current shack Pownal, VT:

Our new dog, Kulet:

Kulet and myself at the Apple Barn, Bennington, VT:

8442408 Last modified: 2017-11-09 15:26:51, 8769 bytes

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United States Award#3298
Granted: 2017-08-10 02:35:29   (NK2U)

United States Counties Award#670
Granted: 2016-07-19 13:00:02   (NK2U)

  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
World Continents Award#11202
Granted: 2015-11-17 18:50:02   (NK2U)

  • 17 Meters Mixed
Grid Squared Award#2171
Granted: 2015-02-12 21:00:06   (NK2U)

  • 17 Meters Mixed
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