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VE6DV Canada flag Canada

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Ham Member Lookups: 12432

 

Thanks for looking me up on QRZ. I've been licensed and active in amateur radio since 1988. My amateur radio interests include chasing DX, contesting, the digital modes such as D-STAR, JT65 and JT9, helping people to become licensed themselves, community service and weather spotting.

I became interested in amateur radio at a young age, probably 7 or 8 when I was introduced to my brothers future father in law. We were visiting Mountain City TN the day before my brothers wedding when we stopped in to meet his new inlaws. After finding out he was a ham (his call sign was W4VFL, now SK), he took us to his shack to show us the radio equipment. I was hooked. They had to drag me out of the shack but I continued to ask questions about amateur radio while we were having dinner. 

A few months later when my brother came back to Michigan for a visit, he told me that Doc had something for me. It turned out to be a Hammarlund HQ-140-X receiver with the HC-10 converter. He also sent a tape that he created to help me learn CW. I worked on learning CW for a while but became distracted as most people of that age do. But I continued to use that radio daily. 

Eventually I met someone that went to my parents church that was also a ham. We would talk on the phone from time to time and he would tell me about ham radio. His name was Robert Nordquist and his call was N8AGZ (Now also SK). I didn't know him for long as he eventually moved away after he retired. But he still made an impression on me by rekindling my interest in amateur radio. But once again, I became distracted and moved onto other things. 

Finally while working at an electronics supply store I met a man named Doug. His call was N8IQT. This time the mild interest in amateur radio stuck in a big way. He gave me a few tapes from the Gordon West Radio School that I would listen to while driving back and forth to work. In a few weeks I had learned what I needed so Doug arranged for a friend of his to give me my exam. I was a little nervous as most people are, but I quickly got into the process and found it to be very enjoyable.

Originally he was going to have me write down what he was sending but I explained to him how I learned CW by copying it in my head driving back and forth to work. So he said no problem, just call out the letters as he was sending. His sending was slow and steady so it was easy to copy. After a few minutes he started to laugh so I asked him if I was messing up that badly. He said no, I was actually doing much better than he had expected. He said he was slowly increasing his sending speed and I was still getting 100 percent copy at around 8 words per minute. So we ended up moving to the theory part of the exam. I ended up passing that easily as well. He shook my hand, filled out the paperwork and told me he would drop my application in the mail. 

Back then we had to wait until my license came in the mail before we could get on the air. It was the longest wait of my life but it finally arrived. I ended up ordering my first portable, a Yaesu FT-209RH (at the time a novice class license had voice privileges on 220). Once it arrived I very nervously found the closest repeater and after a while was able to summon enough courage to key the mic. After a moment a gentleman named Tim, KC8HR came back to my call and we had a brief conversation. It was the most frightening but also the most fulfilling experience that I will never forget. 

I eventually worked my way from Novice to Technician, General (with the 13 wpm cw exam), Advanced and finally Extra (with 20 wpm exam). The extra gave me a little grief, especially when I found out I was studying an old manual. I missed the test by 2 questions. On my way home I purchased the current manual and then a few weeks later went back and passed. 

After moving to Canada to be with Lana (my XYL) I continued to operate since US licensed amateurs can operate here. However eventually my license expired. I couldn't renew since I no longer had an address in the States but a friend encouraged me to take the Canadian amateur radio exam. I studied for a few weeks and then he arranged for me to take the test. I found it to be fairly easy and walked away with my Basic with Honours. This gave me full amateur privileges that I had with my extra from the States with only a few restrictions. I operated like that for a few years but finally decided to go for the top Canadian license, the Advanced. So back to the books and after a few weeks I took and passed that exam as well. Now I can operate high power (here in Canada we can transmit with 2250 watts PEP), own a repeater, etc. 

Now, quite a few years later amateur radio is still my primary hobby. I am most active on the HF digital modes after being introduced to JT65 and JT9 by a friend of mine. I am also an avid contester and chaser of DX. I am also very active on DSTAR. There is something about being able to have a conversation with a person anywhere on the globe with perfect clarity that I find very enjoyable. I currently use D-STAR only on VHF or UHF but hope to be able to explore the mode on HF one day. If you are on DSTAR you can usually find me on reflector XRF002A.

If you would like confirmation of our contact I only confirm via eQSL or Logbook Of The World. While I do enjoy seeing the various QSL cards that are sent through the mail, I don't have printed cards but prefer to confirm contacts electronically. It is much faster and much less expensive than traditional QSL cards. 

Interests outside of amateur radio include photography, astronomy, military aircraft, aquarium fish keeping (especially freshwater stingrays), martial arts, etc.

Whoever said apartment living and HF can't coexist has never used a magnetic loop antenna. I currently use an MFJ-1788 on my 16th floor balcony. The antenna covers 40 through 15 meters and is mounted on a tripod about 160 feet above the ground. It works much better than one would think and is well worth the investment. 

73 and stay safe,

Jeff VE6DV

 

8164932 Last modified: 2017-06-17 16:21:39, 6253 bytes

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