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I'm a 3rd generation HAM. My first exposure to amateur radio was listening to my father (WA8CZD) doing Dx, including contacts with my grandparents in Florida and listening across the bands during hurricane seasons to track the storms. Although I had a good grasp of electronic theory by my teens, my early attempts to learn CW ended up in frustration, and my dream of getting my license was put on the back burner for several years.

A friend of mine who had obtained his Technician's license rekindled my interest in HAM radio, and I decided to begin my studies again. After a couple of months of re-learning electronics theory, I passed my Technician's test, earning my first callsign, KD8CVM. Flying high on that success, I decided to give CW another try. After another 3 weeks of CW study, I passed both the CW and General class tests. In honor of my grandfather, Ty Huhtala (shown at his station in this 1951 photo), I adopted his callsign, W8AEZ, as my vanity call.

In the summer of 2012, I earned both my Extra class license and became an ARRL Volunteer Examiner. My club affiliations include the Southern Michigan Amateur Radio Society, Calhoun County Skywarn, and the ARRL.

My primary mode of operation is phone. I've also made numerous contacts via Echolink and I've brought it into my classroom to demonstrate amateur radio to my students plus allow them the opportunity to speak with other amateur radio operators (they especially enjoy the contact with foreign stations). Recently, I've renewed my interest in CW and once I've got my courage up, I'll try sending and see if I get a reply!

I've had the good fortune of attending the ARRL Teachers Institutes on Wireless Technology and Remote Sensing and Data Gathering hosted by the Education & Technology. The Institutes' goal is to provide professional development opportunites for U.S. elementary through university teachers along with tools and guidance for incorporating radio science, robotics, and satellite technology in our classrooms. At the July 2014 session, I even had the opportunity to operate one of the studios at W100AW, making several contacts, including one with my uncle, N8ZH! (photo below)


Base station: Icom IC-756ProIII connected to a Buckmaster off-center fed dipole antenna strung from a tree in my backyard, inverted-V.  

Mobile operations: Yaesu FT-857D with a dual-band 2m/70cm Jetstream or Opek HF mobile vertical antenna; Icom ID-51A, and Yaesu VX-6R.

8136233 Last modified: 2017-06-04 01:40:39, 2765 bytes

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