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The name I go by is DOUG.

CFO: #386

SKCC #16280
CWOPS: #1659



~I enjoy receiving and sending QSL cards and will return all requests (USA only Pls).~


UPDATED: 14 January, 2018

A little something I've learned

This interesting hobby has something for everyone. Some hams are designers and builders who understand the intricate innards of these magic black boxes we call "rigs". They are comfortable with myriad buttons and meters and are fluent in the language of electronics. Some like contesting while others chase DX. A lot of operators challenge themselves with QRP operation, communications over great distances using very little power. There are those who design and build equipment and antennas. Many of them do all of the above and I'm sure there are more.

This diverse hobby has something for everybody. 

My favorite "something" is simply CW "rag chewing"; meeting and getting to know others. Making friends. Some may think or believe differently than I do.That's ok.This is some of what I've learned during my years in ham radio. Accepting other's opinions promotes understanding and friendship. While I am no expert in any of Ham Radio's many facets, I have found what I consider makes a good QSO, (IMHO). Listen more, talk less. (difficult at times...) Ask a lot of questions, especially regarding the topics you are discussing. Send at the other's speed. Show interest in the other person. Keep a positive attitude.Take a few notes. Try to keep the conversation interesting. Avoid sensitive topics like Politics and Religion. Before transmitting, always ask "QRL???" Know when to say 73's es CUL. Some QSO's last an hour+, Some only minutes. Don't take it personally.

The QSO's that I remember most are with others who ask questions and who share their knowledge and stories freely in sometimes long transmissions that are (at best) interesting, and (at least) good practice. There are no "Boring" QSO, it's just that some are more interesting to me than others. Kindness and respect are contagious.

I wouldn't trade my radio privileges for anything. I have many friends that I've met on the air. Just some of the traits I see frequently on the CW bands are patience, respect and positive attitudes. Humility. I'm sure there are some "lids" out there but I can't remember hearing any on the CW bands. 

CW is a great mode. Help keep it alive. Use it (or lose it).

Hope to see you soon !!





After a 20 year hiatus I returned to ham radio on March 15th, 2016. Soon after the brown UPS truck delivered my new Icom 7410 from R&L, my brother Robby, KC4ZBD and I had already strung some wire. I was back and I was ready!

A lot had changed since 1996. The rigs are more sophisticated (and complicated) than they were back then. Today I think all new rigs have features like QSK and auto tuning and the overall quality of CW is much better. There are less tube type rigs now and most folks use electronic keyers or PC software for keying. And thanks to solid state VFO's, we seldom hear a "chirp" or a "drifter' any more.

My Icom has it's own antenna tuner, rare 20 years ago. It also has a speech processor which I may never use. The cw filters on the Icom are really "top shelf"!

I was licensed in 1968 while in serving in the USAF at Myrtle Beach AFB. It was there I met my "Elmer", Randy, WB4KZI. And with the patience of Job, he taught me theory and code. Soon I received my Novice call, WN4MYI.

My transmitter was a Knight Kit T-60 that Randy gave me and I found a Hammarlund HQ 170 boat anchor Rx on the cheap. So armed with a dipole, a hand full of crystals, and a Lafayette Radio hand key, I began my radio career.

Later, while stationed at Keesler AFB, Ms., I became WB5HMY (Conditional). After that, I received the call which I have today, WA4LJJ. I logged many hours at the Keesler ARC at K5TYP. I subsequently operated /KL7 from Eielson AFB, Fairbanks, Alaska.

In 1973, I was assigned to an Air Force communications site on Lefkas Island, Greece. There were 29 of us on that 2300 foot mountain top working and living together. I operated as SV0WXX with a simple dipole and a Swan Cygnet 260 xcvr. I entered the CQWWDX (CW) contest and actually won with 24,360 points for Greece. (To be fair, I think I was one of the very few who entered in Greece...) 

My antenna was a simple inverted vee. My rig, a Swan Cygnet 260 and an outboard RF speech processor built for me by Randy. My gear was crude by today's standards but it served me well.

Much of my on air time was listening for Randy. Then one afternoon, the planets lined up and we met on 15 meters. We were both S-7 or S-8. We qsoed for about an hour and tape recordered each other. That was one of the highlight of my tour. 

Looking back on the years I remember so many of the old timers - my mentors. I will always remember the CFO group of which I was a member. Also the Queen Bea Network, with AB5TY.

Bea, and so many others are now SK's.

Some of those old guys (and gals) spoke harshly to me when I ran letters together or interrupted them in a qso. They taught me cw etiquette. Some even encouraged me to put away my Vibroplex Bug. (Seems it had too many dits in it).

Over the years I learned that faster code is not necessarily BETTER code and that "QRQ" is just a relative term.

In 1979, I retired from Military service and was lucky to get a job with the CSX Rail Road with whom I worked for 23.5 years.

My station today consists of my Icom , an inverted vee, an MFJ 451 key board and a newly acquired TP-1 touch paddle - which I love!  Also an Ameritron ALS 600 amplifier with an ATR-20 (manual) antenna tuner. 

Code is the language of the Ham Radio Gods and, as I work to increase my speed, it is an on-going learning experience. Sometimes difficult and painful, but always challenging and rewarding. Ben Franklin said "if it doesn't pain, it doesn't instruct". 

I was instructed by the best.

I'll keep an ear out for you. . . .

Life is good. The beat goes on......













8585050 Last modified: 2018-01-16 16:47:42, 13066 bytes

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