Originally licensed in 1994 at the age of 14. Enjoy CW, QRP and 10m SSB. Currently living in Roanoke, Virginia. I am a born again Christian, and love to share with anyone who wants to hear.
Family, work and other demands necessitated a long hiatus from my radio activities. On a whim for Father's Day 2015 (on the suggestion of my wife) I put a couple of antennas together and got back on the air. In the following 3 months I worked 87 countries and logged nearly 400 QSO's. 95% of my operating is CW and largely on 30 & 17m.
Put my first SOTA expedition in the books on October 6th 2015. Thanks to all the rabid chasers it was a huge success and There will be many more to come I'm sure.
Main staition is my trusty Kenwood TS-430s with dipoles. 100w and a wire is all I ever cared to do. I have built numerous QRP rigs. Recently a few of them have actuall worked. The first addition to the shack in many years was a second hand YOUKITS HB1B and it won't be going away. I use it more than the Kenwood & it is my go to for portable ops.
Addendum February 2016...
After doing a radio demo for a friend and getting him on track to get his license I got the urge to make the final upgrade to Extra. Not quite sure why it took this many years, but on February 21st 2016 I went to a testing session with my elmeree and took the leap. I actually passed the exam. I must admit to feeling a bit cheated out of passing my 25wpm CW element (which I NOW could do without trouble). My only advice to someone in my situation is it IS doable and you, like me could be holding a shiny new Extra ticket with a couple of weeks of hard studying and no sleep! I set a few reasonable goals in the hobby since getting back on the air 7 months ago. Upgrading was not one of them, but 7 months later I know have built several working QRP rigs (goal 1), made just shy of 800 CW QSO's (goal 1000 before Father's Day 2016), Worked 130+ DXCC countries (an ever moving target goal that started at 100 DXCC countries in the first year), conducted multiple SOTA expeditions (goal of one or two time permitting), Started collecting SKCC and acheived Centurioun Award status (late goal), AND upgraded to Extra (never in my wildest dreams). What a great hobby!
One of my other great passions...bird hunting. Pictured is a very tired (albeit dirty) 2 year old English Setter (Gus) with a very proud trainer/hunting partner.
A memorable point...look closely and you'll see a quail in the brushpile in front of Gus just before the covey erupts.
April 26,2016...the saga continues
After swearing for years that I would never change my call (in fact I probably owe the VE at my Extra testing session an apology for the rather abrupt "NO WAY" when asked if I wanted a new call) I was bitten by the vanity bug. Being primarily a CW op a shorter call is always good, 2x1's (my preferece if you were asking me) and 1x2's have the "Extra class cool factor" but I have worked thousands of stations with my trusty N2WZP call and I never immagined wanting to change. UNLESS...well ok maybe if I could get a 2x1 with the Z (more cool factor somehow) and retain the 2 from my original call (4's are harder for me in CW for some reason). After scouring the database I discovered a great call would be becoming available in April of this year and I decided to go for it. After tons of bad advice, countless hours scouring forums and the web, I decoded the process for a vanity call (OK it's not that hard, but there is definitely some air of mystery around the whole thing). After waking at an ungodly hour of the nite to submit my app (after the FCC site was closed until wee hrs of the morning for maintenance...long story) I checked to see my name was only one of 14 on the list for the call...two days later 20!!! This might have been more nerve wracking than any of the tests I'd taken to date. I have to admit,..I really had my hopes up. When I woke up this morning I had the email in my inbox stating that Greg Van Scott...yours truly was now the proud owner of the greatest callsign ever issued by the FCC....WZ2N (due to the "ZED" you dont even need phonetics really, the CW weight is unbelievably great AND it's a combo of my previous call). What else could you ask for? My apologies to the others that had their dreams dashed....there's lots of other fish in the sea (sorry I felt the need for a trite turn of phrase) and for what it's worth as stupid as it sounds it really does mean something to me to retain some of my old call but still have a 2x1.
The last couple of years have been about rediscovery and improvement of my understanding of some different aspects of the hobby. Since the upgrade to Extra I have really gotten into some of the things that stumped me on the exam...Digital modes and satellites. I always wanted to try satellites and just never quite got around to it. After a little research and a little engineering of my equipment, I made some QSOs and really liked it...not as hard as I thought! Digital modes were another story. Most of the questions I missed on my licensing exams were related to digital modes. I had to memorize because, let's face it...Digital isn't real radio...right? WRONG. I decided after being run off 40m by a RTTY contest that it might be fun to hear what was being said in the diddly diddlys. A little research and a little engineering and I was off. It turns out that with digital modes I can not only copy but work stations I can't even hear with my ear. I decided to make my unoffical goal in the next year to be 1000 digital QSOs (as I did with CW last year). I am nearly there only 6 months in. I would encourage anyone to try something new even you never imagined liking it. As evidenced by a recent RTTY contest where I worked 3 seperate stations with ops in excess of 100 yrs old...It can be learned even by a stubborn old CW purist like me! Digital modes have even opened up another option I never imagined...Meteor Scatter and Moonbounce...that's right you don't need the budget and resources of a small industrialized country any more to make it happen...even have some Q's in my log to prove it!
The learning never stops. I have been working slowly towards the crowning acheivement of my amateur career...EME. After using strictly wire antennas basically since I got my ticket I decided a yagi for the magic band was in order. I studied designs and material suppliers and finally opted to build a LFA 5el yagi for my first attempt. After having so much fun in the Sporadic E season last year I started playing with MSK and meteor scatter. With some success, I decided more gain was only going to help and build the new antenna. Next on the workbench...a long 2m yagi so I can try my hand at a little EME. Addictive stuff!
7981107 Last modified: 2017-03-21 12:46:56, 7954 bytes
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