1) How did you get involved in Hamradio and how many years are being a ham now?
I have been a ham for about 15 years.
I first got my ham license when I was doing a lot of hiking, camping and backpacking.
Several of my fellow hikers had ham radio licenses and I could see how useful the VHF FM radios were to us as hikers.
We could keep in touch with members of our group who were going at a different pace.
The leader then always knew how those at the back of the group were doing.
When we were camping, we could use the radios to get weather information.
In case of emergency, we knew that we could call for assistance.
So, I was inspired to study for my license.
2) What attracted you the most in being a hamradio operator?
Shortly after I got my ham radio license for hiking, there was a hurricane that devastated a neighboring island.
I volunteered to assist as a ham radio operator, even though I had very little knowledge of emergency communications.
After helping out in that disaster, I realized how useful that I, as a ham, could be to others.
After this, I became more interested in what ham radio could do and began to gradually upgrade my license.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
I enjoy DXing, mostly SSB and most often on the 20 meter band.
I find that 20 meters is most reliable for me in the evenings, which is when I usually operate.
Occasionally, I also operate PSK 31.
4) What equipment do you use?
Two years ago we moved to a condominium.
So, we have antenna restrictions. That means only a very small, stealth antenna.
My antenna at home is the 22 foot long, metal railing of my balcony, tuned with an SGC SG-237 auto tuner.
It’s not very good now that we are at the bottom of the solar cycle, but it really does work, especially since we
are located on the 22nd floor of our building!
Often I pack up my equipment into my car and operate portable near the edge of the ocean.
I usually use a Yaesu FT-890 transceiver, running 100 watts into a Force 12, Sigma 5 vertical dipole set up on the beach.
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
I hold DXCC for mixed mode, phone and 20 meters.
I have 175 entities confirmed.
Almost all of these contacts have been made with small antennas (verticals and dipoles) and 100 watts of power.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to hamradio so far?
My most memorable time operating was on Palmyra (KH5) as my first experience at DXing.
I was there as a volunteer for The Nature Conservancy.
So, work came first.
However, I had some free time most evenings and was able to get on the radio for a couple of hours.
Operating from a highly sought-after entity, and being a YL operator, meant huge pileups.
For the first time ever, I was on the opposite end of the pileup – trying to keep control of the masses.
It was really unnerving at the beginning, then became fun and exciting.
Finally, I could repay in some small way what other DXers had done for me on their DXpeditions.
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
This may entice a few more people into ham radio.
However, with all of the other communications modes, it is often difficult to interest someone in CW.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with hamradio?
I usually use a comparison with something that they might know and try to indicate how it is similar and how it is different.
Often, I refer to the use of ham radio in disasters (emergency communications).
9) Do you have other hobbies besides Hamradio?
I enjoy hiking, walking, traveling, reading and volunteering with several environmental service groups and with
our local museum.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
Ham radio is a hobby to some, a way of life to others.
Many are passionate about ham radio.
However, no matter how you view it or how you are involved in ham radio, always be courteous and respectful of
others – even if it means not getting that contact you really want!