1) How did you get involved in Ham-radio and how many years are being a ham now?
My great uncle Vern had a hobby radio and TV repair shop in my grandmother’s basement and I hung out there a
lot when I visited.
I, also, listened to short wave at home on the family’s radio.
My uncle had as part of his electronics course, some sessions about ham radio.
In school, I had a friend who was, also, interested.
His dad took us both to a radio club meeting where they announced a course for novice licenses.
I was first licensed in 1957, taking my exam in July at age 13 and receiving my license right after my 14th
birthday in August.
I have been active throughout these 50 years, with a few spots of low activity due to family and work obligations.
2) What attracted you the most in being a Ham-radio operator?
I think it was the mystery of talking to someone in a new and/or different place that where I was, but also the
friends I could keep in touch with.
The electronics, also, intrigued me and I made a career in it.
3) What is your favorite mode and/or band?
I prefer CW, but I do work SSB occasionally to keep in touch with ‘phone only/mostly friends.
I, also, work some SSB contests.
I have dabbled in RTTY, but not much these days.
I like all the bands, having worked DXCC on all from 160M through 10M.
Each has it’s own challenges, be it antennas, propagation, etc.
4) What equipment do you use?
I have used, at one time or another, most brand, but now favor the Yaesu.
I do not switch radios often and once I find a good receiver(s), I stick with it.
I, currently have an FT-1000MP in Belize, a TS-930S in Indiana (it is going to Belize) and an FT-857D for mobile
and 6 meter at both QTH’s.
I have the ALS-600, AL-1200, AL-82 and ALS-500M (mobile) amplifiers.
I have various antennas at both QTH’s, but I will have mono band antennas on all bands in Belize as soon as I
clear out and sell the Indiana QTH.
I use computer logging, DXBase for record keeping, TR & N1MM for contests.
5) Do you hold DXCC and what is the score?
Yes, with K8JP, I am at 354.
I have not applied for ones from VE, VP5 or V31JP.
6) What has been your most memorable story related to Ham-radio so far?
There are many stories from over the years.
Surprises, like running into a person I had been in the Air Force with 40 years ago, that was not a ham then,
but he over heard me mention what I did in the service.
What are the chances he would be listening there and then when I mentioned that? Or to find out someone shares
a common interest besides ham radio, like fishing or cooking.
I keep in touch with one of my original three Elmer’s over these 50 years, having lost one other to SK two years back.
I guess winning the original Signal One at the Louisville Hamfest in 1969 and events that followed that produced a
lot of stories, like falling asleep at the radio because everyone wanted to talk to someone that had one!
I had the only one on the air at that time. One day an MP4 called me because he heard me mention my CX-7.
7) Do you think CW had it's best time since you don't need it anymore to get a license?
As with anything in life, things a person has to work for, they appreciate it more.
Just about anyone can pick up a microphone and speak.
With CW, you need to learn it, practice it to become proficient and the rewards are of your own accomplishments,
learning CW, then becoming proficient at it.
8) How would you explain our hobby to someone not familiar with Ham-radio?
Sometimes, I compare it to fishing.
There are the casual fisherman, who puts a line out to catch anything at all, many casual hams are like that, not
driven by DX-ing or contesting, just get on to yak with anyone.
Then there are the tournament fishermen who go out to catch as many and as large a fish as specified in the
tournament, like bass, king mackerel, etc.
There are the contest driven hams who get on for the specified time and try to work as many other hams that fit
the criteria of the contest, DX, domestic, band(s) limits, mode(s), etc.
Then there are the trophy hunting fishermen who go after the records of specific fish or any fish. We have the
DXer, who chases stations from a country, or entity, not yet worked.
Then there are hams who enjoy all these and more, including making his own radios, like a fisherman who builds
his own rods and reels, boats, etc.
9) Do you have other hobby's besides Ham-radio?
I have three passions, fishing, ham radio and my wife, Ronnie, and not always in any given order.
I, also, enjoy cooking. Ronnie has two restaurants, but cutting back to one, so when she comes home for dinner,
I usually cook for her and Marty (our 4 year old).
I have 8 children from 43 to 4 years old and a new one on its way in November.
I have 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
10) Any final words to the people reading the interviews?
I believe ham radio is one of the greatest hobbies.
You can meet so many people with such diverse backgrounds and experience; it is hard to not enrich yourself
from such exposure.
Relax and enjoy the hobby and the people in it.
Oh, get the rush of chasing some DX or jumping into a contest, too.
But,.....keep it all in perspective.