My interest in amateur radio was inspired by my first cousin Scott, WB4FNN. He had his extra class well before I became a ham. I became an amateur radio operator by passing my Novice Class test in 1975 while I was attending Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina while I was majoring in Electronics Engineering Technology. I upgraded to Technician Class and then to General Class during my senior year. I passed my Advanced Class just a few days after I graduated in 1976. I got my GROL (then a First or Second Class Commercial Radiotelephone operator’s license). I also passed the exam for my ship’s radar endorsement.
Later, I upgraded to Extra Class. That was in 1990. During my time in New Mexico, I tested for and passed my GMDSS Operator’s / Maintainer’s license and my Radiotelegraph Operator’s license.
My Elmer was Ron, WB4VZN. He started my ham career when he administered my novice and later my technician class tests. He was a great source of information and was very talented at repairing radio equipment.
40 meter CW was my primary mode while I was a novice. I used a Heathkit DX-60A and a Hammarlund HQ-110A. Then I operated SSB on various HF bands. I dabbled in packet radio for a while. But the bulk of my operating has been on VHF and UHF. I occasionally use Echolink.
During my amateur career, I served one year as a board member and then later as the vice president of the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club in Montgomery County, Maryland for one year. While I was living in New Mexico, I served a year as treasurer of the Mesilla Valley Radio Club. I currently am serving on the board of directors of the Superstition Amateur Radio Club in Mesa, Arizona.
I currently only operate on two meters and [occasionally] 440 Mhz. Apartment living doesn’t foster much opportunity for operating on 80 through 10 meters.
Amateur radio has been an integral part of my life. I have made many friends through the hobby over my now forty-six year radio career.