Amateur Radio

Overview

This section's pages go into various aspects surrounding my ham radio interests and activities.

  • Station - Summary and pictures of my current station along with pictures from previous stations

  • Organizations - Amateur radio organizations that I am currently a member of, or those in the past

  • Licenses - highlights of the licenses held since becoming a ham

  • QSL Cards - QSL cards of mine from over the years

  • License/Number Plates - license plates of mine from over the years

  • Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - A significant work of mine going through "how to" configure and integrate a Macintosh (Mac)-based system for digital operation using primarily MacLoggerDX (MLDX), fldigi, and WSJT-X.

QSLs

As of right now, I only QSL via Logbook of the World (LoTW) and direct. As for direct, if you send me a QSL card or want a QSL card, then I will respond with mine. The point is not going to worrying about the postage to get a QSL card to you - just let me know.

QRZ Page

My QRZ page is at https://www.qrz.com/db/WR5E.

Background

There has been an active interest in radio since being a little guy listening to shortwave broadcasters on what seemed to be huge console radio in my grandfather’s living room in the late 50s and early 60s – shortwave was just magic then, and still is – just wishing there was more of it like there used to be. That interest in radio persists with antennas, propagation, RF, analog and digital electronics, and operating skills and proficiency. That fascination with electronics carried over to my military service, education, and career.

I "froze" on my first CW contact attempt as a Novice. Alone and quite scared that someone was actually answering my probably quite rough CQ, I turned off that first radio, a used Henry Tempo One, and walked away probably with fear. It was not until living and working in Texas several years later renewing interest with ham radio through new friends at my new work after graduating, getting my Technician license, and then buying the recently introduced Icom IC-735. I finally made my first CW QSO with N5IGE on 06SEP85. Getting into CW, I started to enjoy CW, enjoying it enough to get my Extra (still 20WPM then) in SEP86. Since that time, and with the years now turned into decades, being on CW has been lost. Somehow, with SSB and the digital modes, family, a master’s degree, and work with a lot of business travel thwarted being able to "hear" CW after so many years. The lingering to get back on CW persists though. And it will happen quite soon too. It has now been 30+ years since last being on CW.

After finally completing my bachelor's degree in Texas, I took a position in 1983 with a defense contractor in the Dallas, TX area designing Special Test Equipment (STE) for airborne EW systems. I studied and then tested at one of the then new Volunteer Examminer (VE) conducted test sessions with a few co-workers resulting in getting my Technician license, N5HPF. That soon led to getting my Advanced license retaining the N5HPF call. Then in the late Spring of 1986, I noticed from the past handful of QST issues projecting that the 5th call area was going to run out of the 2x1 Extra call signs probably within the next 6 or so months. That was “the driver” for getting my Extra 2x1 call. I tested soon after receiving my current WR5E call from the FCC on 01OCT86.

I was also VK8JJ from APR90 to DEC04 when living and working in Alice Springs, Northern Territory (NT), Australia. It was great being DX along with having a sought-after prefix (as there were not many VK8s, then, and now). I was a regular on the Southern Cross DX and the Family Hour nets in the early '90s. Operating during the peak of Cycle 22 was awesome.

I became an ARRL VEC Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) VE beginning 01APR91 for the overseas VE group that we had in Alice Springs, NT, Australia (which had the only VE test sessions being conducted in Oceania), then becoming the liaison and lead for the VE group from '99 until departing Australia in late '04. I remain current as an ARRL VE. I have been a VE at the Dayton Hamvention for 3 years (in 2012, 2013, and 2015) after signing-on with the Laurel VEC. Due to work, family matters, and moving, I was not able to contribute to the Dayton VE test session group in 2014 and then for 2016 - 2019. I reactivated with the Dayton Hamvention test session group for the 2020 Dayton Hamvention, then being notified in late FEB20 that 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis with our help being deferred to 2021. Now, and once again, the 2021 Dayton Hamvention has been cancelled, So, I am looking forward to augmenting the VE test session group at the 2022 Dayton Hamvention.

There has not been one Elmer helping me progress within Amateur Radio over the years. It really has been the friends made over a long time – them helping me and with me helping them – we taught each other, we learned from each other, and helped each other in times of need. I really do miss those times and friends now, many of the friends now SKs, and those in other locations that I happened to move away from (due to my career).

Three of my four children, all young adults now, are licensed as well: Nathaniel, KD5OCU; Alexander, not licensed; Kristofer, KJ4KGA, and Zoe, KK4CFX.