Adventures in ham radio

Adventures in ham radio

I’ve been a licensed ham radio operator for a long time.  I was first licensed as WN9TCY in Feb. 1976, and the world was mine with a crystal controlled Globe Scout Deluxe transmitter, a Hammarlund receiver of some type, and a dipole. I was 15 years old and living in suburban Madison, Wisconsin.

It took me seven months to upgrade to the General license; the N became a B and I was WB9TCY. Within a year I upgraded to an Advanced licensed that I held until upgrading to the Extra in December 2010. Along with that upgrade came the callsign WW7D.

Two breakthroughs in my early career were a Swan 350 (I still have it) purchased used in Aug. 1977 and a quad antenna rebuilt from donated carcases that had succumbed to a Wisconsin ice storm. I had also acquired a 30 foot crank-up tower and a rotor of some type.

Late in 1978 the log entries became more sporadic as girls, cars, motorcycles, and computers competed for my time. I headed off to college in the fall of 1979, and my logs show long periods of inactivity punctuated by bursts here and there. In 1999, I moved to the Seattle area to take a faculty position at the University of Washington, and it wasn’t until 2010 that I finally had time to think about hamming again.

These days my primary interests are DXing, contests, antenna building, and CW.  I’ve recently taken up roving by airplane during VHF and UHF contests.  After 30 some years, I have finally figured out how to use my Vibroplex bug (it starts with careful adjustment).

My main rigs are a Kenwood TS-480 and a Yaesu FT-857D. Antennas include a home-built broadband hex beam for 20 through 10 meters, a multi-band dipole for 40 through 10 meters and a old 5 band Hygain vertical covering 80 through 10 meters. I use a couple of homebuilt screwdriver antenna for mobile and portable HF contesting.   I’ve also built a bunch of quagis and yagis for VHF contesting.    Recently—like, a week ago, as I write this post— I acquired a 1967 vintage Yaesu FLdx-2000 amplifier.

I’ve been meaning to a ham radio-themed blog for over a year, it’s just taken me awhile.  I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the hobby, and hope I can share some of these joys with others….

Comments on: "Adventures in ham radio" (1)

  1. Hi Darryl,
    Great to meet you yesterday in Fife. Here is the QRZ page for K7LWE. Check out his plane.
    73, Paul K7CW

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