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CQ CQ CQ de *KI8DU
A little info on my Amateur Radio background: ...Was November 1996 when I first got my Technician License, at the tender age of 42 . This is something I've always wanted to do since I was a kid, though this feat didn't quench my thirst for Ham Radio.
You see, I was introduced to a Ham OP when I was 14. I visited his shack in total amazement, I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. When I walked in he was setting there running code. Even though I had no idea what he was doing or saying, I was in total awl. From that day forward I wanted to learn morse code.
Twenty four years later while working in Waynesville Ohio (on midnight shift) I noticed that a friend of mine had a scanner, I thought. I asked him if I could take a look at it as he replied, "its not a scanner its a Ham Radio". As the night and coming days passed I would always stop and chat with him, asking questions inwhich, most of the answers I didn't grasp. Anyway, I began to experience the same feelings that I had several years prior when I visited the OM's shack. Once again I was bitten by the bug.
Displaying great interest as I did, my friend with the HT said he had already gotten his Tech Plus ticket, so he offered his "cw practice tapes" to me as I didn't hesitate to take him up on his offer.
A couple weeks passed and I was (I think) about half way through the alphabet I guess when I returned to the Waynesville office. Later on that day I ran into my buddy with the HT. We talked and finally he began informing me (if I had heard the latest) that they were going to come out with a new license class called; No Code Tech around 1990 or 1991. After my friend had explained to me what was going on, I began (for some reason) to loose my appetite for ham radio. Don't know... I was just in dismay. Soon afterwards, I gave up learning the code. The tapes I had been given ended up in the center console of my van, getting soda pop spilled on them. Oh well, I was finished with Amateur Radio after all....
Late winter of 1995 my job was exsposing me to many of the airports (rural and "A" sites)in and around the state of Kentucky. So what now ? Yep, I caught the bug to get my Private Pilot License! After a few lessons I decided that I needed a Hand Held Scanner, so I could get wx updates directly from the FAA, before my flying lesson commenced.
Meanwhile, in May of 1996 a slot (job) came open in my home state of West Virginia. After two months of ups and downs, as to whether or not I was actually going to get the transfer or not...I did! We sold the farm and moved back home, with the families. It had been 13 years since I had left.
Finally, we moved into our new house in WV. Life was great. It was like being born again. Anyway back to the story. Well, cold weather had set in and not much was going on with the personal life after working hours, that is. One eveing I decided that I was going to listen to some airport frequencies on my HT scanner. I didn't find much so I started to scan around, and at that point I came across a couple of Hams in qso. I listened for a good long time. That caried over into the next evening so on and so forth. Ocasionally I would run upon a 2 meter net. That "bug" had stricken again....
I became a habitual listener. One night I was listening in to a couple of guys (KG8YW and KC8CBM) when one of them gave out their phone number over the air. They were on simplex just having a grand ole time. A day or two later I called that fellow (KG8YW) and ask him what I needed to do in order to become a ham. (this was early October of 1996)
On November 16th ('96) I received my No Code Tech...Wow, 24 years since I had first heard the term "Ham Radio". Again though, that was not enough. I wanted a CW endorsement.
A total of fourteen months had now passed since first becoming a no-code ham and guess what ? I'm now an Extra Class operator, along with being the Liasion VE for the area. (CVE didn't last long, thats another story) Anyway I had the desire and hunger to learn CW at almost middle age. I love it! I run code all day, during work (cause I drive a lot thru the day) and till late evening most every night at home... this is a great hobby, I don't know what I ever did with myself before hand.
I will do my part to carring on this great piece of American History & Tradition (Morse Code) until the lobbyists destroy it. At that time I'll sell out. Long Live Morse Code !
Without CW, its just "xx".... Seems like thats where its headed, thanks to a few national organizations (to whom I have severed ties with) that I refuse to acknowledge what so ever....