John Stewart
Shreveport, LA

Amateur Radio Station

Ham Radio Biography

I got started early in amateur radio. I was lucky enough to have several ham friends in high school who served as my "elmers". Roger (WA2BHZ, now KG4ULC), Ed (WA2OAF, now W4OAF), John (WA2IBT-SK), and Lee (WA2UXU, now K2UXU) inspired me to get my license. My friends, along with a supportive family (my father was a Navy Radioman in WW II), helped tremendously. Roger gave me the novice test in 1961 and I became WV2VUL. That call became WA2VUL when I upgraded to General. My first station was a Knight T-50 transmitter and a Hallicrafters S-38E receiver. I couldn't wait to get home from school each day to get on the air. I had lots of fun!

After high school, I went QRT for 13 years, living in apartments in various cities, including Pittsburgh, PA, Madison, WI and Houston, TX. Finally, in 1977, I landed a job in Shreveport, Louisiana and got back on the air. While I lived in an apartment, I worked 20 meters using an indoor dipole. My call was WD5JFY at the time. It was not the best situation, but I was grateful to be back on the air. I worked CW exclusively. After several years, I finally moved into a house and had space for an outdoor antenna. I began with a G5RV and a vertical. I got involved in CW traffic nets and Air Force Mars. It was all fun. I received my present ham call in 1989.

Today I still work mostly CW on 80, 40 and 30 meters. In the past I've used an 80 meter grounded half loop. I'm currently using an IC-7300 and a 205 foot horizontal loop fed with 300 ohm window line.

I'm past treasurer of the Shreveport Amateur Radio Association (SARA). Currently, I serve as the secretary/treasurer of our local chapter (85) of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA).

My wife Ruby is also a ham (KB5VKN).

My most memorable ham experience was having access to the ham station at the Johnson Space Center (W5RRR) in Houston. I had the good fortune to do a sabbatical there in 1991.

I enjoy this hobby as much today as I did in high school, maybe more. I credit my career in science to amateur radio. I've met some extraordinary people in this hobby and made lots of friends.

QCWA       FISTS #9775      SKCC #1154      ARRL Life Member    A-1 Operator

Bug Users Group #8

Tony Bolero key

This is a Tony Baleno (N3ZN) key that I recently purchased. Very, very nice iambic paddle...probably the best I've ever used...thanks Tony!

Vibroplex Original

This is the key I use most. It's a Vibroplex Original that I bought in 2001. I've had some 'pivot' issues, but overall, I like it very much. I included a bit of audio below.

This was recorded by Dan, NI9Y, during our QSO of Oct 26, 2014 on 3552 Khz. Dan is located in Mishawaka, Ind. Thanks Dan!!

TenTec Jupiter

Got this off eBay. One of the best purchases I ever made. It was dirty but fully functional. Needed no parts.


Used this Argosy for about 20 years before I bought the Jupiter. I still like it. It has been slightly modified with a few new caps and new mixer diodes. It still competes well with the newer stuff.

Elecraft K1

The Elecraft K1. This is the four band version with ATU. Wonderful little QRP radio. Definitely worth the time and effort to build!!

Elecraft K3

The Elecraft K3. Got this in Jan of 2015. Fun radio. Great ergonomics.

Johnson Matchbox

The classic Johnson Matchbox. Got this from the Dallas area thanks to W5FRS, Dennis. Great tuner. Built like a tank.

Icom 7300

The Icom 7300 is a fun radio with amazing features and performance for the price. The Icom engineers definitely hit a home run on this one.