Welcome to N2COP:
Bill Morine’s Amateur Radio Page
My alter ego and I
My ham radio journey:
My ham radio story began back in 1963, when there was no school bus service in my hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts. I actually did have to walk to and from junior high and high school. One day, I was walking home with Tommy Hale, who was a couple of years older. He told me he was going to talk that afternoon with his father, who was a merchant mariner at sea. When I asked how that was possible, Tommy said he was a ham radio operator (K1FQY) and invited me to his shack in his attic. There he had a sked with his father somewhere in the Atlantic.
After that, I began listening to AM Broadcast Band DX and hung around with another kid who was into CB. In high school, I earned my Third Class Radiotelephone License with Broadcast Endorsement (element 9) so I could operate the station at the college I was going to attend, Tufts. That station, WTUR, was a closed-loop AM system feeding dormitories, but in 1970 the university opened a 10 watt educational FM station. That’s when I got the technical bug. The summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I took a six- week Novice class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) taught at its Amateur Radio station, W1MX. I took my Novice test in the same room where I had taken my Radiotelephone exam, the FCC office on the 16th floor of the Customs House tower in Boston and was granted the callsign WN1NOP. Today, the Customs House tower building in Boston is a Marriott hotel, and one of the items on my bucket list is to sleep in the room where I passed my two exams.
My first station had as its receiver a Hammarlund HQ-110C (the “C” meant it had the built-in clock). . .
. . .and a Knight-Kit T-60 AM/CW transmitter, also three crystals, an inverted vee antenna fed
with 300 ohm ladder line, and a knife switch to toggle the antenna between transmit and receive.
Back then, a Novice license was non-renewable and good for only two years. College life intervened and my ticket lapsed. But in 1977 I moved to Arlington, Virginia and came back to ham radio, obtaining my Technician license and a new callsign: WD4NZF. That’s when I joined the Arlington Amateur Radio Club. There I met then Roanoke Division Director and later ARRL President Vic Clark, W4KFC (SK), who from that one meeting made a lifelong impression on me as the ham I wanted to emulate. And collecting dues that night was future Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF (SK). Amazingly, I would be working with Dennis in the ARRL Roanoke Division thirty years later.
From Virginia, I moved to New Jersey and was assigned a new callsign: WB2ZHS. I upgraded to General in 1981 and was granted yet another callsign, N2COP, which I kept when I moved to North Carolina in 1992, the FCC requirement of mandatory call district licensing having been eliminated. I obtained my Amateur Extra ticket in 2001.
My most memorable QSO was a recent one with Dr. Joe Taylor, K1JT, on FT8. As a 1993 Nobel laureate in physics in addition to being a major contributor to Amateur Radio in the form of the digital modes he's created for low HF propagation cycles, it was certainly an honor to work him.
I was motivated to become active within the ham radio leadership based on a quote from former ARRL CEO Dave Sumner, K1ZZ. He termed Amateur Radio a “national resource” and a “treasure.” Working with school children and Boy Scouts, and seeing my own two sons become licensed--Reid, W4RSM and Grant, W4GHM--I realized that Amateur Radio is the world’s wireless laboratory and a valuable STEM tool in education. Ham radio is the playground from which our future RF and electrical engineers will come.
I was given my first ARRL appointment 1993 as an ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC) for New Hanover County NC, in which capacity I continue to serve. Five years later, in 1998, I was appointed as an ARRL Public Information Officer and was also elected to President of the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club in Wilmington HC, holding the club presidency for two years. In 2001 I became a charter member of the newly created Carolinas Amateur Radio Emergency Services organization, CARES, which built a four-repeater network on 222 MHz that covers fourteen campuses of nine hospitals in Southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina.
In 2005 I became the ARRL Public Information Coordinator for North Carolina. I was honored to be appointed as a member of the ARRL Public Relations Committee during my tenure as an ARRL PIO and PIC, a period in which we were active in creating the now-famous PR101 training course for the League's Public Information Officers.
I became ARRL Section Manager for North Carolina in 2010; and in 2016, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, selected me to fill the remaining term of Vice-Director of the ARRL-Roanoke Division when current Vice-Director Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, was appointed ARRL-Roanoke Division Director when Dennis Bodson, W4PWF (now SK) retired mid-term.
I was honored to be chosen as the recipient of two awards: In 2001 I was selected as the Philip J. McGan Silver Antenna award winner, and in 2016 I was presented with the Vic Clark ARRL-Roanoke Division Service Award. However, my most satisfying accomplishment in Amateur Radio was perhaps teaching the Radio Merit Badge to almost 2,000 Boy Scouts and helping about 300 of them become licensed. I was on the staff of K2BSA, the Boy Scouts National Jamboree station in 2001 and 2005. My greatest goal in Ham Radio is to remind the general public continually what Amateur Radio is and how it constantly benefits society as a hobby, as a public service in disasters and emergencies, and as a tool in furthering the knowledge of wireless communications.
Other websites that I recommend:
- ARRL - the national association for Amateur Radio™
- ARRL-Roanoke Division - it includes the North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia sections
- NC ARRL - the North Carolina section’s webpages
- N2ZZ - Doctor Jim’s webpage
- Quarter Century Wireless Association - for hams licensed 25 years or more
- Old Old Timer’s Club - for those with 40 or more years in radio communications
- Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club - one of our local Amateur Radio clubs here in Wilmington NC
- Wilmington VHF Association - another of our great local clubs
- Battleship North Carolina - a must-see attraction in Wilmington NC
- Jamboree on the Air - the official Boy Scouts of America ham radio webpage
- K2BSA’s Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge - resources to help get that patch