First licensed in 1976 at the age of 17, I have long held an interest in radio. My interest in electronics began early; I was playing with elementary circuits (e.g. switch, light and battery) by the time I was 8 years old. Most of my science fair projects in jr high school were electronics circuits of one sort or another that I built at home, and once in a while I managed to build a kit or project from scratch just for fun. I would have built more back then, if my meager budget had allowed. I became an enthusiastic medium wave broadcast listener at the age of about 12 or so. At the age of 13, I branched into SWL, after finding a Zenith Transoceanic receiver at a yard sale. Not long after that, I began wondering about Amateur Radio, but found it a little difficult to know how to approach it until high school, when I got to know Pat Barge, WB5OEB. Pat, about a year older than me, had just earned his license with a little help from local hams, and was willing to pass the favor along. With Pat's pointers about what to study, and how to generally go about being a ham, I was soon on my way. Thanks, Pat!
I started off in college going for my EE degree, but that was back in the late 70's, and 80's, and computers were beginning to happen. I realized that I found computers almost (not quite) as much fun as radio, and the employment future in that field looked brighter, so I switched majors. My focus on computers, and my then wife's objections to Amateur Radio combined to wane my interest for some time.
After years of occasional activity on 2M FM and HF from the Louisiana Tech University club station W5HGT, then a divorce, followed by a new marriage (and now, a third and wonderful marriage), I eventually became eager to rekindle my interest in HF, which has always seemed to me to be the heart and soul of Amateur Radio. This time around, I'm finding that I've developed an appreciation for things that didn't impress me as much in my youth. My interest in building is stronger than ever, and covers the gamut from tubes to digital. I've realized that QRP isn't necessarily a synonym for "toy", and that I enjoy HF more now that I've made an effort to improve my CW skill. Beginning July 2018, I've shifted my focus to digital modes, due to a local S9+ noise floor. My commitment to my family and other duties doesn't leave me as much time as I'd like for radio, but, I'm in this for the rest of my life, this time!
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