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Dave Gregor (N0CMC)
August 20 2010
I got started with Ham radio when I was 19 thanks to Dave in 1979. We were ironworkers working at Spiritwood malting plant in North Dakota. We were sitting in the shack one morning shortly after I started working as an Ironworker. I noticed on his lunchbox his callsign and asked him what that meant.
He explained he was a ham. We got to talking and since we were rained out that day I followed him to his house where he showed me his gear. Upon departure he gave me a recipe card that was a schematic of an FM microphone that transmitted and could be tuned in on a typical consumer FM radio. After 20 bucks at radio shack and an afternoon of soldering I successfully managed to get this darn thing to work. From there I was hooked and started to realize my love for electronics. I became a novice over the next few months learning morse code.
Once I got my ticket I started to purchase Dave's old gear and also various components at local ham fests. Several years later Dave and I commuted to St. Paul, MN FCC headquarters where I took my general class exam and he took his radio telephone exam.
We both passed. At another time we rented a trailer in western North Dakota as we were both working on the coal fired power houses out there. While at the trailer we both had our gear setup including a model 15 teletype that shook the trailer when in action.
As time went on he moved from near Fargo, ND to Minneapolis and I relocated to Hartford, CT area.
I hurt my back working iron in 1991 so took a leap and went to electronics trade school for 1 year landing a job in a TV shop. I continued my education going to night school and in 1998 received my associates in EE. The day after receiving my sheepskin I went over to a local TV station and applied for broadcast engineer job. Secured successfully where I've worked my way to now Director of Broadcast Engineering. Over the last 12 years I've spent a great deal of time at transmitter, actually installed and cared for 9 different rigs throughout the digital transition, we are 2 stations actually.
Ya see, Dave wanted to work on transmitters, that is why he got his radio telephone ticket as he was dabbling with TV transmitters with another local ham in Fargo that had a day job caring for transmitters.
In the end it didn't work out for Dave as he was a welder and truck fabricator in Minneapolis but in a way he was successful in nurturing my interest into a very successful Chief Engineer. If not for Dave's coaching over the years via landline and 20 meter phone and packet I likely would not be where I am today.
Currently I've sparked up the radios, a few weeks ago I was debating whether to get a D-Star or APRS VX-8DR handheld I gave him a call to see what he thought and to my dissapointment his xyl answered and stated that he was at the hospital with not much time left.
I've gotten the cobwebs off my gear but wish I could work Dave on HF but I'm afraid I can no longer. Will miss our conversations dearly!
Contributed by: Dean Maluski (N1ETY)
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