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Site Manager, Mike Gilmer, N2MG
I first learned about radio in my early teens when my father purchased a Lafayette shortwave receiver (with band spread!). Several years later I stumbled upon a Collins KWM1 in the 9th grade science classroom at high school. I was intrigued and soon received my novice, WN2ROK, in 1973. Not long after, I discovered contesting via Field Day and then the Novice Roundup. I obtained my traffic handling ORS/OPS and entered many CD parties and Sweepstakes.
After college, I rekindled my radio interest with a small tower and big tribander, still preferring domestic contests and DXing. A trip to Montserrat (VP2MU@VP2ML) in 1986 for CQWWCW showed me the thrill of DX contests. My home station, on Long Island, quickly grew to 2 towers and monobanders for some multi-op entries in the late 80s.
I moved to upstate NY in 1989. I traded good propagation and bad crowds for lots of land and cold weather. I got married in 1993 to Yvonne, who on our third date, helped me get a 40 meter dipole up in a tree just in time for the Sprints. She has shown no further interest. We have one daughter, Mollie (12/2/96) who likes to turn the knobs and wear the headphones.
I currently perform Project Engineer duties as well as hardware and software design for high-end asset tracking equipment for over-the-road trucks and containers. In my limited spare time I fool around with PCs, work on the house and play with my daughter. Lately, I've been working hard on putting up a competitive, two-tower antenna farm and building a new shack in the cellar.
My association with eHam started with a naive response to a reflector email from W4AN who was looking for "some help". I've found my involvement with this website to be quite rewarding - it allows me to help others out in more ways than I thought possible, as well as remain in touch with the issues concerning ham radio.
Articles, Clinton Herbert, AB7RG
I've been involved in Amateur Radio as soon as I first heard about it, in the spring of 1995. I went from Technician to Amateur Extra class in just over a year. I really love all that the Amateur Radio Service has to offer, and have found it to be extremely rewarding. I am active on many different modes, and on ALL the bands, 160 meters up through 70 cm. -- My station just keeps on growing and growing as does my interest and enthusiasm for Amateur Radio.
I live in just outside of the city limits of Cottonwood, Arizona. (Grid square DM44aq) It's pretty much in the center of the state, in the heart of the Verde Valley. Needless to say I love my home state, and the entire southwest for that matter!
Anyway, I try to always help out my fellow Amateurs and any potential hams as well. I am a V.E. for the ARRL and for W5YI. I am also a member of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services). I love the sharing of opinions, thoughts, and ideas, so that's probably why I now head up Speak Out. By sharing our thoughts and knowledge we further the hobby and ourselves as Amateur Radio operators. It truly is the best way to learn, and it's quite enjoyable as well.
I just also want to add that it is a real pleasure working on the best site on the Internet pertaining to Amateur Radio, with the greatest team there is! My personal thanks to each and every one of you!
73 de Clinton Herbert, AB7RG
Calendar, Bill Crow, K5LUO
I have been involved in ham radio since the 1960's with my Dad. However, for some reason I didn't get my ticket until many years later. I have been active for the past 8 years on the radio.
My call sign is a vanity call. This was my Dad's call sign in the late 1950's. He also had another station with a different call sign. He let the K5LUO go back. So I decided to apply for it and got it. I was surprised that no one had it for all these years.
Classifieds, Mark Stennett, NA6M
I have been licensed since 1976, Extra since 1980. My call is original FCC issue from the era. I am into VHF and UHF repeaters yet still enjoy CW on HF, DXing and a little contesting.
Development, Pat Collins, N8VW
I've been a ham since 1981 and a computer geek since then too (first computer was a Atari 800). I went to college at the Ohio State University and have a BS in physics. Currently I work for OSU developing and maintaining ERP applications using Peoplesoft and Oracle.
Hamradio wise, I am into contesting and 160 meters. I have no station at home and do most of my operating from K8MK's station in Delaware OH. I'm a member of the Mad River Radio Club.
I have one child (Gianna) who was born at home in 1997 with the help of 3 wonderful certified professional midwives. My wife Tanya is an apprentice midwife and IMPACT self-defense instructor. I'm hoping that the ham exam section of eham.net will help Tanya get her license.
DX Guru, Nigel Peacock, G4KIU
British, started short wave listening as a teenager in the mid- 1960s. However, amateur radio took a break while studying at college and then starting to earn a living.
Interest was revived in 1978 when he passed the UK Radio Amateurs' Examination and took out a Class B (VHF-only) licence. His Full Class A callsign, G4KIU, followed in 1980.
SSB DX and contesting on HF and VHF is the main interest and G4KIU is now a member of the very successful Windmill Contest Group. Member of the RSGB and CDXC.
Early in 2000, he was heavily involved with the M2000A millennium special event station at Greenwich which made over 45,000 QSOs.
Nigel was a member of the D68C team, which worked 168,731 QSO's from the Comoros in February 2001.
His wife Corrinne is G1VTN and he has a daughter, Imogen.
Founder, Garth Hitchens, KG7GA
I first got involved in Ham Radio in 1990, shortly after buying a home with restrictive covenants. I worked about a hundred countries using my gutters and downspouts as antennas until neighbors started complaining of noises emerging from their telephones and stereos.
After neighbor's complaints and losing all my tall trees to storms, I got involved with remote control of HF stations. Since then I have spent the majority of my radio energy pursuing ways to operate radio equipment remotely. I have built a few systems of this kind and continue to be involved in remote control applications. My operating these days is mostly limited to the yearly CQ160 contest which we do on a boat with a full sized 1/4-wave vertical wire hoisted by a balloon.
I've been involved with the Internet and Computers since the days of the Commodore PET and D-ARPAnet. I attended University of Washington and worked in various high tech jobs before settling down at Microsoft for much of my career, were I led teams working on operating systems, software tools, and web sites.
I live near Seattle, WA. I have been married over 10 years to a terrific wife and we have two great kids. My other interests include skiing, kayaking, and exploring the inside passage to British Columbia and Alaska by boat.
Founder, Randy Thompson, K5ZD
My love affair with ham radio started in 1972 when I read a book that featured the hobby. I received my Novice license at the age of 13 and have been radio active ever since.
My favorite pursuits are CW DXing and Contesting - especially contesting. I have always enjoyed the competition and the thrill of hearing someone from the other side of the world recognize my call.
Although I grew up in Texas, my wife convinced me to move to New England in 1987. In 1994 I found a fantastic hill top location and have managed to raise three towers and build a very competitive single-op station. Having achieved many of my contesting goals, I now enjoy watching other guys come over and drive the station in major DX contests.
I am currently the Director of Technical Sales for Axeda, a leader in Internet-based remote service software.
I spend a lot of my spare time (what there is!) building web sites. I really enjoy the combination of writing and programming that today's on-line publishing requires.
I have been married for over 20 years to Connie, a very understanding woman who tolerates the eccentricities of ham radio "nuts". I have a son, Andrew, who is KB1NXJ, and a daughter Jenelle. All of them prefer CW contests since they are much quieter. Our dog and cat don't seem to care much about radio one way or another.
Founder, Trey Garlough, N5KO
I live in the Monterey Bay area of the central coast of California, in a small town called Aptos. I am not very active from my home station, which consists of a TS-850S and a bunch of wire antennas hanging from redwood trees, and I do most of my ham operating from Isla San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Islands, where I have used the call HC8N since 1992. My favorite ham radio activity is operating HF contests, particularly on CW. I am a member of the Boring Amateur Radio Club and the Northern California Contest Club, and I am an ARRL Life Member.
Before moving to California, I lived in the Austin, Texas area for about ten years where I was a member of the N5AU and 6D2X contest teams. I first got the ham radio bug as a very young kid, listening to Dad (WA4GCS) and Mom (WA4HOM) working DX in my home town of Huntsville, Alabama. Even though they became inactive in ham radio by the time I was old enough to develop a serious interest of my own, I received some excellent Elmering from a local DXer, Tom Russell N4KG, and with his help got my Novice ticket in 1974 as WN4KKN.
I have also operated a number of contests from places around the world using the following callsigns: 7J7YAA (1998), EA9UK (1993), HC1OT (1998), LU6ETB (1997), K6O (1996), KP2A (1989), ON4UN (1996), PJ9B (1995), ZP0Y (1990 & 1991).
Founder, W4AN, W4AN
Bill Fisher, W4AN(SK) was a very active contester and CW rag chewer. A member of the FOC, South East Contest Club, and Southeast DX Club, he achieved many personal contesting milestones including the silver medal at the World Radio Team Championship in San Francisco in 1996 with partner John Laney (K4BAI).
Bill built a contest super station in the mountains of north Georgia that included 6 towers plus a 4-square array for 80 meters. When not contesting, he enjoyed operating his station remotely through a telephone link to his TS-870, Alpha 87A, and remote controlled antenna switching. At his home, antenna restrictions prevent him from putting up outdoor antennas, but he operated vintage radio gear with attic antennas. Over the years, he collected a Collins S-line as well as Drake C-line. His goal was to have a nice display of "best for their time" contest radios.
He was founder and Vice President of Concentric Systems, Inc. (CSI) of Alpharetta, Georgia, a custom built PC supplier to computer resellers. The company was founded in 1992. He was also founder and President of Akorn Access, Inc. Akorn was an Internet service provider and internet consulting company.
Bill Fisher died on April 4, 2004. He is survived by his wife Dana and two sons, Graeme and Eric.
When not doing radio, Bill would spend time on the seat of his bicycle, training. Although he felt he was too large to be competitive, he enjoyed the training and racing.
Friends Remembered, Ryan O'Sullivan, VE3ROO
Ever since I was very young I have been in love with radio. My first brush with Amateur Radio was during my days as a Boy Scout where I was lucky enough to have my troop visit a club’s station. After that being a teenager took over my life but my interest with radio was still there, I never went all the way and got my ticket. Then W5UGD a friend I work with on the Internet started putting the push on me about a year go. After a few months of studying and getting ready I contacted my local club(Scarborough Amateur Radio Club), joined up and got my Basic ticket (thanks to VE3ILN for the help). Working hard on the code now and cannot wait till I can get on the HF frequencies and start working DX.
I decided to join up with the eHam crew because I couldn’t stand to just sit around and watch the Ham world revolve around me. I wanted to be part of spreading the good word. eHam helped get me started, and if it can help just one person get their ticket it is worth the effort.
You can catch me on the air in the Toronto area repeater hopping. VE3MOT on 147.18mhz is the repeater I am seeming to call home these days, if you are in the area… say hello.
73 de VE3ROO
Ham Exams, R. Kelly Bruce, WD4DAT
First licensed in 1977, my love for ham radio came along after a tornado hit our town and I watched friends of the family provide emergency communication after the disaster.
Public Service and Elmering new hams have been my two main interests. I am one of the founders of our local club, the West Alabama Amateur Radio Society in 1980. A Ham Instructor since 1982, I have been involved in dozen's of license classes as either an instructor or assistant. I have been a volunteer examiner since 1991 and helped create our first local V.E. testing group. I firmly believe we owe this hobby our best efforts to recruit new hams to keep it alive.
My other love is emergency communications. Until recently I served as both EC and DEC and coordinated local Red Cross communications. I still remain active in Skywarn activities. Over the years I have worked many disasters for days at a time and feel this continues to be ham radio's shinning star.
You might call us a ham family with my lovely wife and two of my 4 children licensed hams. We have a house rule that the children get their ham license before they get their driver license. Both of my older children have appreciated that when they have needed assistance when no other communications was available.
I have been into computers since the late 1970's. My first computer was a TRS-80 Model I. I enjoy working on our clubs website and find developing websites my new interest. My operating today is mostly VHF/UHF but still enjoy a long QSO on HF when time permits. When I am not hamming, I enjoy playing golf and watching college football.
Links, Lisa Zeug, K7UQT
My first exposure to amateur radio occurred in 1984 during a contest at W0AIH's antenna farm. Shortly after we met, my OM took me to "The Hill"--he says now that his intention was to make any tower he put up seem small by comparison. At the time, I was fascinated that he was talking to people from all over the world though I would have liked to hear more than "You're 59, Wisconsin ..." So, I studied, learned the Code and got my license to surprise him.
We even had a ham radio wedding. Pastor Paul, W0AIH, gave the homily. It was on RST.
Time has passed, and we've moved from Wisconsin to Illinois to Georgia to Oregon. At each QTH, the property gets bigger as do the plans for towers and antennas. But we're jinxed--each time we think we're finally settling down, the curse hits, and we have to move on. But our dreams of the perfect station go with us.
As for what part of ham radio holds my interest, I love a good contest. My preferred band is 10 meters. That way, Mike (currently W7OT) can have 40 or 80 at night, and we both enjoy ourselves. In 1999, we both won Georgia in the ARRL DX Contest on different bands. I also took 2nd place in the U.S., 4th in the world for band restricted operation in the WPX SSB Contest.
I have other radio interests too--mostly in support positions. My OM wouldn't have most of his wallpaper if I hadn't done the paperwork! I processed incoming 9-Land buro cards for several years with a goal of always getting them out in the mail by 10 a.m. on Saturday after receiving them on Friday night. And I've been the QSL manager for VS6WO for over a decade. Now that Steve's moved to Singapore, I'm the manager for 9V1DX as well.
New Hams, Don Cassel, VE3XD
My first exposure to ham radio was as a youngster when my uncle, who lived next door, had a shack in the basement and a wooden tower in the backyard. It was fascinating to hear him talk to amateurs through the magic of radio. Having learned the morse code in high school I eventually went for my first ticket in 1969 and advanced in 1971. Canada had only two classes of license at that time.
To get on the air I built the popular Heathkit HW-100 and installed a 14-AVQ vertical on the roof of my house. This setup really wet my appetite for DXing and so up went a 60 foot tower with a HyGain TH6 beam antenna. By 1977 my career and my family were growing and this meant moving to a new home. With the pressures of work and family my on air activities had dropped off to the point where I sold the equipment and essentially dropped out of amateur radio. However I did keep my license up-to-date.
In the early 1990s I began looking ahead to retirement and decided that the one thing that would be fun again was ham radio. So a new rig and vertical antenna (this time a Cushcraft R5) were purchased and I began to operate again. During the last 10 years I have found that DXing is still as much fun as when I was a new ham and have found a new passion for contesting having operated in SSB, CW and Rtty contests. Although running 100 watts into a vertical isn't exactly a competitive contest station it is much better than I would have expected. I'm even getting some wallpaper certificates for placing near the top of my category in some prominent contests. In the spring of 2003 I had a 56' Trylon tower installed with a Cushcraft X7 antenna. This upgrade has made a significant improvement in my signal and as a result in my contest scores.
Having retired in 1998 after 7 years as a programmer/analyst at IBM and 30 years as professor of Information Systems at Humber College in Toronto I now have more time for ham radio. I've also been active as webmaster for a number of sites. Notable are the sites here at eHam.net for new hams and the Contest Club Ontario's web site at http://www.va3cco.com.
Product Reviews, Phil Duff, NA4M
First licensed as a Novice in 1970.
Amateur Extra class license holder
for 30+ years. Currently active on
DX'ing has always been the primary
interest for me whether on SSB,
CW, or RTTY. Have DXCC Honor
Roll on Mixed and Phone and have
all current countries worked except
BS7 on phone. Worked & confirmed
ARRL member. Founding member
former officer of the Central Texas DX
Contest Club (CTDXCC).
Married to a wonderful ham radio-
tolerating XYL. We have 2 children,
grandsons and 1 granddaughter.
QSL Managers, Steven Schmidt, K4WA
I work in commercial real estate in northwest Florida and enjoy writing, windsurfing, sailing, playing guitar, bass, singing and writing songs for hobbies. I also like DXing, contesting and being DX, though I've only been active from BQ9P, BW, PJ2, J6, KP2, KP4, VP2V and a couple IOTAs. My favorite mode is CW, though I do work sideband and RTTY. Working hard to activate a top-10 country, but so far have been fully stymied by a difficult permitting agency.
I'm active in the Southeastern DX Club, the South East Contest Club (when I meet the distance requirements) and the Southeast DXpediton Group. The picture is of me on the sailboat in VP2V-land (and yes, I always signed /mm from the boat!).
Spotlight, Jeffrey D Clarke, KU8E
I was first licensed in 1976 as WN8ALG. A year later my call changed to WD8ALG and then in 1980 to KU8E. I became interested in amateur radio during high school when I joined the school radio club during my freshman year. During the late 1970’s I started dabbling in radio contesting and it just happened that a close neighbor of mine was Jim Stahl, K8MR, who is an active contester. Jim introduced me to the guys in the Mad River Radio Club and I have been an active member and a contester since joining up. In 2003 we moved to Georgia. I am presently a member of the Georgia Contest Group.
In the early 1980’s I had my first chance to operate from the DX end when I joined some other members of Mad River on a trip the FG7AR/FS7 for the ARRL DX CW contest. I caught the DX bug and since then I have operated DX contests from VP2E, VP9AD,J6DX VP5FXB,PJ2T,PJ4R and PJ4A. Since about 2008 I have I gone to PJ4A for the CQWW DX CW contest, with my good friend John Laney, K4BAI.
I operated at WRTC-2006 as PW5Y , with my teammate K4BAI
I work for TSYS , in Columbus,GA as an IT Application Developer. I am an alumnus of Ohio State University and presently live in Ellerslie, GA with my lovely wife, Jan, and our 3 children : 13 year old Andrew, 11 year old Randy and 9 year old Rebecca.
Strays, Dick Bentley, K2UFT
K2UFT - Original holder since
1956. Active in Southeastern DX
Club, South East Contest Club and
First Class CW Operators CLub.
Station: FT1000MP, 80 meter
Doublet and 160 meter "L". Enjoy
chasing DX, contests (shorter the
better!), rag chews on CW, my 99
& 44/100% mode. Age 69, married
to Diane, two children. After a
brief retirement, I now work for
King Financial as a project
manager coordinating installation
of ATM machines in the Southeast
US. Other interests: hiking,
bike riding, travel and rock
Survey, Andy Williss, VK5LA
I have been interested in radio as
long as I remember.
That interest was rekindled just
after I got married and "retired"
from playing guitar in Rock and
Blues bands...I needed a new hobby!
I attended a 6 month "Get Your
Licence" course run by the local
chapter of the Wireless Institute
I was first licenced as VK5XAW in
august '96 and as an Australian
"limited" licence holder was
frustrated by only being able to
work on 10m FM and above. Listening
for hours of unsquelched 10M FM
waiting for the DX gave me the
incentive to upgrade!
After some study, I sat a 5wpm code
test. The result was good and the
new call of VK5KAW had me DXing on
15M and to a lesser extent on 10M.
A change of QTH and some idle time
after work soon had me studying
morse again and I sat and passed
the 10wpm test and upgraded to
VK5LA in August of '99.
Amateur radio is like no other
pastime, the variety is incredible.
You can DX, chase gridsquares,
build stuff, go QRP, go portable,
design antennas and around a
thousand other things!
My Amateur Radio interest has
shifted of late to QRP, and I am
enjoying the challenge.
I have also become interested in 2M
At the moment, I'm having fun
experimenting with portable
antenna's for my Icom IC703.
I repair and sell business
equipment for a living
and have been married 15 years to
Liz, my wonderfully patient XYL.
We have two boys, Josh who is 10
years old and his brother Riley who
is nearly 5.
Josh is a very talented Australian
Rules Footballer and we enjoy
watching him play on the weekends.
Riley is looking forward to
starting school this August and is
already showing a keen interest in