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K8RFT's page




QSL via:
eQsl, LOTW, E-mail request, Online request    

QSL manager:

I believe it was 1959 when I got my Novice license.  I was about 12 and had been interested in electronics for a while because of finding old, thrown-away radios and TV.  My neighbor buddy and I picked them up and then took them apart.  After a while we had a good sized collection of parts and I thought I should figure out how to use them.
Without realizing how long it would take, I got my license and started working on building a transmitter.  I don't remember what I had for a receiver.  By the time I got all the parts and built my transmitter, there wasn't much time left of the year the Novice license was good for. I took the test and upgraded to Technician, and had a friend at school whose older brother had a station.  I watched them some, and went to my local radio club meetings.  Eventually I was able to borrow a club Heathkit Sixer and coaxial vertical antenna.  I used those for a while and finally got my own Gonset Communicator II.
After High School I went to a local junior college intending to start on an electrical engineering degree. Because they registered students in alphabetical order and my last name starts with V, I was too late to get into the classes needed for starting an engineering curriculum.  So I took Electronics Technology instead, and got my Associate's Degree.  With some other ham friends, we reactivated the school's radio club station.  That was my last ham radio activity for a lot of years.
A few years later I joined the Air Force, to avoid the Army draft, and became a long-range heavy radar repair technician.  I was on active duty for nine years and got to see northern Montana plains, Alaska, the far-northern California coast, north-east North Dakota and Europe.  I was assigned to an Engineering and Installation Squadron in Germany, and all work was deployed to other locations, including England, Spain and India.  I can truthfully say that I have touched the wall of the Taj Mahal.
A few years after retiring, a visitor to the neighborhood, an active ham, convinced me to get some useable gear and get on the air again.  I went to a licensing session to get the automatic upgrade to General and while I was there took the Extra Class test - and passed it!  I was quite surprised.
So I found an IC-706MkII on Craigslist and was given an antenna.  I rigged up an interface for my laptop and got started on the radio using FT8 in October, 2018.  As of Feb. 25, 2019 I have 517 LoTW QSO's, with 367 QSL records.  It's been a lot of fun so far, and there's so much more to learn and to do!

In winter, I'm at Grid Square EL86uw, Englewood, FLorida.  There I use a Butternut HF6V-X

In summer, the station at my primary residence, Grid Square EN63va, Grand Haven, Michigan.  That's where I use the GAP Challenger.

The IC-706 travels with me to both locations.  So far (March, 2019) I only use FT8.

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K2REM: Just reached 68 countries worked!


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