My interest in radio stemmed from my dad, who had many technical hobbies. He was a decent carpenter, worked on cars, had his own photography darkroom and was handy with a soldering iron. He had a copy of the 1943 ARRL Radio Amateur’s Handbook (which I still have) and while most of it was over my head as a young child, I was fascinated by the subject matter, the schematic diagrams and by the chart depicting the characters of the Morse Code.
My first radios were a pair of Lafayette Radio CB walkie-talkies which a friend and I played with across the neighborhood. Another neighbor had a CB setup in his house, complete with a rooftop antenna and his own QSL cards. The twenty-three channel world (before C. W. McCall) was full of interesting conversations and characters.
But I realized that as cool as CB radio seemed, there was also the larger world of amateur radio. My dad also had a copy of the Hallicrafters promo record The Amazing World of Shortwave Listening which started with a snappy Morse “CQ de Hallicrafters” cadence, featured amateur radio as one of the “sounds of adventure”, and I aspired to become a ham.
After taking the Novice exam from a friend of my chemistry teacher, I was licensed as WN8AEV while in high school, then as WB8AEV when I passed the Technician exam (which at the time was the General-class written exam). I upgraded to General, then Amateur Extra and obtained the call NF8M in 2003.
I mostly like to operate CW on the HF bands as well as on 6 meters, where I do a bit more phone operating when the band’s open. Every now and then I’ll fire up fldigi and run PSK31 or another digital mode, as well as occasional RTTY. FT8 is particularly fascinating, and it’s amazing what shows up on the waterfall when you think the band is dead. My main interest besides building antennas and gear is contesting, along with portable (field) operation, though I don’t do as much as I once did. QRP is also fun and fascinating, and I take part in the monthly straight-key QRP sprints sponsored by the North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC). You’ll also find me most Wednesdays during the weekly CWOps sprints. CWOps is devoted to helping hams have more fun with CW, and operates the successful CW Academy program to teach Morse Code.
HF station info: Kenwood TS-590SG feeding an 80-meter OCF dipole at 35 feet, oriented north and south along my suburban lot, a 160-meter inverted L (with amplified loop for receiving), a quarter-wave vertical for 30 meters (half-wave on 15) and a M2 6M3 at 35 feet for 6 meters. Also have a Kenwood TS-690SAT as a backup/second rig, Yaesu FT817ND and an Elecraft KX1 which I take on camping trips, as well as 6, 2 and 440 FM gear both in the shack and mobile/portable. The mobile rig is a Yaesu FT891 feeding a hamstick on the back.
I’m also active in Boy Scouts. Both my sons were Scouts (and my older son is also a ham) but have since aged out of Scouting. My current positions are unit commissioner and chartered organization representative; formerly troop committee chair, district committee and training chair and Boy Scout Roundtable staff. I like to operate portable from troop campouts, district camporees and during JOTA. I am a merit badge counselor, helping Scouts earn the Radio merit badge among others, founded a radio club for Scout-hams in our council (WB8BSA), am a Brotherhood member in the Order of the Arrow (Noquet Lodge) and am a good old Bobwhite too (C-23-04). In 2015 I was honored as the recipient of the Amateur Radio Service to Scouting award.
Professionally, I am supervisor of technical operations for the CBS-owned TV stations in Detroit and am active in the local chapters of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.
I’m a Michigan State University alumni, member and past officer of W8SH, so a big 73 (and “Check 19”) to other Spartan Hams. Member of the South Lyon Area Amateur Radio Club, K2BSA Amateur Radio Club, and the Mad River Radio Club, a friendly bunch of Michigan and Ohio contesters.
A return QSL would be appreciated, either direct, Logbook of the World, or via the bureau (I don’t participate in eQSL). If you’d like a card, just send yours – no SASE needed in the US, and for DX I’ll reply via the bureau.
- 10-10 #74222
- NAQCC #1478
- CWOps #1634
QSL manager for the following operations:
- K2BSA/8 for Jamboree On The Air 19-21 Oct 2007
- K8S at the Great Lakes Centennial Rendez-Vous 24-26 Sep 2010
- All WB8BSA operations