About K9EW

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I got my Novice ticket in 1957, and upgraded to General Class within the 12 month window.  My call was K9JFA (Just Foolin' Around).  Later I got my Extra Class license, and changed my call to K9EW.  When it was time to renew my license, I missed the renewal window and was issued the call NB9Y.  After a few years, I was able to get my previous call (K9EW) back, and I won't miss that renewal window again!

After I got my degree in Electrical Engineering in 1964, I worked in a microwave lab for 5 years and then in a lab that was part of the Motorola R&D group in Schaumburg, IL.  It was the perfect job.  I got to play with all the new devices, and products - and they paid me to do it!  Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time left in the day for my hobby.  All that changed, though, when I retired in 2002.  Now I get to play with my own radios.

I've always liked CW.  I tried AM, FM, and SSB, but I kept coming back to CW.   I did have some fun with RTTY, a homebrew TU, and a model 33 printer, but then the new digital modes came along and you could use your PC's audio board to create and decode the data. That's when I got interested in PSK31 and MFSK16; both are very easy to operate and fun to use.

Some time ago, I got the QRP bug, and  I picked up an HW-9 kit at a hamfest.  Recently I saw a K1 for sale, and just had to give it a try.  The K1 is a great little rig, and before I knew it I had WAS/QRP.  QRP makes you more aware of what your antenna is (or isn't) doing, and - as a result - I wound up buying an MFJ-259B Antenna Analyzer.  Designing and building your own antenna is a lot more fun when you can actually measure the results.  See my Projects page for a couple of very nice, good-performing antennas.

When I'm not playing with my radios or my PC, I'm tutoring Math and Physics for the local high school students.