I became a ham radio operator in 1969. I began as a Novice Class operator with the call WNØVNJ. As a novice, I probably made no more than six CW contacts. I used a Drake 2B and an Eico 720 transmitter. While limited, it was a beginning. With the help of ARRL’s CW broadcast, I finally achieved the magical 13 wpm required at that time.
A year later I became a General Class Amateur with the call WBØFFE. My first radio was a Heathkit SB 102.
I drove from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Benton Harbor Michigan the home of the Heathkit factory to pick up the kit. I remember the excitement, not just of building the kit, but of putting it on the air. I made many contacts with that rig.
Later, I added the SB-220 to add power to the SB 102. I used a TH7dx on an HDX 55 crank up tower.
Moving to Extra Class
I finally upgraded my license to the Advanced Class. and my call became a 2X2 … KEØPV. I used that call for some time. In St. Louis I operated with the SB 102 and SB 220 with the TH7DXX mounted at 35 feet. (Covenants)
When we moved to Davenport in 1991, we moved into a house where it was impossible to put up an antennas. I purchased two acres of land in Dewitt Iowa about 13 miles from my home. I built a garage on the land and converted it into a ham shack. You can see pictures of the shack and more information by clicking here. (coming Soon).
I went for several years without ham radio in my life after leaving Davenport to move to Roswell, GA in 1999. We moved back to Davenport in 2003. Again we had a home where antennas were impossible, Later, I found what I thought was my perfect retirement home – The Lake.
In 2005, I purchased a home in Illinois with 2 acres of land perfect for antennas. It was on Little Swan Lake in Avon, Illinois. I thought this would be the place I would retire so I added an addition on the home just for my ham radio and put up a number of antennas. I passed my Extra Class License while there and my call became K9OQ. I still hold that call today.
You can see more about my lake ham home by clicking here. (coming soon)
On April 3, 2010, I suffered a heart attack. I was one of the lucky ones who survived but was told by my cardiologist that living three hours from the nearest cardiac hospital was probably not wise. We sold our dream home by the lake and moved back to Davenport. We found a home with an acre of land inside the city! I put up my TH11Dx and a SteppIR Big IR vertical.
Moving to Atlanta
In 2012, after going through several Iowa winters, we decided to move back to the Atlanta area. We had lived there from 1999 to 2003 and found the area very attractive both from the location and especially the weather. We moved to Cumming Georgia in October of 2012.
I have limited space in the yard for antennas but have achieved installing my Steppir Big IR vertical. I acquired a 55-foot crank up tower as well as a Steppir 4 element with 40 and six-meters . My operating equipment includes a Contest FT 9000D and VL 1000 linear. I operate on D-Star with my Icon IC-92 AD
I will still use HRD software to link everything together and do the logging. It is great to see the antennas track and the rotor turn through device control!
I have written three novels which can be found by clicking here . Take a look especially if you like sci-fi! I have a web site Champion Program where you can gain access to some of the programs I offer.
I was original licensed in 1967! Next year, I will celebrate 50 years of ham radio! During that time, I have met many wonderful people both on the air and in person!
Larry G. Patten