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W4CGP Amateur Radio

Amateur radio entered my life long before I got my license on June 17, 2002. I'm unusual in that no close relative is a licensed ham, especially at my age. However, I've been thinking about amateur radio since 1997, as one of my dad's best friends has been a radio amateur since the early 1980s and exposed me to it then. I didn't take a serious shot at getting my license until 2002, when I passed both my Technician and General class written exams. In April 2003 I passed my morse code test, promoting me to a General class operator. The following June, I passed the test for and became an Extra class ham.

I have participated in numerous public service events since I was first licensed, including various parades, the Special Olympics, and the Wesley Walk for Others. This is the most important aspect of ham radio in my opinion, as it always serves to make a good impression upon people. Although not a communicator, I did listen in on the radio traffic from time to time during the Six Gap Century bike ride and also chatted with the hams that were providing comms.

One of the more novel things I like is satellite operations. I've worked voice contacts on AO-27, AO-51, and SO-50. I've also worked packet operations through the International Space Station. I've made digital contact with hundreds of hams around the U.S. on the ISS. I've never made voice contact, but when U.S. ARISS (school) contacts occur, they're usually easy to listen in on. One of these days I'll make voice contact, it's just a matter of being patient. For more information about my satellite adventures, see my satellite page. Also, take a look at my South Dakota QSL card here.

I have participated in Field Day every year since I got my license in 2002. In 2005, I traveled up to Chickamauga, GA, to spend the weekend with the Tennessee Valley DX Association. A local news reporter came out and filmed this clip, which made the 6 PM news in Chattanooga on June 26.