William F. 'Bill' Crowley
QCWA # 18437
I am a native Mainer, born in Greenville on the shores of Moosehead Lake, where I lived until 1957 when my family moved to Augusta.
I was first licensed in 1960, while a sophomore at Cony High School in Augusta, Maine, as a Conditional Class licensee. My Uncle George, W1DPJ (SK), who arranged for the test, also gave me my first rig - a BC-454 receiver on 75 meters and a homebrew version of an Eico 720 with a built-in AM modulator. My first contact was Chummy, W1VXU (SK), who lived just down the street.
After high school, I attended the University of Pittsburgh for a year, where I operated the school station, K3RIA. Then it was off to the Navy and eventually to Schools Command at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. There I was part of the gang at K6NCG, the club station on the island. Next I was /MM aboard the USS Mount Baker (AE-4) from the South Pacific, then a stint with the Seabees in Da Nang, Vietnam, and back to San Diego's North Island-based VRF-32, for the end of my enlistment. I finished college there (San Diego City College), and worked as a reporter/photographer for the North Shores Sentinel newspaper.
Ham radio took a back seat for the next few years, and I let my license expire. I moved back to Maine in 1971 to try television news reporting (hated it!), and got relicensed in 1978 with a Novice license and the old call. From there, it was up the ladder to General, Advanced and (20 wpm!) Extra.
I am a past president of the Augusta Emergency Amateur Radio Unit, and was enjoying being one of "the old guys" until mid 2002 when I was asked to reassume the helm, which I still hold as of this writing (the club is now known as the Augusta Amateur Radio Association). I have been chairman of the Windsor Hamfest, and was the originator and first chairman of WinterFest, Maine's first winter hamfest (traditionally held on Superbowl Saturday). I am a member of the ARRL, a life member of QCWA, 'a member of QCWA's Pine Cone Chapter, and a member and past president of the Yankee Amateur Radio Club'. Several of my "friends" suggested in early 2014 that I should run for Maine Section Manager, and lo and behold, I got elected.
On the air, I enjoy 2-meter rag chews, DXing and CW. I have just started experimenting with the digital modes, including SSTV and PSK-31. Away from ham radio, I enjoy motor racing (I'm still a Bill Elliott fan), old cars (I am the proud owner of Blue Streak, a Chevy 283-powered 1953 Studebaker Commander coupe), computers, digital photography, and motorcycling (especially with my chapter of the American Legion Riders). Thanks to Don, AE1Q, I am starting to get my feet wet in radio controlled model airplanes.
I used to work as an Emergency Communications Specialist for the Maine Department of Public Safety at headquarters in Augusta, but retired from there in August 2008; we were the communications center for central Maine for the State Police, the Warden Service, the Marine Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and a host of other smaller state agencies, as well as the dispatch center for the Kennebec County Sheriff's Department, two local police departments, and a number of local fire and rescue companies. Until my retirement, I served as a full voting member of the Maine Emergency Communications Systems Policy Board, after being appointed to the post by Gov. John E. Baldacci, KB1NXP (I was one of the team that administered his exam).
I operate mostly HF CW. I like to chase DX, as well as participate in Straight Key Century Club activities. In January 2015 I worked the K3Y grand sweep (K3Y/1 through /0, plus /KH6, /KL7, /KP4 and each of the six continents) for the sixth straight year. My best contact was DU3/W5LFA on 30 Meter gray line for Oceania in 2012. For 2015, I worked all states in the W1AW/* operation, plus /KP2, /KP4, /KH2, /KH8, and /KG4 (all CW except /KG4). In 2012 six of us from the Augusta area attended Dayton, where I had eyeballs with many of my SKCC friends, and saw many of you at the ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford in 2014.
July 26, 2016