Robert L. 'Bob' Vandevender II
QCWA # 35999
I am originally from Muncie, IN and started learning morse code in Muncie while visiting home on leave from the US Navy in October 1979. My father, Robert Vandevender KA9DHL sk, taught me what I needed to know and drove me to the house of Robert Casada (KC9TY) who gave me the Novice exam. I received my original call, KA9GIJ, in the mail on January 25, 1980 while working in Ballston Spa, NY with the Navy. My first contact was from Ballston Spa with my father in Muncie on 80 meters.
I received my General license in March 1981 in Rochester, NY with the FCC and decided to keep my old "G I Joe" call. Two months later I drove to Buffalo, NY and passed the FCC exam for Advanced. Once again I kept my old call of KA9GIJ. Finally, in September 1981 I once again drove to meet the FCC in Rochester, NY and passed the 20 words per minute code and the associated written exam for Extra Class. At that time they were running out of four-character callsigns and I elected to upgrade to an Extra class callsign. I received my new license for KR2K on October 30, 1981 and as a coincidence, made my first contact with the new call while home in Muncieon leave from the Navywith my Dad at his station.
In April 1982 I received my Worked All Continents (WAC) award and in May 1984 I drove my 100+ QSL cards to the W1AW office in Newington and waitted for them to confirm my qualification for a DXCC award.
At midnight on Octoer 3, 1982 in Boxboro, MA I was conferred at the Midnght Conclave of the Order into The Royal Order of the Wouff Hong (ROWH). Surprisingly, many hams today are unaware of the existence of the ROWH.
In June 1984 I helped organize a Field Day along with my friends Peter Lasala KA2MTS and Jesus Rodriguez WP4BXP. We called ourselves the Submariners Amateur Radio Group and transmitted from Groton, CT near the submarine base. We took a car battery on board the USS Hymen G. Rickover (SSN 709) and charged it from the nuclear reactor while the boat was disconnected from commercial power. We made our required contacts using the battery and were awarded the bonus points for using a natural uranium power source. The local New London Day newspaper published a nice article about our event. Our picture was also used in the QST magazine that year.
In July 1984 I participated in the IARU Radiosport championship as a single operator and took 2nd place in Connecticut for phone only. I operated 32 out of the 36 hours of the contest and could barely talk when it was done.
After moving from Connecticut to Maine to work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, I once again participated in the IARU Radiosport contest and in July 1985 took 1st place Section Leaderin Maine.
Shortly after the start of the program in 1983, I served as an ARRL Regional Technical Coordinator for Connecticut, Maine, and later in Indiana after I had completed my Naval service.
I continue to be an ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE).
In recent years, I have not been as active in Amateur Radio as I would likedue to other activities but do continue to attend the occasional ham fest and field day. I am currently a member of the Martin County Amateur Radio Association (Stuart, Florida) and helped to operate the club station during the 2011 Field Day.
November 12, 2014