D. Craig Boyer
QCWA # 24864
D. Craig Boyer
After 20 years as AH9B or AH9B/W5, I changed callsigns in August of 2011. W5CCP was my father's call since 1952...... He passed away in June 2011 and with W5YI's help, it became my call on August 22, 2011.
I was first licensed in 1967 as WN5RWU, and when I upgraded to general, it became WA5VPZ. I upgraded to Advanced in the early 80's and became KD5YR and when I finally passed the Extra Class theory exam (the code portion was a snap), I became WE5I. During some time spent on Wake Is. in 1991, I applied for and received AH9B and held it until August of 2011. I returned to Wake in 1993 with five friends and we activated KH9 in a big way. It was a major effort and we received sponsorship from Southern Cal DX Assn and others. During this trip, we were the first to activate Wake Is. on RTTY, 6m & 30 meters.
In 1991, I made my first trip to Labrador City, Labrador, Canada to activate Zone 2 for the CQWW SSB contest. I returned 2 more times over the years. The Zone 2 SSB record I set held for about 5 years until others figured out that it was a great spot to work the CQWW contest ! On one trip, I took the Canadian Advanced Class Amateur Test and received the permanent Canadian call of VO2XX. As a holder of a Canadian call, Murray, WA4DAN, Ken, V73C, Will, AA4NC, myself and others were able to secure permission to operate from Sable Is. for the 1996 CQWW SSB contest as CY0XX.
In the 90's, I made various trips to the Pacific, operating from Kwajalein Atoll as V73DH and later as V73B (thanks to my friend Ken Wells, V73C). I did one or two contests from the Kwaj ARC shack on the island, partnering with Ken and my brother Gary, N5MIH. A few years after the KH9 trip, most of the old 1993 Wake Is. crew got together again for a trip to Pohnpei in 1995 where I operated as V63BC. Sandwiched in there somewhere was a CQWW SSB trip to Namibia with Pete Meyer, N0FW and friends where we were 2nd high score in Africa as V59T.
In August of 1995, I went to Easter Is. with a large group sponsored by Cordell Expeditions and operated as part of that major DXPedition - XR0Y. I served on the radio team as well as the scuba team - we dove some unexplored sites on the north side of the island as well as small islets on the southern side. It was fabulous. On May 17, 1996 (my birthday), at the Dayton DX Dinner, the XR0Y/Z Easter Is./Salas y Gomez DXPedition was honored as the 95-96 DXPedition of the year by the SW Ohio DX Assn. based on the innovative (at the time) use of the internet for logging and communication. Internet logs were sent over a mountain to the NASA tracking station on the island and then into the ether........... you could actually check logs on the internet, a wild and crazy concept in 1995!
In 1995, using my dad's call and station, I made the highest score ever recorded from Oklahoma in the CQ Sweepstakes contest in ANY mode or category - a score of 303,226....... the record still stands.
I'm sure that I've forgotten a trip or 2 (including several vacation operations from Grand Cayman as ZF2WH) but it doesn't matter. It's always been just about having fun,meetiing people and enjoying other cultures. Amateur radio gives a person a different sort of world view and I've been blessed by my participation in the hobby. I joined QCWA at age 38. Hamming has had a serious impact on the course and direction of my life....... from helping me get a job as an engineer with IBM to prompting me to start a retail ham store in OKC.
In 1989, I started the Oklahoma Comm Center - Oklahoma's only 'brick and mortar' ham radio store. I sold it in 1996 to Tucker Electronics in Texas. I've recently re-activated the store on the internet as an eBay store. While this is a serious business, it is a lot of fun and generates enough money to pay for my own ham equipment (like my new TS-990S, for example) :-)
I moved to the city several years ago and will probably never again have a world class station...... But I still enjoy DXing, PSK31, CW, and mobile operation (with my FT-857 and ATAS 120 antenna - what an incredible invention). My current passions are restoring old rigs (Swan, Atlas, Yaesu etc) and operating my vintage equipment. On the other end of the spectrum, my main transceiver is a new Kenwood TS-990S - a dream radio for someone who started with a 75 watt Drake 2-NT in 1967 :) I'm also using (for the first time in my life) a solid state amplilfier - the Yaesu VL-1000, and I love it ! While I'm in love with the TS-990S, I am a Yaesu man thru and thru.
I recently just finished my LOTW application and am still sorting thru the details. I handle QSL's for the following calls: W5CCP,AH9B, AH9B /W5, VO2XX, V73B, AH9B/VO2, WE5I/VO2, V63BC, ZF2WH, CY0XX, V51/AH9B and probably some others :-) just send me an email and ask ! I still get lots of requests for Wake Is. cards and yes, I do have the logs.
73 - look for me on 17 or 30 meters around dawn, chasing DX in my Z06 Corvette on the way to work :o) I recently figured out how I could work CW without causing a wreck on the highway...... The Yaesu FT-857 with ATAS 120 antenna makes it a lot of fun.
Craig Boyer, W5CCP
PS - I love Corvettes and raced them seriously for about 4 years in the Nat'l Council of Corvette Clubs program.
May 09, 2015