James A. 'Joe' Abron
QCWA # 37590
I became interested in amateur radio while in the Boy Scouts. Troop 318, Vernon Chapel A.M.E. Church, Detroit, Michigan. A good and capable Scout had to learn morse code. The Radio merit badge put me in contact with my first "Elmer", a Ham who lived several blocks from my home. It wasn't until High School (Pershing, Detroit) that I took the plunge and became licensed as a Novice in 1968. I remember how scared I was to make the trip downtown to the FCC office in Detroit, Michigan.
My first rig was an Ameco 1-tube 80-40 meters CW kit puchased from Layafette Radio Electronics. They don't exist anymore. My second rig was a Heathkit 2 meters "lunchbox". I hated that regen receiver!
I didn't operate much in college. Purdue University (69-73). Actually, I let my two-year Novice license lapse and didn't get back into the hobby until 1978 when I became N6AQT. I eventually took the vanity W6 prefix. My home in the San Leandro hills gave me a great QTH for DX.
I moved the family back to the Detroit area to take care of my mother after spending 25 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has taken a good 10 years to get accustomed to winter again. While eventually upgrading to Extra Class, I'm proud of the fact that I have not let my ARRL membership lapse. I am a Volunteer Consulting Engineer for the ARRL Great Lakes Division. I hold membership in OMIK Amateur Radio Association, the Quarter Century Wireless Association (37590), the GM Amateur Radio Club (Michigan), the Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club (California) and the Northern California QRP Club.
I currently spend most of my ham time on 75, 40 and 20 meters QRP. You can occasionally find me on the local 2 meter repeaters and EchoLink. An Icom 7100 HF/VHF/UHF rig handles the main duties in my modest shack. I've gotten into D-STAR and DMR in recent years using the 7100 and the TYT MD-390. I miss the SF Bay Area because of the large number of ham radio stores in easy driving distance. However, the best thing about being back in the midwest is going to the Dayton Hamvention EVERY year!
I've been the Director of Public Works for a both a major City and Wayne County, Michigan. Then came a stint as a consulting engineer before retirement (sort of). I am blessed with a beautiful wife and two grown children who are both graduates of Michigan State University. The have both relocated back to California.
January 29, 2018