First Call: WN9DML issued in 1971 Other Call(s): WD9GMZ
Douglas L. 'Doug' Mather
QCWA # 38046
Originally licensed at WN9DML way back in 68 as a freshman in highschool. Two year non-renewable novice license.... wasn't enough time.... I preferred to spent time sitting with dad working SSB stations or soldering together some crazy project rather than working CW.
Round 2 - Fast forward about 10 years. Dade started leaning on me to get licensed...but now I had to jump in at tech all at once.... Spent a couple hours studying and took the train to Chicago the next day. Came back a Tech. WD9GMZ.
I was big into building and experimenting and cobbled together a 2 meter repeater from parts. No kits, no left over commercial stuff, just my doodling of circuits on paper and building. It was a whopping 10 watts and used vertical separation on the antennas but it worked and covered a good 20-30 miles. It was the first repeater on the air when the lower part of 2 meters opened to repeaters. Unfortunately, that was the begiinning of an expensive venture. Slowly but surely over the course of many hamfests and the generosity other hams and scavanging of Motorola employess it went from scratch to motrac to micor ending with 3 remote recieve sites and 100watt micor amp running through TX-RX duplexers to an Antenna Specialist 4 folded dipole antenna.
Somewhere during all this I managed to squeek in time to go get my general license. Attempted the advanced on the same trip, without studying, but was unlucky and got the pure rules, frequencies and regs test. Returned a couple of weeks later and re-tested (got the all technical test that had I gotten the first time I would have passed). Came home with the Advanced class license and a request for new call which came a bit later. KD9PK.
Spent a lot of time talking all over the world and probably quailfied many times over for many awards but I wasn't interested in contesting and awards. I am a ragchewer. RCC since 1973! I am proud of my WAN (Worked All Neigbors) award... even the neighbors had fun helping me acheive it after my voice scared my next door neighbor by coming out of her toaster. She told a neighbor and the challenge to get me to appear on something electric/electronic in their houses began. (most of them it was the TV)
I when on to get my CW up to about 25wpm and had the Extra in my sights when the licensing changed (dumbed down... stupid move) and the Advance class license was eliminated. I decided to keep a license that showed what I did and is now unique.
Met my wife and decided to sell the repeater and just do mobile HF/VHF/UHF but then life sped up and it all went to the wayside for a number of years. I never quit but I was only getting ont he air a couple times a month until recently. Decided to slow down, shed a lot of responsibiliies and while cleaning out/thinning out things came across a lot of my old gear. Bug bite!
In a matter of 4 weeks I had a Kenwood TS-480sat, that I got at a hamfest for $350 as it didn't work. Repaired it for about $1.50 in parts and it replaced the Drake TR3. Put up my old 5BTV (the same antenna I bought in 1974 and has been dragged with me), ground mounted, on a 4 foot stainless steel mast after disassembly, cleaning and retuning. It still kicks serious butt.
Have since added a 10-80 EFHW to complement the vertical. It's only 40 feet off the ground so it does not perform as well as it should but it will have to wait till a bit warmer weather.
It was so much fun I aquired a second TS-480 mated it up with t turbo tuner 2 and a little tarheel 2 and put that in the motorhome for when I'm boondocking. (and most any other time ;-) )
Spotted a VE exam event while doing errands this past November and wandered in, found I had everything they needed to let me test and sat for my Extra cold turkey. Passed the test and downgreaded from Advanced to Extra. Haven't figured out what to do with all that extra spectrum. ;-)
Second generation ham. Father - K9HKJ/W9BFW (SK) got me interested by joining him on the YL net way back in 1958, when I was but a wee little lad. (That's me, under his arm in photo above, along with my younger brother, KD5KKL.)|
July 04, 2019