NØNQD - Jeffrey A. 'Jeff' Rafferty NØNQD

Jeffrey A. 'Jeff' Rafferty
Monticello, MN

QCWA # 38879
Chapter 8
First Call: KB0ILZ issued in 1991

Hello, I am Jeff Rafferty N0NQD at the time of this bio a General class license holder. I was first licensed as a novice KB0ILZ on Feb 26 1991, received my Technician license, my current call April 30th 2001. Just earned my General on Jan 15 2022. Currently studying for my Extra hope to pass this before heading out to Dayton May 2023.

I was exposed and attracted to electronics at a young age. Around 1976 I was digging through my fathers stuff and came across an electronics circuit building publication and I was fascinated with everything about that publication, that started my journey down to where I am today.

Growing up on the Iron Range in MN didn't offer me much for support or resources for electronics or technology at least at that time. Just a local Radio Shack, the two guys that worked there really had to put up with me day after day after day and they were a great help. The other way was via mail and magazines, I would pretend to be a company and request samples of which I received a lot, always hoping a rep would never stop by and find out I was just a kid. I always typed my requests and learned to sign my name professionally.. I was able to put together some interesting projects that amazed and also irritated my parents. As a teenager I had motion alarms and flashing lights and LEDs everywhere you just couldn't get into my room without some real effort. I designed and built my own robots and actually bought a Heathkit Hero1 w/arm as a kit. I built it which I still have to this day with all of the documentation. (Truth be told due to a electronics magazine article on the Heath/Zenith Hero1 Robot, I wrote a letter to William Johnson President of Heathkit at that time to see if they would donate it me for "educational purposes", of which I actually received a very nice letter back from him but with no free kit just good advice - still have that letter somewhere) I also loved to listen to radio and eventually getting a radio with shortwave that also covered the ham bands of which at the time I knew nothing about. I do remember listening to CW and wondering what it was thinking it was some secret spy stuff and conversations of things that I could sort of understand but not completely. Had no idea that it was amateur radio. Ultimately after graduation I went through an electronics program at HAVTI in Hutchinson, MN. I worked for Hutchinson Technology until they had a big layoff, worked for a military contractor in the TwinCities for a few years then switched gears and landed at the company I have been working for for 36 years. (Not in electronics). During the post school years I picked up a new Realistic Pro 30 scanner and came across hams talking on repeaters and simplex and this is when I had the aha amateur radio moment that linked what I had heard as a kid and what I was hearing on the scanner. Being in the twin cities I now had the opportunity to find resources and took a Novice class at the North Hennepin Tech College and that was the beginning of my amateur radio journey.

In the 1992 I started the Twin Cities chapter of the International Tesla Society built our organization to about 35 members a few of notable members was Dr.Otto Schmitt inventor of the "Schmitt Trigger" until his death in 1998 as well as Earl Bakken until the group disbanded I think around 2001 or 2002. I led the group along with our leadership team until 1998 and then I had turned the rains over to a couple of our other members who tried to keep it going. Our group shared information as well as worked on recreating Nikola Tesla's experiments and other general and fringe science projects and technologies. We typically met at an awesome location the "Pavek Wireless Museum" now just called "Pavek Museum", they were next to the Wireless Broadcasters Association. I was a member of the Pavek Museum for many years once I met Joe Pavek he was inspirational to me. I got to know Steve Raymer and volunteered there for a few years. It has been a long time since I have been there. Definitely a place to visit if you have not done so, especially if you are in the twin cities or traveling through.

I have been involved/members with many amateur radio clubs over the years TwinCities FM Club, Anoka Amateur Radio Club, Maple Grove Amateur Radio Club, A member for 5 years as a Special Deputy of the Mobile Amateur Radio Club of Hennepin County, Skywarn for many years. I ended up taking a break from ham radio because of some life changes for quite a few years until I moved out of the cities - sort of Monticello and bought a few acres and realized I can put up a tower or two. So I went out to pass my General class license at the Anoka Amateur Radio Club. Then I started to build my new station.

When I was a younger ham I thought CW was (for me) Not convenient and it was easier to talk.. So I never pursued any upgrade. Now that I did pass my General and got off of the Novice HF bands I realize how advantageous it is to understand and be proficient at CW to actually break through the worst conditions to make real DX contacts.. So I enrolled in CW Academy to make a real effort to hit at least 25wpm - we will see what happens. Other hobbies are restoring old radios, former member of NARC Northland Antique Radio Club, Hallicrafters, Hammerlund, Zenith Transoceanics, Zenith consoles, Atwater Kent consoles, Robotics, SDR experimentation, flying drones, motorcycles, Drive a Tesla Model Y, I would like to get more active in what Amateur Radio offers. POTA, Microwave, Satellite. Well that was probably more than anyone cared to know about me.

I am currently employed as a CBM Analyst where I get to determine the health of manufacturing equipment before they show signs of faults and failures so the repairs or replacements can be planned out before they cause equipment downtime. I also work with engineering and maintenance to ultimately eliminate the root causes of those failures so they don't keep happening. I am a certified vibration analyst as well as a certified thermographer, I also use Ultrasound technology to locate air & vacuum leaks, cavitation, bearing faults and more last but not least Motion amplification.

I am a member of the ARRL, QCWA #38879, 10X #58761. On QRZ, EQSL, LOTW

NØNQD - Jeffrey A. 'Jeff' Rafferty

March 6, 2023