WAØTML - John T. 'Trent' Hays WAØTML

John T. 'Trent' Hays
Ft Collins, CO

QCWA # 25628

Well I gave up my old call, WBØHZL, that I have had since 1972, wow held it for 44 years; but did not get a shorter call. I am now WAØTML (as of 1 June 2016). Some might ask why and the answer is basically one of ego. I was first licensed in 1968 with the call WNØTML (see below).

Back then the Novice license was for 2 years and non-renewable. I let the license lapse because I was in college and when I finally got the upgrade license, Technician, in 1972 I had passed the grace period for getting the upgrade call from my Novice license, that would have been WAØTML. I always wanted that call, a sign that I am a real old timer. Now on with the rest of the story.

I was born in Kansas City, Kansas but moved around a lot when I was a child. My Dad was a Career Officer in the US Air Force. My family eventually settled in Colorado. I received my first amateur radio license there in 1968; as of January 19, I was WNØTML. I actually earned all of my US ham licenses in Colorado; having held every class license available except 'Conditional' (it was basically the General license but was available by mail, like the Novice license). I earned my Amateur Extra license in November 1978 while stationed at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver.

Novice - 1968 (WNØTML)
Technician - 1972 (WBØHZL)
General - 1972 (WBØHZL)
Advanced - 1974 (WBØHZL)
Amateur Extra - 1978 (WBØHZL and now WAØTML)
My home QTH or Home of Record was Colorado even though I lived in several states and in West Germany during my career in the US Army, until I moved to the Philippines in August 2011. I received a reciprocal license while in West Germany (1981 to 1983) and was assigned the call sign DA2HT.

In the Philippines I lived in a subdivision in Palo, on the Island of Leyte, about 2 miles from where General MacArthur made his landing when he returned to the Philippines during WWII. We were a couple of miles from the Provincial Capital of Leyte, Tacloban. I lived in Eastern Samar for about a year, where my YF is from, then returned to Palo. Our home was destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (the rest of the world called it Typhoon Hayian - 8 November 2013).

After some procrastination and learning how to do things in the Philippines, I considered just applying for a reciprocal license (limited power and has to be renewed yearly). I finally got a Philippine Amateur Radio License or more appropriately Radio Operators Certificate (ROC) as I did not have any equipment. In the Philippines to get a Radio Station License, you must register and have listed on your license your transmitting equipment (and yes there is a fee for that). In April 2013 I took the examination for and passed the Class C examination (Technician), then I had to apply for my ROC and my assigned call sign was DW5HT. On 18 December 2013, while living in Metro Manila, where we moved after Typhoon Yolanda, I took and by some miracle passed the Class B examination (General). The examination was considerable harder than I expected and all my study materials were lost in the typhoon. Just for general information's sake, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) does not provide question pools for various amateur radio licenses, only a syllabus of the subject areas, many of the questions and answers are rather obscure. I applied for a modification of my license after passing the exam and was issued the Class B license and my call sigh became DV5HT.

On 7 May 2016, I took the Class A Amateur Radio License exam (this is the highest class license and has all amateur privileges), but have not received confirmation of passing. I am not worried as the test was considerably easier than the Class B exam. The code test was very interesting too. It consists of 25 words, no numbers or punctuation and only a couple of procedural prosigns. To pass the exam you must copy at least 5 words in order and then copy 70% of the remaining words. The test is given at the blinding speed of 5 words-per-minute(wpm), kept trying to dose off between the characters, hi hi. On June 10, 2016 I was notified that I passed the Class A exam, I will now be modifying my license and my Call should become DU5HT. On July 14, 2016 I picked up my new Class A Amateur Radio Operators Certificate and Station License, I am officially DU5HT!

In the Philippines, like in the US, your class of license dictates on what bands and sub-bands you can operate; but your output power is also dictated again by the class of Philippine license. The prefix indicates the class of license and the number, in the call sign, is the district in which you live. When you move to another district in the Philippines, there are 9 districts, you have to modify your license and a new call sign is assigned, again indicating the district you live in. You can sign portable for a short period of time (up to four months with proper notification to the NTC) without modifying your license in the new district.

DU and 4F - Class A
DV - Class B
DW - Class C
DY - Class D
DX - Club Station

Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Luzon Region
Districts 5, 6 and 7 - Visayas Region
Districts 8 and 9 - Mindanao Region
My usual ham activities include:
  • Casual DXing (started this back in my Novice days). My 'Elmer' had earned his DXCC and had over 280 countries confirmed. I currently have 7 DXCC.s. Two of them are for my activities in West Germany.
  • Casual Contesting (actually my first contest was the Novice Round-up in 1968), would unofficially participate in contests as I ran into them until I started submitting contest logs in the 1990s. I was lucky enough to receive a certificate for the 1998 ARRL DX Contest, Phone, operating QRP and was the Rocky Mountain Division Leader. and the Colorado 'Section Leader'.
  • Rag Chewing (my very first award was the Rag Chewers Club certificate [RCC]). I really enjoy getting to know the amateurs I contact. The contest type QSO is just not as enjoyable as a nice chat with the other station.

    In the mid to late 1970s I was active with traffic handling and actually earned the ARRL Brass Pounders League (BPL) Medallion. Over the years I have held several ARRL field appointments which include:
  • Emergency Coordinator (EC)
  • Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC)
  • Educational Advisor (EA)
  • Volunteer Examiner (VE) - was a VE Team liaison for several years.

    My favorite bands are (and are given in order of preference) 15 Meters, 6 Meters, 40 Meters and 10 Meters. However I can be found on just about any of the standard HF bands (3.5 MHz to 29.7 MHz). Depending which country I am in, I also enjoy weak signal operations (CW and SSB) on 2 Meters, 1.25 Meters (not available in the Philippines) and 70 Centimeters.

    I am a member of the following:
  • ARRL - Life Member
  • NRA - Benefactor Life Member
  • PARA (Philippine Amateur Radio Association) - Life Member
  • IRTS (Irish Radio Transmitters Society)
  • QCWA

    I officially retired in 2013 while in the Philippines. I was retired by the military in 1995. I am a US Army Reserve Captain and my Branch is Chemical Corps. When I am not hamming my activities include traveling with my wife; in the Philippines we travel mainly around Eastern Samar spending quality time with family and friends. We also travel around Asia and Oceania. We were living back in the US and settling into a community in Kansas. as I said I am a Kansas native. We returned to the Philippines in December 2015 for the Holidays. I also enjoy pistol shooting, motorcycling and hunting (big game, small game, upland birds and waterfowl).

    April 04, 2017