WB4FDT - Phillip M. 'Pip' Sager  WB4FDT

Phillip M. 'Pip' Sager
Baltimore, MD

QCWA # 24865
Chapter 20 & 91

I am now the Executive Secretary of the Old, Old Timer's Club (OOTC) and editor of their publication, "Spark Gap Times". This is an organization of folks who have communicated 40 or more years ago, via ham, military, ship, or commercial wireless, and are interested in its history. For more info see www.ootc.us.

I was the licensee of W3E between November 4-15, 2012. This special event station celebrates 400 years of european settlement in Maryland. QSL direct or via the Bureau. I was also the licensee of W3D between November 1-14, 2013.

Nickname: "Pip". First licensed as General Class WB4FDT in Virginia in January, 1967. Extra class since 1970. Had N4VN as a secondary call but never used it. Prefer long call signs. You may have worked me as an operator in contests at K4CG (1969-1974), W1AW (1986-1989), or W3PP (1998-2009). Currently I operate some contests from stations W3LPL and N3RR.

Operated as WB4FDT/5 in Texas 1973-4, in Louisiana 1989-95, as WB4FDT/1 in Connecticut 1986-89, and as WB4FDT/3 in Maryland, 1995-date. Worked for the Amateur and Citizens Division of the FCC as a license examiner and law clerk from 1973-1977. Also worked at ARRL HQ from 1986-89 as manager of the Regulatory Information Branch writing several QST columns and interpreting many of the FCC rules I helped write 10 years earlier! Guess I'm the only person who has worked for both FCC and ARRL.

Mostly operate CW and 80 and 40. If your reading this while in QSO with me, please note that although my sending may be abit slow, I can receive up to 45 wpm, so don't hesitate to blast away!! I enjoy contesting, member PVRC and FRC, and hold 5BDXCC. Active in the Maryland CW traffic net (MDD--3557 Khz at 0000Z and 0300Z ) and was Manager of the National Traffic System Third Region CW net ("Cycle 4") for 17 years. Served as Virginia Section Manager in 1982-1984 and as an Roanoke Division Assistant Director from 1975-1985.

If you have an interest in CW traffic handling, join us on MSN (MD Slow Net) at 7:30 pm EST/EDT on 3563 kHz and enroll in the training class. It is one-on-one instruction with the student setting the pace. The net manager, Bruce, W8CPG, will gladly add you to the roster and provide student guidance material for anyone inside or outside Maryland.

I edited "The Virginia Ham" a publication for Virginia amateurs from 1969-1978. I have been gathering information about the history of ham radio in Virginia for over 20 years and have started to write some historical articles for the Spark Gap Times of the OOTC. Always looking for QSL cards, certificates and logs from pre-1960 hams in the VA-MD-DC area. Co-authored "The Overview of Amateur Radio Callsigns" published in QST in May, 1994.

Unlike most hams, at age 15 I had no interest in radio, communications, electronics or talking to anyone, especially adults, over the radio. I got my ticket only because my best friend, now N4DR, got his ticket so I had to get one in order to understand what he was doing and talking to me about. Even after I passed my General exam I had no intention of getting on the air from my home. Fortunately, I had a cousin, now 4X1LL, who lived nearby. When I returned home one day from school, I found he had put up several dipole antennas, a DX-40 with VFO, and a NC173 receiver w/TR switch, and I was on the air!

I quickly found out that I enjoyed CW. There no one cared how old I was, all anyone cared about was the operator's good CW practices and skills. When I operate CW, I feel like I'm conducting a symphony! Voice communication just sounds like noise...Sometime, during my first year of operating, I stumbled into the Virginia QSO Party, and then I was really hooked on contesting!

The nickname "Pip" was bestowed by members of the Virginia CW Net. After only a few days on the air, I checked into the net and was asked my name. By the time I replied with very slow speed CW: "P-H-I-L-L-I-P" it was almost time for the net to end! The net control said "just call yourself "Pip" from now on" and the name stuck.

Currently manage a small retail store selling stamps and postal history to stamp collectors. I am a life member of ARRL since 1967, life member of QCWA (#24865), life member of AMSAT #55, FISTS #8148, GERITOL #1518, Life 00TC #4497 and SKCC #2773, A-1 Op, CWops #916, and hold an MBA (College of William and Mary) and Doctorate (Louisiana Tech U) in Business Administration. My XYL of 37 years, Ruth, is KA1QWV (QCWA #34990), and a national leader in teaching life skills to blind seniors. We have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren. Our oldest son, Victor, is named after family friend Vic Clark, W4KFC (SK).

The photo is of a 50 pound catfish I caught in the Potomac River in June 2011, using 20-pound line and bloodworms.

April 28, 2015