Who I am and Where I came from
I was originally licensed in 1959 as KN8YZR, in Jackson Michigan. I was in High School. I only ever made one QSO as a novice, on 2 meter AM during Field Day of that year.
A year later, I upgraded to Technician and bought a Heathkit 'Sixer' and a Halo to set up my first station. I later upgraded the station to an LW-51 transmitter (a single 6146 plate modulated) and a LW 6M converter feeding a general coverage receiver.
At the end of High School, I went off to join the Navy and ended up at Great Lakes Naval Training Center for a year of Electronics School. While there, I upgraded to Conditional and passed a lot of traffic at the club station K9NBH.
The Navy took me to Hawaii where I spent some time operating KH6SP at the Submarine base at Pearl Harbor. After I was discharged, I attended the University of Hawaii and was active in Oahu County Civil Defense. Active in Army MARS I ran a lot of phone patches. To pay the bills, I tracked satellites for the Air Force and worked for the Phone Company. While in Hawaii, I upgraded to Advanced and held the callsign KH6GHC.
In 1969, I moved to Des Plaines, Ill with a job opportunity and spent 10 years in an apartment with no outside antennas. (At least none you could see <grin>). Even so, I managed to work about 20 states on 2M and made a bunch of satellite contacts on Oscar 7. I was also Radio Officer for Des Plaines ESDA and spent some time as Tech Chairman for the NORA repeater (147.69/09).
During that time I held the callsigns WB9CSP and W9MMB. I finally upgraded to Extra as a part of the FCCs first incentive licensing program. The 'incentive' was that as an Extra, you could pick from available calls, and I picked K9IJ.
In 1978, my employer sent me to Tampa, Florida to open a customer support office. I was finally able to afford to buy my first house and of course the tower went up soon afterwards. I spent most of the first 4 years working DX on the HF bands. When I wasn't doing that, I earned a Pilots License ASMEL- IA and built a repeater..... Then I got married.
The end of 1984, we moved back north and settled in Lake Zurich. Work and marriage kept me pretty well occupied. Ham radio was pretty much 2M & 220 mobile FM. Got 'unmaried', still kept in touch with old friends on NORA, but not much else. Got married again :-). Then in 1996 I did 3 rounds with a major medical problem which pretty much took me off the air entirely for the next 4 years.
After that, things looking up again, I started to get back in to the hobby. Put a radio back in the car and hooked up with some of the old gang but it just wasn't the same. So Robbie, WA9INF said "Try SUHFARS", it's up near you and has a pretty good bunch of people. Yeah, Robbie.... it's all his fault.... I had a UHF talkie, so I tried it. That led to a new mobile, which led to a new base station, which led to a new HF radio, which led to 6 Meters, which led to an antenna farm in the back yard and on the roof...... And then there's the club website at http://www.suhfars.org . Got involved with Lake County RACES and ended up doing their website too at http://www.races.org
Lost Robbie. Rest in Peace. We'll all miss him terribly.
And so it goes. Update 11/10/2017
Currently I'm very active in FT8 Digital. I contest some, mostly CW and chase a little DX. I've worked all states on Six Meters and 160Mhz, 330 Countries on HF. Currently equpped for all bands 160M-450MHZ. Current wife much more tolerant of the hobby than the first and things couldn't be better. It's all Robbies fault....
John - K9IJ