KU7D - Warren

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The Making of a Ham

Working the bands at the W7I Special Event Station

I earned my first amateur ticket, a General-class license, at the tender young age of 22. I was first exposed to amateur radio when my Dad, KC7ERC, got involved in emergency preparedness things and started running with a group of hams in my native stomping ground in Northern Utah. Though Dad only ever played around with his 2m HT, he had a few friends that were "hardcore" hams, one of whom I distinctly remember pounding out high-speed CW on his paddle while carrying on a completely different conversation over his shoulder. Talk about cool! I was hooked!

Since Dad worked a lot when I was growing up, my early attempts to get involved in ham radio failed, mostly because I lacked an effective Elmer. I eventually all but gave up on the idea of earning my license. Every now and then, I'd meet someone with an overwhelming knowledge of all things electronic and technical, only to find out later on that they were a ham. There was a definite pattern I noted there, and I wanted, once again, to get involved and make it happen.

What really got the ball going for me again was an e-mail my Dad sent to me in January 2007, asking if I wanted his old HT. Turns out Dad had been inactive with amateur radio for some time and the HT hadn't been out of the box in years. He was going through some of his old stuff and stumbled across it and decided to pass it on. Boy, am I glad he did, too! The moment I got it, I started hitting the books and finding anything I could about amateur radio. It was at this point I became involved with the Casper Amateur Radio Club. Several months later, and with plenty of work and unending patience on the part of the guys in the club, I finally realized the dream and finished the journey I had started so many years ago: I went from no license to General at Wyoming HamFest 2007, earning my first call "KE7NPF." The rest, as they say, is history. Upon learning of my enthusiasm for amateur radio, Dad has since purchased another HT and is somewhat active with things again, even talking about a possible license upgrade and the purchase of an all-band, all-mode transceiver. Ya gotta love it when stuff comes full circle!

So Now What?

My current station is a Kenwood TS-2000 running into a High Sierra "Frontier" antenna setup. As a bona-fide, certified (and certifiable) appliance operator, I enjoy all aspects of amateur radio, including HF Phone, Digital and CW, as well as spending a considerable amount of time monitoring the local repeaters.

As far as employment goes, I've dabbled in everything from food service to health care, with a couple of major stops in the IT and radio broadcasting and outdoor advertising industries. I'm currently employed as an Advertising Consultant with a (Wyoming) statewide radio network. This requires me to travel somewhat regularly, and it's given me the opportunity to talk with numerous hams all over the state.

After lots of study and hard work, I passed my Amateur Extra-class exam on December 16, 2008, incidentally at a VE session that I had organized. I went vanity a short time later, assuming call sign "KU7D." I figured that since I've done the work and studying to earn Amateur Extra, I might as well have the short call sign to go with it! My understanding is that the former holder of this call left quite a reputation for me to live up to.

Owing to several life-changing events, I moved south to Cheyenne in December 2011 and have since enrolled in school to finish my degree in the hopes of becoming an attorney. I maintain contact with many of my ham friends in Casper and still make it up that way from time to time.

I have had so much fun learning about amateur radio and meeting new people that I'm very excited to share this with others, which is why I have earned my accreditation as a Volunteer Examiner and formerly served as the Team Leader/Liaison for our local team. I'll certainly not profess to be an expert, or even well-versed on most of amateur radio operating, but I'm having fun learning more every day, and isn't that what all of this is really about?

I owe a lot to all of the "Elmers" that I had when I was first getting started, and all those that have patiently answered my seemingly endless cacophony of questions. The members of this club are an amazing bunch that are so anxious to help someone out. I hope that as I progress in this hobby, that I can continue to "give back" and keep the chain going. This hobby is far too precious to simply let die.

Aside from working and playing radio, I enjoy target shooting, big game hunting and almost any outdoor activity, riding my motorcycle, listening to music, roughing up the dog, reading a good book or settling down in front of a good movie.

If you would like to contact me for any reason, e-mail me at: <my call> (a) arrl (dot) net. You can also connect with me on Facebook! Cheers, and 73... I'll see you on the bands!