Secretary – W5AWS – Andrew Shead

W5IAS Club Secretary 2022

When Were You First Licensed

I was first licensed in 1981 and never bothered to get on the air, circumstances and lack of equipment being a contributing factor. When I retired, I decided to pursue Amateur Radio as a retirement hobby. Though I could use my UK call here, my lack of familiarity with current procedures, rules and regulations convinced me to obtain an FCC license to operate, join the ARRL and a local club.

What’s Your Current Class

My current class is Amateur Extra.

Areas of Interest

I am interested in documenting what I do, kit-building, CW, QRP (5W or less), portable operating, minimal equipment, compact self-supporting antennas, and weak signal digital modes that support more than mere exchange of call, RST, and QTH. Sometime in the future, I may become more involved with the ARES and NTS.

What was your first radio

My first radio is a Yaesu FT-70D.

What’s your favorite ham story

Since I’m an occasional hamster who spends more time transmitting into a dummy load, there is only one ham story that is by default favorite.

Digital communication offers a plethora of modes that make possible reliable communication at low-power across surprising distances. My first contact was with an operator in Madison, WI, from my QTH in Tulsa, OK, where I have high levels of EMI, using 5W into a magnetic- loop antenna tuned to resonance and mounted on a tripod in what passes for my shack ? a far from perfect combination to say the least.

With most, if not all, aspects of Amateur Radio it is difficult to know where to start, or what equipment to use, or which way to turn. Digital communication is no exception.

My first contact showed me these necessary areas of improvement in my operations:

1…Become fluent in the use of the modem software.

2…Use a logging program to record contacts. Even though I am only interested in casual contacts, other operators may want official record of each contact for contesting or other purposes.

3…Document my learning for the benefit of other beginners in digital operations, as well as for a personal engineering record.

Outcome of my first contact is expansion of my reading, research, and development using Linux, fldigi, LoTW, and various ways of interfacing computer to radio. This has proved more challenging than one would think at first glance. Going at my own pace, I’ll get there eventually.