... Ham Radio County Hunting History/Archive

History Happens: KC1NA Bio

de Bob, KC1NA (Jun 2012)

I first got involved with ham radio way back when (1950's). My uncle, then K1RGJ now K1FL, and I built a Hallicrafter kit transmitter and receiver. Later he went to a home-brew AM rig running a pair of 813's modulated by a pair of 807s and I spent many hours with him on the air. I started working towards my license, but reached high school age and developed other interests.

Minor radio related interested returned in the 1972-1974 time frame when I volunteered at the MARS Radio Station at Lajes Field, Azore Islands, Portugal. I was reassigned stateside and lost interest again. Time passed and I was eventually assigned to England where KF7SG peaked my interest again and I pursued a British license, first licensed as G7CCY and then GMXK. There were US examiners available and I tested for my US license and became KB2GMV and eventually KC1NA. Reassigned stateside, we drove from Maine to CA via FL running 2 meters all the way. We stopped in AZ and visited KF7SG and worked some stations on HF with his equipment, including Kalawao.

It was May 18, 1989 before I had an HF antenna system installed, a roof-mounted Butternut HF9v, and started working the HF bands, pursuing DX and eventually found the 3905cc nets. I earned most of their awards available at the time. I was also heavily involved as a MARS Radio Operator especially during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm activities.

In June 1993, I discovered the County Hunters Net while on a trip to Montana. I was hooked. May 1994 brought a change in my work pursuits. I started driving 18-wheelers for a living. The side effect was that I not only could still work counties, but I was now the mobile as well. I soon became an Over-The-Road instructor in the 18-wheeler and covered a lot of miles between air-times on the net. I slept while the student drove. As I owned the 18-wheeler, I could pretty much take whatever route I wanted which allowed for a lot of "side trips."

I have transmitted from 2387 counties and earned almost 800 last counties. I was County Hunter of the Year 2002 and Mobile Station of the Year 2002. I hold 4 stars and Bingo II. I have completed All SSB, All on 20 Meters and All Mobile-Mobile. I need 19 for 5-star, 17 for Master Gold, and 164 for 5th time.

Another life change came about in March 2004. I sold my truck, moved back to my roots here in Maine and went to work for a local trucking company driving just in the Northeast. Unfortunately, I eventually was assigned to a newer model Volvo truck with S-9 noise levels created by the on-board Electronic Control Module for the diesel engine. County hunting became too much of a challenge. I quit driving the 18-wheeler when dad became ill in May 2011 and I eventually retired in Sep 2011.

Retired??? I renewed my Registered Maine Guide License in 2005 and currently guide clients for fishing the Kennebec River, deer hunting, canoeing, photographic trips and snowmobiling. I do scenic photography and sell some of my work. I am a substitute high school teacher, am on the local school board, am 2nd VP of the American Legion Post 39, maintain 3 websites, manage our Medical Transcription Service and am heavily involved in the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps program.

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