Amateur Radio


Amateur radio became the foundation of my professional career as an electronics engineer. I was first licensed as a novice in 1972 as WN9JPS, after taking classes with the McHenry County (Illinois) Amateur Radio Club. Within two years, I had my extra. In August 2014 I finally got my current vanity callsign, NA6O. Great for CW. Look me up on QRZ:

More Than a Hobby


My station in Crystal Lake in 1979. That’s a Drake TR-4 will all the accessories. It was a great rig. Photo by Randy Dunning, KC5QHH.

More history....            WB9JPS_History.html

These days, I run a Kenwood TS-590S with an Elecraft KPA-500 amplifier, and operate exclusively CW. Antennas are a big problem due to CC&R limitations. For 15-80m, I have my Pathetic Dipoles, way up at 15 feet at the center and 7 feet at one end. Stealthy, and gloriously ineffective... I also use various verticals.

Is my station compact or what? It’s on a cart I built to hold test equipment. There’s barely room to sit there but it’s surprisingly comfortable because everything is exactly where it needs to be for CW operation.

I’m a member of SKCC, CWops, and the Northern California Contest Club.


These are the “keys to my success”. A Begali Sculpture, a 1963 Vibroplex Deluxe Original, a 1938 McElroy Deluxe, and my Cocobolo hand key.

Also see my Bugs page.