Hi, I’m AndyZ K1RA, ex- KA1GD, ex- WB1ALW. Licensed in December 1976 in Meriden, CT as a Novice (Gary/W1ECH administered my test) , I’m celebrating more than 30 years in ham radio and contesting. See the ARRL QST magazine contest results for the 1976 ARRL 10 meter contest for my first contest entry and picture as a young WB1ALW. I was licensed a mere 6 days as a ham before participating. What a long strange trip its been !
I was born and raised in Connecticut, in the shadow of the ARRL and was a member of the Murphy’s Marauderers Contest club. I was assisted in my early contest years by such contesters and club members as Paul K1XM, Tom N1MM, Stan WA1MAO / KA1ZE, Mark K1PR and Ed K1RT. It was there that I first saw real HF contest stations in action and it was also where I participated and was soon hooked on multi-operator contesting. My first VHF multi-op experiences were also in CT with John W1XX and his team in 1977 and with Tom WB1FVS and his crew in 1980.
In 1980, a job shift by my father (Rich K1HTV) brought me to the Maryland / D.C. area to finish my high school education, in the shadow of the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). It was here that I was able to work part-time for AMSAT and get access to leading edge technology. This also allowed me to become a member of the GSFC radio club WA3NAN and gain access to their multi-transmitter station. It was here that I was able to increase my technical and operating skills by turning the station into a usable contest station, mainly for SS, 10 meter and some VHF contests and eventually assisting in turning it into a multi-transmitter shuttle retransmission station.
Through the grapevine of Ed K1RT, via Andy N2NT, word reached the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC) that I was in town, and soon after with the help of Gene W3ZZ and Paul WA3ZAS / KS1G / K5RT, I began my involvement with that contest club. My contesting in PVRC began at the home of Carl W3FA (SK) and years later led to that of Frank W3LPL, where it continued through 2003.
The early 80’s brought me to the University of Maryland in pursuit of my Electrical Engineering degree and the station of W3EAX, which like that of WA3NAN, I worked to turn into a small contest station. Again this was aimed mainly for SS and VHF contests and those contests I could interest other club members in operating.
The mid to late 80’s brought me back to New England several times a year to operate the multi-operator VHF station of Jay W1VD and Clark K1JX for the ARRL VHF contests. In the early 90’s my VHF multi-operating shifted to joining up with the members of Bird Hill VHF Society (BHVHFS) with Ed K1TR and Ken K1EA during the ARRL June and September VHF contests in eastern Pennsylvania atop Blue Mountain ski resort.
Today I live in Warrenton, VA about 35 miles west of Washington, D.C. and I’m an active member of the Fauquier ARA (W4VA). As well as still being involved in PVRC I actively support the K8GP Contest Group. K8GP is a group of V/U/SHF and microwave enthusiasts who venture to Spruce Knob, West Virginia during the ARRL June and September VHF contests. I have developed and currently maintain their web site which contains pictures, audio and video of our expeditions to the mountain.
Email me at: k1ra @t arrl . net