KK6GXG is my FCC issued Amateur Radio Service station/operator license and callsign. My Technician license was granted on October 17th, 2013, General on March 18th, 2014, and finally Amateur Extra on June 9th, 2014
I had been interested in radio since the early 80s when a friend showed me his dad’s ham shack. The thought of being able to communicate with people around the world, and in space, from a relatively simple private radio station had me hooked.
Getting My Ticket
There are a number of things that motivated me to finally get off my butt and earn my license; a desire to live off-grid, for personal and emergency communications, to educate myself in an area beneficial to my vocation at the time, aviation, to continue learning new things, to dabble in electronics… The list really does go on and on.
I am here for fun, playing with gadgets, building neat stuff, talking to like-minded folks, but I am also here to give back, to teach, mentor, and to serve my community in a way that an old fart who aint gettn’ any younger can continue to be of service for a long time to come, The Amateur Radio Service.
Sooner Rather Than Later
One of the things I was looking forward too when we moved from California to Oregon was space for antennas. I was also planning on eventually getting involved with ARES®, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, set up and run by the ARRL. What I wasn’t expecting was to get tapped as the ARES® Emergency Coordinator for the county shortly after moving here.
Working with the local club to maintain infrastructure was already an interest but being the EC meant getting even deeper into technical and logistical aspects of rooftop and mountain top work parties.
Getting into the service side of things also motivated me to develop skills in Packet, APRS, and now LoRA and microwave IP networking for EmComm.
In 2021 I was tapped at the Section level. Many states are a Section unto themselves, like Oregon. Some are further divided due to large population centers like California which has 9 Sections. All of the states and territories make up a total of 70 Sections.
The top leadership of the Section is the Section Manager (SM), some Section Managers have assistants for various tasks or geographical areas. I was asked to be the Assistant Section Manager (ASM) covering the 11 southern Oregon counties in ARES districts 5 and 6. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my fellow hams in southern Oregon.
One of my responsibilities is to fill in when other roles have been vacated as needed, one such roll is to temporarily be the acting District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for ARES District 5. Being an ASM has been like drinking from a firehose, but it is very rewarding.
I have taken on a number of other roles as well including Public Information Coordinator (PIC) and Public Information Officer (PIO), and in June 2023 I was asked to take on the role of Section Manager for Oregon. (bigger story, will have to wait a while.)
My radio activities, and all volunteer activities in general are on hiatus beginning mid-August. There is a lot more to come, it’s just going to be a while.
Putting It All Together
For me, amateur radio is about life-long learning and service. It’s not a commitment to a particular path, technology, or even organization. This is one of the reasons ham radio is such an amazing hobby, it has so many different possibilities and they are always expanding.
Updated 10 August 2023