Amateur Radio Station WS7I
First licensed as WN5SED in 1967 while in high school in Clovis, NM. Mentor was K5TPU who was a active MARS member using RTTY. He was also active on Six Meters.This was also my first MARS operation as I was a member of the base support team of Air Force MARS station AGA6EY, Clovis AFB, NM. This station was "master NCS" for the Air Force Transcon system.
Had several other callsigns over the years as I moved around during high school and college. First rig was an old SCR 522 that we operated across town on 2 meters. Built a DX-60 while in high school and had a HQ-170A that I bought by working after school and in the summer.
Was a Communications Center Specialist for the Army Security Agency and served in Vietnam. We used model 28's and RTTY. This included Tape relay, Autodin, as well as other classified activities. After serving in the ARMY I was in the Washington State Army National Guard. I was a Scout Platoon Leader in the 1/161st of the 81st Brigade. Did several extra summer camps training officers at Camp Murray during summers.
Primarily a CW operator until I met Hal, WA7EGA and we started RTTY contesting in 1986 as a Multi-single team.
In 1987 Hal and I won the North American award for each contest held that year. Hal and I got our first World Title in BARTG that year and that lead to us getting invited to travel to the Galapagos Islands for the first CQWW RTTY contest where we "Won the World" as HD8CQ for our second world M/S title.
WA7EGA & KE7PN First World Title
During this period I became the National Award Manager along with my wife Betsy WV7Y for the RTTY Journal Awards program which predates all other RTTY awards to include the ARRL. This started a long association with Dale Sinner, W6IWO the RTTY Journal editor. I was the Software Columnist for the RTTY Journal from 1989 until 1992. WS7I moved in 1992 from software to hardware and was the hardware columnist until I turned that over to Mike Candy and started the "Clover Column" in 1993. I became the "Clover" author when that mode came out and that lead to an on-going relationship with Bill Henry and Hal Communications. Continue to beta test software for Hal Communications and there high speed Clover Modems.
Vice President and Director of the American Digital Radio Society when that society formed in 1992 and purchased the RTTY Journal until 1995 when the society split and part became the International Digital Radio Association. I served as the Marketing Director of the Digital Journal 1994 until April 1996.
Worked with many of the pioneers of digital radio with the ADRS. Bill Henry, Vic Poor, Jim Morrison, Hank Oredson, Steve Waterman, Ray Petit and others.
Hal and I had an idea on evening over a couple of slices of prime rib and a bottle of wine. We decided that we needed another RTTY contest. After a lot of work with Rush Drake then the NW Division ARRL director we created the RTTY Roundup Contest in January 1989. This contest has become one of the best RTTY contests. Since 2002 I have done the results of the contest as published in QST and on the web. 2013 was the Silver anniversary of the RTTY Roundup. That was enough!
In 1987 joined Ted HC5K, Roy KT1N, Hal WA7EGA and contested from the Galapagos Islands as HD8CQ. This was Betsy and my first DXpediton. We won the first CQWW RTTY contest.
In 1989 we returned to the Galapagos and operated as HD8EX again Multi-single. This second trip sort of burnt out Hal a bit on contesting it seems as he has rarely been seen on the air since. But last year I did talk him into an Icom 7410 and he can be found on 80 meters.
So 1990 saw WS7I spread his wings and make an attempt at some serious single operator events. Won the RTTY Roundup Single Operator High Power. Later in 1990 while operating HC5J I won the World title in CQWW RTTY using one keyboard to log on and another to send the RTTY exchanges due to a small software glitch. Was invited to W7XR and was part of the 10 meter team. This group included W7XR, W7TJ, K7SS, W7WA, K7IDX, K7IR, NN7L, W7AWA, KE7V, VE7NKI, W7UA and probably some I have forgotten. The record contines as M/M CQ SSB W7 today.
Was in Air Force MARS for fifteen years and held several regional and State Billets, AFD0WA, AFF5M, AFF5R. Was a member of the AF Transcon Packet Network as well as the Transcon RTTY network. Was a Washington State liasion to Navy and ARMY MARS organizations. This service continued until 1999 when I left Air Force MARS and joined ARMY MARS.
Returned to the Galapogos in 1993 and operated as HC8J winning my third World BARTG title and my first for that fine group as a Single Operator. 1995 was an effort from P40JT where I was declared the winner, but where the contest director in CQWW RTTY was over-ruled by CQ and an after the deadline entry was accepted that edged me out--so I ended up second and a South American Winner.
1995 met Ron Stailey AB5KD now K5DJ and we became fast friends and did a large number of contests in the 90's from the Edwards Ranch in Texas, W5KFT. We won many RTTY World titles and set many records.
WS7I at the W5KFT Ranch
Ron and I created the WPX World-wide RTTY contest and with the sponsorship of the ADRS launched in it 1995.
We revolutionized results and plaques. Ron did the plaques and I did the awards for several years. We had the contest in February and the results were finalized and plaques issued at the then April Dayton Hamvention. This contest had several different sponsors and finally after it was well established CQ Magazine became a joint sponsor and later the sole sponsor.
Created records for CQWW RTTY, WPX RTTY, as well as NCJ records for many years. Compiled and submitted most of these to the WM5R/K5TR database.
During this period I bought the AK1A packetcluster software and started the first cluster in the Pacific Northwest. Linked on HF to W6GO, VE7CQD, later WU3V and others. Once linked to Salt Lake City for a long period of time over the packet network.
Politics lead to the formation about this time of EWARG, as a political action group for HF Digital. We also created a large packet system which at one point extended from Spokane to Baker City, Or; Boise, Idaho, Orfino, Id. Pasco, WA, Yakima, WA, Pullman, WA. We had packet clusters in Boise, Baker City, Pasco, Spokane and a network that stretched for many square miles. This was also heavily used by ARES/RACES in several areas as a Emergency System that was dedicated and was always up but the clusters could be turned off and the sysem used 100% for Encomm and 100% RF.
In 1999 I joined ARMY MARS and also became a NCS SHARES station. Held several Region 10 positions Assistant Region Director and Region Emergency Officer. Was a Washington State MARS member and was very active. Was the first Region 10 Minor Relay Station for the Juliett Zero Golf Net. Also AAR0AR was the first Region 10 ALE licensed member using the new ALE software version..
RTTY Dxing and DXing also became passions. Received WAC, RTTY DXCC #157, RTTY WAZ #36 on 20 meters and in 2002 achieved the Number 1 Honor Roll in mixed. Finally got on the RTTY Honor roll in 2013. Recently appointed by the Northwest Division Director ARRL to the DX Advisory Committee.
Continue to run a BPQ node in Spokane as well as the K7TJ EWARG Packetcluster. These have run continuously for 20 years. I am an Offiical Emergency Station for the Eastern Washington Section as well as a DXCC and CQ WAZ card checker.
Author and columnist for Amateur Radio publications including CQ, CQ Almanac, QST, National Contest Journal, RTTY Journal, Pactor News.
December 1, 2014 AFA0AR returned to Air Force MARS. Perhaps I can be an asset for them again. Currently the Region 10 Minor Relay station and also have been assigned as the Region Eight Director.
After completing a reorganization of Region Eight and finding a capable replacement I returned to Region 10 service. Created the legacy Winmor Digital system in Region 10 all stations running bpq32 software utilizing both Pactor and Winmor. Joined by two other MARS Digital stations and AGA0MC.
Was the Deputy Northwest Division Director and assisted the Division Director January 2016 while serving on the MOI rewrite committee. Became the Washington State Air Force MARS Director in August 2015 and served until appointed the Region 10 Director in April 2016.
Currently involved in networking operations with EWARG and KC7AAD. Running 5 GHz networks and also other networks. Hope to tie all together with a lot of work. Hope to extend our amateur network on the 188.8.131.52 network all the way to my remote site that is 45 miles North of Spokane.
Professionally was Vice President of Information Services and Networking (CIO) until retirement in 2010. Company was active in 18 Western States and the Pacific.