KC4QYG – Andy Hodges
I was first licensed as a Novice back in 1990. I upgraded to Technician shortly after and spent most of my time playing with the (1200 baud) packet radio networks. That taught me a ton about computer networking in a time before the Internet was widespread. Ham radio was really been formative for me in developing an interest and competency in things technical.
I took some radios with me to college at Virginia Tech but didn’t end up doing much with them. I upgraded to General in 2000 and I convinced my girlfriend (now wife) Ping to get her Technician license. After that, I largely went quiet on the radio front until 2010 when a nice gentleman from Virginia Beach called me to encourage me to renew my license. I wish I had written down his name or call sign so I could contact him to thank him. I live in a neighborhood with antenna restrictions so wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to do with my license but I remembered the fun I’d had as a kid so I renewed and went to HRO to buy some equipment in June 2010. Since then my primary focus has been DXing to see what I could do with a compromise setup.
Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun and found the hobby to be a great way to relax, play, and learn when I’ve off from work.
Ham Radio Accomplishments:
WAS Mixed # 55,101 with an endorsement for JT65
Triple Play #779
DXCC Mixed # 45,988
DXCC Phone # 41,381
DXCC 20 Meters
W4BNO – Robert Orndorff
I developed an interest in electronics at a young age, and in particular, radio related electronics. I built my first transmitter when I was 12. It was a small FM transmitter built from a schematic in an electronics magazine. I took electronics in high school and received my A.A.S in Electronics from J. Sergeant Reynolds. It was my intention to be an engineer at a radio station, but I got an offer to work at VEPCO while I was still in school and took it. However, I’ve managed to actually work on a few 1kw and 5kw broadcast transmitters. I also do volunteer work, both reading and technical, for the Virginia Voice (a radio reading service).
Ham radio was always something I had an interest in, but I really did not know what it was about. A ham at my office noticed my copy of the ARRL handbook I keep at my desk and asked if I would help him teach the Boy Scout radio merit badge. I told him I wasn’t a ham and he encouraged me to get my license. That was February 2001. Repeaters were OK, but didn’t hold a lot of interest for me. When Field Day rolled around I went to the one nearest to my house. I was a little apprehensive at first, but really had fun once I got the hang of it. So now I had motivation for upgrading and I took the fall code class at the RARC school. In November I upgraded to General and was ready for a contest. The ten meter contest was my first and I had a blast. I made 65 contacts in about three hours and talked to 28 countries.
I’ve participated in contests, Field Days, DXing, QRP, CW, and kit building and have always had fun. I enjoy the technical aspects as well as the on air activities. I’ve found that Amateur radio offers many opportunities to learn. There are many aspects of amateur radio I would like to explore, finding time is the issue for me. But, I am happy to do a little at a time, whenever I get the chance.
I consider myself a casual DXer, and I participate in a couple of contests a year. In the last few years, I have taken an interest in antenna modeling and am trying to learn more about antennas.
Other hobbies I have are: photography, astronomy, computer programming, and I *try* to play the piano.
WD4LBR – Bruce Blackley
I earned my Novice License in 1977 and upgraded to General Class a year later with the help of the classes taught by The Fauquier Radio Amateur Club. I was a member of The Fauquier Amateur Radio Club until moving to Richmond in 1997.
After moving to Richmond I joined CVCC and became interested in contesting and DXing.
When my wife Sheila, K4WNW, was studying for her Technician License, she persuaded me to study for my Extra class License. I earned my Extra Class License in 2002.
My favorite part of Ham Radio has always been RTTY starting with a Model 15 Teletype. RTTY has changed a lot through the years and I now enjoy RTTY contests using the computer instead of the old noisy Teletype machines.
I guess you could say my favorite part is getting everything set up and running and helping others get interested in the RTTY part of the hobby.
I started working towards five band DXCC six years ago and have managed to get DXCC on 10M, 15M, 20M, 40M, CW, RTTY and Phone. I only need to confirm twenty- two more countries on 80M to reach my goal of five band DXCC. I also have earned my WAS. This was accomplished without the use of an amplifier or a beam antenna. At this time my total confirmed country count is 283.
With a great deal of luck I managed to win the Roanoke Division first place plaque for the RTTY Roundup low power assisted class for 2007, 2008 and with the help of my wife, K4WNW, as co-operator, 2009.
My original call was WD4LBR and I never changed it. After 32 years it’s too late to change now.
K4WNW – Sheila Blackley
I was licensed as KG4WNW in 2002 after observing my husband, Bruce, WD4LBR, enjoying the hobby for about 30 years.
My main reason for getting my license was for emergency purposes, never thought I would enjoy the Hobby that much. After getting my Technician class license I thought I would try to upgrade before they did away with the Morse code requirement. Well, I guess you could say about that time the Ham Radio Hobby Bug had caught me. I went ahead and kept upgrading and received my Extra Class License in 2004. I then changed my call to K4WNW.
You might ask how does it work for a husband and wife to both be Ham Radio operators in same house. We have been married for 44 years and through out our marriage we have always been each other’s best friend and tried to enjoy any interests the other one might have. We have enjoyed contesting as a team as well as our own individual accomplishments.
I have now confirmed 266 countries and have currently have DXCC on 10 Meters, 15 Meters, 20 Meters, also RTTY and phone. I also have my WAS.
I have enjoyed my association with all the nice people I have met through the hobby. I am a member of two Ham Radio Clubs in the Ricmond Area, Central Virginia Contest Club and Dominion DX Group
My current interests are Dxing and contesting. I also would like to learn more of the digital modes.
I am presently President of the Dominion DX Group Club and invite you to attend a meeting if you are able.
NQ4A – Jon Bennet
Born and raised in Houston Texas. I moved to Richmond in 1989 as Engineering Manager for WRVA and WRVQ. The radio business went through a period of sales, mergers, divestitures all in a very short period of time. I finally decided to incorporate my own Radio Engineering Contract Business, which I operate today on a very limited basis. I ended up at COX Radio Inc as Chief Engineer for 4 FM stations here in Richmond when I finally decided to retire in 2008 after 50 years of service in Houston and Richmond.
I was first licensed in Ham Radio back in 1964. I am the holder of an Extra Class Amateur Radio License. Life time Memberships with ARRL(40 years) and QCWA.
Additional annual memberships include The South East DX Assn and most recently DDXG. Additionally, life time certifications with the Society of Broadcast Engineers. I also hold a First Class Radio Telephone License, now a General Radio Certificate.
I am the proud recipient of the J.J. Freeman Engineer of the year award presented by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.
My achievements in Ham Radio include ARRL’s Worked all States Award, Mixed Mode DXCC and most recently applied for The 40 Meter DXCC. I am also an active Volunteer Licensee Exam participant with the W4PW Testing Team. Member of the RARC.
I am currently operating a Flex 5000A transceiver with a GAP TitanDX Antenna. My Favorite bands are 40, 20 and 15 meters. Modes include CW, PSK, RTTY and occasionally SSB. The only antenna I have due to space and HOA restrictions is the GAP Vertical ground mounted which serves me well.
I also serve on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Repeater Association and can usually be found on MRA’s 145.43 two meter repeater.
I have two daughters who reside in Texas. 4 Grand Children and 3 great grand daughters.
I am sad to say there are no other ham radio licensees in my family. Other interest and hobbies include Genealogy, Design and construction of Stained Glass Projects and photography. My email address is nq4a at verizon dot net