VISIT TO THE QTH OF W9KXQ, May 16, 1998
With the spring leaving and the summer approaching, all the things to do, grass cutting, painting, repairing house and barn, washing car, etc., it seems like so little time for fun things like Ham Radio. But I was able to squeeze time for a talk with a very busy Ham, John King W9KXQ.
John was home when I pulled up in front of his QTH and found him baby sitting, no child sitting. John has 2 daughters. The youngest, still at home, is a very pretty daughter, and she girlishly went off to play with whatever young girls play with. This gave me the opportunity to have an uninterrupted visit with John.
John, W9KXQ, spends a large part of his time in a beautiful Ham Shack, located in the north end of his finished basement. Also W9KXQ is very lucky to have located next to his Ham Shack a very adequate radio shop filled with test equipment, spools of wire, electronic equipment, in some state of repair, or completed. I do have to admit that it somewhat reminded me of my workshop. Only his is electronics and mine is wood and metal working.
John's QTH is located at 712 Ash in Greenville and if you look up to his roof, you will notice a couple of antennas. I sort of expected to see a tri-bander up there but his beam was not there.
W9KXQ has had several call signs since 1961. His first call was KN7QLL when John was a Novice, and if I am not mistaken he received that call in Phoenix, Arizona while yet in high school. He went to other calls including K7QLL, W9EYI, W7JTI and finally settled on his present call of W9KXQ. John and I received our tickets the same year, back in what we sometimes call "the good old Days of Amateur Radio." But don't you believe it. Now are the good old days.
In talking with John I learned his Elmer was Ken Cole W7QZH of Phoenix. He lived close to John's high school and W9KXQ saw the antenna up on the roof. So he stopped by to talk to W7QZH and his interest was now turned on. This led to John making Amateur crystal controlled radios and lots of gadgets in boxes, assembling of Heathkits including CONELRAD monitor and a Q Multiplier. This brings up a question to ask new amateurs of today, what is a Q Multiplier?
I asked John if the Ham disease was transmitted to others in his family and of course he talked of Kimberly, his eldest daughter, who is now KA9NQK and received her ticket at the age of 10.
W9KXQ said he was not at all interested in contesting. He did enjoy working DX and one of his best DX contacts was in Quito, Ecuador, Sam Rowley HC1WR. Sam, HC1WR, had a daughter going to Greenville College in 1978 and W9KXQ would phone patch for her so she could keep in touch with her folks and with that blossomed a friendship with Sam. One of those DX contacts was made when John traveled to Quito and talked back to Greenville, making a good QSO with Gerald Todd W9ATS who was operating from John's station. He described this as one of his great thrills of Amateur Radio, to hear one's own station in a foreign country.
John also informed me that he was quite active on CW and found it was a lot more fun working CW when you do not have to do it like a novice trying for his General ticket. He reported, however, that ragchewing was really the way to go.
We got around to talking about famous persons via Ham Radio which reminded John of his many contacts with Bob Heil K9EID, Dayton Hamvention's Ham of the year, a few years ago, and also an expert on sound equipment.
The bands John likes to work are 2 meters, 220 Mhz., 440 Mhz. and 10 meter FM bands. He also informed me that he and Rex Catron, N9DAN were the first two packet stations on in Greenville.
The conversation finally got around to the Okaw Valley Amateur Radio Club. We all know John is now and has been since the early days of OVARC, Trustee of the Club repeater systems which are on 220; 440; and 2 meters. He received a Life Membership to this local club in the fall of 1996. He also is a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) and a life member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
He likes to check into nets, such as our OVARC net. But with only 24 hours in a day, a RadioShack store in Highland, and the Circuit Clerk's job in the Bond County Courthouse in Greenville, after a very long stretch of being Greenville's Chief of Police and the many obligations that go with that profession certainly did interfere with his hobby of Ham Radio.
Still with all the above, John has some time to work 2 meters, 220, 440 and the low bands. Also he finds time to make local Hamfests, and truly loves to make the Dayton Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio. He also finds time to take a very active part in the OVARC, and feels like these clubs are very helpful in personal networking and bringing Radio Amateurs together, which develops civic responsibility to local communities. He stated that Ham Radio has been a gateway to many friendships both personal and profession his entire life.
John stays abreast with his work in Highland RadioShack and several Ham publications such as QST, CQ and 73 magazines. He does have a nice collection of QSL cards from all over the world and he will send out cards when requested.
Still active in Packet Radio, John has a wonderful Packet Radio Station. He operates APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) which has dead reckoning for his automobile which locates his position within a few feet using a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver.
Amateur Radio is only on of the other things John enjoys. Others include running, computers and organ music and he graciously played a couple of the old time music selections for me. This I enjoyed very much. Thanks, John.
After we had pretty well discussed Amateur Radio, I asked John, "What did all this do for you?" And he very quickly responded that Amateur Radio has opened many doors to him and he has made hundreds of friends that are also very important to him. John served 16 years and 4 months as Chief of Police and a total of 28 1/2 years in law enforcement before being elected to a 4 year term as Clerk of the Circuit Court for Bond County.
I must say, after all of this, "Thank you, John, and wish you continued good times and good health."; and with this I will close until next time.
73's Fred K9YER