I've been an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator since I was 15 years old (VE3HOG circa 1974). My father bought my first radio for me, a HeathKit HW-101. We stood up a 48ft self-supporting Delhi tower in the back yard and I hung an inverted-V antenna on it. I put that station to good use mostly on 40 meter CW and I saved all the QSL cards from that era. They are here in the card gallery.
One of the jobs I had after I graduated High School was with LeBlanc & Royle in Oakville Ontario. The ham radio hobby dovetailed nicely into that job. I was traveling all over the world installing and testing all sorts of antennas (vector network analysis and SWR mainly). I helped a team installing microwave dishes for SPRINT Long Distance, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, The US Coast Guard, and lots of BIG broadcast antennas for TV and Radio stations. To this day I still have a little scar on one finger from an RF burn I received while climbing onto the CBL tower in Hornby, Ontario (50KW on 740 AM). I've been up to the very tip of the CN tower numerous times to change the bulb in the 300mm beacon; and many other tall towers repairing aircraft avoidance systems (strobe lights) and feedlines. I fell in love with California while traveling for L&R, and I moved there in 1986. While I was there I operated using the reciprocity of my Canadian license. In 1998 I moved to Texas and have been there since.
In 2000, my Canadian license was grandfathered to the "Advanced" class and I became eligible for a 2x2 call. In March of 2001 I applied for one and was granted VA3UE. I released VE3HOG shortly thereafter. I bought a used TS-450S/AT on eBay, and then a newer used one of the same model. I wasn't able to put up antennas at the house I owned in Murphy due to the HOA, so I was portable only for HF operation. After selling the TS-450S/AT I bought a used TS-480SAT and eventually a newer one of the "HX" models. The purchase also came with an LDG ProII external tuner. I found the higher powered radio with the external tuner was a better combination.
In April of 2012 I passed the FCC Technician exam and was issued KF5POT. I applied for a vanity call the same day and selected K2DMS (my initials of course). I had missed the DMS in area 5 by only a few months. He who hesitates... Now that I was licensed by the FCC I had to give up HF because the issuance of an FCC license revokes reciprocity privileges. I passed the General exam in August of 2014 so then I was able to get back on HF phone again.
I've been operating VHF/UHF mobile here since 2010. I became interested in APRS shortly after so I added a Kenwood TM-D710A to the radio list.
In December of 2015 I sold the TS-480HX and moved up to a Flex Signature Series 6300 SDR. Couldn't be happier, even as portable.
In May of 2016 I passed the Extra Class exam and in September I was granted K5CG.
I purchased an Alpha 8410 Linear amplifier from my dear friend Bob Knowles, VA3IL, and opted to bring it back in the car with me since I was driving up to visit in 2017 anyway.
I found a great deal on a used Flex 6600 in late February 2019 so I sold the Flex 6300 and the Alpha 8410 and bough it. The 6600 came with the GPSDO as well. Following that I also found a good deal on a Palstar LA-1K linear amplifier, and that is the kit I'm running today.
I became involved with the Richardson Wireless Klub in Richardson Texas and was soon "volunteered" onto the Board of Directors as the Secretary. For a time I also took over Treasurer duties. Then starting in 2018 I was exclusively the treasurer. I modernized the business processes of the club by implementing new cloud storage for preserving and sharing our documents, as well as becoming a "beta club" on www.hamclubonline.com which we use for member management. Our membership has doubled since I joined and I enjoy the people and the work a lot.