April 3, 2016.
As stated on the welcome page, I am N3WP, Will Pope. I live in the eastern area of the city of York in York County, Pennsylvania. The eight-character maidenhead grid square for my ham shack is FM19px72.
My first introduction to ham radio was through my father's TV repair business. Starting in my early teens, I helped him with simple radio and phonograph repair and alignment in the shop and helped him on some service calls. One service call was to a ham radio operator who had a small shack in his home. My dad noticed my interest in the ham's setup and surprised me with a new Hallicrafters S-38E receiver for my birthday. I spent many an hour listening to the commercial broadcasts and ham radio stations from around the world. My dad also presented me with a German military telegraph key he got from a friend who had just returned from a construction job in Europe. The key is a "Taste P" key used by Nazi ground troops. I later bought a paperback book "So You Want To Be A Ham" written by Robert Hertzberg that helped me understand what I was hearing. The book also described what I needed to get a license and where to go to get one. However, like many other teens, life pulled in too many directions and I never did get to the commission's offices in New York City.
It would take another 32 years, which included four years in the Navy, marriage, three wonderful daughters, salvation, two college degrees, eight jobs, and a partridge in a pear tree before I had my next brush with ham radio. I worked with an active ham named Mike Zagami, N3MCD (now KV4PX), who restored my interest in ham radio. With his prodding, I studied for the tests and passed the Technician, General, and Advanced written exams in one sitting. However, I only managed to pass the code level needed for a Technician Plus license. While waiting for my ticket I went to the local York ham radio shop and bought my first real radio, a used Kenwood TS-440SAT. That radio served me well. When I finally did get my license, I received the call sign N3UYN. About four years later, I decided to retake the tests to get a higher-class ticket. This time, I tried a different strategy. I studied for the written tests first then concentrated on the code part separately. While I studied, the FCC decided to streamline the licensing process for hams. There would now be only three license classes. In addition, the levels of code decreased to one level from the original three levels. They had not changed the written tests yet, so I rushed to take the three tests for which I studied. I passed the General, Advanced, and Extra class parts in one sitting. I received the Extra license having passed the required Morse code test. I asked for a new Extra class call sign, but that did not happen. I never cared for my UYN call sign, so I searched for a suitable replacement vanity call sign. I then asked for and received N3WP, my present shorter Extra class call sign.
I moved on from my original radios selling the TS-440SAT to a friend's father so he could use it to stay in touch with my friend. I found other toys to replace them. I intend to write articles about them when discussing my shack.
I have been off the airwaves for a few years dealing with personal issues. Lord willing, I will be back on the air soon. During my more active years, I enjoyed many different facets of the hobby. During my down time, I was still able to build my Morse key collection, do some antenna simulations, and read to keep me involved.
If you find dead links or you wish to comment on the articles, you can contact me at the following address: comments at n3wp dot com. This may change if I start to receive spam at the address.