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First licensed in 1962 while in high school (Livermore CA) as WN6BID upgraded to General in 1963 and became WB6BID ... really good CW call sign! Graduated from San Jose State University in 1970 and was immediately drafted. To avoid indentured servitude in the Army, I "volunteered" for the Navy. That turned out to be a life saver in more ways than one. Since I knew a little CW, I was sent to radio school. After listening to CW 8 hrs/day 5 days/week I got up to 24 WPM and ran down to the FCC in San Diego and upgraded to Extra.

My first (and only) duty station was NCS Philippines (NPO) where I worked as a RTTY and CW op for three years. I met my wife there, got married and we had our first child, Anna in 1971. That same year I "retired" from the Navy and tried to get my career started in Electrical Engineering. However, no company would hire me since I was out of school for four years and had no experience. Thus, I went back to San Jose State and got an MSEE degree.

Since then I haven't had any trouble finding work. I was QRT since high school. About 1980 I got interested in the hobby again and bought a QRP rig (Argonaut 509) and started chasing DX with 5W and a low dipole. That was pretty discouraging so I built an amp with a 4CX1500B that took the 5W up to 1500W. That was better. Next I installed a roof mount TH3 and the world opened up. It was great! A few yrs later I ran the city permit gauntlet and put up a 72' crank-up.

The present station is an FT920, TL922. Antennas are a 40CD2 and C31XR. With a better station, I got bored chasing DX and started contesting. I still haven't won a contest and don't really expect to, but I find it very challenging. The Northern California Contest Club has given me years of help and camaraderie (see: I took over the administration of the California QSO Party (see Part of the TI9M expedition (see

Copyright © 2011 Robert W. Schmieder All rights reserved. Last update: Tuesday, March 08, 2011