Dexter's Youngest Amateur Radio Operator

This video demonstrates everything that I have done in Amateur Radio until October 2012.

I have been interested in radio communications since June 2008, starting with FRS.  I received a police scanner in November of that year as a gift from my grandmother, as her husband passed away during that time.  After listening to the local 2-meter and 440 repeaters in my local area, I decided that I wanted to learn Morse Code.  I learned CW in about a month's time, and started practicing receiving it at high speeds via a WebSDR receiver in the Netherlands for months.  

At W8UM and ARROW Field Day 2009, I wanted to see HF in action, so I met my elmer, Dan, KB6NU, and he took me around the site and let me operate the next day.  I started sending his call sign and the ARROW club's call sign (W8PGW) perfectly at 15wpm with an iambic paddle without having touched a CW key in my life!  I slowly increased my speed to 25wpm, and having made a few mistakes, I felt proud to make 12 contacts in 21 minutes at the station.

I decided to use Dan's nationally famous study guide to get my Technician license on August 8, 2009.  Three days later, I received my first FCC issued call sign of KD8LWR.  My first contact was with a local ham on our SKYWARN repeater.  From there, I downloaded EchoLink and got an HF station set up, and by the end of the year, I have made over 500 contacts from stations around the world.

I started with a Kenwood TS-140S and a Hustler 4BTV antenna (which I still operate on), then upgraded to an Icom IC-718 in 2011.  It was with this radio that I made my farthest DX contact during the 2011 CQWW CW Contest to VK4KW in Australia on 10m!  Later that year, I used my Yaesu FT-2900R hooked up to my HF antenna (that works on 2m!) to make my farthest DX contact on VHF to the KB0TLL repeater in Missouri.  That night, I worked several repeaters in the Des Moines, IA area, but no one came back on any of them.

I upgraded to a Kenwood TS-2000 in December 2011, and, after all these years of waiting to get my own system on the air, got a simplex repeater on the air!  This device receives signals then retransmits it after the message is finished all on one frequency.  While this is not exactly a "repeater" setup, I was happy to get a repeater-like system on the air.  I upgraded the system's coverage from a few miles to about 20-30 miles as I put it on my TS-2000 in September 2012.

I started to experience D-STAR with an Icom ID-31A in December 2012.  I am not active in D-STAR, but I can also be reached through this mode.  I started to program local repeaters' IDs, beeps, and other messages starting in February 2013.  Even though my first programming experience was in April 2012, all my messages were automatically deleted from the controllers as soon as they were played (just to get a feel for creating messages without changing the IDs).  I started to get the products for my own UHF repeater together in summer 2013 and got my own coordinated pair that winter.

In July 2013, I upgraded to General class and received my current vanity call sign of W8SRC.  I felt proud to finally talk on the SSB portions of the HF bands (besides 10m) and 10m repeaters!  My HF antenna needed to be retuned to make even farther DX contacts, so Dan and I retuned it in April 2014.

I received an ID-51A in December 2013 and made some 2m D-STAR contacts in the meantime.  I also kept programming many local repeaters with the owners' permissions.  Then, at 3:35pm on Friday, March 14, 2014, the W8SRC repeater system was born. 

This section will be updated soon!