David Merchant, K1DLM, busy building an Elecraft K3 kit.

Member Spotlight: David Merchant, K1DLM

Hello, everyone!  My name is David Merchant, and my callsign is K1DLM. I am proud to be part of the Nashua Area Radio Society.  I’ve lived in Windham, NH for 10-years with my XYL and have three children.  I was born just outside of Philadelphia, where I lived until age 7.  I moved around quite a bit growing up, and have lived in every state in New England, except for Vermont.

David Merchant, K1DLM, busy building an Elecraft K3 kit.

Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an intense interest in electronics, technology and how things work. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.  When I was very young, I used to experiment with scavenging parts from old TVs and radios.  As I advanced through school, I also started to get exposed to computers, initially in the 1970’s with a teletype attached to the town of West Hartford, Connecticut’s mainframe.  As PC’s came into the equation, I continued to soak up as much information as I could, becoming very familiar with Apple II computers and ultimately the Mac and Windows.

It wasn’t until High School that I had my first electronics class, which cemented my plan to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering (EE). I went on to earn an EE degree from the University of Hartford, SI Ward School of Technology in 1990.

  1. How did you get involved in amateur radio? 

I’ve been interested in Amateur Radio since a young age, but I had so many questions, and I didn’t have an Elmer.   I remember attending at a Scout Jamboree, and someone had set up an HF station using a Heathkit Radio.  He had a tribander at the top of an extension ladder and was making contacts all over the World.  I must have spent an hour listening to the QSO’s, but never got on the air.  I dabbled around with CB radio, scanners, and an old Halicrafters shortwave set from my Grandfather.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I finally obtained my General license at age 35 in July 2003.  I earned my Extra ticket about a year later, back when there was still a five wpm code requirement.

  1. What’s your background and what other hobbies do you have? 
David Merchant and Brent Norris (Graphics Designer) at Spirit Technologies, Summer 1995.

You might think that I would have pursued a career in engineering, but I never did.  While I was in College, I became an entrepreneur, starting two tech companies in the computer storage market.  This exposed me to many different aspects of business, where I determined that I didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day.  The job I enjoyed most was sales – traveling and being out in front of customers.  I enjoyed meeting new people, and every day brought a new challenge.  This became my career path, where I ultimately assumed various sales leadership roles in the telecommunications business.  I’ve worked at Siemens, Nortel, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, and currently for a telecom startup focused on cellular infrastructure.

I have a range of other hobbies including weather, boating/sailing, cooking, videography, home automation, and DJ’ing an occasional party.  I also enjoy traveling to new destinations, which is a lucky thing as my job demands a great deal of it.

  1. What are your goals in amateur radio? 
This is my primary operating position. It’s an SO2R setup.

Amateur radio is the primary way I stay connected to my technical roots.  Of all the aspects of the hobby, I enjoy station building and helping others.  I currently host a 2-meter D-Star repeater (KC1EGN) at my QTH and maintain an HF and Satellite station.  I enjoy the fusion of radio, computers, networking, and software-defined radios in particular.

In the future, my XYL and I plan to move up to the lakes region of New Hampshire.  I’ve already started dreaming about building a contest station up there for retirement, and have been gradually collecting some foundational components (hardline, rotors, antenna switching matrix, etc.).

  1. What do you like about being a member of Nashua Area Radio Society? 

I’ve enjoyed the new friends that I’ve made through the club.  The members come from a diverse set of backgrounds and life experiences.  As a result, there is always something new to learn.

I also volunteered to be the Field Day Chairman for 2017 and quickly gained an appreciation for how much effort is required on behalf of many individuals to pull off this event.  Field Day is the premier event for the Nashua Area Radio Society.  I would encourage everyone to take an active role, even if you’re a beginner.  As they say, many hands make light work, and you’re guaranteed to learn something in the process.

Dave, K1DLM

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