Name: Desmond Johnson
Callsign: WK1V Licensed since 1992)
License Class: Extra
Current Age: 54
How and when I became Licensed:
Years prior to obtaining my HAM license, I do recall when the fascination with 2-way radio began for me. Between the age of 6 or 7 from a pair of walkie talkies, my parents once purchased at Christmas to my bugging and convincing dad who eventually purchased a CB radio back in the mid-seventies as I wanted to fit in with the rest of my sixth grade. Most of the guys in class had one. While growing up in NYC and being heavily involved in CB radio in my early 20’s, I remember being approached by a couple local hams who use to also frequent the 11-meter band at that time. They were encouraging me to join the amateur ranks. Unfortunately, at the time, it just wasn’t high on my list, I was having a blast on Citizens Band. I also remember this time because I knew that it was said to be illegal to work skip on 11 meters and the skip was very intense daily that you almost had no choice to engage. However, I couldn’t ignore these exciting phenomena and wasn’t going to turn my radio off, nor did a lot of other CB’ers. Looking back during that time, I think was one of the better cycles, cycle 21. I’m not sure why I didn’t pay enough attention to those guys now that I think about it.
Perhaps they just didn’t convince me enough that being a HAM was the better choice when you can work skip and use a kilowatt legally. Maybe it was the material I had to study and the Morse code was definitely a factor. On a couple of occasions, I was shown their shacks which I saw these guys had very sophisticated equipment compared to what I had. I knew I would pursue my ticket one day. As the years passed by with radio was always a thought in my mind, I eventually became employed as an installer at Motorola Inc in Elmsford, NY. This job was right up my alley. The Installers position entailed mobile cell phone installs, at that time no, mobile phones were not as portable, commercial mobile, base and repeater 2-way radio systems for any business and industry requiring 2-way communication technology. After 3 years I transferred to a Motorola shop in Baltimore. I first acquired my novice ticket in 1992 when I lived in Maryland as KB3AIJ. After waiting for my license in the mail, I purchased my first 2-meter radio from the sale of a collection of CB radio’s I have had over the years.
Many thanks to my Elmer, Fred Joyner WB3GBF, who lived not too far from me who assisted me in obtaining my ticket. I also added Fred to the log as I operated as one of the 2017 K2K team members for the 13 Colonies Special Event earlier this month. That was a special memorable contact. Thanks to another Fred, AB1OC, and Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB for all allowing me to use their very nice competitive contest station during the event, not a shack by any stretch. Thanks to the hard work to all of the members who participated, we were the top club and state in the event this year.
My current work schedule doesn’t allow me to get on the air very much. I can see that radio technology is ever changing and I started to feel I a bit left behind. I ran across the Nashua Area Radio Club , N1FD.org website while surfing online at work one day looking for more info on increasing my CW proficiency. The club offered CW classes on Saturday morning which I attended and it helps me tremendously to get better. Its still a work in process for me which I welcome the challenge. I decided to join the N1FD club because I see they were very involved in amateur radio. It was also a great experience to get involved in this year’s Field Day activity with the club. I learned a lot and had fun. In addition, I took video and still images with my DJI Phantom 4 drone.
After a reduction in workforce at Motorola, I returned as a full-time student completing college at the University of Baltimore. Upon graduating, I decided to relocate and took employment at Raytheon Systems in Tewksbury, MA in 1998. Not long after, decided to change my call sign to reflect the area I currently live in. I became KB1EDF. Living in an apartment at the time, the majority of my operating was mobile for a few years until I moved to my current home in Merrimack.
I’ve always desired a shorter call sign, so when I upgraded to Extra in 2006, I changed again and became WK1V. At this time I also worked part-time at HRO in Salem, NH only on Saturdays.
Other Hams in Family: None
Other Ham Organizations: OMIK Radio Association Inc.
How Often Do I Operate: I try to get on a few times a week, even if just shortwave listening
Bands I Operate: 2 meters, 6 thru 80 meters
Types of Operation: Chasing DX or Ragchew, CW, PSK31,
Do I build Equipment:
Very little, once made home-brew G5RV with Elmer’s assistance when first licensed. As time permits, I would like to try kit building
Has Ham Radio Influenced My Profession: Yes and No
While at Motorola in the early 90’s you can see the industry start to change. Radios became more portable and more computer like.
This is one reason I’ve decided to go back to school.
I earned a BS degree in Information Systems.
Currently employed at Oracle Inc.
Other Hobbies: Cycling, Photography, Flying my Drone.