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NØHR Ham Radio Biography, Pat Rundall
Welcome to the NØHR.com website. This page gives a little of my ham radio biography and a few details of my station.
In the mid-1970s, I became fascinated with my dad's ham radio hobby. My dad had been licensed since the 1950s and had a modest station consisting of Collins S-Line, KWM-1, and an Atlas 210-X (which also went mobile from time-to-time). Antennas were modest - a 40 meter inverted V and a tribander at ~40'. I decided to try to get a license myself, which, back then meant a written test and a Morse Code (a.k.a. CW) test at 5 words per minute. After taking a class offered by Larry Stover (WBØRMN) and a fair amount of studying, I was licensed in 1980 as KAØIGR at the age of 12.
Dad's equipment saw a lot of novice CW activity in the early 80s as I spent summers, evenings and weekends talking (via Morse Code) to places that we had studied in school.
I was fairly active for several years, until high school distractions got the best of me. During those years, I would occasionally show up at a Field Day outing or club meeting, but for the most part, I was not very active. However, those evenings listening to dad talk around the world (and eventually doing it myself) led me to a career in electronics and engineering.
After high school I went to college at Iowa State University and received a degree in electrical engineering. While at ISU, my radio interests were rekindled. By then, I had upgraded to general class and I was now NØIJX. Iowa State had a small ham radio club, the Cyclone Amateur Radio Club. While a student at Iowa State, I upgraded to extra class and became WZØH. I was very active in the ham club, serving as president, vice president and teaching licensing classes. When I wasn't in class, you could often find me in the residence hall ham station (WAØKHF - now WØISU) in Friley Hall or at the engineering department station WØYI in Coover Hall. You'll note in the picture below a Collins KWM-380 (great rig) and an S-Line at WØYI.
During my junior year at ISU, I got involved with the team PrISUm, the solar car race team who was preparing to build and race a solar powered car in the first of its kind event from Orlando, Florida to Michigan. I coordinated communications for the project including a VHF telemetry setup that sent car data (battery voltages, temperatures, etc.) to our chase vehicles.
That's me in the red hat, second from the left, checking on radio equipment during a qualifying run at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
That project taught me a lot about working with folks from many disciplines (marketing, engineering, business, architecture and computer science).
After graduating in 1992, I took a job at Motorola in Chicago-land. I didn't have a lot of time (or space) for radio during those days, but I did keep an HT in the car and occasionally went to area club meetings.
In 1998, the XYL and I returned to Iowa as I took a job with a local startup software company. Again, my radio interests were rekindled and I picked up new rigs (IC-746 and IC-706 MKIIG), a new callsign (NØHR), and started contesting with the gang at NØNI.
The NØNI contest station antenna farm.
These days, you might find me on the air while driving to work - I have a 45 minute commute. I'll probably be on HF chasing DX (CW or SSB), but I have been on VHF (especially when area storm spotter networks are running) and have played with APRS. Occasionally, I'll get on the air at home, but operating time at home has dropped once again after the arrival of Sarah, our beautiful harmonic pictured below. Perhaps you will hear me in a contest from the home QTH.
My considerably modest HF antenna farm - a Butternut HF6V mounted on a chain link fence.
In 2007, I completed my ham radio tower project:
I drive these antennas with my Icom IC-746. You can follow the progress of my tower project on my ham radio blog.
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