Greetings from Ohio
Hi! I’m Michael Burkhardt. I live in Columbus, Ohio and I’ve been a continuously licensed radio amateur since I got my Novice class ticket on May 18, 1984. I was 13 years old when I worked Field Day for the first time as KA8UTP. I really disliked that call, so I upgraded to General in 1985, hoping to get a better (1×3) call. I got N8GWR in August 30, 1985. It was definitely an improvement. I suppose I didn’t want people to think I was “just” a Technician, so I upgraded to Advanced on April 29, 1986—while in 8th grade—and became KE8FC. I never really loved that callsign, but I kept it for many years. I always had a fondness for the “vintage” callsigns, having grown up around my dad and his ham radio friends. Many of them were already old timers way back then, and they had some great old calls from the W8 and WB8 days. In 1999, I took advantage of the (then still new) vanity callsign program to get my initials and I’ve been W8MHB ever since.
Ham Radio has always been something of a nostalgic pursuit for me. It still takes me back to the days of tuning around the “low bands” on my dad’s Drake TR7. I loved to listen to international broadcasters and pick up AP and Pravda wire reports on RTTY. (At one point, I had a collection of QSL cards from RCI, CRI, and several others, but they’re all long gone now.) What are the band conditions tonight? How far away is that guy? Hey! I worked a new country!
When it comes to DX, SSB can be tough. My dad always told me that “CW gets through when no other modes can.” That’s not so true any more, but to me CW still means real ham radio. So when I learned that the FCC was going to eliminate the 20 WPM Morse requirement from the Amateur Extra class license, I had a new sense of urgency. On January 8, 2000, I earned my Extra class ticket WITH the 20 WPM code. I still practice my superiority dance on occasion—even though my Morse is a bit rusty nowadays.
I picked up a really nice Yaesu FT-DX1200 on the used market a few months ago and have been active again on HF—mostly 40 meters—after many years away. I’ve been doing a lot of FT8, but also some SSB and CW. I like contesting, hunting parks on the air, working new grid squares, chasing DX, and collecting awards. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you down the log.