My venture into ham radio is actually a return. When I was 8 years old, I was always taking things apart and trying to understand them. Shortly thereafter I was a contractual repair service for the Bulova Watch Company (yes, once upon a time Bulova was in the radio business). I sometimes wonder if they knew that I was only 12 years old. I was interested in radio and electronics and was an avid SWL (short wave listener), receiving schedules from all over the world. Since I spent many summers in upstate New York, I built radios and did experimental radio studies on 27 MHz with the call sign KA2XWJ. I was the kid in the shack (and underfoot) with Coleman Nace (W8ZCS,sk) or Bill Handler (W8ZRO) and learned a great deal from those gentlemen.
I learned Morse code in High School from Avery Allen, the electronics teacher, who thought everyone should know it. (Mr. Allen thought I was the best student in electronics that he ever had.) I was a friend of Hyde E. (Rube) Ruble,sk (founder of Srepco, Pioneer/Standard, etc) and was often in his shack as well. (Rube told me that I should keep up with technology. He was right!) At the time a Novice License was limited to one year and had few privileges. As I was content to yak on the rigs of these elder statesmen, thoughts of my own ham ticket faded away.
I devoted several years in working my way through the University of Dayton where I received two engineering degrees. I received training at the Dayton Police Academy, but was not happy with my lot. I worked for Systems Research (SRL), as a field service technician, and for over 25 years at Elektro Communications. My adventures in teaching started quite by accident at a YMCA electronics class and a local Sunday school, and I was roped into being a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts. I discovered that I enjoyed teaching and have been contributing in that regard ever since.
Somewhere along the way I found myself absorbing computer technology. At first I was repairing those old teletypes (remember the smell of the oil) which were used for time sharing. Then I was into hardware, software, and modems. Before long I was a FORTRAN programmer. Finally I escaped into the world of VHF FM radio, where I have remained.
Early in 1991, my wife re-kindled the ham flame when she said I needed a hobby. I think it was a recommendation she has come to regret. I heard the Morse Code test was going to be 'abolished', and since I still remembered the code I had learned 25 years previously, I decided to get my ticket before they did. Two weeks later I passed my NOVICE and received the call KB8LUJ in February of 1991. In May of the same year I upgraded to EXTRA.
I fell in love with the digital modes and restored an AEA CP-1 and an old VIC-20, from my SWLing days, for use on the ham bands. I have been into digital, following the growth and development of new digital modes. Usually you can find me haunting the 20 meter RTTY band around 2100Z. I do not consider myself a contester, but I have entered a few. I do not consider myself an avid DXer, but I still work DX now and then. Still I am a Novice at heart (aren't we all) and so I retained my old call for a while.
When the vanity callsign program came out, I happened to notice that my initials were available. So I applied and luckily got the N8PS callsign.
73 de Phil - N8PS
Copyright © 1995, 1996 by Phil Sussman - N8PS - All rights Reserved