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Here is the obligatory 'About Me' post. Ever since I was a kid I had wanted to get into Amateur Radio, but it was on the same level as 'I want to go to the moon'. I would read articles about it, and I had friends and coworkers that were Hams, but never really got serious about it.

Finally in May of 2011, I ordered the ARRL Technician book from Amazon.com. I took the license exam on July 2, 2011. After my test had been scored by the VEs, Carolyn, NQ9A, came over and let me know that I had aced the exam! On July 8, 2011 I recieved my Amateur Radio License, callsign: KC9ULS.

I then had a goal, by Field Day of 2012, I would have my General license. Unfortunately, other things took more of my attention, and I was not able to meet that goal. I did operate on Field Day that year, making lots of contacts on 20, 40 and 80M after those operators had gone to bed for the night.

On July 7, 2012 I took the General exam, Bob WA9D let me know that I had only missed one question, but of course they wouldn't tell me which one it was! On July 13, 2012 the FCC updated its database, showing my new operating privileges.

Now I had a couple of new goals, an HF Radio and my Extra class license. I accomplished the HF Radio goal in a couple of ways. I built two kits, the BitX20A from qrpkits.com and a Softrock Ensemble RXTX from fivedash.com. And then in November of 2012 I purchased a Kenwood TS-480SAT, Astron linear power supply, Signalink USB and a SuperAntennas MP1 portable vertical.

At the December 2012 holiday party for W9JZ - Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club, I was surprised and humbled by the club awarding me the 'Ham of the Year Award'. While Thomas AC9BJ was leading up to naming the recipient, I was looking around the room trying to figure out who this great, selfless person was. As the saying goes, you could have knocked me over with a feather when he gave my name.

In January 2013, without any plans to serve in that capacity, I was elected to the board of directors for the Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club as the Secretary. My only stipiulation for serving was that we had to move the board meetings to a time when I was not normally asleep ( since I work 3rd shift ). So now I do my best to take accurate notes and to read them back clearly at each club membership meeting.

On Mothers Day weekend, May 12, 2013, I passed the Extra license exam. Once again Bob WA9D came over and let me know that I had missed one question, they still wouldn't tell me which one it was.

I then decided, after having worked a few of the state QSO parties, that I wanted a shorter callsign, so I paid the $15 and got NM9O. I picked this one because it has my initials in it, M - Matt and O - Okeson-Harlow. The FCC database updated on Saturday morning, June 8, 2013 and I am now NM9O.

So that is the somewhat short description of how I got to where I am now with regards to Amateur Radio.

-- 2013-06-08.