I developed an interest in amateur radio when I was a freshman in high school. The first day of school all of the school clubs were setup in the cafeteria trying to recruit new students to join their clubs. I had an interest in listening to shortwave stations when I was younger so I joined. The club was run by Mr. Hungerford, who was one of the electronics teachers. Everyday I would hang out with him along with some other students taking about "ham radio". I started going after school to learn the morse code, which was a requirement for a license back in those days. I also bought a study guide to study for my Novice license. Later that year I took a city bus down to the FCC office in downtown Cleveland, Ohio to take the exam. I ended up passing and about a month later I received the callsign WN8ALG. That was later changed to WD8ALG. In 1980 I drove to the Detroit, Michigan FCC office and took the exam for the Extra class license. I passed the exam and that's when I was issued the KU8E callsign.
We had a nice club station at Euclid High School, so I was able to go play radio in the radio room, instead of going to study hall thanks to the permission slip I got from Mr. Reno, one of the other electronics teachers. While I was in high school I upgraded to my General and then Advanced class license. My dad also became interested in ham radio an got a license as well. He got the call WD8CDA. The benefit of this was my dad bought a ham radio transceiver , a Yaesu FT101E , so I was able to use it and get on the air at home. A radio transceiver was beyond the budget of a typical teenager. At first we had just wire antennas at home. Later on when I got my first job after graduating from high school I bought a Hygain TH-2 tribander beam, which we put on the chimney of our house. Around that time I bought a used Heathkit SB-200 amplifier from a friend of mine Jim Stahl, K8MR.
Speaking of Jim Stahl, I became interested in an activity called radiosport or as some call it contesting from my association with him. Many of my current radio friends are contesters that I've become friends with over the years. Many of these friends host contest operations where you can guest operate or be part of a team. I've also operated radio contests (also known as DXpeditions) from outside the United States. Most of these operations have taken place in the Caribbean. In 2006 I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to be part of the World Radio Team Championship. (WRTC) where John Laney, K4BAI, and I were a team using the callsign PW5Y. We came in 21st place in the competition.