Don DiTullio - N1LU - NAQCC # 1526
Howdy and thanks for taking the time to read about me. My name is Don and I live in the lakes region of New Hampshire. It may seem like I've been a ham for a long time when you see when I got my first ticket, but I didn't REALLY get into it until recently.
I got my first Novice ticket in 1964 while studying electronics in vocational school (they called it Trade School back then). I didn't get on the air at all and let it expire. My next attempt at ham radio was in the early 70's when I got my Technician ticket. I picked up a used Heathkit 6m transceiver and halo mobile antenna and got bored after a couple of months. I worked with electronics all day and wasn't very interested in doing it after hours. When I took an early retirement from my job as a test equipment repair and calibration technician I realized I actually missed electronics. I took the Technician test, got grandfathered to General, and then got my Extra ticket in 2003.
My main reason for getting back into it was to keep my fingers in electronics. The next to the last thing on my mind was doing CW. The last thing was QRP (once I found out what it was). Funny how things turn out. I decided to re-learn the code as a way to exercise my brain. My interest in QRP began after listening to and reading about some of the adventures of one of the members of the Central NH ARC, Jim Cluett (W1PID). Then, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that there were still companies that sold kits. That gave me another reason to get into QRP. I started out by building a Small Wonders DSW-20, then a KX-1, and a pair of Tuna Tins. I now also own an FT-817. The FT-817 does it all, but for backpacking, I prefer the KX-1.
Just about the only time I dust off and use my microphone is for the local repeaters. It's probably a pretty even split; QRP/QRO when operating from my home QTH, but I take a QRP rig whenever I'm headed somewhere, whether it's hiking, camping, or taking a trip. We were fortunate to be able to spend last winter in Florida. I brought along my rigs, a Buddipole and had a blast. I got my biggest QRP thrill (so far) while down there. I worked VK2KM in Australia from my car using the KX-1running 3 Watts and an OPEK HVT-400B on a mag mount.
I also like to experiment with wire antennas and do a little PSK-31. I'm not into contesting too much, but look forward to the sprints and challenges every month. I think the challenges are a great way to keep the interest level up. I know I spend a lot more time QRP when operating at home than I would if there were no challenges.
My wife has been putting up with my QRM for almost 35 years. We have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Besides ham radio, I enjoy hunting (yes, I bring my QRP gear on hunting trips), motorcycling, skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking when my knees let me. 73