Amateur Radio Call Sign
KD4ZFS - Jon
Welcome :-)


  Hello! I'm Jon, Amateur Radio Call Sign KD4ZFS.

Location (QTH in ham speak): Birmingham, Alabama, USA, Grid Square: EM63pk.

First license, tested straight to Advanced class in November 1993.
Active on air since February 2016.
Upgraded to Amateur Extra class license in August 2020.

For information about the rest of my life, see my main web page here:


My "Shack:"

  Here is a picture of my "Shack," on the table in my living room.

My keys in the picture are:
- A single lever paddle made by W1SFR,
- A Cedar Rapids Electronic Specialty Bug, and
- A J-37 Straight Key.


Morse Code and Me

  My interest in Morse code goes way back to my early childhood.

My Dad taught Electrical Engineering so I had an excellent in-house teacher.

Somewhere lost in sands of time was an old black-and-white television show called "Electronics and the Radio Amateur." The show taught tube electronics and Morse code. Back in elementary school in the 1970's, I regularly sat myself down in front of the TV with a notebook and studied intently. But a small child can only learn so much. . .

Fast forward about 20 years. In the early 1990's I wrote my own program so I could fully learn Morse code. This was way before the Internet or popular bulletin boards, and we all had to write our own programs if we wanted to do more than write letters or run spreadsheets. After months of studying Morse I was practicing comfortably at about 20 wpm. I thought I would celebrate the accomplishment by getting my Ham license.

All Hams had to know Morse Code back then. 5 wpm was required to get you in the game, 13 wpm would let you be General or Advanced, and 20 wpm was required to be Extra. I walked in off the street and easily passed the 5 and 13 wpm tests but choked horribly on 20 wpm. So I took the paper tests up through Advanced, and that's where I left things. I never bothered to get on the air. . .

Fast forward 23 more years to 2016. By this time I am teaching Electrical Engineering at the same university where my Dad used to teach. Another faculty member, Larry, N4LKY, was teaching a course on radio and communications, and he had set up a nice ham shack at school as part of that class. While he was showing me the station he handed me the mic and put me on the air for the first time, 23 years after I first got my license. :-)

So now I'm on the air, pounding brass and trying not to mess up too badly. It's fun! I appreciate everyone's patience and help.

Thanks for reading!

Best 73 de KD4ZFS (SK) dit dit :-)


Updated: Aug 9, 2020
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