About N5DWI

N5DWI: John Westerlage, The Ham

I was first licensed at 14 years of age as a Technician Class Amateur in September, 1956 as K5HOQ. Later, while living abroad, my license expired and I failed to renew it within the grace period, and so had to start over in 1981 as N5DWI - that's NOT a vanity call, but I do have a lot of fun with it. Upgraded to Amateur Extra Class in 1982.

My only operating mode now is CW and I'm strictly a ragchewer. If it's not at least an hour, it's not a QSO !!! I'm a homebrewer, always designing and building some gadget or other.

I like both International Morse and American Morse. There's nothing to beat that click-clack of a 140 year old sounder, amplified with a homemade resonator, complete with a Prince Albert tin. Ah, nostalgia! But, to be honest, American Morse is now done mostly over a new kind of "wire" - the Internet. So much for nostalgia!

I am also an ARRL/VEC, and enjoy elmering, especially with construction and with teaching Morse.

N5DWI: The Other Life

Outside of Amateur Radio, as a retiree, my main time sinks are studying languages (most recently Mandarin Chinese), studying economics, playing the markets, enjoying good conversation with good friends, and just puttering about.

Before retiring, I worked for Friden (the old mechanical calculator company); for a petrochemical engineering firm; for a real estate firm as a salesman; and for Digital Equipment Corporation as a computer system manager and programmer. Later I was in life insurance and securities sales. After this somewhat checkered career, I finally retired, sort of, in 2003.


N5DWI: Current Doings

Right now I'm going retro. Designing and building hollow state transmitters and related gear. I'd forgotten how much fun it could be working with vacuum tubes. They're much more forgiving than solid state devices. And tuning is a breeze - none of that 50 ohm stricture!

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