My name is Jim, my amateur radio call sign is AA7CL.
My excitement with electronics came as a young boy, hanging out with my father in the basement, as he built/assembled electronic projects. At the time just fresh out of the Navy, he attended a local college where he studied electronics. During the time we spent together, he taught me about tubes, capacitors, resistors, inductors, and showed me how to solder properly. I enjoyed the magic behind how the parts all played together and I was hooked!
My father continued his education and went on to work for the Government in the Civil Service, at Hill Air force Base in Ogden Utah. He was responsible for diagnostic / repairs on the Minuteman III (and others) guidance systems. During those years I enjoyed the time we spent working together on projects and the long conversations about electronics we had across the dinner table.
Although my intention was to fly aircraft off carriers for the Navy, my plans never came to fruition. I started my career in the automotive field working as a mechanic. I learned a lot about the mechanical aspect of automotive repair but my true passion was to learn more about electronics. Over the years I had several opportunities to attend Ford Motor Co. sponsored education programs, where I studied automotive electronics. I applied my education in the field working on cars and trucks at a Ford dealer. Several years in the field, I became the shop foreman and worked with new technicians to help train and educated them. Eventually, I worked my way into management and spent the next 20 plus years learning to manage people and fix other types of problems.
Throughout those years, I could never really get away from electronics. I would spend many hours out in the shop working on electronic failures and helping my staff overcome the challenges of the computer age, embedded in current vehicle systems. This is where I also learned about amateur radio. Several of my fellow employees were amateur radio operators. Once I found out it wasn’t just a CB, I got really excited and asked how to get my license. They told me I should attend some classes or do some self-study and handed me a book. This was on a Monday and they told me the test was Wednesday night at 7 PM. I took the book home and started reading! I couldn’t put it down. Wednesday I passed and later received my Technician class license in the mail.
Ham radio has afforded me all kinds of new opportunities to learn about electronics. Just as important, It has provided a lifetime of friendships and adventure. To this day, I still love every minute of it.