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home QRZCQ - The database for radio hams 
 
2020-01-28 00:23:25 UTC
 

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W8DOL

Active QRZCQ.com user

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Thomas Merrill

Martinsburg 25403
United States, WV

NA
united states

Call data

Last update:2018-09-25 14:11:16
QTH:Martinsburg, WV
Continent:NA
Views:91
Main prefix:K
Class:General
Federal state:WV
US county:Berkeley
Latitude:39.4615910
Longitude:-77.9697010
Locator:FM19AL
DXCC Zone:291
ITU Zone:8
CQ Zone:5
ULS record:3575121
Issued:2014-03-22

Most used bands

40m
(68%)
30m
(11%)
20m
(10%)
80m
(6%)
2m
(3%)

Most used modes

FT8
(89%)
JT65
(5%)
SSB
(3%)
FM
(3%)
LSB
(1%)

QSL data

Last update:2018-09-25 13:40:55
eQSL QSL:YES
Bureau QSL:no
Direct QSL:no
LoTW QSL:YES

Biography

I'm a retired Special Forces guy who spent 10 years as an NCO and 10 years as an officer. My original specialty was a Morse code radio operator and later became a Special Forces Engineer, then got trained as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant (18F) and was selected as one of the last of the 1st generation of Special Forces Warrant Officers in 1985. I retired from the US Army Special Warfare Center and School in 1995 as a chief warrant officer 3 (sort of an under-paid major).

I served at Fort Bragg, North Carlina three times, Berlin Germany in a one-of-a-kind clandestine Special Forces unit, and in Panama. I was in Iran for part of the Iranian Revolution (1978), participated in unconventional warfare in the East Bloc (1979-1982), was in the Central American campaign against the Nicaraguan threat to Honduras and El Salvador (1983-1988), in the Bolivian Drug War (1988-1989), and in the Panama Invasion (1989-1990). During my career I was assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 39th Special Forces Detachment Berlin, and the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

I was a qualified static-line and military freefall jumpmaster, a Pathfinder, and a German & Spanish linguist as well as being a qualified Green Beret for 18 and a half years.

I fell for radios at a young age - a kid down the street had a short wave receiver and we'd listen to different overseas stations for hours. Another friend and I used to get free radio catalogs and dream about having CB radios. When I went into the Army I had the opportunity to become a Special Forces Radio Operator, which was mostly Morse code back in those days, and I jumped at the chance. We had to get our code speed up over 18 groups per minute with a straight key, which was tough. But we got to send CW on little black-box radios (AN/GRC-109) with hand-crank generators. In the mid 1980s we were sending digital messages in the field using a little clunky computer called a Digital Message Device Group (DMDG). It wasn't very fast and it must have weighed 8 pounds. But we were sending digits on HF from the woods long before the modern stuff was available.

After military retirement I decided that I was going to get my amateur license (from my bucket list) and couldn't stop at technician. Got my general ticket and am studying, off and on, for my amateur extra license.

I now work for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, VA as a plans developer to support during disasters.

Worked DXCCs:

Equipment

FT-991A with a G5RV about 30 feet up in a tree.

FT-817ND with a SignaLink USB and a Z817 autotuner which I also run on the G5RV from time to time.

I'm restoring a Collins KWM-2 that was passed down to me by an old friend who got his equipment from another old friend whose father-in-law was a silent key. It's beautiful but still needs work. It's more of a project than I expected.

Mobile radios:

Various cheap-o radios that I have fun with going to and from work in my 2006 Ford Expedition (300,000 miles).

DX Code Of Conduct

dx code of conduct small logoI support the "DX Code Of Conduct" to help to work with each other and not each against the others on the bands. Click here and find out more about the project and how you can endorse it.
  

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