My name is Stan Olson and I live in Champaign, Illinois in the USA. I have been around the ham radio scene since birth it seems. Both of my parents are hams which definitely got me interested at a young age. There was just something really exciting about talking to a station from another country over the radio. However, as a kid growing up, I had other interests that pushed ham radio to the back burner. (computers, video games, etc)
During my junior year in college, I decided to study for my technician exam. (one more test won’t hurt right!) I mainly wanted it so I could talk to storm chasers and spotters during severe weather episodes. (the limited range of CB was not cutting it)
On September 17, 2000, I took and passed my technician exam at a hamfest in Peoria, Illinois. I purchased a brand new shiny Icom IC-W32A HT that day and it was incredibly frustrating not being able to use it. Waiting for my license to hit the FCC database was probably the most excruciating process of the hobby. Twelve days later, on September 29, 2000, I had officially become a ham with the callsign of KB9YBU! (yellow brown undershorts is on the air!) 🙂
In April 2002, I decided to apply for a vanity callsign. I was very interested in weather and storm chasing so I wanted to get a callsign that reflected that. A few weeks later in mid-May, I was approved for the vanity callsign of K9SWX. (SWX = severe weather or Stan’s weather)
I was getting frustrated by not having the privileges to work the HF bands with my technician license. In June 2002, I started studying for my general license which at the time also required the morse code test. I’d never been very good with code, but I practiced enough to hopefully get me through the exam. On exam day, I took the written test for the general license first. I passed that part just fine, but the code test was still to come. I was the only one taking the code test that day, so everyone else in the room was talking. I was a little flustered by this, but then I realized this was just QRM which I would have to learn to deal with. I made it through the code test and had successfully upgraded to general class! Whew!
Digital modes are my favorite to work, mainly because you usually don’t need a lot of power to make a contact. PSK31 is my favorite, though I do like to try the other modes from time to time. I’m not much into contesting, but I do like to try them once in a while especially if there’s a new country I need in my log. My favorite bands are 10m and 40m.
If you want or need a QSL card from me, I would prefer you go through LoTW. If you want a paper QSL, please be prepared to wait. I don’t have any ready-made cards so it takes a while for me to get them sent out. Sorry!
If you would like to find out more about ham radio and getting your license, please contact me and I’ll try to help anyway I can. Thanks!
73! de K9SWX (Stan)