name is Bud Mortenson. I was born in Taupo, New Zealand, in 1965,
but have lived in Canada since '76.
wife Kim and I have two boys -- Andrew,
14 15 16,
and Daniel, 12 13 14 (at last check).
am the only ham in the family. Having another radio buff around
the house might help get me a better antenna budget, so I am slowly
trying to convince at least one of the kids to study for his ticket.
luck so far.
first discovered amateur radio as a 10-year-old reading Thor Heyerdahl's
book Kon-Tiki, and again when I was in high school. In
the 10th grade, my friend Scott Sheppard and I were fortunate to
have two teachers (Ron Taylor, VE7DKV, and Gordon Davis, VE7QL)
who helped create what would become for both of us a lasting passion
for ham radio.
passed the basic exam (and 10 wpm Morse code) at the age of 16.
The day I got my licence -- April 8, 1982 -- I had dad rush me home
from the Dept. of Communications office with my new VE7EIE ticket
on-air activity was a CQ call on 20 meters CW (CW is ham lingo for
Morse code, and it stands for "continuous wave"). I was
quite scared someone would answer so I stopped after just three
calls, nervously hunched over an old brass key and the FT-DX100
rig my folks acquired for me from Harvey Bell, VE7YH, in Vernon,
B.C. To my utter relief, no one returned my call.
it had been drummed into me that keeping a station record is very
important, I dutifully wrote "Called CQ" as my first-ever
log entry, noting the time and frequency.
days later, someone did answer my CQ call and I worked my first
QSO with Charlie, K5JEZ. We had a nice chat.
day I saw on QRZ.com that Charlie's callsign had become unassigned.
After posting a note about that here, in November 2005 I received
a very nice note from Will Teague, W5CX in Weatherford, Texas. Will
across your website and read the info on K5JEZ. You were asking
if anyone knew what ever happened to him. Well I am originally
from San Angelo, TX and knew Charles back then. We were both members
of the San Angelo ARC. I was K5GKD during that time."
to Will for finding the note about Charlie on this site, and being
kind enough to let me know about him.
Charlie passed away in San Angelo in 1990 while at the radio working
friend Scott was first licensed as VE7EKT. We had great fun on the
air making CW QSOs across town on every ham band our radios would
tune. After being licensed for six months and getting our 10M phone
privileges, we chatted on 10M instead. Antennas and the fancy new
radios (at the time, the FT-ONE and TS930S rigs were all the rage)
were hot topics.
high school, Scott moved away to be a police officer. I stayed closer
to home, leaving for a while but eventually returning with my wife
Kim to raise our family in Winfield.
is a long-standing member of the RCMP, and was first stationed in
Manitoba, then B.C., and then Ontario for several years. In the
summer of 2006 he moved West once again, to Prince George, B.C.
Wish I could remember all his various callsigns across the country...
there was a VE4, then VE7ARS, VA3ZW, and VE7AX (a call now held
by fellow contester Don Mullis, who is a frequent operator at
VE7UF's contest station near Courtenay, B.C.).
2008, Scott moved to RCMP HQ in Ottawa, Ontario, where he shares
his considerable expertise in explosives disposal -- a critically
important role in the protection of public safety in today's world.
His call is (pardon the irony) VA3IED.
in the Fold
I was off the air during my
suitably unstructured college years, but ham radio was never far
from my mind. I eventually decided a career in journalism was a
good path for me, and I found a good job learning the newspaper
business from the ground up.
the way, I stumbled across news that the Dept. of Communications
had eased the licensing requirements for Basic, and as a result
they were grandfathering previous Basic class amateurs into the
Advanced class. Full HF privileges. That was enough to get me interested
again and I picked up the callsign VE7ASK in 1987. I figured "ASK"
was a great call for someone employed as an inquisitive newspaper
reporter. Ironically, Tom W7WHY has become a good contesting pal
over the years.
Lure of PSK: Catching the Bug Again
I was on the air from time to time. At one
point, I arrived home from our honeymoon with not only a lovely
new wife but also a used (and sorta lovely) TS-430S, seeing as one
of our stops was in a city with a honest-to-goodness ham store.
I puttered around on the air once in a while but I didn't really
get back on the air regularly for another 12 years -- following
a long-distance phone chat with Scott in 2002. He told me how much
fun this new PSK mode was.
same night, I jury-rigged a few wires to hook up my now-aging TS-430S
and the computer, and worked a few PSK contacts on 20M. What a blast.
With just 10 watts I was working the entire West Coast on a ground-mounted
Within days, I was fully geared up with the
best one-wire multiband antenna I could build and raise quickly:
a half-sized G5RV for 40M-10M. Tried my first-ever RTTY (radio teletype)
contest -- ANARTS, the Australian RTTY society's annual contest
-- in June 2002 (2nd place for VE7) and never looked back.
am a CW and RTTY operator who doesn't get much excitement from talking
into a microphone. These days, I'm OK rattling along with morse
code at 40 words per minute or even faster bursts in contests, as
long as I don't have to manually send it.
an FT920 in March 2003 as my first-ever new rig. Raised a 102' G5RV
between a couple of young maple trees to supplement the 25-year-old
HyGain 18AVT/WB vertical, and away I went.
am a chronic antenna builder. Can't leave the darn things alone.
Love to string wires -- and have built most of the designs I've
run across, including an extended Lazy-H for 40m, double-sized G5RVs,
bazookas, a pair of 80m delta loops, giant Vee beams, and wire yagis
such as a bamboo-spreader 5-band hex beam and a homebrew DF4SA
I Do for a Living
From 1990 to 1999, I was a
reporter and later the editor of Lake Country's community newspaper
of record. I'm a writer at heart. After nearly a decade learning
and working hard, I left newspaper journalism to try my hand in
mid-1999 to mid-2005, I was communications coordinator and later
director of marketing for a public company in the "dot com"
world. I had a great time in an exciting industry, with a fast-growing
new economy company that made a difference in peoples' lives and
joined the University of British Columbia's brand-new Okanagan campups
on its opening day, July 4, 2005, as communications coordinator
and later manager of public affairs. It's fast-paced with lots of
hands-on journalism, marketing and communications work -- a challenging
but ideal job for me at this point in my career.
of all, weekends are free for the kids and contests (in no particular
the Banner Graphic
banner graphic was made from a photo of the portable setup at mom
and dad's ranch near Summerland, BC, for CQWW CW, Nov. 2003. I used
a similar setup at that site for CQWW WPX RTTY in February 2004.
was a PIII laptop running N1MM
Logger, an aging Versakeyer (see May 1979 QST) homebuilt by
Norm VE7EGO (SK) in Vernon, BC, and purchased when I was 16, and
a Yaesu FT-920 tranceiver.
nicely homebrewed brass and steel paddles
were purchased for $25 from an oldtimer at the Summerland B.C. annual
ham swap and shop in April 2002.
that contest location, I was able to raise a pair of 80M delta loops
to 80', with phased feeders to reverse direction. Only used them
pointing S-SE into the U.S. and Caribbean, though. Never did find
out how they would play into Japan on the reverse heading.
ran two double-size (204') G5RVs up about 60' in an X configuration
for four-direction coverage, and a two-element wire tribander hanging
from a tree (from VE7CA's
design in Nov. 2001 QST).