Pete Byfield, K9VAL
4534 South Hill Ct., DeForest 53532
I was first licensed in late 1959 as KN9VAL. Heathkit was very popular
in those days and my first transmitter was a DX-40. First QSO was
January 1, 1960, with my Elmer; I still have that QSL card. As the
novice ticket was only good for a year, I upgraded to Conditional class;
this was equivalent to General but since I lived in Appleton, WI, I was
not required to drive to the FCC in Milwaukee. The exam was by mail and
administered at the kitchen table under the watchful eye of my father.
(Dad was an MIT grad engineer and loved any hobby involving science.)
I began my college education at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Ham radio took a back seat to studies until I moved on to UW-Madison. I acquired a Gonset G-76 mobile hf rig and set up a station at 126 Langdon Street on the UW campus. I had a key to the roof of this ten story building so dipoles worked great. My logs show contacts with W9UGT, W9NGT, K9VSO, W9HEK, and others, mostly on 29.620 during 1963-64.
Graduation in 1967 brought a ride to Satterfields and a new Hallicrafters SR-400.
Jump ahead to 1976 and I was teaching at Columbus High. A student came in one day with a Wilson HT and I was reinvigorated . Got out my books and took the Advanced exam and put up a beam on my first house in Columbus. I soon caught the DX disease, bought a full Drake line with two receivers, and began to QSL. Monday’s visit to the post office was a regular event. But I wanted more.
I found a high point in Windsor, and had an attorney determine no CCR’s or laws would stop a tower so in 1978 I built a new house & seventy feet of Rohn 45. I passed the Extra exam in 1982 and decided to go after the CW DXCC award. I have credit for 347 countries on cw and 353 ssb/mixed. I hold 5 band, ARRL Life membership, 30 wpm cw certificate, and #1 Honor Roll (mixed, ssb, & cw) awards.
Other licenses have been granted to me in Italy, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Barbados, and Jamaica. Highlights include operating NN3SI…Smithsonian, and 4U1ITU ..Geneva, Switzerland.
Present equipment includes a Yaesu 1000MP and an Alpha 76PA three tube amp. HF beam is a TH-6 along with slopers and inverted v wires for lower bands.