On The Cover: March 2009

Ken Franklin, KF1O

On the Cover

You might see a microphone in our photo of Ken Franklin, KF1O's, ham shack in West Warwick, Rhode Island, but he says it's pretty much there for show the vast majority of his QSOs are in CW, with some digital modes thrown in as well. His main radio is a Yaesu FT-1000 MkV, along with a Kenwood TS-940 and an Ameritron AL-811 amplifier. He keeps the dust off of his Vibroplex keyer paddles with a Plexiglas cover. At the other end of the coax, Ken has a Tennadyne T8 log-periodic atop a 65-foot tower for DXing on 10 through 20 meters, as well as a W9INN dipole for 40 and 80 meters attached to the tower. With the coming of spring, he plans to put up a sloper to add 160 meters to his operating portfolio.

Ken says his love for radio and for CW come from five years spent as a radioman in the Coast Guard. He recalled that when he reported to boot camp, "you fill out this dream sheet - you know, what do you want to be when you grow up? I filled in five of the six spaces and was told I had to fill out all of them so I said, 'put down radioman.' Three weeks later, I had orders for radio school at Governor's Island in New York." While radio didn't start out as his first choice, Ken says he didn't know what to do without it once he left the service. That's when he discovered ham radio, starting out with a Technician license in 2000 upgrading to General the following year and to Extra in 2005.

According to Ken, he was bitten early, and hard, by the DX bug. "Right from day one," he says, "that very, very, first contact that I made when I became a General. My first contact was with Czechoslovakia, and it was the biggest rush of my life ... I said, 'thaaat's what I'm talking about.' From then on, that's what I wanted to do." So if you want to find Ken, look for him in the pileups! (Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)

Click here to return to the March 2009 Highlights page.

Copyright 2009, CQ Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or republished, including posting to a website, in part or in whole, by any means, without the express written permission of the publisher, CQ Communications, Inc. Hyperlinks to this page are permitted.