backpacking_with_KX3Hi, I’m Fred Meier; well Friedhelm actually, but I go by Fred.  My wife Susan (VE7SZM) and I live in Chilliwack, British Columbia, along with our dog Maxwell, a 15-year old black lab.  My interest in radio was born in 1961, when I was given an old Phillips AM broadcast radio.  You could only get local stations on that thing during the day, but magic happened when the sun went down.  As the band came to life, the smells of that bygone technology – dust burning on vacuum tubes and hot Bakelite – would fill my senses.  Gradually, far away stations began appearing when I tuned between the local stations.  From my second story bedroom in Vancouver – I could hear baseball game announcers in San Francisco, and even a few stations as far away as Los Angeles.  I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it … ah, the magic of radio!

--- - - - ---

I studied electricity in eighth grade Industrial Ed class, and then electronics a year later.  (I might still have the 9 volt power supply project I built way back then?)  That same year I discovered something even more amazing than the old Phillips – voices coming from a toy spaceship that used no batteries and had no power cord!  Later I would learn that this was a crystal receiver, but at the time it was pure magic to me.

--- - - - ---

I was first licensed in 1995 as VE7FMN; same as today.  After briefly experimenting with packet radio, life got in the way and I shut the station down … almost before getting started.

--- - - - ---

More recently:

  • In 2010 Sue and I left our family farm and moved into town.  Our current home is on a postage-stamp-sized lot compared to the farm.  There are no trees, and we would require a zoning permit to erect any sort of antenna support structure; guyed or self-supporting.
  • Having given up on the dream of a linear amp and a tri-bander on a tower, Sue and I attended Sea-Pac for the first time in 2011 (this was before she was licensed).  It was an inspiring weekend, and I returned from the event with new-found enthusiasm, more determined than ever to address my antenna situation.
  • In 2013 I briefly tried out a K3 – borrowed from our local radio club – using the non-resonant doublet Sue and I had since erected in the attic.  Shortly thereafter I drank the Kool-Aid and got a KX3.  (Or was it the other way around?)  Anyway, that little radio has launched yet another wondrous adventure.