75 Meter Extra Class WAS Net

Featured GERATOL Members


Dave Ertel, KJ8V – GERATOL Net Awards Manager
Sandy Ertel, KJ8W – GERATOL Net Treasurer

Dave was first Licensed in 1977 as a Novice: WD8QME. He upgraded to Technician, General, Advanced and finally to Extra in 1979. When he went through the licensing the FCC came to Cincinnati every 6 months and the official who managed those taking the code portion of the exam, made them send code before they were allowed to take the code copying test. Of course then you had to wait 6 months to take the next license level test.

Dave’s first radio was a Heath Kit HW-16 that he built from one of their kits. He then bought a Kenwood TS 520 and has owned many Kenwood radios since. Today he operates a Kenwood TS 590S into a Drake L-4B amp. In addition, he also runs a Kenwood TS 480 in the truck mobile. Many of us have had the pleasure of working both Dave and Sandy as they went mobile, visiting family, or on their way to the Dayton Hamvention. Dave says, the hottest and best radio he ever had was a Kenwood TS 50S. Very hot receiver in it. He and Sandy have had various antennas up in the air, ranging from stacked 11 element  2 meter beams, tri-banders at 60 feet and now have a vertical and two inverted V’s at their QTH in Michigan.

Dave has worked all Counties # 940 11/11/97, worked all states on 10, 20, 40 and 80 meters, WAC Feb, 1992, has 100 DX Countries confirmed and have never sent them in for official confirmation. Dave’s GERATOL number is a really low one: # 523, which he obtained on 4/1/81. As is the case with several GERATOLers, who operated from various states, Dave has a second GERATOL number: 2595, which he obtained on 12/24/10. Similarly, Dave has two Director numbers # 89, issued on 3/14/92 and number # 703 which was issued on 1/15/11. Dave has also completed 24 of the 38 available GERATOL Net endorsements.

In 1996 his Amateur activity really changed for the better. He was going out to run Counties mobile over in South East Ohio one day and said to Sandy, “Why don’t you come along its really pretty over there and you can log for me?” He was shocked when she said OK. While they were out he told her if she would just get her General class license so she could give out and work counties, and that he would not bug her anymore about it. She replied that it was really fun listening and logging and she said OK I will try to get my license.

Well she got started and Dave learned how to run the carpet sweeper, the washer/dryer and do the dishes so she could learn/practice code. She attended a Novice/Tech class put on by the Greater Cincinnati Amateur Radio Association and got her Novice ticket as KC8FFD in June of 1997. She was then named Amateur of the Year by the GCARA in October of 1997 for her work promoting the GCARA and its classes. She then took her Tech license and passed it and then started in on her General Class license. Back to the dishes and sweeper for Dave. Sandy went over to take her General code and written test and asked if she could listen to the Extra 20 WPM to get warmed up and settle her nerves down a little bit and they said sure try it and see how you do.

Well Gordon KI8I, who also happens to be a fellow GERATOLer, with G# 521, came out to the parking lot where Dave was pacing like a cat in a cage and said Sandy passed her code test, as a matter of fact, he said, she passed the 20 WPM Extra code test !!!! Well she passed the General written and when she came out Dave mentioned they were only 5 blocks from R & L Electronics and they should stop by and get the Advanced book so Sandy could start on it because she had a year’s code credit and when she passed the Advance class, she could then get her Extra.

She hesitated for a minute and then said OK lets go. Not too long later she passed the Advance class and started right in on the Extra and she passed that test also. She and Dave kept all of the Advance and Extra stuff a secret from her brother Vernon, yet another fellow GERATOLer, K9CMJ G# 1984 to surprise him. He was really kind of in disbelief when they broke the news to him, that his sister had passed code and written tests to become an Extra Class op !! Sandy was now on her way to her own Ham career and enjoys it very much.

She changed her call because KJ8W was available and she and Dave thought it would be neat to have back to back calls, and they were right. It’s cool to hear them check in, with the back to back calls, but we ALL know, Sandy’s signal is always stronger than Dave’s !! ha ha

Dave had saved a County in Ohio for a last for the whole ball of wax so Sandy could get it for him and bless her heart she drove for two hours up north in Ohio and gave him his last County for his Worked All Counties. Sandy only needs about 600 Counties to finish her worked all counties. Sandy achieved her G# 2594 on 12/24/10. When they moved to Michigan from Ohio in 2008 Sandy had 30 states confirmed but had to start all over because of the move. That’s when Dave decided to get a second number due to the move to Michigan.

Sandy does come from a family of Hams. Her Father W8KKJ, brother K9CMJ #1984, Nephews Dan KE9T and his son Bryce KC9PKU and Mike AB9LU #2612 and Mike’s wife Christine KC9IRP. With Dave included there are 8 Hams in the family and 5 Geratol numbers. That’s probably a record for the GERATOL Net !!

The Geratol Net, County Hunting and the Triple H Net are the places Dave frequents the most. Dave had actually been very active on the Geratol Net since early 1980 just having fun with his friends, and not going for a number.  That changed, and he finally got the bug to get his own number in 1981. He’s been an active member, contributor and supporter of the net ever since.

The worst time of Dave’s Ham life was when his very dear friend Lou KJ8U G# 617 passed away. Lou and Dave had done everything Ham together. He cherishes a picture of himself, Lou and Sandy standing next to their cars with all the Ham plates KJ8U, KJ8V and KJ8W showing, as they all lived in the same town.

Dave has held several positions in the GERATOL Net over the years, however, the most rewarding and fun has been as Awards Manager. He loves being able to help out all of the GERATOLers get their various awards and endorsements. He made a pledge to himself after taking over as Awards Manger to help all he could and to process awards and endorsements, usually the same day. If any of you ever need help or have questions please feel free to call Dave or send him an email and he will answer you as soon as possible usually the same day. Many of the net regulars may be aware, but many casual GERATOLers are not, that Dave inherited a huge challenge when he assumed the duties of Awards Manager. He’s done an amazing job organizing, straightening out the data base, updating the files, etc. etc. all behind the scenes, in addition to his handing out the new awards and endorsements.

Dave says, the thing he and Sandy love the most in Ham Radio is meeting fellow hams. They missed Dayton (xenia) last year and that was the first time in over 20 years they were unable to attend. They do attend all of the County Hunter functions they possibly can, and he says it really enriches their lives to meet old friends and make new friends. He says, “Hams are just special people”.

On the non-HAM front, Sandy and Dave have had Beagles for 43 years. They have hunted and field trialed them and it is very lonely around the house now, without one of the little Beagles around. They lost their last one a couple of years ago and have decided no more. Dave also collects Case knives. He has over 80 in his collection is still growing. He is fortunate to have several very rare knives and has also got his Granddaughter into collecting knives. He’s made sure that she has other interests other than computers and smart phones. She had her own Beagle dog that hunted and ran in field trials. She also loves to go shooting with Grandpa. She has graduated from high school now and is going to move in with Sandy and I to establish residency and attend Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mi. starting next fall. Who knows? Maybe we’ll have a new ham on the net in the future, and yet another GERATOL number from the KJ8 clan !!

Congrats to Sandy on her recent re-election as the GERATOL Net Treasurer, and thanks to both Dave and Sandy for their efforts supporting the net over the years, and a special thanks to Dave for his efforts in coordinating and issuing the GERATOL Awards, Endorsements and special Awards like the 50/50 and Veteran’s Salute awards.
Feel free to add a “Comment” to this POST, and say hi to Sandy and Dave !!!

posted by Kevin in From the Administrator,GERATOL NET NEWS,Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Featured GERATOL Members”

  1. Kevin says:

    Thanks to Dave and Sandy for providing us the information to post on the GERATOL Website, and thanks for your continued services to our WAS Net….