by William Eric McFadden
cartoon by the late Phil Gildersleeve, W1CJD

I am an amateur radio operator and hold the callsign WD8RIF. I earned my Novice license as a fifteen-year-old in 1978 and progressed through the Technician, General, and Advanced class licenses, eventually earning the Amateur Extra license in 1990. (Don't know what amateur radio is? Look here: and

My father, W8EOG, (link) was my first and most significant "Elmer". He has been a ham since 1955 and I was exposed to ham radio even in my earliest childhood (images).

I love CW and nearly all of my MF/HF operating since my days as a Novice has been using CW. I am an advocate of QRP (low-power) operation, and almost all of my MF/HF operating since 1995 has been at a power level of five watts or less. I have earned ARRL Worked All States (two-way QRP), ARRL Centennial Worked All States with W1AW, and ARRL DXCC while running QRP CW and have confirmed working all fifty states while performing ARRL National Parks on the Air activations while running QRP from field locations.

I am the president of the Athens County Amateur Radio Association (ACARA) and trustee of the ACARA's W8UKE/R 2-meter repeater.

I am a founding member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team, a small group of hams who enjoy operating their rigs outdoors.

I belong to...

My home station is located in grid EM89xh at 39°17'52"N / 82°03'31"W (39.297778°N / 82.058611°W), in Athens County, Ohio (photo).

My wife and two children are also licensed radio amateurs. My wife, Vickie, earned her license in 1999 and holds the callsign KC8MAJ. My son and daughter earned their licenses in 2009 at the ages of fifteen and thirteen, respectively. Miles is KD8KNC; Kate is KD8KNB. In 2010, Kate built and used a Small Wonder Labs Rockmite (link) 80m CW transceiver as part of a self-determined 4H project on Amateur Radio which she took to the Ohio State Fair.

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cartoon by Phil Gildersleeve found in "How to Become a Radio Amateur", 1971 ARRL

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