Welcome to the home of N1TOX, Guilford, VT USA
(On the air since 1994)
Hello and welcome, my name is John Borichevsky, and I live in the town of Guilford, Vermont (USA). Guilford is located in the South East corner of the State of Vermont, in Windham County.
For all of you coordinate mapping folks, my QTH is located at
Latitude: 42.819176 North
Longitude: -72.575588 West
Grid Square: FN32rt
I guess my radio days started when I was young, as I remember my dad talking about his radio communication times while in the United States Air Force, stationed in Alaska. It all sounded like a "Tall Tale" to me at the time as he would be talking about communicating all over the world without wires. Using voice and this thing called Morse Code. He would rattle off things to me with "Dit's and Dah's" and I had no idea what he was chatting about. For all I know he was telling me to go jump in the icy lake and he would give me $100.00!! I just could not imagine anything making communications possible all over the world. Besides, my trusty AM transistor radio could not pick up any radio stations any further west than Western New York State. The radio station I thought was a cool one to receive was WKBW from Buffalo, NY at night. Yes I could get ones from the Albany / Schenectady / Troy area as well as ones in Vermont, but to get a radio station on the far western point of New York State was a treasure! Then dad tried to explain nighttime propagation to me and again, it almost made sense. Dad passed away in 1997, and well, I guess I am talking with him now as he carries my signals around the world to its destination. I know he is glad that I carried on the tradition of communications.
Like most folks, I was into CB Radio during the early 1970's. Just think, at that time there were 23 fixed frequency channels to choose from. I would talk to folks during my weekend commute to and from college. I even had the call sign "KNF-6671" issued to me by the FCC. Don't worry, the CB Radio craze was a short lived experience as I learned about Amateur Radio in College. That is when I really started to see that Amateur Radio was the answer. I even started to study for the Novice Test and 5 WPM code. But the school work won out and Amateur Radio took the back seat for a while, about 18 years! I think I was too nervous about learning the code.
Then, I learned that one could get an Amateur Radio License without learning the code. So I studied and studied for the Technician test and I obtained my Technician License at a VE Session in Holyoke, Massachusetts on a dark night in early October of 1994 with a score of 100%. No Code for me!! I passed the test and could talk on the air. But wait, I needed to wait for 6 long weeks for the FCC to process my application so I could get my ticket to operate. I had the rig and ready to operate, but no license. This was a very painful wait. But once the license arrived in the mail, I made new friends within the local communities and on my travels to work, which seemed quicker as the time did pass along.
But as time passed along, I wanted more power. I was being bitten by the HF bug and the determination for more power was getting stronger. This bug nipped at me for over 9 years. Then the decision was finally made that I needed to make the commitment to study for the General Test (Element 3). My original thinking was that I would just take the written test and then study for the 5 WPM code test at a later date. But during the classes that I attended, I was challenged by Darrel, K1KU, and Elaine, KA1TWV who said "If I am going to sign your CSCE, it "Better" be for a "FULL" General License. You have the time to learn the code, you can do it, so do it". Well, I studied and studied for the written test and then I explored the world of Morse Code. With the help of many applications available today, I learned the alphabet in 2 days. While driving to Maine for a weekend, I looked at the road signs and sounded out the characters. Boy, I thought I was golden. Then I found out that I needed to get the brain to hear the code, translate what I heard to a letter and then get the hand to write the character on the paper. This is what took the time and the test date was getting closer and closer and I hit the code wall and was ready to quit. But with determination, I pressed on listening to every Dit and Dah every night for what seemed to be hours at a time. But it was only 20 minutes per session. Then I figured out that I was getting it and I could do it. Then it was test day. I took the Element 3 test and passed the test with no problems. Then, I needed to wait about 15 minutes for the code test to start. I paced the halls trying to settle my nerves down. Then I was offered one very important piece of advise that I wish to pass along to anyone taking the code test. "Relax and hear the code. Once you get into your rhythm during the practice portion of the test, the real test will just flow along and before you know it, your done". I crashed on the Question and answer portion of the test, I got 4 answers wrong, but I was able to copy 29 points of code consecutively and that was enough to pass. I am glad to say that I did upgrade my license on May 31, 2005 by passing the General License Element 3 and 5 WPM Code test at our club’s VE session in Townshend, VT. Thanks to Darrel and Elaine for pushing me along so they could sign my CSCE with both Element 3 and the 5 WPM code. But you know, learning the code was not that bad, I strongly encourage everyone to learn Morse Code even if the FCC does not require it any longer. Well worth the time and effort. With my new General licensing privileges, I started contesting in 2005 and love it. Again, a worth while venture.
But hold on here folks, I am not done yet. After a 10 year effort of an "on-again and off-again" studying campaign for a license upgrade, I have successfully passed the Amateur Extra Class (Element 4) exam at Field Day 2016 (25-JUN-2016) with the challenge from Tim Bell, KA1ZQX. I have now reached my Amateur Radio goal of being and Extra Class" holder and will be continuing on with my new permissions and exploring the hobby more.
I am a founding member, and an 8 time Past President, of the West River Radio Club in Windham County, Vermont. You can visit the WRRC web site at http://www.westriverradio.org . I am also a member of the Vermont LEPC District VI, the co-coordinator for the RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) program and the team member in Windham County, a co-team leader of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program in Windham County, and a member of the Skywarn team reporting my observations to the National Weather Service in Albany, NY. Now, along with all this fun and adventure, I was asked to be the State of Vermont RACES Program Coordinator working with Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security during June of 2007. Another honor to the dedication I have put forth to promote this wonderful hobby.
My other hobbies include woodworking, traveling, cruises, and visiting lighthouses, along with many more things to numerous to mention. My YL Suzanne and I currently have 2 Labrador Retrievers, Zelda (Yellow) and Bentley (Chocolate), and two cats, Chester and Nimbus, to keep us in company
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