I created this web page, not as much for you as for me. I wanted a place to store all my ham radio information, links, etc. This page is the result of my selfish effort. But, isn’t that the essence of the web – to share information?

Feel free to explore, comment and link to this blog. Or, better yet, contribute something!

About W4DSN

My name is Gene Retske. I'm over 70 and retired. I got my first license in May, 1962 as a Novice class operator. My first call sign was WN8DSN (the "N" in those days stood for "Novice".) I upgraded to Technician class the following year, and became WA8DSN. Since Techs in those days could only operate 50 Mhz and above, I concentrated on 6 meters. Back in 1962 and 1963, 6 was pretty hot. I had a Drake 2B receiver, an Ameco 6 meter converter and a Johnson 6N2 transmitter, running AM using an EICO 7XX modulator and a Finco 6 And 2 meter beam. I worked 46 states on 6, only lacking Idaho, Utah, Hawaii and Alaska. I later got into SSB with a Clegg Venus transceiver.

In 1969, I got my First Class Commercial license. In 1970, I moved to Puerto Rico, and became KP4DNC. After moving to Florida a few years later, I became WB4EZP. (I have a knack for getting really bad call signs.) In 1982, I upgraded to General Class, the hard way, passing the 13 wpm code test in front of the FCC. I was able to keep this call sign when I moved to New Jersey in 1984 because of a change in FCC rules.

I operated off and on until I moved back to Florida in 1989, into a deed restricted house. No antennas meant no fun, so I went dark until 2008, when I became interested in ham radio again
because of my South Carolina State Guard duties in the Communications (G6) department. I started researching vanity call signs and settled on W4DSN, because the suffix was the same as my very first call sign, WN8DSN. I upgraded to Extra Class in 2009. I served in the South Carolina State Guard for 10 years. I was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Electronics (G6), with the rank of Colonel. I retired from the SCSG in 2018 and was awarded a Distinguished Service Award for my accomplishments.

Today, I operate on HF using my IC-7600 and Drake L7, as needed. For my antenna, I use a ZS6BKW that I re-engineered to actually work. Because I live on a peninsula that is higher than the nearby terrain and juts out into Lake Murray and am surrounded 300ยบ by Lake Murray, propagation from here is fantastic! So far, I have worked over 100 countries and over 40 states on HF, mostly 17 meters. I also operate VHF and UHF FM, including 900 Mhz. I have gotten deeply involved in DMR and have 2 mobiles and several portables.

You can get in touch with me by email <My Call Sign> at arrl.net.

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