James "Jim" L. Millsap Current callsign - K9APD Extra Class Past callsigns - WB4GFA, N4ZFU, WB4NWS Licensed June 1967
My Amateur Radio journey started in 1967 at the young age of 12, as my brother Steve, W4SKB, mentored me in to the hobby. Steve provided my first rig, a Lafayette HE45B with tunable VFO on 6- meter AM and a homebrew di-pole. Steve was also my first contact on 6m and the excitement was on! I worked many 6m stations as skip was good that summer and I made my first contact out of the US into Canada. This new hobby was fascinating as we only had rotary dial telephones in 1967, so this "long distance" contact over the air was exciting. Growing up in downtown Atlanta where only TV's with "rabbit ears" antennas picked up Channels 2, 5, and 11. Ok you guessed it, 6m AM, 25 watts and an added 3 element Cushcraft Beam, wreaked havoc on channel 2 with me calling CQ 6 on 50 MHz. Fun times for a kid out of school for the summer!
Little did I know that this hobby would set my career path in motion. Fast forward a few short years, I went to work for the local Telephone Company as a technician and ultimately retiring after 30 years as a Network Sales Engineer. During this time, I convinced other employees to take their tests and get their ham licenses. My brother and I put up a repeater and communications within our phone group grew.
I spent some time next as a Deputy Sheriff, then crossed over in to Rescue, all learning Public Safety radio but still in the ham hobby. Shortly later I went to work for a Satellite TV provider and managed groups of technicians and then left for a job with the State of GA EOC as an ESF-2 Communications Manager before taking a job as a Certified Communications Technician and Auxcomm Instructor for Dept. of Homeland Security. I still enjoy teaching communications as a part time job today with DHS CISA. After leaving the State job, I accepted my current full-time position as Technical Division Chief with our County Government. I oversee a Radio Manager and 3 techs for our 15 site 800 MHz Public Safety Trunking System and CAD team for phones/pc's in our 911 Center.
I can say without reservation, that my career path was jump started as a young 12-year-old lad learning and experiencing the many facets of ham radio. I have worked all 50 States, on FT8 Digital and 97 Countries in 18 months of leisurely working after the job is done for the day. I have served as Southeastern Division ARRL Vice-Director, Metro Atlanta District ARES DEC, AEC and EC for my County and club president. Ham radio has been, and still is, so much fun for me personally. I hope to work you down the log! I owe my brother Steve for introducing me to this great hobby and the QCWA and am honored to now be a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association and look forward to meeting other QCWA Members. Let's keep the hobby growing ... Mentor any age! 73, Jim
April 19, 2021