My name is Spence Graham and I have been a Ham Radio Operator since I was a teenager. First call sign was KA8LJO as a Novice Class licensee in 1981. Eventually upgraded to Technician Class (1989) (changed my call sign to KB8FIR) and then got my General Class license after testing at the Dayton Hamvention in 2014. In 2015 I took my Amateur Extra Class test at one of our Monongalia Wireless Association’s VE Sessions before a meeting and am now WT8WV. I love everything about Ham Radio and recently tried my hand at PSK31 at 2014 Field Day with some old friends. (Thank you, Bill Shultz WR8S !!! My old grade school buddy and many Field Days partner.) Am also a member of Air Force MARS (AFA3RS) and trained with them in 1991. I work at West Virginia University and manage our digital signage network on our campuses across the state. I have degrees from West Virginia University (BS Business Administration – Finance ’81 and an MBA – Information Technology ’02).
After a number of years enjoying 11 Meters as a kid in the early 1970’s starting with a Realistic 23 Channel SSB CB and eventually a Cobra 40 Channel SSB CB, I got my Novice Class license and bought my first HF rig at the old Gaithersburg Hamfest in 1981. It was a well-used Heathkit SB-102 plus the linear amplifier (that I never used). Eventually I sold it and bought a used Yaesu FT-101 HF rig. I now have an Icom IC-761 in the shack. I have been to the Dayton Hamvention on numerous occasions and love the flea market!
I have used several 2 meter rigs for local repeater usage over the years. In the early days of packet radio I was quite active on that mode. Parts of the hobby I enjoy are SSB DX conversations, 10 Meter rag-chewing, CW, digital modes, antenna building, and some kit building. I am interested in trying my hand at satellite comms in the future. (I used to manage a small television network for West Virginia University called the Interactive Video Network, mixed audio for weekly WVU sports television shows called Mountaineer Magazine for football season and Mountaineer Jammin’ during basketball season, and often handled satellite uplink and downlink duties. I now manage the WVU Information Stations digital signage network. I always loved having my hands on the high tech equipment in the control rooms and learned a lot from professional engineers, producers and directors.)
I put the radios away for about 12 years as I was more involved in my daughter playing basketball and fast-pitch softball from elementary through high school. Now I am getting back involved with the hobby and hope to be back online with my Icom IC-761 HF station soon. For the 2014 Field Day event I got my first taste of PSK31 and loved it! I am presently serving as the Vice President of our ham radio association, the Monongalia Wireless Association and am a certified Volunteer Examiner (VE) and Instructor for both ARRL and W5YI programs.
I write a professional blog about digital signage networks and technology and serve on the Executive Committee as Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the international Digital Signage Federation (DSF) and on the Digital Signage Expo Advisory Board. I am Past Chairman of the DSF Education Committee and am a regular program speaker to several professional conferences where I present concepts surrounding digital signage networks, content creation and technologies in digital signage.
In addition to ham radio I enjoy canoe portage trips, hunting, fishing and West Virginia University football and basketball. Let’s Gooooooooo, Mountaineers!