My father, W8NK was licensed in 1916 and was an avid DXer before and shortly after World War II. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent a lot of time in our basement with my dad. It was full of gigantic linear amplifiers that ran up to 250 watts. I watched with excitement when my dad would measure the output of these monsters by the amount of spark generated off a large lead pencil.
Both parents were physicians and it was natural that I attended Northwestern University and Medical School. This was followed by 4 years in an intern and residency program at the University of Cincinnati General Hospital in the field of Radiology. Of course, X-Ray training and past experience in dad’s ham shack renewed my interest in radio. Joy, my wife, gave her blessing (kind of) and so I was licensed in 1960 with the call K8YCM. We subsequently moved to South Bend, Indiana where I was issued a second call, W9JQD. Shortly thereafter, I was fortunate enough to obtain a call with my initials, W9DC.
I am very excited about my son Dan, (also a DC) becoming active in ham radio with the call N3IU. He is a prominent and busy attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. When he finds a free moment, he can occasionally be heard on 20 meters searching for the rare ones.
Dan’s daughter, Olivia is presently attending Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. One grandson, Nick is a professional chef in Durango, Colorado in the summer and runs a ski shop in the winter. In between, he is a hiker, jogger and skier. Another grandson, Chris is a Staff Sargent in the Army. He is married to Nicole and they are busy raising my cute little and only great grandson, Camden.
My daughter, Cheryl, is a very talented lady that graduated from Depauw University and has been involved in a number of projects in the Chicago area. Her son Cole graduated from University of Colorado in business management and is back in the Chicago area in management as well.
Initially, DXCC was my focus of attention but the closer I got to the honour roll (375/340), the more time I spent looking for challenges. I have completed my 5th time working the 3077 counties in the the USA (USACA-688), stations counting for Arctic and Antarctic awards and Islands everywhere. I got started Working on DXCC and the Certificate Hunters Club (CHC-595) of years ago. I found great interest in working toward challenging awards even though I was limited in time and equipment. During all these adventures, my wife. Joy had been very supportive particularly when that new country came on in the middle of the night or when that county or island got away. We really enjoyed our travels around the world (see some photos below). We visited over 100 countries and all continents. It allowed us to meet many people and enjoy many different cultures. We attended ham radio activities including Dayton, RSGB, ARI, Visalia, the IOTA BASH, etc. I think my original ham radio DXing and island chasing has created our interest in travel whether I take my radio or just a camera. We had the opportunity to meet many hams that I met on the air and that was always a special event. For my location and radio equipment, check out that page on this website.
Unfortunately, Joy passed away in 2019 after 64 years of marriage. Diana, a long time friend of the family, a very dear lady and now my special significant other, has joined me in life. She is a great golf mate and she is trying to understand all my ham radio activities. Her pal, Hayle, a Yorkipoo, has been a great companion for the both of us.
I am a Life member of American Radio Relay League, a Director of the Island Radio Expedition Foundation (IREF), a Friend of Islands on the Air (IOTA) and IOTA Checkpoint for W4, W5 and W6 calls. I received a 60 year plaque from YL-ISSB as member #162, previous member of RSGB and #162 in the Mediterranean DX Club, received plaques from the Russian Robinson Award and high on the list of total bases in the Arctic and Antarctic, IOTA, etc.
Apart from Island chasing and DXing, I am now involved as Commissioner of the Keowee Fire Tax District. This is an exciting adventure and provides our communities with a valuable service. Golf is my favorite activity and I enjoy the challenge. It is much like chasing DX. Sometimes you hit a good shot or work a needed station. Sometimes things do not work out like you would like but it is still fun. I haven’t found a golf course I did not like. I am a member of Keowee Key Golf and Country Club. We have particularly enjoyed the old courses in England, Ireland and Scotland and a good excuse to operate from some rare islands. I have shot my age many times but getting older helps. I spent 20 years leading a team that slopes or measures the difficulty of golf courses in the upstate of South Carolina for the South Carolina Golf Association. Needless to say, retirement has allowed me to see the world, have fun and meet a lot of wonderful people.
List of Islands activated by W9DC – QSL cards are available direct or via bureau.
W9DC QSL Information: Please send QSLs direct to my home address or via the ARRL or the W9 QSL Bureau. I also input all QSOs into LOTW and ask that you use this service if possible.
Home QTH: Donald Chamberlain, 2 Coxswain Place, Salem, SC 29676 USA