Matt Couper, the son of a WW2 Veteran, Tom Couper who served on the USS Guam in the pacific theater as Radio Operator, "Sparks"during the war. After the war He continued to work as a Telephone Pioneer with Bell Labs for many years. Airplane Pilot and Radio activities were common place as I grew up with radio and antenna projects. Climbing ladders, towers, poles and trees seemed like the thing to do anyway. Brought up in Boy Scouting, attained Eagle Scout and was involved in scouting for many years. CW was encouraged at all times. Radios continued to be invaluable tools for emergency communications in my EMS career of some 40 years. Radio communications with Police and Fire dispatchers were always a part of my daily activities while responding to calls at work as a Paramedic in the North New Jersey area. Telemetry communications as a Paramedic were state of the art in the 80s before the advent of Cellphones as crystal controlled mobile duplex and Multiplex Repeaters used side bands to transmit EKGs and patient reports to the Emergency Room Physicians and medical orders receieved all part of day to day operations for me. KA2PUN decreased his radio activities, gradually until at last he went Silent Key. In my Dad's absence, I have picked up some of his tools and continued on in his name as my father before me. A prepper attitude aroused in me after prolonged power failures which occured several times since hurricane Sandy. New club, new technologies, new comrads and exploring exciting tools of communications. Same old call sign KA2PUN. Out of the ashes this call sign is back!!
My story started in 1952 when I discovered that a ham lived across the street from me, K2DOH, Bob (SK) and he became my mentor. I remember spending many evenings at his house enjoying time on the air with him, learning the Morse code (which was a required part of the exams back then), modifying surplus radios, which were readily available on “radio road” in NYC even with my limited pocket book, the smell of solder, and punching holes in aluminum chassis. In 1953, at the age of 15, I traveled to the FCC in NYC, and shaking and nerves frayed managed to passed the novice exam, and was issued the call K2DEG which I still have 66 years later. Over the years I moved up the ranks to general, advanced and ultimately obtained my extra class license.
My first station was a converted surplus ARC5 and a Hallacrafters S38C with a 130’windom antenna strung between two trees. Over the years I continued to learn more and enjoyed building transmitters and antennas.
I took many leaves from the hobby for college, marriage, army national guard, co found my own CPA firm, have two children and ultimately grand-children. Each time I reentered the hobby, it seemed like quantum leaps had transpired as to technology and operating modes which required me to keep learning to be able to enjoy all the new technology.
I joined WEARC a few years ago and have made many new friends who share my ham radio interests. I became president of the organization a couple of months ago when our then president John became a silent key. My goal is to try to build upon the legacy that John has left. I want to see the club become more active with more members taking the lead to increase our membership, mentor new hams, promote more ham related events, and participate in events such as field day and our annual ham radio demonstration at the Grover Cleveland House.
In the 66 years since I became an active ham, I have never lost the excitement I get every time I call CQ and speak to someone down the street or across the world or get to have an eyeball with an old ham friend or a new acquaintance I met on the air. I have learned that we all have had different experiences and the sharing of those helps bond us into the ham radio family.
To see more about me and my station, visit my QRZ page at K2DEG.
I got started in radio when I was about 9 years old with CB. My cousin, who was 8 years older than I would pick me up and bring me to his house where I operated his CB while he and his friends would drive around. It was my job to keep all the mobiles communicating so I had to relay messages.
A couple of years later, I got a Lafayette Comstat 25A and a Range Booster antenna for my birthday. I spent the next several years learning the ropes of CB radio. This was before the CB craze when CB was very much like ham radio.
CB and playing bass guitar were a big part of my life. But after the CB craze, CB got too weird for me I lost interest. I tried to learn Morse Code but I never had success therefore I never made the move to ham radio. One night in 2009 while surfing the net, I thought I would see what was going on with ham radio. I saw a headline that said “No Code”. I was shocked. I confirmed by checking a couple of sites then told my wife I was going to become a ham. The next day I bought the Technicians study guide. I took the test in December of 2009 and passed. I was assigned the call sign KC2WCI. Shortly after my call was assigned, I requested and received K2NNN.
About a month later I got my General. By the end of 2010, I got my Extra and became a VE. I have been a member of WEARC since 2010. I head up our VE program where we offer testing on the second Wednesday of each month.