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Gerry Jurrens - N2GJ - NAQCC # 3437

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Hello everyone in NAQCC! Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about myself. I hope by the time you read this to have become active in NAQCC activities.

I am Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ, or as my close friends on the local repeaters call me: "Grape Juice!" I was first licensed back in high school in 1965 as WN2VTT and passed my General test at the old FCC office on Varick St. in NYC within a year. As WB2VTT, I operated almost entirely HF, some mobile HF, and participated in a lot of HF traffic nets, both on AM and CW. In the mid-70's, the FCC announced "incentive licensing" meaning that you could obtain privileges in certain HF band segments by upgrading to Advanced and Extra classes. The lure of a 1X2 callsign (especially one that no one else had ever had) was appealing, too. I passed my Extra and asked for and received my present callsign. Incidentally, the CW part of the test was a breeze, but I had to get a tutor (Scott, K2ST) to help me understand the theory. My good friend Gary K2GW refers to me as a "no-tech code Extra" because of my love of Morse!

About that same time, I "discovered" 2 meters. I bought a used crystal radio, an SBE144, at my first Dayton Hamvention visit, and began to learn that there were hams living in my local area, some of whom had never owned an HF rig! I had a 60 foot tower and a Mosely TA36-40 beam and an 80 meter inverted vee and could "work the world," as they say! My N2GJ QSL card shows my old antenna structure, long since gone. I operated quite a few contests both from N2GJ and K2BMI.

I was a latecomer to QRP, but I've embraced it in a big way since joining the NJQRP club several years ago. I've built a couple of QRP kits (the easy ones), gotten David N0YMV to build me an Elecraft KX1 (4-band unit), use my Yaesu FT-817 on our 7A Battery Field Day at N2RE in Princeton, and have experimented with a plethora of portable antennas. My station at home consists of an Icom IC-756-PRO III that my wife, Connie, N2ATJ (a 5 wpm Tech-Plus who upgraded to General), bought me after some major surgery to "help [me] recuperate!" The tower is long gone, but I use a giant swamp maple tree in our backyard as a support for a G5RV whose center is up around 60'. This past year I added an Icom IC-7000 to the station, assembling a "go-kit" for emergency communications. I've also begun operating on RTTY and digital modes with a microham microkeyer.

I am active as an assistant section emergency coordinator in the Southern NJ section of the ARRL (I'm also a Life Member and Volunteer Examiner). I am mainly responsible for nurturing the relationship between the American Red Cross and ARES/RACES in the state. I am Net Manager for the New Jersey Morning Net, which is part of the National Traffic System. NJM is a CW traffic net that meets on the weekends (Fri-Sat-Sun) at 10 AM local time on 3.544 MHz. I can be heard frequently on NJN/E, 2RN, EAN and other nets as net control station.

I'm also a Life Member of AMSAT, an organization I have always supported, although, ironically, I am not active on "the birds" and have only made a pair of contacts ever, using other folks' equipment! I know, it is odd, isn't it?!

Beyond ham radio, I've been happily married to N2ATJ since 1970, and we have two grown, non-ham sons. We have lived in the same house in Kingston, NJ since 1973! I worked as a public school teacher for 8 years after graduating from Rutgers College in 1972, and have been in the information technology business for the past 30 years. I earned my Masters from what is now The College of NJ in the late '70's. I've been with Oracle USA since 1996, teaching and managing a team of instructors helping our customers adopt Oracle technology. I am also a licensed private pilot, although I am not "current" at this time. I hope one day to obtain my instrument rating, and perhaps become a ground instructor once I retire in a few years.

Other information about my life and interests can be found at the following links: (photo galleries)

For now, let me say 73, and hope to work you on the bands!

Gerry Jurrens N2GJ
NAQCC #3437