‘Past the Pile-up’ with 2DA120 Tom

2DA120 Tom is part of the fabric that’s kept the DA-RC strong over the past decade. 

A Big Gun DX Hunter, A Big Personality and Big part of our Club’s future!

In this first ever edition of ‘Past the Pile-up’, 43DA001 Darren goes 1 on 1 with our ‘North West Kingsman’ chatting family, future and of course DX…

# Daz:  Thanks for being my first lab rat for ‘Past the Pile-up’, mate.  I thought it would be a great way for members to get to know you a little more, outside your role of being new to the DA-RC HQ role.

# Tom:  No problems. Should be fun.

# Daz: Kids? Wife? Family?

# Tom:  I have a wife of 20 years named Barbara.  We met on the radio so she’s pretty special.

# Daz: You met on the airways? Wow! That’s the dream romance!  What was her callsign?

# Tom:  Morticia on AM and 2WA121 until she gets her Delta-Alfa number?!?!

# Daz:  Was it ‘love at first QSO’?

# Tom:  No, not love at first QSO.  She was taken at the time so I didn’t think of her in that way. I was happy to have an XYL friend on the radio as there wasn’t too many of them.

# Daz:  Where did you first meet for an ‘eyeball’?

# Tom: She came to my home for some radio work.  Had to tweak her rig.

# Daz:  I bet you did, mate.  Besides your lovely YL, who else shares your shack space?

# Tom:  We have two dogs.  Panda, a little Shih Tzu and Prince, a black Labrador Guide dog.

# Daz:  A guide dog? What’s his role if you don’t mind sharing?

# Tom:  Prince is Barbara’s guide dog. She lost her vision in an on the job accident in 89. He gives her freedom to go places alone. I’d say his best trick is getting her across the street.

# Daz:  You’ve lived in Kalama for 20 years.  What’s the attraction?  Local sights?  Hangouts?

# Tom:  Kalama is just a cute little town on the Colombia river. It’s easy to get to Portland Oregon or Seattle Washington from here. This is Barbara’s home town too.

# Daz:  Looking into the future, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? Still in Kalama?

# Tom:  I’d like to be traveling.  You never know what the future holds though…

# Daz:  That’s true.  Live each day like it’s your last is my philosophy.  On the subject of travelling, if you won the lottery and could choose any DXstination, what would it be and why?

# Tom: It would be a South Pacific IOTA tour like never taken before. Top station. Top of the cycle.

# Daz:  Places like Scarborough, Mellish, Conway Reef????

# Tom: Yep. All 3. One after the other.

# Daz: Imagine you’re on a boat bound for one of these tiny little isles then.  Besides radio equipment, what 3 things couldn’t you do without?

# Tom:  Toilet paper. You must have a clean ass!  Next would be fishing equipment and finally sunglasses — ya must have them too.  The glare from the ocean would be pretty bad.

# Daz: Toilet paper!!!!  Lol. That’s terrible.  Could your fishing skills actually sustain a DXpedition team or would we all die of hunger?

# Tom:  We’d eat like KINGS!

# Daz:  Let’s go back in time now and think back to the first time you ever put a microphone in your hand.  Tell me about it…

# Tom: I was ten years old living in west Seattle where I’d check out a handheld CB and talk on it outside in front of the store.

# Daz: Your first ever rig?

# Tom:  This was a Uniden Pro-520 CB radio from a truck stop.  My first base rig, however, was a Cobra 90 LTD 40 channel.  With it, I helped rescue a guy stuck in the mud in Arizona at 2 o’clock in the morning in the skip.  It was 1996 and I became hooked!

# Daz: I can imagine it would’ve been satisfying to have helped a fellow countryman in distress.  Tell me something else GREAT about radio comms…

# Tom:  One of the best things about 11m DXing is learning about new places in the world.  Sometimes this comes with new lifelong friends over the air.

# Daz: Like?

# Tom: Ummmm….the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.  I worked 145SD/0 many years ago.  It’s not hard from my QTH but the location is like no other and it’s one of my most favorite DX contacts!

# Daz:  Those giant Galapagos Tortoises are amazing!  After a solid session behind the mic hollering for a rare one like 145 Division, what drink would best quench your thirst?

# Tom: Nice cold Sprite. Yep, lemon and lime soft-drink — no beer here.

# Daz:  No beer? WTF!!!!!  Just joking!  What’s your ultimate post-DX meal?

# Tom: BBQ all the way.

# Daz: In Australia we toss prawns on the BBQ, maybe even a kangaroo or crocodile steak. What’s likely to end up on the hot plate at your house, mate?

# Tom: Salmon we eat that as much as possible.

# Daz:  Apart from a BBQ recipe book, what’s the last book you read?

# Tom: Is Playboy magazine a book?

# Daz: I suppose it is.  And let me guess, you read it for the articles right!?!?

# Tom:  Ya Ya that’s it lol

# Daz:  If you could change 1 thing about radio comms, what would it be and why?

# Tom:  It would be nice if the jammers would go away.

# Daz: We’re pretty lucky in Australia in that deliberate interference doesn’t happen very often.  Unlike in Europe or the States. Would get me pretty wound up too.  What do you do to relax?

# Tom: We BBQ often with friends who live nearby. I also like to ride ATV quad bikes in the woods around our home (See above and right).

# Daz: Worst crash injury?

# Tom:  A broken nose. I had this limb hit me in the nose so dang hard. Bloody spewing everywhere. OUCH!

# Daz:  For someone with a few physical challenges, you certainly lead a pretty active lifestyle, mate.  I admire that.  If a movie was made about your life, which famous actor would play the lead role?

# Tom: The guy who plays Julian in the Trailer Park Boys.

# Daz: That would be John Paul Tremblay I think.  Why him?

# Tom: No real reason, just a funny, good looking guy lol!

# Daz: Imagine for a moment you had Mr Tremblay’s annual pay packet, and $10,000 to spend at Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) in the States, what would you buy?

# Tom: I’d buy two ICOM IC-7610s. One for me and one for the DA-RC. It could be a club radio to be used by members for dx adventure or contest work when needed.

# Daz:  Nice radios. Let’s pretend you’ve been given the job of naming a brand-new model ICOM — a high-powered 500-watt rig designed especially for 11m use.  What would you call it?

# Tom: The IC-TRUMP45 5K

# Daz:  Wouldn’t it go belly-up after 4 years (i.e. a presidential term) lol?

# Tom:  It could last 8 years…

# Daz:  To finish up Tom, what does the saying “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water mean to you?”

# Tom:  It means…I might need to take a swim.