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Welcome to AE8U.NET

Welcome to my home page. My name is Mike Ernst. I first became an Amateur Radio Operator in 1973. My original call sign was WB8REL. Back in those days they offered a no code Technician license, which I eagerly jumped on. The only problem was there were no code frequencies allocated and thus no opportunity to practice my code and get any better. After several years I finally decided to bite the bullet and just work on my code. I finally got my code speed up to that 13 WPM mark and subsequently got an Advanced ticket. But shortly after the upgrade I got too many “irons in the fire” and my radio hobby fell by the wayside.

One of those irons was my military career, which ended in July, 2009, when I retired after having served 38 years between active duty and reserves. Now I had time to pursue my radio hobby again. But it became obvious right away that a lot had happened in the time I had been off the air. So I decided the best course of action was to learn about all of the new technology and pursue my Extra ticket all at the same time. The result was that I passed the Extra exam in August 2009.

At that point I thought about a vanity call sign long and hard. I had held my old call sign for about 36 years, even though I had not used it for a long time. But I finally gave in and went looking for what was available. I was hoping for my initials or something that I could relate some catch phrase too. Then I came across AE8U. The AE immediately jumped out not only as Amateur Extra, but also Army Engineering – the one thing I had been darn near as long as I had been a licensed ham.  And then as I was mumbling the call to myself it suddenly clicked – Eight Uniform. As I started counting I came up with 8 uniforms I had worn as an Army Engineer. So that made up my mind – AE8U it would be. You can check out pictures of the 8 Uniforms if you have an interest.