Bio: David Akins, N6HHR
David lived pretty much the normal life growing up in suburban Southern California. He was first bitten by the radio bug at the age of 15 when his new best friend introduced him to his CB radio set and the ‘After School Homework Net’ (remember ‘Choir Practice’ from the Joseph Wambaugh novels?). That charade went on through high school and early college years until he joined the Air Force.
While stationed at Vandenberg AFB, David stumbled upon the base ham radio club by responding to a burglar alarm at their clubhouse one evening. Security Police A1C Akins ordered the club president out of the building at gunpoint and proned him out on the cold ground outside until the arrival of the building custodian who confirmed that this man was authorized to be there. After all that, when David expressed his interest in ham radio, the club president invited him to their Novice training class. He remembers passing the 5 wpm code test being 4 characters behind at the end of the one minute run and feeling the instructor standing behind him looking over his shoulder. As he wrote the last character the instructor exclaimed, “Whew! I didn’t think you were gonna get them all. Good job!” David upgraded to Technician courtesy of the Bash Book one year later.
Being more interested in FM and repeaters than in HF, David put off upgrading and just enjoyed his VHF/UHF privileges. He always had a VHF/UHF rig in the car, good for those long drives to and from work, and made a lot of radio friends during his night shift commutes. He is a charter member of the Red Eye Net, which still meets nightly on the Keller Peak repeater.
Fate and fortune brought David back to Long Beach in 1988. He befriended many ARALB members on the air, but due to his shift work and inability to attend club meetings and events he refrained from joining. A job change in 1993 brought the opportunity to join the Queen Mary’s Wireless Room crew. But his interest and activity level in radio skyrocketed in 1994 when he joined Yaesu USA as a Technical Support Rep. All of a sudden, it was his job to help others get the most from their radios. Being paid to do something you like – priceless! At least for a few years anyway.
David has been on the crew of the Wireless Room for 18 years (as of 2011), and is now a regular member of ARALB. David jumped at the offer from Manager Nate Brightman to take over as Wireless Room Assistant Manager in mid-2010. He has been working hard to keep things in order ever since, and is making plans for upgrades and improvements to the operation while retaining that classic elegance that is the Queen Mary.
David and his lovely and radio-tolerant wife Janice live in a neighboring town, but he still identifies his home town as Long Beach. When not hamming or working at his pesky job, David enjoys bicycling, hiking and camping. David and Janice are members of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church. They have no plans to go anywhere, because there’s nowhere better to be.