Radio operator, Doctor
Arliss Thompson W7XU

Arliss is a 63 year-old semi-retired emergency department physician living near Sioux Falls, SD
Married to Holly, N0QJM, for 30 years.
Two grown children: son Nolan (callsign N0LAN) and daughter Becky

BS Mathematics 1973, Oregon State University
BS Wildlife Science 1980, Oregon State University
MD 1988, Oregon Health Sciences University

Early life:

I grew up in western Oregon and was originally licensed as WN7JUH in 1968. I later upgraded to Advanced Class and then, in one long day at the FCC office in Portland, Oregon in the early 1970s, passed my Extra Class, Second Class Radiotelegraph and First Class Radiotelephone with Ship Radar Endorsement exams. I obtained my current call (W7XU) in the mid-70s.

I was an alpine ski racer in college (early 1970s) and continued to race until retiring from that sport in 1978 as a Can-Am level skier. I supported myself by working various jobs in the summers, including 3 summers on survey crews and 1 summer as a sheepherder in the Gravelly Range in Montana.

While pursuing a BS in Wildlife Science in the late 1970s, I did work-study with the OSU Dept. of Oceanography. That included some cruises of up to a week or so aboard the R/V Wecoma in the eastern Pacific, assisting with conductivity-temperature-density studies.

Work in wildlife biology included 2 months aboard Japanese trawlers in the Bering Sea while serving as a foreign fishery observer for the National Marine Fisheries Service. My duties included sampling the catch for monitoring purposes, carrying out marine mammal watches and collecting specimens of fish that had not previously been documented in the Bering Sea (the latter being my favorite part of the job). I also worked for the US Forest Service doing stream surveys (which included camping out all summer) and stream studies for the EPA.

In 1981-82 I was employed by ITT Antarctic Services as the communications coordinator (chief radio operator and repair technician) at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station (90 degrees south). I was a member of the winter over crew (on the ice 1 year). My duties involved long range communications with aircraft and handling day-to-day radioteletype and voice communications with other Antarctic bases. I was the chief operator of KC4AAA, also.

Upon returning to the US, I entered medical school. I subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine, but was hired by an emergency medicine group and outside of residency I have only practiced emergency medicine. I have continued to maintain my board certification in Internal Medicine, but as of July of last year, I cut back to only practicing part time in local emergency departments, filling in as needed.

Ham radio: I enjoy operating CW, SSB and RTTY. I have been on Dxpeditions to: FY, 8R, CE0Y, 9G, CY9, J3, VP2V, FJ, TZ, C5 and VP8 (Falklands). I am a member of the S. Georgia Dxpedition scheduled for January 2016. I’ve also operated from KC4, KL7, KH6, VY1 and a number of Canadian provinces. I enjoy contests and pile-ups, regardless of the mode. I think my best single op contest result was 3rd in the US, high power SSB, during the 10 m contest one year. I’ve participated in the WØSD multi-op ARRL RTTY Roundup effort, with a number of top 3 placings. I have held some meteor scatter distance records on 222 and 432 and have also worked all lower 48 states on 2m without EME.

Ham references:

I’ve been on several Dxpeditions with both of these operators:

K5AND, Dick Hanson 512-940-9978
W0SD, Ed Gray   605-421-1918

Other activities:

Bicycling: I bicycled from Oregon to Washington, DC, then up into Newfoundland and back to Vermont in 1980. I’ve also cycled in New Zealand, Australia and SE Asia enroute home following my year in Antarctica. My wife and I honeymooned on a tandem bike trip through England, Scotland and Wales. I continue to be an active cyclist.

Hiking: I hiked about 350 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in May of this year.

Commercial pilot license with IFR rating. My son and I flew our Cessna 182 from Sioux Falls to the British Virgin Is. a few years ago for a DXpedition, but I’m not doing much flying these days.

Police reserve officer for 10 years; “Distinguished expert” (pistol). Retired 3 years ago.