John Macera – n5dhb
John, also know as the Rockin’ Bear, has always been interested in radio and was introduced to SWL in the early 60’s. Then, he was exposed to 11 meters and obtained his license KAFZ4836. This allowed John to actually talk on-the-air, thus leading the way in the 1970’s, to obtain his novice amateur license WD5ITN and enjoy contacts throughout the world. He made many contacts operating CW with his Heathkit HW-8 qrp rig. He upgraded to Technician Class in 1984 and his call became N5DHB. The desire for additional band privileges, John upgraded to General Class in 2013, and as the saying goes, “The rest is history” with hundreds of contacts and many enjoyable friends. He also loves the outdoors by fishing, driving, motor cycling and sports. John feels he has really been blessed.
Scott Loga – w5plt
Scott began a path towards amateur radio by way of citizen band radio in his teenage years. Later in life, around 2003, he finally buckled down and passed my technician license really in an effort to utilize 53 Mhz for radio controlled airplanes, his other hobby. He also enjoys golf and FreeBSD Unix. Subsequently, Scott passed both general and extra class exams. Scott grew up in New Orleans and is a life long resident of the city.
His favorite modes of operation is SSB and PSK31 on either 17, 20, 40 and 80 meter bands. Generally, he just likes monkeying around on the bands!
Frank Lamonte – kg5kwb
Frank, KG5KWB interest in amateur radio began with his desire to actively prepare for emergencies. His professional career was in emergency response. He was the past Chief of the local fire department and is currently the President of the Gould Fire Department in Gretna, Louisiana. He was first licensed as a Technician in 2015 and upgraded to General Class in late 2016. Being new to amateur radio, he is actively upgrading all aspects of his station with both new and vintage equipment. Frank is active on the phone (SSB) portions of the band. His favorite band is 40 meters. He enjoys riding and repairing Harley-Davison motorcycles. Frank’s amateur radio activity occurs mostly at night like a nutria.
Louis Dutrey – kg5frr
Louis, KG5FRR interest in HF Radio started as a child in the early 1960’s. He would listen to the BBC World Service and other foreign broadcasts. As a result, his fascination with amateur radio was born. In the 70’s and 80’s, he was involved in the CB craze. Many of his radio friends move on to amateur radio. In 2015, he was licensed as a Technician and subsequently became a General Class. Louis is active on all SSB portions of the bands and loves the digital modes PSK31 and JT65. Louis is denoted as the “Wild Cardinal” since he is such as Wild Card!
Kenny Soniat – n5qyx
Kenny, N5QYX always interested in electronics received his first form of mobile communication with a set of walkie talkies. At the age of 11, a neighbor noticed his interest and introduced him to CB and Amateur Radio. This led him on his journey to the airwaves starting with a CB License. In 1989, he decided to enter the Amateur Radio world by earning his Novice and Technician Class Licenses. He later upgraded to General Class in 1999. In 2005, he lost all his equipment during Hurricane Katrina. Life got busy, but in 2016, he located a tower he could erect without climbing so he decided it was time to return to the air! He also likes fishing and watching football. Kenny, like the Kangaroo he is, likes jumping around the bands so catch him while you can!
Greg Speyrer – k5deu
Near the end of 2004, Greg got his start in amateur radio by way of emergency communications. Greg and other administrators for the State hospital system worked to establish repeaters at those hospitals to fill a communications gap; a state-wide emergency communications system didn’t exist for hospitals at the time.
Then, hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana in 2005. From that experience, Louisiana in 2006/2007 established a common state-wide digital communications system for all agencies – what amateur operators today call DMR.
Greg then took a hiatus from amateur radio until 2016 when a local radio club (Jefferson ARC) got him back into the service. Between 2016 and 2018 Greg had the good fortune to get both his General and Amateur Extra tickets.
In a twist to the Rare Ones’ connection with the Audubon Zoo, Greg is also a long time Scuba diver/instructor and serves as a volunteer diver with Audubon Aquarium of the Americas(AAOA). The AAOA along with the Audubon Zoo are two of the ten institutions collectively known as the Louisiana Audubon Nature Institute.
As such, Greg’s handle for the Rare Ones is a nod to one of the largest animals he happens to dive with at the AAOA; the Sand Tiger Shark. Like the Sand Tiger, Greg is always on the hunt for contacts on the amateur bands. So, be on the lookout. This is one shark you’ll want to meet – or, at least hear on the radio.