Lee Finkel, KY7M, of Phoenix, Arizona, will begin his tenure as Editor of National Contest Journal (NCJ) with the magazine’s January/February issue. Now an ARRL publication, NCJ is in its 48th year. Finkel, the 17th Editor, takes over the reins from Scott Wright, KØMD, a noted and regular amateur radio contester, who has helmed NCJ since January 2017.
“My hope is that I will be able to build on Scott Wright’s hard work and that of my other predecessors, the very supportive ARRL staff, and the impressive cadre of columnists and other writers, to continue making NCJ a valuable resource for the contesting community,” Finkel said. Most contesters will recognize his call sign from his regular contest activity. He’s also been a contributing writer for NCJ and other publications. A retired lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and educator, he and his family have lived in Arizona since 1981.
Licensed as WN9EBT in 1962 in Chicago, Finkel said it wasn’t long before he discovered contesting. His participation in the now-defunct ARRL Communications Department (CD) Parties whetted his appetite for contesting. He also discovered DX contests and his “still-favorite CW Sweepstakes.”
But it wasn’t until after law school and a move to Phoenix, that he got serious about contesting. “After joining the Central Arizona DX Association (CADXA), I was rubbing shoulders with some serious contesters,” he said. That eventually led to operating as DX, initially at KP2A as part of a multi-multi contest operation, and later as a part of the Voodoo Contest Group, when he operated from more exotic locales in West Africa, such as Togo, Mali, Niger, and Liberia. He has also operated on teams from the Galapagos, Curacao, Cyprus, and Suriname.
“I love being on the other side of the US pileups, especially when our station is the only active station in a country,” he said. This year he had his first opportunity to operate from the DX side in the ARRL DX CW and Phone Contest at TI7W and KH7M, respectively.
Finkel is a member of the First-Class CW Operators’ Club (FOC) and CWops, past CADXA President, and a member of the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club (AOCC). He serves on the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) Board of Directors. Finkel frequently operates the Top Band Club of Arizona remote station, NA7TB, originally built by Milt Jensen, N5IA (SK).