Jim Simpson, KF8J, of Xenia, Ohio, was named the 2022 Amateur of the Year. First licensed as a teen, Simpson built his first tower in 1966. He worked 39 states, including Hawaii, while living at home with his family. His first shack was in the corner of his dad’s garage. Simpson built all his equipment from Heathkit.
He upgraded to a General-class license in the late 1970s. He built two towers at his current location in Xenia in 1980, a 100-foot guyed tower for HF antennas and a 55-foot, free-standing tower for satellite communications. Simpson operates on 80 through 10 meters, mostly using voice with some digital operations, as well as on 2 meters and 70 centimeters.
Simpson attended his first Dayton Hamvention in 1972. He was a member of the Hamvention committee for several years and was the first to use computers for the annual event to streamline recording data.
In 1974, a tornado devastated the city of Xenia, Ohio. In 1975, Simpson saw a way to serve the community, and as a young man, he founded The Xenia Weather Radio Network. He remains active in the organization.
Simpson was appointed Second Assistant to the Hamvention General Chair in 1983. In 1984 and 1985, he was appointed Assistant General Chair. He was appointed the Hamvention Chairman on the DARA Board for the 1986 and 1987 Hamvention events. Simpson has served on the Hamvention committee continuously since 1973. During that period, he introduced several technical innovations to the event and remains a senior advisor on the committee.
Over many years, he mentored many local hams and has been active in many amateur radio projects in and around Xenia.