Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1947, Kip was first licensed as KNØPID at the age of 11. Along with his older brother Craig, KNØPHC, they built a 40 meter transmitter and a Heathtkit AR-3, strung up a longwire and were on the air. The family moved to Washington state and Kip became KN7GGC and later K7GGC. Golf, girls and college soon replaced amateur radio.
Newly married in 1968, Kip and his wife moved to Berkeley where he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1971. After a stint as a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School, Kip joined a major law firm in San Francisco as an associate in 1972 and became a partner in 1978.
Ham Radio Outlet had its main store at the time next to the railroad tracks in Burlingame, California. Intrigued by the big antennas on the roof of the building as he rode the commute train to and from work, Kip visited the store and came away with a Kenwood receiver. It was 1976 and everyone was signing what sounded like exotic DX calls but which were really only stateside stations. In short order, Kip passed the Amateur Extra exam and became W6SZN.
The contesting and DXing bugs bit soon, and hard. Kip is a member of the Northern California Contest Club and served as President and editor of The JUG, the club’s newsletter. He was honored as Contester of the Year in 1982. He was also a member of the Northern California DX Club and served as that club’s President and received the club’s DXer of the Year award in 1988. Kip is on the DXCC Honor Roll and holds 8BDXCC and 5BWAS.
DXpeditions include 3D2XX Rotuma (first to activate the new country in 1988-awarded World Contest Expedition by CQ Magazine), F0XX Clipperton (1986), FO0KP (1981), VP5KP (1982—10th in the world CQWW S/O SSB), TI1C (1983—First in the world CQWW M/M SSB), G4/W6SZN (1983), FM/W6SZN (1984-8th in the world CQWW S/O CW) and P40V (1987).
Kip was formerly a Director of NCDXF in the 1980s and served as Editor of the NCDXF Newsletter. He is currently a Director and Secretary of The Yasme Foundation, Life Member of the ARRL, Life Member of CW Ops, and a member of the Northern California Contest Club, the Northern California DX Club, the Western Washington DX Club and the Maxim Society of ARRL.
Kip retired from the practiced of law in 2013 and moved back to Washington state.