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Thanks for stopping by.
I have been involved with electronics in one fashion or another since I was a child. I got my Novice ticket when I was 16 when I lived in Michigan. My first rig consisted of a home-brew transmitter made from parts from a junk TV set and a tube swiped from my mother’s Hi-Fi. It had a whopping 9 watts out! The receiver was a Knight Ocean Hopper. The antenna was an end-fed wire about 150 feet long. No SWR meters. I tuned it with a #47 lamp I also swiped from my mother’s Hi-Fi.
We then moved to Waukegan, Illinois where I upgraded to General. The rigs also upgraded too. My transmitter was a Heathkit AT-1 with the VF-1 VFO and AC-1 Antenna Coupler given to me by W9CLI-Ted Mason who now a silent key.Again no SWR meter. The AC-1 had a neon lamp you tuned for max brilliance. The antenna was a 80 meter dipole 15 feet high and fed with 75 ohm coax. I attached the center conductor of the coax to the stand-off and the shield to the case of the tuner. This was a L-Tuner by the way, and I still managed to make contacts! The receiver was a Hammarlund HQ-140X given to me by a neighbor who was not a ham. I wish I still had it. Shortwave sounds best with tubes.
While still in Waukegan I was introduced to Amateur Electronic Supply in Milwaukee. I rode up with a young sailor K1RZ and his wife. He was buying a brand new Swan 500C and me, I bought a reconditioned Heathkit Cheyenne. Now we’re talking real power as it had a 6146 for a final!
Over the years I’ve run a Knight T60, Knight T150, Globe Scout, Swan 240, SBE,HW-100, SB-100, Ten-Tec Century 21, Omni-D, Kenwood TS-520, TS-440SAT, Drake T4, Heath Apache and probably some I’ve forgotten.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY:
In the house I run a Tec-Tec Jupiter with a Heil PR-40 microphone. My key is hand-made by Jerry KR8A. The antenna system consists of 135′ dipole fed with twin-lead and a 4BTV vertical. The dipole is interfaced to the rig with a Palstar AT4K tuner. When QRO is required, I use a low-power Alpha 86 thanks to my pal Kim – KU4OT.
My Grab n’Go station consists of the wife’s (KD4NLE) Ten-Tec Argonaut V, LDG Z718 auto-tuner and various wire antennas. I also have the Ten-Tec 4020 two band QRP CW transciever. Runs on AA batteries, lots of fun.
I am a member of ARRL, East Pasco Amateur Radio Society, Flying Pigs QRP International, Southcars and SATERN. I am also an ARRL Technical Specialist which translates into helping others and making technical presentations from time to time.
Southcars Number 2497
As I mentioned earlier, I been involved with electronics basically my entire young adult and adult life. After high school I joined the US Navy and attended Aviation Electronics Technician School A & B in Millington, TN. I was in the first class of the Advanced First Term Avionics program known as AFTA. From there I was attached to RVAH-3 and RVAH-11 at NAS Albany, Ga supporting the electronics on the RA5C Vigilante. I made two cruises, one to the Med and the other to the South China Sea. I was in the South China Sea when Haiphong Harbor was mined and John McCain was in prison.
After the Navy I fixed TV’s and stereo equipment for about 10 years. Then I was hired as Jr. Quality Assurance Engineer at AT&T Paradyne where I performed FCC and ESD compliance testing and consultation and my boss was Jerry Robbins who holds the call of W9OEM. Later I was the Military Production Test Manager at Group Technologies in charge of 65 technicians and 6 test support engineers. I’ve since landed at a local university as the Classroom Technology Manager.
Besides ham radio, I operate a Part 15 low power AM radio transmitter known as the Rangemaster 1000. This is a high quality FCC Certified rig operating at a whopping 1/10 of a watt! The antenna is 3 meters in height and the programming is generally Old Time Radio from ABN also operated by a fellow ham.
Life is good.
P.S. We have a loaded hand gun in the house. You have been warned.