Please QSL direct. Do not use the Bureau. (The date is Jan. 17, 2013 and I just got cards for QSOs in 2003 from them. Time to do something different.)
I began the hobby around 1987. My novice call was KC4BFW. I quickly upgraded to Tech Plus and changed call to N4RIF. For years I kept an active ticket, but did not do much with the hobby. Then, in 2012 the interest rekindled and I upgraded to General Class in June of 2012, followed quickly by the upgrade to Extra Class, which was obtained in July of 2012. My call changed to AB4AN as of Aug. 9, 2012. Shortly after I applied for V.E.
I work in the publishing industry. I am an author and publisher at Fifth Estate Publishing. http://www.fifthestatepub.com
We recently published two book to help others get their license and upgrades. The first book is called, "Just the Facts."
The second book is, "A Complete Study Guide For Technician, General, Extra Class Ham Radio Exams, and the Volunteer Examiner's Test: Including the Correct Answers to All Questions, With Basic Theory and Regulations."
Both books come in paperback or via Kindle.
I live in Alabama with wife, friends, books, students, and radios.
My other hobby is Martial Arts. http://www.shinseihapkido.com - although as I approach 60 (born in 1955) I teach more than I play.
My first rig was a KenwoodTS 440s-AT,which was still performing when I sold it last year (2013).
The HF station consists of a Kenwood TS 590, Ameritron 1500 and an Intellituner. I have a Kenwood 2000X and an Ameritron AL-811H with a LDG1000Pro antenna tuner as a backup rig, amp and tuner.
For 6,10,15, and 20 meters I use a Hex Beam. There is now a 520ft loop up for 160 meters and a 250ft dipole from other lower frequencies, such as 75/80 and 40 meters.
Drake MN-2000tuner/match,Heathkit SB-200amp, and a Henry 2-K4 are there gathering dust right now.
The Satellite station consists of an Icom IC-821, or a Kenwood TS-2000X, a 10 element cross beam on 2 meters and a 7 element on 70 cm. I built an elevation rotor out of an old C band satellite screw drive and PVC pipe. Works great. The antennas are mounted on a simple Radio Shack rotor. A Windows laptop runs SAT 32 and controls the dopler / frequencies of the Icom.
The Yaesu FT-100 is a backup rig for FM satellite work. It's HF output is running through an LDG antenna tuner. The Kenwood 2000 failed as the satellitle primary because most Kenwood 2000s have a birdie on the FM downlink frequency. I switched to the Icom IC-821 as a reciever for the downlink satellite frequency (Way to go Kenwood. They made a receiver for satellite use with no way to use the FM downlink frequency. )
The antenna farm looks like a spider's web with a Hexbeam, a 520 ft loop, and a couple of dipoles. The Hexbeam was made by Leo Shoemaker in Birmingham, AL. He is a very nice gent and his antennas work very well. It was a pleasure meeting with him. SInce I live less than an hour from him I drove to his house to meet him and pick it up.
RTTY and PSK31 are decoded through the Kenwood, R-2000, RS audio equalizer, and a laptop running Ubuntu 12.04 with various Linux software. The Macbook G4 keeps me connected to QRZ.com.
Yaesu FT-100 with LDG antenna tuner and an Opec antenna are used in the mobile.
Aug 27, 2012 - Last night, after 4 days of work I finished the mounts, rotator, and co-phase harnesses. I set up the Kenwood 2000x for its first satellite contact. - I made my first contact via satellite OSCAR 52 using SSB. What a rush it was to hear my voice coming back from space.
I wanted to get on 160 meters, so after stringing about 500 ft. of wire I put together a station consiting of a, Ameritron 811H, LDG antenna tuner, and used my Kenwood TS 590.
The station is good from 1.8 MHz to 1.2 GHz now.
Thank god for a wife that understands that I have obsessions.
A summer rain in Alabama brings a rainbow, which ends at my QTH
My QTH with a rainbow shining after one of the frequent summer storms, but the Ham Shack is around back in the guest house. It is quiet there.
The Ham Shack is in the guest house. The Hexbeam is almost completed. In the background is the Hustler trapped verticle. Look closely near the peek of the roof and you will see an S9 verticle on the other side of the house.
The Henry 2K-4, Heathkit SB-200 and the Drake tuner are on the left. To the right is the cabnet containing the radios. Right of the radios are the computers.
Recently, I added an Ameritron 1500 and an Ameritron AL-811H, each amp has its own tuners, An LDG AT1000 Pro II and an MFJ Intellituner 1500.
Above: The Ameritron AL- 811-H goes into a 160 meters 530ft loop antenna.
Below:Set up a backup station with the Kenwood TS-2000x and the Heathkit SB 200. The white rack has the laptop controlling the satellite and the rotor controls for both satellite and HF.
Of late I have been having a ball getting the Kenwood 2000X to work as the station in a remote link to my SmartPhone. Using two separate computers on the station (or host) side, I ran remote desktop data through one using TeamView and audio link through the other with Skype. The Teamview computer uses Kenwood's ARCP program controls the radio through the host to the remote link on my Samsung Smartphone. I bring up Skype on my phone and connect to the host, then bring up Teamview and connect to the host with the Kenwood software. I turn on the radio, dial up the band and frequency, engage the VOX and transmit using Skype. Audio is clear and control is smooth. I have worked DX while strolling through Walmart. What a blast.
Fan Dipole below was a test. Worked well but not as well as the 520ft loop.
Fanned diploes running as Inverted Vs and the Hustler 6 BTV
Back yard between the house and the guest house. Hexbeam project is done - time to clean up.
I have spent most of my life in the fields of electronics and computers. The reason for my fascination can be traced back to a single evening when I was very young. My uncle brought me outside on a clear Georgia night. He had set up a small table where sat a shortwave radio. He pointed up into the black sky and said, �Do you see that small light moving across the sky? It is a satellite. The Russians put it in space. It is called �Sputnik.� Then he turned up the volume on the radio and in the distance I heard a faint "beep - beep � beep�" It was a beacon coming from the first man-made satellite, and as it streaked slowly out of sight its voice faded away. I was in love with the idea of radio and space. Later I would have a chance to be part of space once more as I worked on the Hypersonic Missile Technology project. However, it would be years later before I personally re-discovered the voices from space. Once, I heard the voice of Sputnik 1. Now, occasionally, I am heard as a voice on OSCAR 52.
I had a couple of Arrow beams co-phased cross 2 meter-70cm, which I use for sat com.I added another cross beam 70 CM just for receiving. They were mounted at about 30 degrees and worked well, but I wanted the extra few degrees of range you can get by varying the angle of elevation. I did not want to pay the $700+ for an AZ-EL rotor. The solution is this home made system.
It is made of a aluminium pole with 1.5 inch PVC as a sleve to which I have afixed PVC "fingers", which the beams are strapped to. I added a couple of extra fingers for expansion. The PVC slides on the cross member and is driven up and down by a cheap screw drive I got for $50. Az is handled by a cheap Radio Shack rotor. EL is handled by the screw drive.
The beast goes from horz. to vert. What more could you want. I could hear my CW pulse from Mid South America to beyond Hundson Bay, Canada. Recently I took down the two arrows (which were ont 3 elements each on 2 meters) and put up a beam that is 10 by 10 on 2 meters. I left the 7 by 7 up for 70 cm. The two meters beam is a modified Cuchcraft A148-10. I added 10 more elements for the other polarity. I did not have a good gamma match so I designed the loop that matched impendence and co-phase the two sides.
A TS 2000x was added to the stable. The rig has a birdie inherant in its design, which sits on top of the downlink frequencies of several satellites so I use the FT-100 until a new Sat rig arrives.
Below is a quick overview of how to build an elevation unit for satellite work.
A metal crossbar made of 1 inch aluminium is afixed to a pole. 1 inch pvc tubes are slid over it.
A "U" shaped togue is made with a 90 degree elbow placed on the end. Use a clamp to bolt in a screw positioner from the old
Attach and L or T to each end and glue on a 1 foot piece on which the beams will rest. The cost of the entire unit is about $60 USD.
Many, like myself, have put off advancing to Extra Class. I scored 100% on the test using memorization of certain material. After I proved this approach I published this book for others to use.
JUST THE FACTS: The Complete Study Guide For All Amateur Radio Tests:
Presenting the Questions and Answers to the Technician, General, and Extra Exams,
as well as the Volunteer Examiner's Test
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