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K4PB USA flag USA

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I was first interested in ham radio in high school. I was trying to learn code from a 78RPM record. No success.

Later while in the US Army I was offered a chance to go to radio operator’s school. In eight weeks I was passing eighteen words per minute. When I got out in 1959 someone gave me a test for a Novice license. That was in Ft Wayne IN. I was issued KN9ZKV. When the FCC came to town I passed the General became K9ZKV.

In the 60s I had W8CHZ in Cambridge Ohio. Later I moved to Florida and was issued WA4SVH. In 1976 when they re-issued two letter calls, I acquired K4PB.

When incentive licensing was introduced I went to the Miami FCC office and passed the extra.

Most of my activity has been as a CW operator. My career as an electronic engineer gave me a desire to design something for amateur radio. I was experimenting with electronic keyer circuits. I became aware of static memory chips. These were new in 1976. I had worked for RCA in Florida when they decided they couldn’t compete with IBM and many of us lost our jobs. I had friends that could help me design PC boards and cabinets. I came up with the CW Sendin’ Machine. I had a lot of surplus parts to use. Some friends who had worked for RCA started a metal fabricating business. They built the cabinets. I started building them and selling them at Hamfests. Later I advertised them in QST and Ham Radio magazines.

The CW Sendin’ Machine in it’s time was state of the art contesters dream. For about two years I couldn’t make them fast enough. As time passed competition came from everywhere. I couldn’t afford the advertising and didn’t have the ability to build them in large quantities. So I made the decision to stop making them. I did sell about 500 of them. Many are still in use today.

From 1982 to 2000 I was living in the Raleigh NC area. I am a charter member of the Smithchart Society. I can’t say enough about the guys in this group. I moved back to Florida in 2000. In 2001 they came down and put up my 65ft tower and put the TH11 beam up for me. In the fall of 2004 they came and put up the TH11 again after it had been damaged by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanie. In 2005 Hurricane Wilma again damaged the TH11. They came down, took the damaged antenna down, we repaired it and put it back up again. On their next visit I hope we can go fishing and not worry about fixing antennas.

I am on the DXCC Honor Roll. Currently 288th in the DXCC Challenge standings with a count of 2162 band countries.

I recently took an interest in solar power.   

I am running my transceivers, antenna relays, and a lamp on solar power.

I am using a 123watt Sharp solar panel, a Morningstar SunSaver MPPT solar controler and a 97 amphour 12volt gell cell.

This system is providing me ample power for normal use of my station although I have not as yet pulled an allnight contest run as yet.

What are my reasons for doing this:

An interest in solar power.

I am running on permanent emergency power. I don't have to use a generator that requires fuel.

I feel that other amateurs should consider this mode of providing clean backup power that does not require petroleom fuel.

Alan

16672 Last modified: 2011-01-22 00:33:06, 4124 bytes

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