I was licensed as a Technician way back in 1976 at the tender age of 15 with the callsign WB5XIK. The FCC took that callsign back about a week after I received it (said they weren't supposed to give 'X' suffixes out to regular people) and re-dubbed me WB5YGR. While completing my electrical engineering degree at Miss. State University, there was no time or funds for hobbies, and I was forced into inactivity for several years. I renewed my ticket under the grace period in 1989 and was issued the new callsign of N5IBL. I quickly upgraded to General, then Advanced, and received the callsign KI5NB while flying KC-135s for the Air Force, in Shreveport, LA. In the mid 1990s, I upgraded to Extra Class and was issued my last FCC assigned call of AC5ZU. I recently acquired the vanity call of K5OLV. I obtained my first pilot's license as a teenager flying out of our local airport here in Olive Branch, MS, which has the four-letter ICAO identifier of KOLV. The new call ties in with that history and my hometown. My wife, Gayle, is a Tech (N5SIE) and our grown son, Ben (who is also an airline pilot) holds a Tech license (KD5LSF).
In early 1992, after spending almost eight years in the Air Force, we all moved back to north Mississippi, putting down permanent roots in the old hometown. I am currently flying full time as a captain in the Airbus A300 and A310 for FedEx out of Memphis, TN. I was fairly active up until 2001 when multiple deployments with my air guard unit after 9/11 and losing my antennas to an ice storm, coincided with a waning interest in radios. It was just as well since family interests and all the activities associated with two teenagers needed my attention.
Now that the kids are grown, I find myself having a new desire to re-discover ham radio. I've put together a station that, so far, consists of a Kenwood TS-2000S for SSB/CW/Data/Satellite in all modes from 70cm thru 160M (it's truly the swiss army knife of transceivers). For local contacts via FM phone I am running a Kenwood TM-733 dual bander, and a TYT-9000 on 220mhz. There's also an Alinco DJ-140 2m rig that I use solely to port RF to the internet as a receive only igate for aprs (K5OLV-1). A Yeasu FT-857D provides a platform for mobile HF/VHF/UHF in my Dodge Dakota pickup truck, along with an old Kenwood TM-731A dual band FM rig.
For HF, the TS-2000 feeds a 738 ft loop antenna at 25 feet which operates on 160m-6m phone, CW and PSK. The rest of the antenna stack can be seen in the picture at left. Starting at the top is a Comet GP-1 for local 2m/440 FM, next is a Cushcraft 11 element 432 yagi, then a Cushcraft 10 element 2m yagi, and finally a Cushcraft 5 element 6m yagi. The feed point for the BOL (big ole loop) is just below this stack. The top of the GP-1 is at 40 ft.
We have a vacation home on Lookout Mountain in North Georgia. I have a station there as well which I operate when we visit, which is about one week per month. That station consists of a Yeasu Ft-897D/AT-897 tuner combo radiating into either a 6-BTV vertical or an 80M OCF dipole on HF. The rig is also used to work 50mhz and up and is paired with a Cushcraft 3-element 6 meter yagi, Cushcraft 10-element 2 meter yagi, and another Cushcraft 11-element yagi. This yagi stack is mounted on the roof using a five foot tripod. There's also an old DR-140 two meter rig paired with another Comet GP-1, which also doubles as a receiver to feed a software Igate I have set up to port APRS traffic to the internet.
All in all, life is very good. I am living joyfully under God's Grace! I hope you are too!
7562550 Last modified: 2016-09-11 03:57:12, 4637 bytes
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