My name is Tim. Only the FCC and my mother call me Timothy and my mother only when she's mad at me .
I got interested in Ham Radio when I was about 8 or 9 years old when my dad brought home an inexpensive shortwave radio. As a young kid and not knowing any active hams, it wasn't until I was in my mid twenties before I got my license. I always played with electronics as a teenager and had fun building many gadgets, including a crystal controlled peanut whistle CW transmitter (75 meters) made out of the parts from several old TV sets I found at the dump...the crystal was the only part I had to buy; bought from Lafayette Radio Sales (Remember them?). Of course it was illegal but it more or less worked, the weak "yoopy" signal feeding a wire strung from my upstairs window across the back field to a tree about 150 feet away. I could hear myself on the old Philco radio in my bedroom fitted with a homebrew BFO. I have no idea how far it transmitted but a friend of mine who lived four miles away could hear me on his his shortwave radio. I was always a bit paranoid an FCC truck would show up at my dad's front door so I didn't use it much. I wish I still had that old thing.
I served 6 years in the Navy (1975-1981) as an Avionics Technician, working on Grumman E-2B Hawkeye Early Warning aircraft (VAW116) and got to play with all the radios I wanted (the E-2B had some great HF radios inside it). The picture below , Spirit of '76, was taken by a good friend of mine of one of our aircraft. It made it into many newspapers, etc. When I was on shore, I was stationed at NAS Miramar in San Diego and spent one cruise each on the USS Forrestal and USS Nimitz in the Mediterranean. During that time I became close friends with several hams and they lit a fire under me to get my license.
After I was discharged in 1981, I went to work for Sanders Associates (now part of BAE Systems) and I was able to teach myself basic programming. In my spare time armed with the knowledge I had, I wrote a program to send myself random code characters at varying speeds. In a few months I was copying code at 10 wpm at 100% so I decided it was time to take the plunge.
I passed my Novice test in 1983 getting the call letters KA1KOB. I upgraded to General a few months later. This is when one still had to drive to the old Custom's House in Boston, Mass to take the Amateur Radio Exams under the steely eyes of the FCC examiners. I was a country boy, growing up in northern New Hampshire and driving into Boston scared me to death...Fortunately, the Customs House had a very distinctive shape and it was easy to use it as a landmark to steer towards, one way streets be damned. Luckily I found a (legal) parking place right next to the Custom House once I arrived and fortunately I passed my General test the first time. Good thing because I wasn't driving back for a long time.
During the heady days of the eighties in hamdom, when one upgraded to Advanced from General, he or she pretty much doubled their allocated frequencies. I was feeling the crunch of the smallish, crowded frequency bands allocated to me so throwing caution to the wind and again with fear and trepidation, I pointed my trusty 1964 Buick F85 south (hey, it was cheap) and drove the dreaded trip back into Boston once again. Someone upstairs must have been watching out for me because again, I found a parking spot right next to the Custom's building (yep...legal). I upgraded to Advanced that day and received the call letters I have now, KB1MM.
Almost thirty years later, it's probably time to upgrade to Extra (and I no longer have to drive to Boston to take the test...unless I want to for old time's sake).
I have had several iterations of stations over the years from a legal limit station to a crystal controlled QRP rig and everything in between. At the present time, I am running an Icom 706Mk1 at about100 watts output through an LDG IT-100 into a 148' dipole fed with open wire feedline up about 60 feet. I also occasionally use a 125 foot endfed antenna up about 35 feet, tuned with a very butchered and modified MFJ-941D.
Until May of 2014, I'd been off the air for about 13 years due to other things that demanded my time (family, job, band, etc etc). A few weeks back while cleaning my garage, I opened a box that had my IC-706 in it and at that moment, I knew I needed to get back on the air.
A week later, with a barebones, thrown together station, I answered W1AW/1 calling CQ for my first contact after a 13 year hiatus...not exactly Spratly Island but I think it was an appropriate way to restart a great hobby nonetheless.
Ham Radio isn't my only hobby. I love to fly fish, particularly Brook Trout in mountain streams...to me there is no more beautiful water creature than a native Brook Trout.
I also love to hike and spend many happy hours wandering the mountains and hills of NH.
My life long passion, besides electronics, has been music, playing trombone all the way through school and even getting to play for a year or so in a big band in Memphis, Tennessee when I was going to Navy school down there. There isn't anything much better or more fun than playing Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller stuff in a big band...to be inside the music is indescribable. I also play acoustic guitar and electric bass and am in a band here in the Concord NH area. You can check us out at www.hangingscarlet.com.
Enough rambling on....
I look forward very much to meeting you on the air sometime soon.
1164458 Last modified: 2014-08-09 14:14:05, 7900 bytes
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