I was born and raised in NYC where, when I wasn't working in the family construction business, or one of the many other jobs I had when I got bored with construction, I worked as an EMT (ACLS) and drove ambulances for 14 years. I served six years as the Dispatcher Training Officer and the Public Relations Officer for the Williamsburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Brooklyn, NY. Thanks to them I'm a qualified Emergency Vehicle Operator and qualified as an instructor. I also served in the United States Navy as a Gunner's Mate from 1974 to 1980 where I qualified as a diver and EOD technician. I have a B.Sc. degree in Computer & Information Sciences, and an Asc. Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. I was also the Telecommunications Editor for Ahoy! magazine (Commodore computer magazine) in the mid 80's and served as their online and radio & television personality. I'm also the founder and chairman of the board of directors of the SPWaW Depot Association, Inc., a non-profit WWII war-gaming group and WWII historical preservation and educational organization.
Over the past decade or so I've lived and worked in NYC; Allentown, PA; Baltimore, MD; Silver Spring, MD; and Washington, DC. My wife and I currently reside in Fredericksburg, VA, with our three cats, Weazie, Ms. Velcro, and Mr. Belvedere, in a comfortable house on a corner 1/2 acre lot, where I plan to one day add a nice 100'+ tower for the base QTH.
I'm a current member of ARRL, the Rappahannock Valley Amateur Radio Club (RVARC), the W9WDX Worldwidedx.com Amateur Radio Club, the Stafford County Volunteer EmComm Team (ARES/RACES), IHRAS (member #36), Zombie Squad (fleet# ZS 0326), and I'm a certified SKYWARN advanced spotter and ARRL VE.
I will be happy to exchange QSL's via direct mail, no return postage needed.
My Mobile Ham Shack
This is Harvey, my 1999 GMC C3500 diesel utility truck and mobile ham shack. Harvey is my personal vehicle and "daily driver", and I cover all of the costs, including equipment, fuel, insurance, etc. out of my own funds. He was purchased in 2007 on eBay, after he'd been retired from duty with the city of West Palm Beach, Florida as a regular utility truck. I was still working in the construction industry at the time, and he proved to be an excellent work truck. When I retired a year later, after an injury, I became a SKYWARN spotter and got into amateur radio. From the start of that I knew Harvey would make an excellent "mobile ham shack", and when I joined the county emcomm team Harvey quickly proved himself to be a valuable asset to the team.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, Harvey is named after the title character in an old Jimmy Stewart movie. The character, "Harvey", was a large, hard drinking pooka, appearing as a white rabbit that only Jimmy could see. Since I'm part Irish, and the truck does get quite "thirsty" (about 12mpg), is big and white, and the rabbits on our property seem to like lounging in the shade underneath him, the name Harvey seemed appropriate.
(There's an APRS live map of my current location at the bottom of this page)
Harvey is an official Stafford County Volunteer EmComm Team Response Vehicle (under the supervision of the Stafford County Fire & Rescue Department), and is equipped with multiple antennas for everything from 80m to 70cm, hard points and feed throughs for mast mounted antennas, dual batteries, high output alternator, 1.5kw (3kw surge) DC/AC inverter, full DOT warning lights, 220 watt halogen front spotlights, 18 watt LED rear flood lights, an FT-757GXII and FC-757AT tuner, a IC-706MKIIG and LDG IT-100 tuner, an FTM-350AR, a FT-8500, various FRS & GMRS radios, CB radio, trunking scanner, and a very good alarm system. Inside the rear box is both white and red LED lighting, an operators position with antenna feeds, 12v DC and 120v AC power, racks for the various extra antennas I carry, white boards for jotting operational info, storage for equipment and supplies, including two portable 10'x10' canopies, two 6' folding tables, folding chairs, several step and extension ladders in sizes up to 21 feet, 96' of fiberglass mast and three tripod mounts, several hundred feet of coax ranging from RG-8X to LMR-500, 400' of guy rope and enough tools and test equipment to do field repairs and fabrication. There's even an 8' folding hammock and bedding for quick naps in the field, a 30 cup coffee maker, a two week supply of MRE rations, three cases of bottled water, and a small 12v fridge. Rigs normally used in the rear section include a Kenwood TS-940 SAT, Yaesu FT-2900, Yaesu FT-757GXII and FC-757AT tuner, Yaesu FT-8500 (dedicated as a cross band repeater), a Motorola XTS-2500i digital HT, and a Motorola XTS-3000 digital HT. Equipment for digital modes also includes a 17" Gateway laptop and a RigBlaster Pro installation. Antennas normally carried include vertical antennas for 160 through 70cm, wire antennas for 160m through 10m, and log periodics for both 2m and 70cm. Planned future improvements include a bank of AGM batteries, a full shore power connection and distribution system, on-board 3kw generator, a second 250 amp alternator, and roof mounted solar panels and charging system.
Harvey was voted the First Place winner in the Truck Category at the Second Annual Virginia Ham Radio Cruise-In, held April 30, 2011. Other awards include a second place finish in the Mobile Multiple Operator catagory for the 2011 Virginia QSO Party, a first place finish in the same catagory for 2012, an official Certificate of Appreciation from the Governor of West Virginia for "participation in community disaster preparedness training and volunteer service", and I was named "Ham of the Year" for 2011 by the members of the Rappahannock Valley Amateur Radio Club.
Harvey and I have worked as the NCS for many public service events, including the Colonial Beach (Virginia) Triathelon, The Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail 50km Race, The DRHT Half Marathon, the Fredericksburg Heritage Festival 10 Mile Race, the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (chase vehicle), the Great Rappahannock Whitewater Kayak and Canoe Race, and the Hartwood 10 Mile Run, just to name a few. We also provided communications at two different Red Cross shelters (one in Stafford county, the other in King George county after the Stafford shelter secured operations) during Hurricane Irene, and provided emergency communications support, both during in the aftermath of the 5.9 earthquake that struck the National Capitol Area on August 23, 2011. We had a functioning Net Control Station on the air, collecting damage reports and providing information to the surrounding area from the USGS, within 90 seconds of the first tremor.
Here's a few shots of Harvey in action with the Rappahannock Valley Amateur Radio Club (RVARC), in support of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail Half Marathon on February of 2011 and again in 2012:
Below: Working 2m SSB contacts during the 2011 Virginia QSO Party from Caroline County
Below: Heading out to do some antenna repair work in a remote area, towing an aerial lift platform.
Below: EmComm East held in Rochester, NY on September 25th, 2011
Below: Waiting for the start of the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon March 20, 2012 (Harvey was the sweep vehicle that followed the last runner)
And, last but not least, a few shots working as the NCS for the Great Rappahannock Whitewater Kayak and Canoe Race in June of 2012
Field Day - 2012
For Field Day - 2012 Harvey and I setup the GOTA station and Welcome Center for our local club, the RVARC, at Curtis Park, in Stafford county Virginia. Almost everything seen in the tent, and including the trailer (with 6kw generator), plus the mast, guys, antennas and tripods, is equipment either normally carried on the truck, or that can be quickly loaded for emergency operations. (Including the 30 cup coffee maker!) The club call is K4TS and the call for the GOTA station this year was that of my GOTA partner Tim, N4ENG.
My Shack Cats
This handsome devil above is Weazie, our Maine Coon cat. He's a real joker and comedian, always doing something silly to make us laugh. He insists that his real name is "His Royal Fuzziness, Prince Weazious the First". We usually just call him "Fuzzybutt"
This grinning imp above is Mr. Rupert G. Belvedere, our newest rescue kitty. We adopted him on Sept 12, 2011 and he's already made himself completely at home. He combines Weazie's playfulness with Ms. Velcro's warm and loving manner. His favorite activity is curling up with me for a nap and he insists on sleeping with his head resting on the palm of my hand. Yes, I'm a cat pillow.
I've promised all the cats that, once I get a shack setup in the house and so long as they don't chew cords or key up microphones, they can sleep on top of the nice warm equipment.
My Current Location:
(For some odd reason the map script from aprs.fi no longer displays properly when embedded)
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