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My interest in Ham radio began in the mid 1950's. I had two neighbor friends that were very active in Ham radio, one had a Collins 75A-4 and a home built rack mounted amplifier with huge tubes that glowed when transmitting. As kids we were always putting up an antenna somewhere, usually in freezing cold of November, and the most affordable and somewhat easy to build was the cubicle quad. My first HeathKit experience was an AR3 receiver.

I was reintroduced to Ham radio 20 years ago when a friend gave me an Icom IC02-AT and I was off again. Got my Technician license and remained somewhat active but always wanted to get my General. Twelve years ago I purchased an IC-746 in hopes of one day getting that code down well enough for the General ticket.

We moved to a small ranch in the country 13 years ago and I now have 23 acres to play with. Finally got an HF antenna in the air and took the General test on April 14th, 2012. It's been a 57 year process but little boys never grow up and Ham radio is calling me again. Yes I am a new no code General but my Amateur radio roots go back to childhood.

HF station today is a Yaesu FTDX 1200, Ameritron AL-80B amplifier, an end fed E-Z Wire XL antenna at 45'. and a 5 band HEX beam on a tower. Audio is a Heil Pro-Set Elite and HeilPR 781 on a boom.  Also use a W2IHY 8 band EQ. VHF is Yaesu FT-7800 to a Diamond dual band antenna. For digital I use the SignaLink USB interface.

Late December 2012 photo


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