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I've been licensed since high school in Tacoma, WA when my call was WN7FLI and then WA7FLI. Changed my call when the vanity call signs became available to, what else, my initials, N7MA. Not very creative, but great for cw.

After college, having four children pretty much limited my activity to 2 meters FM during commutes back and forth to work. I did manage to build a repeater using old ICOM, Motorola and homebrew boards. It was one of the first all solid-state, mountain-top repeaters in the Seattle area.

I now divide my time between Seattle and Rose Lake Idaho.  Almost all of my Amateur Radio activity is from Rose Lake or the motor home while traveling.  I rarely operate from Seattle with all its noise, restrictions, etc.

After retirement and my wife (K7GMA) passing away, I purchased a small house in Rose Lake ID to be near the grandkids who are in Coeur d'Alene, ID.  Rose Lake is about 15 miles east and one mountain pass from Coeur d'Alene. It's a nice little radio location.  The past few years I've become much more active in Amateur Radio while gradually building up the HF station.

My base station consists of the Elecraft K3 Line (K3 Transceiver, KPA500 Amplifier, KAT500 Tuner and a P3 Panadapter).   The K-3 replaced an Icom IC-746Pro.  I keep thinking I should sell the 746 but instead I have set it up as my digital station, at least temporarily.  I also have a small collection of "Boat Anchors", primarily radios I have used over the years. Once in a while I'll fire up the old Collins S-Line I've restored or one of the other tube radios for fun.

The antennas are a log periodic (Tennedyne T-6) at 55' on a crank-down, tilt-over tubular tower (US tower), a home brew 08/40 meter trap dipole, and a 120' vertical. I'm active mainly on hf ssb or psk.

In the motor home and at the base station I have Icoms IC-2720 for VHF/UHF FM.  Sometimes I put  an Icom IC-7000 in the car for mobile operation with a Little Tarheel screwdriver antenna.   There also is an Icom IC-7000 in the motor home.  I don't use it moble but it comes in handy when camped for winlink emails (n7ma@winlink.org) and general hamming. The above picture is my campsite at Quartzfest. Quartzfest is 500+ hams RV camping in the desert near Quartzsite Arizona for a week of presentations, seminars, workshops, testing, 4x4ing, etc. There are no fees. Just a bunch of hams sharing their amateur radio experiences. For more info, check out www.quartzfest.org.

My 10 Meter Propogation Beacon transmits on 28.2165MHz at 5 watts.  It's pretty much always on with a couple of deep cycle batteries for power. The transmitter is an old Realistic HTX-100 running through the Kenwood AT-130 tuner to an A-99 vertical. The keyer is an ID-O-Matic by N0XAS. The receiver in the HTX-100 smoked, literally, years ago but the transmitter just keeps on going.  I have a small fan in back of the radio to keep things a little cool  For me part of the fun of having the beacon is playing with antennas. So far it's had a loop, dipole, and verticals 8', 17', 31' and 120' long, hence the tuner. Bill, WJ5O is sort of the USA Beacon Guru. His website has everything you've ever wanted to know about beacons and then some. http://www.qsl.net/wj5o/

I really like knowing if the beacon is getting out and to where, so please drop me a email or QSL if you happen to hear it.

The picture on my QSL card above is the winter view from the Rose Lake QTH. I QSL for all cards received. No SASE is required. I also reply to all beacon reports sent via email or snail mail. If you would like a QSL card from me confirming your report, please request it. I regulary upload my log, once a month or so, to LoTW.  Presently I don't use other electronic QSL systems.

As for work, I don't. I retired in 2004 from the Federal Aviation Administration as the Telecommunications Manager for the 7 western states.

Other activities I enjoy are family, photography, traveling in the motor home, hiking, cross country skiing, bicycling, kayaking, sailing, geocaching, motorcycling, etc. Basically I like nature and the outdoors.

73, Mark

Mark's Blog: www.knotaklu.blogspot.com




1968024 Last modified: 2015-05-16 06:15:55, 6290 bytes

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