QSL CARD NOTE It has become expensive and burdensome for me to do qsl cards, so if you do not seriously need one, please do not qsl. I do qsl though 100% for beacon reports if you request a card, and those who need a confirmation for TN, an award, etc if you worked me on other bands.
BEACON REPORTS. I operate a 28.251 MHZ 100 Watt Beacon, and it is expensive. I have replaced the beacon a number of times over the years due to wear and tear, lightening, etc. I have had lightening take out the equipment several times, that means the transmitter and 100 watt amplifier, and antenna system. I operate the beacon to help you, as an swl or radio amateur know the propagation conditions from your location to Tennessee. IF you hear my beacon, take just a moment to send me a report. It only takes a second to say you heard it, and send the report to: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.
Greetings Brother and Sister Radio Operators and Shortwave Listening Enthusiasts. I was FIRST LICENSED almost forty years ago in 1969. I have held the calls: W3IK, WN4OAA, HP1XJC, KF9N, WB4OAA, AD2L, DA1ON, AND A VE1 and VO1 RECIPROCAL LICENSE from 1972 to 1975. I also at one time held an F.C.C. Commercial Telegraph License in the 70’s. The license is a relic of the past (hmmmm Ebay item?).
The magic of radio exists in many forms for all of us. For those of us: old, young, new ham, old ham, if you have never experienced building your own gear, you must do so --- and most particularly with tube equipment. My most memorable moments of radio were not with sophisticated solid state gear, but moments spent in a hot dark room, illuminated only by the filaments of a dozen tubes glowing in the dark through a metal mesh cabinet of my receiver, the smell of well heated components, ozone in the air, the percolating fluctuations of an OV2 regulator tube in my homebrew crystal controlled transmitter, changing its hue of blue with each key stroke of Morse, a set of cans upon my ears, and my hand grasping the receiver dial to "tune the band" up and down for an answer to my CQ. That's a magical moment every ham then, and still today should have. I encourage you, buy a kit, build it, and they will come. You can find tube kits still out there to build your own station. The contact you make with a radio built with your hands will more than likely be your most nostalgic and cherished ham radio memory.
MY CAREER AS MILITARY RADIO OPERATOR 1974-1994: My early part of my career was point-to-point radio which began in 1974. Then, as a Vietnam Era veteran, my participation was limited to Operation New Life, providing communications that helped transported distraught Vietnamese refugees out of VietNam to USA. I would be interested in hearing from other vets who participated in this operation. However, most of my career was supporting HF Air-To-Ground Presidential, Vice Presidential, and Special Air Missions such as Air Force One, Air Force Two, etc. from Albrook Airways, and Scott Airways. This included long range flight following (HF Air Traffic Control). I also worked MARS RADIO, and was Chief Operator at AGA6MC 1974-1976 McClellan AFB, AGA6TR Travis AFB (90 day TDY) 1975, and AJA3AIR Rhein Main AB 1976-1977. I also did considerable HF Point-to-Point Communications, and served with a Combat Deployable Unit (3rd Herd). I spent 6 months special assignment working with Combat Crew Communications at Loring AFB, ME (primarily B52's and KC-135s). Other ancedotes of my military career include working communications/support during the Iran Hostage Crisis of the late 70's, Grenada Invasion, Bosnia, and the Iraq War. My most memorable communications experience was assisting a Search and Rescue C-130 looking for a downed balloonist who was one of the earlier attempts at crossing the Atlantic by balloon.
LIFE AFTER THE AIR FORCE (TODAY): I am retired from the USAF, work two jobs: by night as a college professor, and by day for the US Postal Service.
MY BEACON is a simple Homebrew two stage transmitter of 1 watt RFO feeding a solid state amplifier with 100 watts output into an A-99 half wave vertical antenna up ten feet producing roughly 100 watts ERP). Please send email reports to email@example.com. SERIOUSLY, it costs a lot to keep a beacon going, so return the favor and let me know you heard it. It is there for you.
AMATEUR RADIO TRANSMITTING + RECEIVING APPARATUS
STATION Position #1: Yaesu FT817, QRP-QRPp transceiver with optional 100 watt amplifier for 80 through 6 meter bands. Thirty watt 2m Linear Amplifier, no amp for 70cm.
STATION Position #2: Galaxy GT-550 Transceiver Line (GT550/RV550/SC550)produces 600 Watts, for over half a kilowatt of output in a self contained desktop transceiver covering the 80 - 10m bands.
STATION Position #3: Hallicrafters S-38C and Homebrew 807 CW transmitter with rotary coil inductor for multiband usage.
STATION Position #4: Puxing 888 VHF Transceiver 2m HT
ANTENNAS: - 4 Element Corner-fed Bobtail Curtain Array for the 20 Meter band with about 6db gain over a dipole. - ¼ Wave 160 M Inverted L Tunes all bands 160-6m. - A99 Half Wave Vertical for 10m, and a 2m/70cm GP Beam (Hybrid Ground-Plane Beam)
ACCESSORIES: Acer 2.0GHz Laptop Computer, Windows Vista Premium, Rigblaster NOMIC + assorted software, Vectronics VEC-841 Tuneable CW filter, Homebrew QRPP Altoids Can T-Match Antenna Tuner, an MFJ-945B Antenna Tuner, a Uniden HF-VHF-UHF Scanner, AEA Morse Machine Keyer-VibroKeyer Paddle + J38 hand key. My favorite accessory is a 2004 K1TTY Purr-colator (Feline Foot Warmer - Domestic American Breed, a.k.a. named "Sage" five years old and a delightful bundle of love at seventeen pounds.
QRP and QRPp CW are my first preferences. I have worked all states with ½ watt and about 50 countries with ½ watt using simple wire antennas. Some of the dx countries on 500 milliwatts of RTTY were with simple wire antennas (sloper, dipoles, end fed, inverted L). QRP does not take much, even on 160m, my 130' end fed up 25 feet allowed me to work 37 states in 3 hours during a 160m Contest --- not bad for 5 watts on 160m).
QRPP Digital: If you have never ran ½ watt RTTY, PSK31, MFSK16, or any other digital mode, try it. You are missing out! It is amazing!
VOICE: If I do ever have to talk on the radio, my preference is 40m AM or 10m AM, followed by 10m FM. I do enjoy VHF and UHF SSB, especially when mountain-topping or hiking the Appalachian Trail.
OTHER: I enjoy dx-ing, equipment building, and favor antenna experimentation.duct tape is a life saver during VHF contests!
QSL’s: Note, I am not big on this, and no I am not a QSL-Grinch. It just is expensive, and I have a lot of other priorities that I prefer to spend the money on not to mention the time. I do a lot of charity work, and fifty cents per qsl card can quickly and actually add up when you send a lot of cards. This is money I could use to help some kid or person having a meal or something. However, I know how desperately important a card can be to someone, so I am happy to qsl. However, if it is just another average card to your collection then consider how much you need it. I will honor your request. I do recognize people enjoy this aspect of the hobby. Likewise, others should recognize that some hams are not into QSLing anymore than some hams are no longer into Morse Code. Hams need to respect no-coders just like non-qslers. QSLs arriving here are unsolicited mail, like junk mail. It takes time to get to them, and QSL-ing is a chore to some hams like me. HOWEVER, I do discourage qsling here, unless you absolutely need a QSL and to those who genuinely want and need the card. I do not have printed cards, and for a person to receive a card, I print out a rather nice vintage photo qsl. You will like it. BUT, this takes time for me to get to this, and it might be a good while before you get a card back. Including an S.A.S.E. also increases the likelihood and probability of a return card. Also, should you not receive a card, don’t get mad and forget about it. Email me and let me know, and I will send out another card. I am not too well organized and I sometimes forget or think I replied to a qsl. I do want you to get a card if you want it and need it, so if applicable and I need reminding, do remind me! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org I want you to get the card. One more note: I do not do EQSL, LOTW, or any of the other methods.
ABOUT ME: I started radio at the age of 11, became novice class-licensed at 15 under the test proctoring of W4LUV, Charles Hennessy. Then in 1970 and subsequent years, I drove the 100 miles to take my exams at an FCC Field office, ultimately upgrading to Extra Class and a Commercial Radio Telegraph license. These led to me becoming a professional/military radio operator for over 20 years. I am retired military (having been both officer and enlisted, retiring in the early 90’s), am currently employed as a college professor, and also work for the post office. I am married (one wife), with a daughter and son, both grown. I am now 56 years old (and apparently somewhat cantankerous).
HOBBIES/OTHER INTERESTS: Reading, studying the art of leadership-management science, teaching, education, motorcycling, hiking, fishing, mountain topping, laying on the couch doing absolutely nothing. Of particular and very strong interest is sleeping AND avoiding the xyl's do list --- both are high on my agenda of other interests.
Vintage Photo is of my station in 1969-1970, age 15. Station consisted of Hallicrafters SX-43 Receiver, Lafayette HA460 6m AM Xcvr, and a homebrew one tube ("807 tube"), crystal controlled, forty meter, 30 watt transmitter. (I believe the other receiver in the picture was also a Hallicrafters), and the portable receiver on top an Allied. SO 73 !! And enjoy our wonderful hobby. [[ If you have read all this, I commend you! 73 from Gray, TN ]] John W3IK
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