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Note: CB radio operators have "Handles". Amateur radio operators have "Names".

I have been very blessed and I am thankful. We didn't have much growing up, but we never realized it as children. I had great parents who knew how to raise their children with love. I am also blessed to have an absolutely wonderful wife.

Amateur radio was a major influence early in my life. It shaped who I became and how I applied myself during life. It is amazing how a hobby can shape a person's life.

I obtained my novice license in 1976, at the age of 15. Obtaining my novice license showed me that I could do anything if I tried! I remember when it came in the mail. I was SO excited. The first thing my father said when I opened it and saw my new call sign was "WN8AFB .. Air Force Base. That's a good call." The irony of this is that I am now an airline pilot. I have been a pilot for many years, and have flown all over the world. In the early '90s I flew for Sabena World Airways out of Brussels Belgium while I lived in Antwerp. It was a great experience living and flying in Europe for a couple years.

Here are some pictures of my beautiful YL and I. We enjoy traveling.

Radio Room My PYT
Mt. Hood Charles Shultz Museum
Rome Athens
Paris London
   

Do you remember the 1976 Bicentennial year? My first award was for working / confirming the original 13 states during the Bicentennial year, using a Heathkit HW-16 and various antennas. This award was offered by the Kearny, N.J. Amateur Radio Club.

Kearny New Jersy K2BDX award

I have always enjoyed working the low bands.The first beam I was able to use was a monoband 4 element yagi on 10 meters. I saved my money to get that beam. It was very exciting. My brother Eric & our friends helped hoist it up into the top of a plum tree. That was back during the big sun spot cycle and 10M was wide open. I was very active on 10M then and got a lot of 10M awards. I have posted some of them at the bottom of this page. Does anyone remember these 10-10 Chapters?

Like everyone else, life has given me some distractions from amateur radio. I was inactive for 24 years. In 2007 I became active on VHF/UHF with Dstar. In 2009 I got back onto the lowbands. My current shack is pictured below. I have furnished it with an Icom 7600 and some classics from Heathkit. We had an HW-101 back in the 70's & 80's, so I bought another one in great shape on Ebay. I built the HR-1680 receiver in 1979 for a high school project. I never knew Heath had a matching transmitter for the HR-1680 until my brother Eric (WD8KNL) & I saw one at the Orlando hamfest in 2009. I picked this one up on Ebay and restored it. They are a fun pair to work CW with.

I love the smell of TUBES! It makes me feel like a kid again. :-)

I absolutely love working CW with my Vibroplex key and bugs. I am active with the SKCC & FISTS organizations.

 

I really enjoy using my 1962 Vibroplex Champion bug. I also have a 1920 Vibroplex Original bug, but I don't use it much.

 

My current HF equipment is:

  • ICOM IC-7600

  • Heathkit HW-101 -w- Shure Bros. 444 mic

  • Heathkit HR-1680 Rcvr & HX-1681 Xmiter

  • Heathkit SB-200 Amp

  • Kenwood TS-140S

  • Kenwood TS-570D

  • Heathkit HW-8, about 1 w. output

  • Yeasu FT-817, .5 to 5 w output

I really enjoy the old Heathkit equipment. I have a collection of many old Heathkit Catalogs. I am in the process of scanning and posting them on my website. To view them, go to www.WD8AFB.com

 


My 2 Antennas:

The Home Owners Association will not allow me to put up a tower or visible antennas. Therefore my 2 antennas are hidden in the woods behind my house. I buried 130' of 2 inch conduit from my house into the woods. I have 160' of LMR-400 feeding my antennas through a remote antenna switch.

1. I have a 40M Extended Double Zepp (176 ft dipole feed with 450 ohm ladderline) up 65 feet in the thin pine trees. I feed this with a DXEngineering 10 kw 1:1 current balun and use an MFJ 1kw remote tuner for multi band operation. The trees sway a lot with the wind. I use a weight and pulley system on it with two bricks to keep the correct tension on it.

UPDATE: August 29, 2014 - I discovered that my MFJ-998rt remote tuner had failed. It somehow became saturated with water and was destroyed. I sent it back to MFJ and they shipped me a new one in a matter of a few days. Thank you MFJ! I now have the new MFJ-998rt enclosed in a big plastic storage bin that has been caulked to keep all moisture out of it. Hopefully the double waterproof enclosure will protect this tuner. I have switched to a DX Engineering 4:1 10KW balun. Now I am able to tune all bands. Before I could not get 15m to tune with the 1:1 current balun.

2. My other antenna is a Hustler 6BTV vertical with a DX Engineering current balun and tilt base. It has eight 30ft radials spread through the palmettos. It is right next to a big pond and the ground has good conductivty. It works very well on 40m & 30m.

My Hustler 6BTV vertical
176 ft dipole

176 ft dipole

 


SKCC # 7196T

FISTS # 15361 CC# 2125

10-10 # 16130

QCWA # 34700

Digital Clubs:

EPC LogoEPC # 20379

DMC ClubDMC # 06124

 

BDM # 3474

Natal Digital Group - BrasilNDG # 1344

 

30MDG30MDG # 6271

BARTGBARTG # 8981

 

CDG # 1062

 

 

PSE QSL: Direct, LoTW, eQSL(AG) or via the Bureau

I reply to ALL QSLs rcvd. No SASE needed.

My last mailing to outgoing QSL Bureau 600+ QSLs --July 11, 2014

 


 
 

Back in the late 70's I started collecting many different 10X chapter awards. Here are some of them.

 

All-American # 907 Dallas County # 849Tamale # 599HMoKan # 532 Chattahoochee Valley # 289 Mid Tennessee # 329City of Roses # 1C760Cowtown #CT599War Eagle # 360Jackalope # 660 Cincinnati Area Ten Tuners # 1132LIARS # 1043ACypress # ?27 Sun Coast # 636 Chief Seatlle #CHIEF 1108 Co;rado Centennial # 971

Raggedy Ann & Andy # 937North Star # 680

 


 
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