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If you are looking up my call sign related to someone jamming your net, cursing folks out, attacking and insulting folks on your net and so on, I assure you it isn't me. I have worked very hard earning my Amateur License and the Privileges that come with it. In 08/2010, I earned Technician Class, 10/2010 I upgraded to General Class, in 1/2012 I upgraded to Extra Class. Learning of the shortage of Extra Class Certified VE’s in the local rural counties, March of 2012 I applied for VE Accreditation, on 4/5/2012, I received the ARRL VE Accreditation package. Since then I've been privileged to assist in several VE Test Exams for those seeking their New Amateur License and those seeking upgrades to their current licenses. I enjoy the hobby, meeting new folks, talking with friends and making new ones. It’s a lot of fun to meet someone in other states and especially other country's. Sharing in their stories, learning about different customs,the enjoyment of others sharing their life’s experiences and the enjoyment in hearing others sharing their wisdom and knowledge. Amateur Radio is the best hobby in the world, hands down. What other hobby allows you to travel around the world, visit, make friends, visit with friends and visit other countries and new places without ever leaving the comfort of your QTH?

I’ve always been interested in extreme weather. I rode out every hurricane in the 2004 and 2005 Hurricane Season traveling throughout Florida in a 38ft Class "A" diesel powered RV! While it’s been a few years since tornado activity has affected my area, I heard of several extreme weather classes and decided to attend. Living in the middle of Tornado Alley, it made sense. Prior to those classes I had no idea of how valuable Storm Spotter Reports were or the impact Storm Spotters have in local weather alerts, especially Tornados. Those classes have led to my certification as a Storm Spotter. Many of the class members were from the Shawnee Oklahoma Radio Club and the South Eastern Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Through the Shawnee Oklahoma Radio Club, I heard the SEOKARES needed a portable tower for Emergency Operations. I was happy to assist in procuring a lightweight 40ft tilt-over telescoping tower that I knew was just laying around in need of a new owner. The tower was to small for my personal needs. A member of the Shawnee Oklahoma Radio Club is working on getting them a trailer. The idea is to weld the tower to the trailer for use as a portable emergency radio tower system. It will be a neat part of the SEOKARES tools, though we hope it won’t have to be deployed as an emergency. These groups have been briefed about and warned of a host of lids (problem two year old types) who delight in making phone calls or sending in written lies (call them what they are) in attempts to cause trouble.

My current Ham Shack setup is a TS-480HX as my primary HF radio, a FT-897D as secondary HF and backup radio, IC-706MKIIG primary mobile and ARES Go Bag radio, Wouxun KG-UV6 V2 as my primary 2m and ARES Go Bag radio. My latest purchase is a Flex Radio. Since purchase, I've been playing with the Flex 1500 QRP Software Defined Radio and quickly found the SDR has some great ability and has been a great tool for monitoring multiple frequencies, watching for activity on different bands, and is mostly being used as a dedicated receiver. The only major issue with the SDR option is needing to have a fairly serious computer (using a laptop with 8GB ram, 1TB hard drive and running Windows 7 64Bit operating system). After a lot of troubleshooting, I found that the laptop video card is the main problem with PowerSDR hitting 100% CPU constantly. At the Ardmore Hamfest (Oct 26, 2013) I bought a nice Dell Dimension 9200 and Dell 19" HD monitor for a very reasonable price. Including the cost of the 8GB Ram and two 1TB hard drive upgrades I have less than $250 in the entire system The 9200 running Windows 7 Pro, with two 1TB Hard Drives, 8GB Ram, the nVidia GeForce 7900 GS 256 MB video card Turtle Beach 128MB Audio 7 in1 soundcard and expansion for two more SATA hard drives. With the purchase, upgrades and instillation of the Dell Dimension 9200 all performance problems with PowerSDR have vanished. I learned with the laptop that the soundcard and video card limitations will cause poor performance and 100% almost constant CPU usage. I love my SDR and enjoy listening to signals on it thru the new desktop! Now all I need is a nice surround sound speaker system to go with it all. (Maybe Santa will bring me one!) There are some serious advantages to using the SDR for listening and recording. The Flex 1500 is capable of recording 48KC of bandwidth in an IQ file at the same time. With the VAC you can use HRD or your favorite audio recording software to record in .wav, mp3 or your favorite audio format. There are minimum cable runs from the SDR to the Computer too. No need to use an external soundcard, no rats nest of cables running to or from the SDR and the computer, point and click tuning, point and click filtering. It does take a b it of getting used to not having knobs to turn though. I really like the Panadapter, usually set to Panfall giving both the Waterfall and Spectrum Scope in a split screen. It's fast real time information accessible with the click of a mouse. With PowerSDR, the Flex 1500 Panadapter shows 48 KHz of the band at 1 shot making it easy to see where activity is at a glance. The only extra you need for the SDR is a VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) to enable seamless use of 3rd party software like FLDIGI, MixW, HRD, or any other radio or audio software you may want to use. The biggest benefit of having SDR is that all you need to do (simplistically) is to download the latest software update and you have a radio that continues to move forward with the latest options. I can honestly say that my next new radio will certainly be another SDR, maybe a Flex 3000, or a Flex 5000 or the new Flex 6700R. I have to admit, I'm seriously leaning toward the Flex 6700R! I like the idea of having the ability to watch all bands at once and with the click of a mouse be tuned and ready to QSO, listen or record. If the Flex 6700R has all that, I wonder what tomorrows new SDR will bring to the table! Maybe 200w on transmit!

If you know of someone using my call sign Please drop me an e-mail with the details.

I upload all log entries to LoTW & eQSL.cc

Last modified: 2013-12-02 19:15:26, 7140 bytes

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