*** I invite everyone to read my OP-ED article the July 2012 edition of QST entitled 'What is a Ham' ***
Welcome to the virtual home of KL1HB in Alaska.
I am located 65 miles North of Fairbanks, Alaska and (at BP55) a scant 135 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Here's the "helm" of my starship:
My home has no phone, no postal mail, no cable TV, no running water or fulltime electricity.
I have a battery bank charged bysolar and a small generator. Off this I run my station and computers.
Since our winters aresometimes severe I only make the trip to Fairbanks every couple weeks for supplies, mail, and phone calls to my family. My son Anthony (KB3DVS) talked to me about becoming a 'ham' for several years. So in 2002 I worked at it and got my first two tickets.
Anthony visits every year and brought up the initial radio gear I needed to get up and running. After a few years of operation, he shipped up a Mosley TA33jr and on his next trip he helped me find, strip, & prepare and mount the mast and antenna on a suitable 38 foot Spruce tree. This was quite an undertaking and included manually pounding in the three guy wire mounts and hand-building all the mounts and cables.
The tower is sunk a few feet in the permafrost, and there's a few feet of mast above the tree, so, in the end, we can say that it's about a 35' tower, on a hill about 20' above the road next to it. It faces down a hill, southeast to Canada and North America from Alaska.
The picture here was taken in March. My son and I stand beside my main antenna tower. I thank him for his efforts to motivate me to become a Ham. I has proved to be a rewarding pastime and fills the many, many long winter nights up here.
My gear reflects my retired nature, but does just 'FB'. I run a Yaesu FT890 and an Icom 740 through a MFJ 986 out to either a G5RV or the Mosley. I hope to get a real tower up someday, as the tree is splitting and won't last too much longer. Then I can also fly several dipoles off of it for when I want to work the big bands.
With the hearing going of late I have been more active on PSK and I am exploring other digital modes.
The photo below was taken when my daughter, Tricia, visited.
She, like my son, has learned to enjoy the winter, and its Northern Lights, as well as the summer. Next to the entry way, blue tarp, is the 11 element stacked yagi system I use for my email. On the far side of the house is a 4 element yagi used for 2 meter repeater operation. These come from the generous donation of time and effort by Fairbanks' own Jerry Curry (KL7EDK), as smart, and humble a ham as you could possibly meet. He is always willing to help out in any way and his generosity is boundless. Many thanks go out to Jerry for everything he's done over the years.
Ham's looking for the true Alaskan wilderness experience, or those wishing to operate at the Arctic Circle, or even at the top of the world at Prudhoe bay, give me a shout and I will be glad to help in any way I can.
Visit my blog by clicking Pete's Alaaska and enjoy some more pictures and find out more about life at the homestead.
Come out and enjoy our hobby among the wilderness and the animals in a place truly touched by God.
Today September 17, 2011 Six friends helped erect a new tower and a Mosley TA-33
More pictures of the antenna and crew at (http://kl1hbalaska.wordpress.com/ )
Look for the posting on my blog entitled 'Getting it up'
Amateur radio means many things to each of us. Some of the many things we focus on could be emergency preparedness, some on chasing DX, CW, DXpeditions, Digital but no matter where we focus we have the common bond of talking to other Ham's on the radio. One of the activities I like very much is operating at different stations I consider unique. It could be a friends QTH in Tok or my son's station in Frisco Texas. But there are places that are above special. To me it would be like a Catholic going to visit the Vatican in Rome. Or a visit to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Bellow are three stations I am very proud to say I have operated from.
The battleship New Jersey NJ2BB with my son KB3DVS
W1AW/KL7 special event station at the Arctic circle
Or my first station in my cabin with the original old TenTec, match box and of course a black bear.
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