Back in the late 70's I was introduced to amateur radio as a cub scout by other parents within the troop and found it fascinating. My dad (who had a license when he was in college but had dropped out of the hobby) bought me a Radio Shack morse keyer to play with, and I learned as much as I could. Due to our family's economic situation at the time the hobby never went farther than that back then, but it did get stuck in my head.
These days I'm a network engineer living in the Silicon Valley. I started to design and fly drones when the hobby was in its infancy and ended up getting my Tech certificate so that I could use the video broadcast and long-range-control frequencies I needed for flying them. Then the whole drone thing went commercial and took off, causing an explosion of interest in the hobby as well as a lot of negative press that caused me to pull back from it. Instead I picked up my first handset (a cheapie Baofeng) and started to listen in on the local repeaters and found it quite interesting. I studied up and picked up my General ticket a year later.
At first I was into iCom and D-STAR digital, using an iCom handset for the local D-STAR repeater and a 7100 for mobile and HF work. In my area the D-STAR thing didn't quite catch on, and with it my attention drifted away. Instead I started playing with weather stations (another long time hobby) and APRS, and selling off the iCom gear.
Another local friend started getting heavily into the System Fusion (C4FM) digital modes and convinced me to try it. With the HF bands being so poor of late the idea of international contacts via digital got me curious again, so I lept in with both feet. D-STAR is having a resurgence in my area so I might get back into that too. My current project is to get my father back into the hobby; I'm helping him study up to get his tech and general tickets, hopefully this summer.
My current setup:
Base station: Yaesu FT-991A running a Diamond 810 VHF/UHF antenna and a 96' random-wire thru the FC-20 tuner strung to the top of the pine tree next to my home.
Wires-X: run an HRI-200 node on VHF simplex 146.55MHz using a Yaesu FTM-100D. I host the room "SAN JOSE" but most often stay tuned into AMERICA-LINK. I access it through the 991a in the other room, or on the FT2DR handset.
Mobile: Both my car and my motorcycle (Honda Goldwing Valkyrie) each have a Yaesu FTM-400XDR. Complex mobile installs are a favorite part of the hobby for me; I used to install stereos and CB radios during one of my first high-school jobs back in Michigan, and figuring out how best to set up moble ham rigs is a lot of fun. The car also has an FT-891 with an ATAS120 for HF work that I just started to get into, in hopes for a better solar cycle to come.
I like to take country-crossing roadtrips both in-car and on-motorcycle so you might see my APRS beacon just about anywhere around the continental US and some bits of Canada.
7950224 Last modified: 2017-03-07 06:15:12, 3082 bytes
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