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K4TFJ USA flag USA

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Current Home Station

  • Kenwood TS-590s
  • Ten Tec Centurion Amplifier
  • Ten Tec 238 Tuner
  • Inverted 'L' at 60 ft.
Home Page & The 1905 Group

Current Mobile Station

  • Alinco DX-70TH
  • LDG AL-100 Auto-tuner
  • Assorted Ham-Sticks on a MFJ hitch mount

A Little History

My first exposure to amateur radio was while my father was building a radio kit from a course he was taking in 1972. If I recall correctly this was a Novice level radio course provided by the National Radio Institute (NRI). He had built a receiver and transmitter, the Conar Twins, known as the Model 500/400. Both units worked quite well, and he did a great job putting them together. Dad unfortunately had a great deal of difficulty with the code.

I became fascinated with these "toys" and spent many hours on the receiver just listening to the international broadcasts. I had the opportunity one summer (1978, age 13) to take a Novice course at the Math & Science center in Richmond. It filled my summer quite well, and I walked away with a passing grade on my Novice Q/A and 5 wpm code tests and waited for my ticket, KA4GVW. I beat dad to the punch! HI HI (Luv ya pop. He is now K4UMM).

That was my first and only station while I was a Novice operator. Soon high school, computers, girls and cars became a higher priority and amateur radio took a back seat. The twins sat dormant and unused until I returned home from the Air Force in 1985. I played with them occasionally, but was not very active until 1987. I upgraded to Technician (Plus) at that time and changed calls, N4UYQ. Somewhere along the way, I "lost" the twins. I hope to find a pair one day for my wall of honor. UPDATE!: A set of Twins now sit on my workbench and will be returned to original operational ability with no mods. Chirp Chirp!

I remember an old Hallicrafters SX-101 Receiver I had picked up along with a Hammarlund HX-50 Transmitter at a ham fest in Richmond. I lived in a single story duplex at the time and "strung" a dipole laying on the roof!

There was so much rf in the shack (apartment) that it would make the tv squeal and loose its mind when I transmitted, if I hadn't tuned it properly. Scared my little girl once while she was in the room with me.

My first VHF rig was a KDK FM-2025 mobile rig. Ah those were the days. Had an Icom IC-730 which I enjoyed for a while until I had to once again put my HF gear away but still played with VHF.

I also helped with the design and modifications of software for the early days of APRS, known as APRSdigi, in conjunction with Wes Johnston, KD4RDB. APRS has really grown up. Glad to see it going strong.

Joined R.A.T.S., the Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society and served as president in 2002. Spent time on top of antenna towers for local hams and clubs, where my shoe treads, fingerprints, sweat and blood can sometimes be found on many of those, including W4MYA, N4EHJ, W4HZ and others.

I moved to Williamsburg in 2010 and joined the Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club in 2012. In the spring of 2013 I decided to get a vanity call, K4TFJ. Writing this has brought back so many memories.

Thanks to every ham that helped make them worth remembering! - Tj, K4TFJ

6133349 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:18:02, 5970 bytes

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