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I was licensed as a Technician way back in 1976 at the tender age of 14 with the callsign WB5XIK. The FCC took that callsign back about a week after I received it (said they weren't supposed to give 'X' suffixes out to regular people) and re-dubbed me WB5YGR. While completing my electrical engineering degree at Miss. State University, there was no time or funds for hobbies, and I was forced into inactivity for several years. I renewed my ticket under the grace period in 1989 and was issued the new callsign of N5IBL. I quickly upgraded to General, then Advanced, and received the callsign KI5NB while flying KC-135s for the Air Force, in Shreveport, LA. In the mid 1990s, I upgraded to Extra Class and was issued my last FCC assigned call of AC5ZU. I recently acquired the vanity call of K5OLV. I obtained my first pilot's license as a teenager flying out of our local airport here in Olive Branch, MS, which has the four-letter ICAO identifier of KOLV. The new call ties in with that history and my hometown. My wife, Gayle, is a Tech (N5SIE) and our grown son, Ben (who is also an airline pilot) holds a Tech license (KD5LSF).

In early 1992, after almost eight years in the Air Force, we all moved back to north Mississippi, putting down permanent roots in the old hometown. I am currently flying full time as a captain in the Airbus A300-600 freighter for FedEx out of Memphis, TN. I was fairly active up until 2001 when multiple deployments with my air guard unit after 9/11 and losing my antennas to an ice storm, coincided with a waning interest in radios. It was just as well since family interests and all the activities associated with two teenagers needed my attention.

Now that the kids are grown, I find myself having a new desire to re-discover ham radio. I've put together a station that, so far, consists of a Kenwood TS-2000S for SSB/CW/Data/Satellite in all modes from 70cm thru 160M (it's truly the swiss army knife of transceivers). For local contacts via FM phone I am running a Kenwood TM-733 dual bander, and a TYT-9000 on 220mhz. The -733 does double duty to port RF to the internet as a receive only igate for aprs (K5OLV-1). I also provide an Echolink RF bridge to our local repeater using an old Alinco DJ-580T handheld. A Yeasu FT-857D provides a platform for mobile HF/VHF/UHF in my Dodge Dakota pickup truck, along with an old Kenwood TM-731A dual band FM rig.

For HF, the TS-2000 feeds a 738 ft loop antenna at 25 feet which operates on 160m-6m phone, CW and PSK. The rest of the antenna stack can be seen in the picture at left. Starting at the top is a Comet GP-1 for local 2m/440 FM, next is a Cushcraft 11 element 432 yagi, then a Cushcraft 10 element 2m yagi, and finally a Cushcraft 5 element 6m yagi. The feed point for the BOL (big ole loop) is just below this stack. The top of the GP-1 is at 40 ft.

We have a vacation home on Lookout Mountain in North Georgia. I have a station there as well which I operate when we visit, which is about one week per month. That station consists of a Yeasu Ft-897D/AT-897 tuner combo radiating into either a 6-BTV vertical or an 80M OCF dipole on HF. The rig is also used to work 50mhz and up and is paired with a Cushcraft 3-element 6 meter yagi, Cushcraft 10-element 2 meter yagi, and another Cushcraft 11-element yagi. This yagi stack is mounted on the roof using a five foot tripod. There's also an old DR-140 two meter rig paired with another Comet GP-1, which also doubles as a receiver to feed a software Igate I have set up to port APRS traffic to the internet.

All in all, life is very good. I am living joyfully under God's Grace! I hope you are too!

 

 

Primary operating conditions at home QTH in Mississippi.

 

A slightly dated version of the vacation home station on Lookout Mt. in NW Georgia. I've since replaced the netbook computer with a desktop machine.

The VHF stack for the Georgia station. This view is looking to the west from 1850 ft above sea level. Alabama and Tennessee are visible beyond the trees.

8313379 Last modified: 2017-09-04 19:29:12, 5323 bytes

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