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K8AL USA flag USA

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There is nothing remarkable to present as biographical material here, at least not in the realm of amateur radio. I did install and continue to maintain the oldest packet network node in Ohio, and otherwise the biggest achievement (if one can call it that) is the very conventional one of having worked and confirmed all the current DXCC entities, with a total of 367 altogether. (I probably should send in the cards to make the #1 Honor Roll status official sometime before I fall off the edge of the table.) Perhaps this is a bit uncommon, though, in that it was accomplished casually and very much on the side while I was usually living and working somewhere else. Working the DX came easily, since I had rather insanely located my part-time station atop a wilderness hill rising 400' (120 m) above the surrounding terrain, allowing me to use relatively quite modest antennas and towers (usually purchased used, for under $1000 altogether) while running less than the legal power limit. (Computer simulation indicates [not infallibly] that the terrain's reflection and diffraction produce low-angle radiation sometimes at amplitudes of tens of decibels above what the same antennas would transmit over flat terrain, and the installation competes effectively with much larger contest-class stations.) I use no antennas that I can not install and maintain single-handedly, my largest one being a four-element close-spaced 20 m yagi at a tower height of 78' (23.8 m).

K8AL Hilltop QTH

K8AL is not technically a "vanity" callsign, having been issued in 1977 well before the advent of that money-making program, during a brief period in which the FCC offered, on the basis of seniority, a choice of "two-letter" callsigns to those who had held the Extra Class license for some time (of course long before its debasement in the 1990s). The other callsigns I have held are KN8ITH, K8ITH, 4X4XL, DJ0PC, K8ITH/DL, DJ0VB, AD8ITH, AE8DBL, GM0K8AL, VK2AED, and J79AL. I also hold a commercial General Radiotelephone Certificate.

Currently I am a semiretired electronics/software engineer, having worked on the road for most of my career in research and development with defense and commercial industry, specializing in realtime control firmware and receiving several patents. I'm thoroughly enjoying reincarnation as an amateur archaeologist, debating the professional practitioners of this discipline in which a grasp of the scientific method seems, among most of them, to be woefully elusive. (I have published several articles on archaeological finds.) At least two thousand years ago, aboriginal Americans recognized the uncommon features of the site on which my radio playground is now located, constructing a long earthen wall aligned to true north-south, with a passageway aligned toward the top of the hill, which may have once been a ceremonial site for observation and celebration of solar events. Discovering and investigating all this is possibly the greatest of many adventures in my life, but amateur radio remains for me a passion and endless source of fascination, as it has since childhood.

 

6151559 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:19:22, 3442 bytes

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