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KA8Q's QTH is in Stafford County, Virginia, previously home to severalfamous people and events. For instance,George Washington grew up on a farm about three miles from my home.

Stafford County is rich in early American history. It lies just across the Rappahannock River from the small city of Fredericksburg, a town where Washington's sister and mother lived out their lives, where James Monroe practiced law and where Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau planned the final campaign of the Revolutionary War as their armies marched to Yorktown. The area around Stafford County also saw several major battles of the Civil War since it lies midway between the Union capital at Washington, D.C., and the then-Confederate capital at Richmond, Va.

Still largely rural, the county is rapidly developing as a bedroom suburb for Washington, D.C., which lies 50 miles (80 kilometers) north. It also has a substantial military population with major Army, Navy and Marine bases nearby.

I've been retired from thefederal government since 2011; the last stop in a career which included military, journalism and academic components. B.A. and M.A. degrees are from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. is from The Ohio State University. My new-found freedom from the commuter's life allows time to pursue my several hobbies--scuba diving, ATV touring, ham radio, travel, reading, landscape gardening and singing.

An interest in contesting began a fewyears ago and I now operate in a few, mainly SSB contests,along with some more leisurely phone and digital rag-chewing. I enjoy fabricating wire beam antennas which dangle from the 100-foot plus poplar, gumand oak tree in this heavily wooded area. For several years I've used a Yaesu FT1000MP Mark V, sometimes also adding an Expert 1K-FA solid-state amplifier and a Palstar AT-AUTO tuner in the RF chain. However, this past summer I acquireda Ten-Tec Eagle 599AT for portable use. That little package is so superior in receive to anything I've ever used before that I now utilize it almost exclusively. It's pretty basic but can it ever hear! Currently, I use a series of 4-, 6- and 8-wire curtain arrays (stacked, extended double Zepps) on 40 through 10 meters, all fed with 450-ohm ladder line. These give me pretty good global coverage. The top wires of these antennas are about 100 to 120 feet (35 meters) high.I use two phased verticals dipoles on 80 meters (the only aluminum on my antenna farm) and a double bazooka dipole in an inverted-L configuration on 160 meters.

I happily QSL all contacts direct, those who desire it; domestic and foreign, no postage required. God Bless each of you and remember it's not what you know, but rather WHOyou know that counts for Eternity.

Reef diving probably is my favorite pasttime. This photo was taken on Roatan Island, Bay Isles, Honduras.

Chester, my daughter's Labrador Retriever, loves to go ATV mobile with me in the Yamaha Rhino.


6377326 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:32:43, 3316 bytes

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