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Greetings from Darren, KB7VPI, currently residing in Bloomington, IL.

I was first licensed around 1993. I had been an SWL for a couple of years thanks to Art Bell and Coast-to-Coast AM's ads for the C.Crane company.  I worked a mainly graveyard-shift job - hence listening to Art Bell - and was looking for something to fill long empty hours while looking out a guard shack. My initial license was Technician-Plus-Code, and I participated in repeaters in the Phoenix metro and Casa Grande areas.  I still keep my original call, and probably will when I test to Extra someday.  (I haven't studied/tested yet mainly because I love seeing "Former license class:  Technician Plus" on my FCC record.  I'm no Code Snob, but I'm proud of the fact that I got my initial and General class tickets when code was required.)

I operated fairly steadily over the next few years, moving to Berkeley, California for school. I was an active on the 4 C's repeater and became a member of Contra Costa county ARES/RACES. During this period I spent a year's internship in Spokane, Washington and was active there.

The next few years were spent on the move without being very active. A move back to Arizona prompted me to become active again for a couple of years.

A few more years passed and I moved to Bloominton, Illinois, and got married. I had to part with much of my gear in that move, and what I had left was boxed and stored. I'd look at the ARRL website occasionally, and finally remembered to change my license address.

After settling down, I was trying to pare down my unopened boxes and discovered my old dual-band HT.  The battery was long toast, but connecting it up to a power supply showed it still fired up. A purchase of a new speaker mic and I've now got it set up as a home base station. So once again I'm active on 2 meters, primarily on the W9AML repeater (146.940-, 103.5) in Bloomington.

Thanks to another ham selling me his TS-430S, I'm again active on HF. I've also begun working in digital modes, using a Rigblaster Nomic and Digital Master 780. My operating station also has an MFJ IntelliTuner and a Buddipole that I deploy when operating from a second story boom, about 6 feet out and 15 feet up.

I will QSL via LoTW, but I also love getting QSL Cards. As of this writing (7/11/12,) I am sending direct cards to all HF contacts outside of 10m local contacts, and uploading all to LoTW.  (If you received a QSL Card and use LoTW, it probably means that I'd love a paper QSL from you but it isn't strictly necessary.)

My current station:

  • Kenwood TS-430S, MFJ Intellituner, Mini-Buddipole, MFJ 25A MightyLite Switching Power Supply.
  • Fiberglass boom from Max Gain Systems (deserves its own line because it is and they are that good!!!)
  • Rigblaster Nomic / Digital Master 780 / JT65HF on an HP G60 that has boot issues sometimes.  XMLog (HRD's log is giving me fits currently.)
  • VHF/UHF:  Standard C528A Dual Band HT on Radioshack 5A PS.  MFJ-1717 dual band antenna, MFJ SpeakerMic
  • Others:  Yaesu 2M mobile in the car, and a Kenwood HT for actual HT.  Want to acquire a Wouxun dual band for dual band use and shift the Kenwood to an ARES go-bag.
  • SWL:  Ten-Tec 1254 kit (put together myself!), C.Crane SWP, Grundig portable radio (can't remember model.)
  • Past Gear:  Radio Shack HTX 202 HT, HTX 212 Mobile, Swan SS-200 HF rig.


73s and Good Operating! Thanks for stopping by and seeing my page.

6322793 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:30:09, 3779 bytes

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