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KC4LE USA flag USA

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QSL: LOTW OR DIRECT

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XML Subscriber Lookups: 4888

I go by the nickname "Red." If you send me your QSL card, I will happily send you mine in return, no SASE necessary. I also upload QSOs to LoTW about every week or so. Contact me if you need my LoTW confirmation expedited.

I was first licensed as a Novice in June 1968 (age 14) with call sign WN4KYY. Imagine pounding out that sequence of dits & dahs three times while calling CQ at 5 wpm with a straight key. The transmitter was a home brew, crystal-controlled monstrosity built on a chassis salvaged from a 1950's television (black & white technology, of course!). That one tube ham transmitter chassis was mounted in a plywood enclosure that measured approximately 20" x 20" x 12". Contrast that construction by a teenager in the 1960's to the surface-mount technology, printed circuit boards and robotic construction of today! That Novice transmitter ran just 17 watts input on the crystal-fixed frequency of 3720 KHz (or Kilocycles as we said then)! I was a de facto QRPer. Regrettably, I have no photos of that equipment.

One photo I do have from my radio days as a teenager is the one below.

Left to right, that is my dad, Allie the dog, my brother George and cousin Jan. If you look closely you can see me sitting inside the "shack" making a SSB QSO. My dad found out that ham radio operators had ham shacks, so we built this one especially and exclusively for my radio hobby. It was probably a lucky thing that my ham shack was a hundred feet behind our house since I stayed up all night many times DXing on 40 and 80 meters. Operating ham radio and earning my Eagle Scout rank kept me pretty engaged as a teenager.

I upgraded to General in 1969 and received call sign WB4KYY.

After college graduation, career employment, home purchase, marriage, etc., I upgraded to the Advanced Class license in 1980 and received call sign KC4LE. I upgraded to the Amateur Extra Class license in 1981 and retained call sign KC4LE.

Although I kept my license renewed through the years, I was largely absent from the hobby from 1983 until 2009. In 1983, personal computers were just an expensive novelty for curious nerds (my first one was a British-made Sinclair that twelve guys chipped in to buy); by 2009 PCs had become ubiquitous appliances that were necessary for every household and business! Digital processing changed the amateur radio hobby dramatically during my absence, morphing it from a QRO, analog, hardware world to a low power, digital, software environment. I am fascinated with the almost limitless aspects of the hobby offered by ham radio today.

I am a member of ARRL, AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK. I earned DXCC #21677, WAS #20957 and VUCC Satellite #298. My 10-10 number is 26814, my QCWA number is 26187, my WSSTVC number is 0308, my SKCC number is 12526 and my NAQCC number is 8627.


 

Below is my attic-mounted satellite antenna: 3 elements on 2m and 7 elements on 70cm, both fed with LMR-400 and LMR-400UF. Using this set-up with a pair of Yaesu radios and SatPC32, I have made over a thousand QSOs in SSB, CW, FM, Packet and PSK31 via satellites AO-7A, AO-7B, AO-27, AO-51, AO-73, AO-85, BY70-1, CAS-3H, EO-79, FO-29, ISS, NO-84, SO-50, SO-67, UKUBE1, VO-52, XW-2A, XW-2B, XW-2C, XW-2D, XW-2E and XW-2F. The Christmas wreaths are optional.   ;^))


 

Below is a photo of my attic antenna farm. In addition to the az/el satellite antennas in the background, a 2m turnstile antenna is shown in the foreground and a full size 40m dipole with slightly bent legs is shown hanging from the apex of the roof. Outside is an all band Windom antenna at about 45' (not shown).


 

Below is a map of the states I have worked via satellite (42/50).


 

Below is a photo of my portable satellite set-up. The antenna is the 2m/440 Arrow and the radios are the Yaesu VX-8R (top) which I use for transmitting and the Wouxun KG-UVD1P (bottom) which I use for receiving. I usually mount my iPhone in the tray between the radios with the voice recorder making a record of the contacts and the Satellite Tracker Plus3 app displaying the position of the spacecraft in the sky. With this arrangement I am able to work only the FM birds (SO-50 presently). This photo was taken in an employee parking lot across the beach road from some condos in Orange Beach, Alabama (EM60) shortly after a 7:00 a.m. pass on March 25, 2014 in which I made several contacts. Interestingly, the handful of people who crossed the parking lot that morning had no apparent curiosity about this strange-looking set-up. Also visible in the photo is my Yaesu ATAS-120 HF mobile antenna mounted on my truck.


 

Below is my picnic table portable satellite setup. There are actually two full-duplex stations pictured there. The HTs mounted on the antenna boom constitute a full-duplex FM setup and the stacked Yaesu radios on the picnic table provide full-duplex satellite capability for the linear and FM amateur satellites. The photo was taken at Oak Mountain State Park overlooking EM63, my home grid square.


 

Below is a photo of the same satellite equipment as shown immediately above, but in tailgate portable configuration. This location is only three miles from my home, is shaded with an open view of the eastern sky and is ideal for catching the mid-afternoon passes of AO-7 and FO-29. It is at the edge of the parking lot of the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and adjacent to the Hoover RV Park.


 

Below is the latest incarnation of my mobile satellite station. Everything is contained in the box, so when I am ready to operate I just slide it from the side of the truck bed to the tailgate and grab the antenna. I can also set the box out onto a picnic table when I want to. With the HF antenna tuner that is mounted under the FT-857, I can take my BuddiPole antenna system and have a 100 watt HF station on the air in a few minutes.


 

Here are my two boys that love to ride along on portable satellite excursions, especially when there are chicken fingers or cheeseburgers involved! The brown Yorkie is "Armani" and the white Shih Tsu is "Barkley;" both are 13 years old. In the summer, it is too hot for them to ride with me and in the winter they need to wear sweaters - Alabama weather! (Alas, Barkley became a Silent Key on 9/7/2016 due to cancer.)

With the Avalanche in "dog" configuration as shown above, the wife's seat is occupied - sorry momma!


 

Here are the latest additions to the family:

That is Bunny at the left and Psycho at the right - they are sisters. I adopted them at age 5 months from my Vet, who found them deposited at the front door of his clinic early one morning. They spend most of their time in my ham shack, whether I am present or not.


 

Locations of visitors to this webpage:


 

Places I have contacted via ham radio (over 250 countries confirmed):


 

If you have scrolled this far, you might be interested in some other things I have posted online. Take a look at the links at redwilloughby.com.


 

7941078 Last modified: 2017-03-03 15:13:19, 9393 bytes

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