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KL7DJ USA flag USA

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Ham Member Lookups: 1881

 

The amateur radio bug hit me in 1964.  My younger brother, Larry, formerly N0BED, got the same bug at the same time.  Our father, Glen, formerly WB0KYX, happily fanned the flames of our interest and even shared it.  He got his own license a couple of years later.  Both Larry and Glen are currently inactive....but who knows when the bug may bite again. :)

As teenagers, Larry and I built a station in the extra bedroom in our New Orleans home, and with the tolerant approval and financial support of mom & dad even built a cubical quad with bamboo arms and zipcord elements on a TV rotator.  That antenna worked great!  In 1968, we all moved to Alberta where my father worked in the oil industry.  Our 18AVQ multiband vertical was early out of the moving boxes and we operated /VE6 for the years we were there.

I have enjoyed CW most of all, but have used most amateur modes at one time or another. RTTY was a favorite of mine in the 1970's, and I had a Teletype Corp Model 15 that would make the cabin shake. My rhombic antenna on our 4 acres NW of Fairbanks, Alaska was the best of my antennas.  We lived in a very quiet area in Goldstream valley at the time, and it was a real DX machine.  I recall working a station in New Zealand on that antenna on 160 meters.  That was a kick!

In my 20's, I was quite interested in 50 mHz propagation, and communicated a number of times from our Fairbanks QTH over the Alaska Range to Anchorage (about 260 miles) via knife-edge diffraction.  That was cool.  In my logbook, I find many 6m QSOs from our Fairbanks QTH with stations in the "lower 48" states in 1979.

When I worked one summer counting salmon for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at a remote location in the SW Alaska bush, I took an Argonaut QRP HF transceiver with me.  My wife Linda, KL7ISN,  and I were able to communicate via CW even with her using only a 15 watt homebrew transmitter and funny looking receiver supplied by my friend Ken, KL7EVO.  

On summer evenings in Fairbanks as I was building our house, I connected an endless cassette tape recorder with a CQ message to the vox on my Drake T-4X.  That was in turn connected to the rhombic.  During aurora activity, 10 meters would open for SSB contacts in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.  When someone came back to my CQ, I would jump down from where I was working, and race inside to the ham shack.  Those QSOs often sounded as if they were going through a waterfall.

Another interesting memory: the ham who climbed Mt. McKinley (North America's tallest mountain; called Denali nowadays) with a hang glider and a handi-talkie.  With my collinear 2m array, I could hear him on the summit from Fairbanks -- over 100 miles away.  Hams south of the mountain relayed his audio on 75 meters when he jumped off with the glider.  After about a minute he shouted into the HT, "Wow!!  I almost died!"   His partners wisely decided they would hike back down -- it was quite a scary show involving flips and worse, apparently.

When we lived in Delta Junction, Alaska near the end of the famous Alaska Highway, we had a tower and an impressive collinear 2m antenna.  I could point the antenna up towards Fairbanks and easily communicate via the repeaters there.  This was before the days of cell phones, and when Linda made Fairbanks trips, it was handy for her and I to communicate first on a Fairbanks repeater, and then as she came down the Richardson Highway with our kids towards home, we could talk just about the whole way on a quiet direct 2m frequency.  

Since our days in Fairbanks, we have moved -- a lot.  Here's the list:

Previous callsigns & QTHs

WN5OHH
New Orleans, LA 1965 - 1966

WA5OHH
New Orleans, LA 1966-1968
Ruston, LA 1968-1972 (school year)

WA5OHH/VE6 
Calgary, AB 1968-1971 (summers) 

KL7HMU
Fairbanks, AK 1972-1978

KL7DJ
Fairbanks, AK 1978-1981

Delta Junction, AK 1981-1987
Juneau, AK 1987-1991
Anchorage, AK 1991-1995
Delta Junction, AK 1995-2001
Mostly Inactive 2001-2005 (Living mostly in Sweden)
Mostly Inactive 2005-2011 (Anchorage)
Anchorage, AK 2011-2012
Redding, CA 2012-date

Today

Linda and I were in a season 2001-2015 in which I had little time for ham radio and most of our living situations have made it impossible to put up a reasonable antenna.

Today I am able to increase my "radioactivity".  I'm on HF from time to time, although my station is not yet complete.  I have a Yaesu FT-950 for HF.  I also now have a VHF/UHF mobile FT-7900R, and listen and occasionally talk when I am on the road. 

Linda, KL7ISN, my sweetheart of nearly 50 years is sometimes on VHF with me.  Although cell phones have largely replaced HTs, it's handy here in Northern California where there are large areas with not much cell coverage.   I almost always have the VHF/UHF in the truck and it adds considerably to the possibility of communication if needed.

Mobile in my Tacoma

Patio operating position.  All I have for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8124442 Last modified: 2017-05-29 03:52:11, 8098 bytes

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