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PODXS Ø7Ø #2497 | 30MDG #8217 | QSL via LoTW and eQSL (AG)

/r/amateurradio | @jquinby | LinkedInblog ]

Greetings from Middle Tennessee!

I've been in IT for 20-some-odd years. I've been interested in radio since I was about 8 - the dad of one of my friends was a ham, though he might well have been a sorcerer for all I could tell. 

I studied broadcast journalism, intending to go into radio or television. My college roommate  and I briefly ran a low power pirate FM radio station from our dorm room for several months and geeked out on broadcast band DXing. 

I never went into the business, but have followed the industry closely my whole life. I did a lot of SWL, scanner mods, and other radio-related things over the years. I put a ham ticket on my bucket list and finally decided to do something in the summer  of '16), earning Technician and then General a few weeks later. In December of 2017, I upgraded to Extra.

We live in a tornado-prone area (we had an extremely close encounter with one in 2009), so I took the Skywarn spotter classes and joined Rutherford County ARES. I take occasional turns as control for our local ARES Net (every Tuesday at 7:30PM local time on the W4CAT/WR3S linked system).

During severe weather events, I monitor MTEARS, which covers most of TN.  ​Other interests: software-defined radio, infosec, running, cycling, beekeeping.

In and around the shack:

  • Yaesu FT-60R and FT-450D
  • Kenwood TM-V71A for local 2m/70cm repeaters.  This rig also drives an APRS iGate. Goes with me on road trips, too.
  • Elk 2M/440 antenna for satellites, ISS APRS, and a base antenna for the scanner
  • Uniden BCD396XT scanner
  • Mobilink TNC2 for APRS
  • 124' end-fed antenna with a 9:1 matchbox kit from EARCHI. Slopes up to a tree way out back. 
  • LDG Z-100Plus antenna tuner, which tunes up the end-fed pretty well from 160m-6m
  • Ed Fong DBJ-2 for VHF/UHF

My first digital modes interface was homemade, based on the design described here. I couldn't get enough control over the sound output levels and the FT-450D is somewhat sensitive on the DATA pin, so I ended up getting a Signalink USB. It's been wonderful.

I've settled on a 100% Linux workstation for ham stuff, which means:

I only wish there was a Linux equivalent to FreeScan, which I use to program the Uniden. It's said to work under Wine, but I haven't had much luck. It runs fine in a Windows VM, though. 

For mobile APRS work, you can't beat APRSDroid on an old Samsung phone.

We Catholics have blessings for everything. Here are a couple I found related to radio stuff:

O God, who walkest upon the wings of the wind, and thou alone workest wonders! By the power inherent in this metal, thou dost bring hither distant things quicker than lightning, and transferest present things to distant places. Therefore grant that, instructed by new inventions, we may merit, by thy bounteous grace, to come with greater certainty and facility to thee. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

1964 Roman Ritual, blessing of a telegraph

O God, who ordered all things in creation in a marvelous way, determining even their measure, number, and weight; and who gave man a share in your knowledge, thus enabling him to detect and control the latent forces with which you endowed the things of the universe; be pleased, we pray, to bless + these instruments made for transmitting wavelengths of sound through the air, spreading out in all directions as instantaneously as lightning. Let them carry messages of aid in times of crises, of solace in times of distress, of advice in times of doubt, of light in times of darkness, and thus make known the glory of your name more widely throughout the world that all its peoples may be gathered into the fellowship of your love; through Christ our Lord.

1962 Roman Ritual, blessing of a radio station

Is there a patron saint of amateur radio operators? Of course there is: St. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv, SP3RN (SK)

 

8502750 Last modified: 2017-12-09 21:03:06, 5725 bytes

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