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Ham Member Lookups: 1500

 

Born in New York City in 1969, I spent much of my childhood experimenting with analog and digital electronics, then computers, but curiously didn't get much into radio as a kid - perhaps because I didn't know any hams in the big city. I was first licensed as Novice in 1989 (call KB2KMG) while a member of the Columbia University Amateur Radio Club (W2AEE), then became N2LAW upon upgrading in 1990 and have kept the call through subsequent license upgrades and moves to 6- and 1-land.  I enjoy the technical side of amateur radio, and in the past have built some of my own gear, although I haven't done much of that recently.  I've gotten interested in the digital HF modes in recent years and will often be found on Olivia, BPSK, Hell, etc.  I also like the international aspect of being a ham; I used to enjoy collecting QSL cards back when most people still sent them, and I enjoy making contacts with hams in other countries using the several languages that I speak.  I generally am not very interested in contesting, but I definitely like ragchewing, both DX and local!

After many years living in cities (New York, Pécs, Berkeley, Budapest, Los Angeles) where a "real" HF antenna was not terribly practical and I was mostly active, if at all, on VHF/UHF, I now reside in rural Brookline, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire where our 17 acres finally provide plenty of antenna location potential, although I'm currently relying on simple OCF dipoles in the trees for HF, and Yagis on a pushup mast for VHF/UHF.

The NH "hack shack radio stack" covers all bands, all modes from 160m to 23cm.  On HF and 6M I currently use an Icom IC-7300, occasionally helped out by an IC-PW1 amplifer.  On 2m, 70cm and 23cm I use an IC-910H, and on 1.25m and 33cm I use outboard transverters with an IC-7000 (which I also use as a backup/travel rig).   There is also a dedicated quartet of FM transceivers and vertical antennas to get out to the New England repeaters on 144, 222, 440, and 902, and I recently added a TYT dual-bander for DMR.  An IC-R8500 receiver lets me monitor the bands without powering up all the transceivers.  Adjacent to the radio stack there is a small test/project bench including a spectrum analyzer and an RF signal generator, and the Mac Pro workstation on the right controls everything.

The radio stack is fully backed up (other than the HF amp) by 12V deep-discharge batteries and I often go play radio when the power goes out (not so infrequent in the winter here).  I'm currently working on solar charging for the battery bank.  Other plans for the future include getting a tower up with some more directional antennas, putting up a better antenna for 160m, and potentially even attempting low-budget low-power EME on 23cm or 33cm some day.

I've especially enjoyed recently playing around with various relatively-inexpensive wideband SDRs, including the Funcube Dongle Pro+, the HackRF, and various versions of the classic RTL SDR dongles.   When I'm not actively on the air on HF, my KiwiSDR 0-30MHz SDR receiver is usually accessible at http://kiwisdr.n2law.net:8073 allowing up to 4 listeners from anywhere in the world to check out the band conditions here in Brookline.

Because I still frequently have to spend some time away from NH for my work, I get on the air from time to time -- occasionally QRP on HF but mostly just VHF/UHF FM -- from our small apartments in New York City and Cambridge, MA, as well as mobile on the long drives between NH, NY, and MA.  (I monitor 146.520 when driving, and sometimes even call to see if anyone else is listening.) And I always take along one or two representatives from my too-many-HTs™ collection when I'm traveling in the US or abroad.  I especially enjoy taking advantage of our less-frequently-utilised bands, so if I travel to your area and there is a repeater on 53, 220, 902, or 1200 there, you can be sure I'll bring the appropriate HTs and try to make some contacts.

I also have been known to bring the IC-7000, throw up a wire and operate as HA/N2LAW from our little house in Hosszúhetény, Hungary (grid square JN96ed):

My XYL is KB1UFN.  She got her ticket primarily so that she could use the HTs and mobiles if necessary, for example when we are driving in separate cars; other than that she isn't on the air much -- yet.

My daughter isn't quite old enough to take the test yet, given that she just started reading, but she likes playing with my iambic key (off the air of course) and can recognize and send her name in code.  She also loves "playing radio" with FRS walkie-talkies.  We might have a future ham on our hands!

8322042 Last modified: 2017-09-09 16:55:31, 5367 bytes

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