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I originally got interested in radio in the 70s as a teenager during the height of the CB craze.  My parents commuted 55 miles each way from our home in the "sticks" to Nashville when they worked at the Ford Glass Plant.  I installed CBs in our vehicles so my dad could keep watch out for the bears via the trucker's reports.  I bought a 23 channel Radio Shack base set with USB and LSB capability that I had hooked up to an omni-directional 1/4 plane antenna that I could actually work adjacent states with using legal power.  I still have that Radio Shack base rig, BTW.  Unfortunately, no one I knew at the time was a ham so I didn't get exposure to the hobby at this time.

In college at Tennessee Technological University, I got interested in amateur radio via association with some EE buddies (I was an ME major), and one of them gave me the test about the time I was graduating in '84.  Alas, he didn't file the paperwork correctly, I lost track of him as I relocated to FL, so I didn't get my ticket then as I should have.  Five years went by before I picked up interest again and found some VECs in the West Palm Beach area where I was living and took the novice/technician test along with the 5 WPM code.  Passed and I got my ticket for real in 1989.  This ticket is what's now known as Tech Plus I think.

It was a few more years before I actually acted upon acquisition finally of my licencse when I got a Icom HT as my first real ham radio.  It's an Icom IC-2SRA and is a 2M transceiver and a wide-band scanner all in one.  I still have this one and it entertains me every morning while I'm getting ready for work as I listen in on the early morning crew on the local repeater in Huntsville, AL that I usually hang out on - 147.240.  Not being too happy with the performance of a HT, I got a Standard C5608-DA to put in my Explorer that I won in local contest (I won the Explorer, not the Standard ;-).  A fantastic true twin-bander (transceiver for both 2M and 70CM bands) and I still have this radio.  Even though I sold the Explorer, I have plans for the 5608-DA to be my base 2M/70CM rig, when I find the perverbial "roundtuit" and install an indoor antenna in my antenna-restricted home/neighborhood.

I might mention that along the way, probably 10 years ago, I purchased a Yaesu FT-8500 for my Taurus SHO.  Complete piece of crap and certainly belongs in the Amateur Radio Hall of Shame.  Also, sometime in the 90s Yaesu bought out Standard Radio which I suppose is why they call themselves Vertex Standard.  They're in California which explains a lot of things.  During my trials and tribulations with my FT-8500, I had a disasterious experience with Vertex Standard's repair department so obviously I will never buy another Yaesu for as long as I live.  I know Yaesu has made and continues to make many excellent radios, it was just my bad luck that the first one I got was one of their lemons.

My current mobile radio is an Icom ID-800H with D-Star.  I haven't played very much with the D-Star yet but plan to start very soon.  I also plan on upgrading my ticket this year to General, I've long delayed that but am committed to doing that this year, along with insisting my two kids take the technician's test to get their tickets.  I've told them that they won't get a cell phone until they pass this test.  Daughter is 12 now and son is 15; so far they're resisting me on this.  I think they're waiting for a better deal to come along from their mother.  Ain't happening.

Until I get more involved with D-Star and get some HF gear, I usually hang out on the 147.240 repeater here in Huntsville, AL.  Hope to catch you on down the log!


Roger, N4VAE

6296475 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:29:01, 3922 bytes

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