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Hi from Smokey and his Mexican Mafia body guard, Lit'l Bit, at the Pine Straw Plantation!

I've been called Smokey since I was 3 months old. Many folks on the air have asked me why I have a FIVE call in eight-land. It fools a lot of people. In fact the first time I put it out on one of the local repeaters, I got all kinds of call backs until they learned it was just me devil Well, here's the story and it has to do with my handle. When I was issued my initial call sign, it was KE8CRD. All I could see when I looked at was "Keith Ate Crud" sad So I made up a label with that call on it and put it on my new HT. Went to the my first club meeting with the Southern Michigan Amateur Radio Societ (SMARS). Met the Elmers, and one Elmer, W8RVT, asked me what my call sign was. I
proudly showed him the label on the HT and he said, "Oh! Keith Ate Crud!" sad sad
So I promptly checked out the vanity call sign program and developed the new call that I wanted. By now you're probably wondering how my new call relates to my nickname. Well, hang on. Be patient. I'm gonna tell ya. If you saw me hand-write a "5" it looks like an "S". Now put it together with the rest of my call and what do you have, minus the vowels?
Smokey N5MKYNow you are probably wondering how I got the nickname. My dad nicknamed all 3 of us kids. My brother, Dave, was "Buck". My sister was, Cindy, was "Mutt". I never got the story on those nicknames came about, but my dad wanted to call me "Sam". I never heard why he chose that, but mom was having none of it. So my dad was a Linotype operator at the Saginaw News at the time and worked next to a guy whose last name was Smokowski, and everyone called him..... you guessed it...... "Smokey". So to sum up the story of how my nickname came to be..... I was named after a Polish Linotype operator. 
I got into HAM with a HAM-in-a-Day session and passed the Technician Class on my first try in December 2015. Update August 25, 2016. I just got home from acing the General and squeaked by on the Extra. I got into HAM primarily because of my desire to get involved in SKYWARN, but am finding it a most interesting hobby in other forms. I look forward to growing as an operator and community volunteer.
The Shack consists of a Kenwood TS-440S SAT for HF, and a Kenwood TM-731A for 2 meter and 70 centimeter FM. Antennas consist of a G5RV hung as an inverted-V on a 34' Rohn telescopic mast for HF and a DBJ-1 at 41' for the dual-band.

UPDATE 12/22/16: Santa came by the the QTH early once again, said N5MKY was a beddy beddy good HAM in his first year, and installed an ICOM ID-5100 in the shack. Look out, DStar world, Smokey's in town! An updated pic of the shack will be posted as soon as the Nifty control head stand and the mount bracket for the radio body. I want to get the shack just right and cleaned up again before posting.

Station security on the job
Station security on the job! 

I'm right now planning on putting together a dual-band go kit with the Kenwood TM-731A.

I run a Btech UV-2501+220 in the van with a Nagoya TB-320A on a magmount and a Baofeng UV-5R portable.

UPDATE 12/17/16: I was gifted a Boafeng UV-82, already programmed, at the Southern Michigan Amateur Radio Society annual Holiday Dinner. Thanks to the Secret Santa Elmer out there who put it in the gift collection.

If you're wondering about why I call my place the Pine Straw Plantation, my little house sits on a .2-acre lot in Cereal City, USA. My house shares this small lot with 14 Eastern White Pine trees that range in height from 40' to 80'. I didn't plant them, they were here when I moved in. They are of the long needle variety and every Spring and Autumn they change out their needles. This blankets my lawn with a carpet of pine straw, which makes an excellent mulch. However I don't care for my grass to be covered and killed by it, so it must be raked up. I use it to mulch along my fences and around the foundation of the house. But I always have more than enough and I'm willing to share. Free..... all you can rake. I never get any takers, for some reason. A friend who is into woodworking made the sign for me. Thanks Mike!

My club and amateur radio affiliations include the Southern Michigan Amateur Radio Society, Calhoun County Skywarn, Battle Creek CERT/RACES/ARES, Calhoun County CERT RACES/ARES, SATERN and the ARRL.

QSL VIA: LOTW, QRZ, eQSL, QRZCQ, CLUBLOG, HRDLOG, HAMQTH, and I will send paper for paper received.​

Southern Michigan Amateur Radio SocietyNTS - National Traffic System

Commnity Emergency Response Team CERT

SATERN - Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network

ARRL - Amateur Radio Relay League


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8579230 Last modified: 2018-01-13 22:32:56, 15136 bytes

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