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27 years in the Air Force -- retired in the grade of CMSgt. Joined the Air Force when I was 17 to avoid going to Vietnam then went to Vietnam (that worked well.) But, after my stint in Vietnam and Thailand, I decided to stay in -- it was good for me and it was a very good career. Now my daughter unit is in the Air Force and doing great and even though she managed to marry a Navy Submariner I’m still very proud of her.

In addition to my active duty time, I spent 18 years working for a Federally Funded Research and Development Corporation, supporting the DoD and the Air Force with various engineering services.  After a total of over 45 years supporting the DoD and Air Force, I completed my career at Peterson AFB, Colorado. My work covered a broad range of networking, aircraft avionics, space, RF, telecommunications, and other communications systems.

I've always been involved with radio and networking technologies – I’ve messed with just about everything from VLF to Ku and higher including fiber. Once upon a time, I made my living fixing TVs and building some CB appliances [but that was just after the dawn of time]. My background includes all stuff networking -- from serial [I'm sure some remember Kleinschmidt TTYs and 25 ma current loops and that other TTY stuff] to all forms of packet systems including airborne tactical systems [Link 16 & others], control systems and IP packet. However, it took a local friend to convince me to get my amateur license. He pushed, I tested, I passed, interesting. Now what?

===========

10 meter beacon. As of 29 July 2017, broken and in maintenance

  • Fequency – 28.206.8 -- CW
  • Radio – Realistic HTX-100, set for 5 watts
  • Antenna – Cushcraft AR-10 Vertical mounted about 19 feet off the ground
  • Keyer – ID-O-Matic II
  • And the 10 meter beacon list is here [Beacon List] plus checkout the “heard beacon” page [here] maintained by ZL2iFB.

    Currently [29 July 2017] the HTX-100 is down due to a transistor failure in the HTX-100.  Parts are being procured and I plan to have it back on the air shortly.

=============

The "Shack" -- I’ve moved off the bar in the basement [XYL direction – “move!”] and have plenty of space.

Radios are cool. HF is cool.  VHF is cool.  And, even higher frequencies are cool.  And, using, modifying, and developing and decoding exotic waveforms is also cool.  And the differences between radios has always been interesting. Though trades, gifts, and friends, I’ve managed to acquire a few radios.

HF:

  • ICOM: IC-7000, IC-718, IC-761, IC-7300, IC-7200.  Really like the IC-7300.  The display and HMI are great; setting it up for digital is trivial and it is a solid performer
  • Kenwood: TS-590S – sent the TS-590 in for the ALC mod and it came back a different radio.  The receiver was good before it was repaired, but it is amazing since repair.  I expected the IC-7300 – based on its SDR core – to be more sensitive; however, the TS-590 hears signals the IC-7300 just can’t drag out of the background
  • Yaesu: FT-857 and FT-950 – the 950 has a great sounding speaker, almost as good as the ICOM IC-761
  • Heathkit: SB301/401.  I finally have these guys back on the air.  In the meantime, I’ve managed to acquire another SB401.  This one has the crystals and is useable as a stand-alone transmitter.

VHF/UHF: Yaesu 8900 and 8800, IC-28H, IC-7000, FT-857 and Kenwood, Yaesu and Wouxun HTs

HF/VHF/UHF Packet & Digital: A number of TNCs: SCS PTC-II w/PACTOR 3, SCS Dragon, PK-900, KPC-3 & 3+, KAM-XL, KAM ALL Mode, PK-232/MBX, [more], and other stuff including sound card systems. I like to compare the various TNCs plus I enjoy packet [but enjoy voice more]. All in all, very interesting.

Receivers.

  • ICOM IC-R8500.  Great receiver, coverage, and performance.  But I’m considering upgrading it to the ICOM IC-R8600.  Upgrading is dependent on how flexible the R8600 turns out to be and whether or not it performs better than my various SDR receivers.
  • SDR Radios.  Besides the IC-7300, I have a number of SDR radios that I use for research, listening, and more.  While they are all hosted on my internal network and accessible by any PC or tablet local to the network, only the KiwiSDR is accessible by external systems.
    • A KiwiSDR.  This SDR is 60 x 120 cm in size, is DSP and FPGA powered, is hosted by a BeagleBone Black PC.  It has 4 independent receivers each of which is useable from below 1 kHz to 30 MHz.  It is accessible at http://nm0v.homedns.org:8073/ 

A couple of notes about accessing it.

-- You will hear a delay if listening to yours or another station audio via the SDR and your own station.The delay is related to Internet transport time and the processing time at the radio.

-- It does not support access via Internet Explorer.

-- If you access it and discover that it has no receive signals, then [most likely] I taken its antenna for other use.  Usually it will be back within a short period.  If it isn't network accessable, send me a note.  I may have unplugged it and wandered off.

Sound Card Modes:

  • Navigator – pretty cool
  • microHAM II – lots of capability once I figured it out
  • Tigertronics SignaLink – sometimes simple is best!

Software: this the software that I use most of the time

  • HRD and DM780
  • fldigi
  • SpectrumLab (great tool)
  • PC’s running Linux and MS Windows
  • All the major SDR front end managers as well as some personally developed SDR interface software
  • EZNEC
  • Mathematica and MathCAD
  • Visio and Lucidchart.  I considered SmartDraw but I had already paid for Visio and didn’t want to pay for another Visio like package
  • and a number of modeling and simulation tools, pen testing suites, and others ......

Antennas:

HF: -- all home brew

  • End-fed long-wire connected to IC AH-4
  • Separate 20 and 40 meter dipoles
  • A trapped 40, 20, 15 meter dipole
  • OCF dipole -- I find it pretty amazing how well this antenna tunes across the entire ham band -- way cool!
  • Second OCF dipole for the KiwiSDR
  • … and a couple of dipoles tuned to specific frequencies for a couple of projects that I’m working

VHF/UHF: A couple of j-poles and Diamond X50 antennas.

Organizations: ARRL Life Member, MARS, SHARES, and Pikes Peak ARES
Other organizations include IEEE, ACM, INCOSE, AOC, and AFCEA

Current Project: Integrating radios / digital interfaces / computer / batteries / and appropriate interconnections into a Gator box; want to make a nifty “go box” that supports HF SSB, VHF/UHF, packet, PACTOR, sound card modes, and has enough power to setup and immediately operate while additional infrastructure is pulled together.


============

Stuff that keeps me busy .

Family (very important)

Satisfying my curiosity about many different things

Amateur Radio including MARS, SHARES and participating in / supporting Pikes Peak ARES events

. and more

 

[<<<< Last update: 29 July 2017 >>>>]

 

8244544 Last modified: 2017-07-30 06:38:19, 10527 bytes

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