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Hello to all my Amatuer Radio Friends

I am "Radio Active" and working DX daily, Contests on CW, SSB and RTTY. Lots of fun while retired.

This is my DX Honor Roll (Mixed) Vertical antenna. I have worked all but 8 of the DX countries. At 33.5 ft in height with 50 radials, it is all homebrew. That is my 160 mtr loading coil in bottom left. My 80 mtr loading coil is at the base. I have to manually plug in each loading coil. It works.I also have a 16.5 foot vertical for the 20 meter band. It is 2 'S" unit better than the 33.5 foot vertical on that band.

I have an Old Yaesu FT-990 at 100 watts output. I am working on 9 band DXCC. I only need 42 countires on 160mtr and 43 on 12 mtrs. I am QRV for the coming Solar Cycle, if it ever shows up???

I was first licensed at the age of 15, in April of 1961 as KN1TAD from Randolph, Massachusetts. I studied as much electronics as I could, so that I could advance to General as soon as possible.

I was friends with all my local Amateurs such as K1LDX Walter Murphy, KN1TAB Danny DeFelice (SK), K1NTW Tommy Cross, K1KNM Kenny Brown, K1SCQ Ralph Mc Clintock (Now W1ZK) plus many others locals.

In 1965 I joined the U.S. Coast Guard and I left in 1969 as an E-6 Radio Operator. I served on many different Coast Guard vessels.

After serving my 4 years, I left the US Coast Guard. I then took a course at a local Tech School in Glendale, California, where I studied electronics. After Graduation, I passed all my commercial FCC licenses, including Radio Telegraph 1st Class. Plus all the Amateur Radio licenses. I went to work for the Southern Pacific RailRoads in Los Angeles, California in February of 1970.

I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area in 1975. I went to work at a Ship to Shore radio station ITT San Francisco Radio "KFS". The receive site was 5 miles South of Half Moon Bay on U.S. Coastal 1. The station was owned by ITT WorldComm. We sent and received CW (Morse Code) messages to and from ships from all over the world.

I started as a High Speed Teletypist. We used the Model 28 ASR tele-type machine set at 100 WPM. I would type at 106 WPM and bind up the gears at that speed. What a great feel for typing on those machines at high speed.

We used Rhombics and extremely Long Sloping Terminated Vee Beams pointed at different shipping routes all over the world, at the receive site. There was one 1,800 foot Terminated Vee Beam toward Hawaii. One 1,200 foot Terminated Vee Beam was pointed over the Panama Canal, one Terminated Rhombic over Adak, Alaska. Plus other shorter Vee Beam's and Rhombics over the Gulf of Mexico and other shipping lanes.

All these antennas were on a large sloping Hillside, that over looked the Pacific Ocean on a 200 foot cliff. Absolute Great receive site.

The Transmitters site was located in the South San Francisco Bay area in a large Salt Marsh in Palo Alto, California. Twice or three times a year, we would flood the transmitter site with Salt water from the South San Francisco Bay, to keep the marsh nice and moist.

After 18 months, I became Assistant Manager. What a great job.

John Brundage was the Manager during my short stay. We did accomplish a few major improvements. With ITT "KFS" upgrading, to the new Sitor RTTY system. They also computerized each operators position at the station. It was fun to install all kinds of HF receivers by Watkins-Johnson at the receive site. Plus it was fun ordering all kinds of High Power Transmitters for HF. We had a rather large budget to start from.

After that, I took a leap of faith and decided to return to sea in 1979. I joined the U.S. Merchant Marines. I got all my Federal Licenses to sail as Radio Electronics Officer on ships of the U.S. Merchant Fleet.

On October 4th 1980, the Passenger Ship M/V Prinsendam/PJTA caught fire in the Gulf of Alaska in Position 57.38 North 140.25 West. The Prinsendam had just departed Alaskan waters enroute to Indonesia for their winter season, with 420 Passengers and 140 Crew members onboard, when the fire onboard erupted.

The S/S Williamsburgh/WGOA was within 120 Nautical Miles from the burning ship. We had just departed from the Oil port of Valdez, Alaska. Our VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) with a length of 1,098 feet was the main rescue vessel that the US Coast Guard and Air Force and Canadian Coast Guard used for a Landing Platform for their Helicopters with rescued passengers and shipboard personnel.

The weather was a major factor, due to a fairly early October storm.

SS Williamsburgh

The Prinsendam's Captain's gig is astern of the Williamsburgh, with a Helo onboard amidship's.

The S/S Williamsburgh accomplished quite a few of her own rescues, as we advanced to many inflatable Lift Rafts and Life Boats, during the storm.

All Passengers and Crew were rescued without loss of life. There were a few injuries and some of the rescued passengers had hypothermia due exposure to the cold Alaskan winds and storm conditions.

You might want to check Davey Ring's N1EA internet home page at http://www.qsl.net/n1ea/ He was my Radio Officer Apprentice while I was onboard as Chief Radio Electronics Officer.

It has been called the Greatest Single Ship Rescue in History. Nice!

One of the Finer Ships that I was on was the ATT Cable Laying/Repair Ship the "M/V Global Link." We laid the Second Trans Atlantic Fiber Optic cable from Long Island, New York to the Coast of France in early 1996. We were departing from Baltimore for this Picture. She has two Bow Thrusters and two Radial stern Thrusters for Dynamic Positioning. A Very Impressive ship in all respects.

ATT Cable Ship "Global Link"

I served 20 years onboard many different type of vessels. I would usually work 4 months on and 4 months off. I enjoyed my vacation time.


USNS Cape Diamond

This is the USNS Cape Diamond. She is a rather large RO/RO (Roll on Roll off) Military cargo ship with a civilian crew. At over 850 feet long and a few deck high, she carries lots of M1A1 Abrham's tanks and other Military vehicles.


Sealand Raleigh Bay


This is the Sealand Releigh Bay, as you can see it is a Container Ship. Very slow moving, with a 7 Piston Diesel at 35,000SHP with speeds up to around 16 knots max. But she sure can carry a lot of containers.

USNS Sealift Arctic


This is the USNS Sealift Arctic plowing thru the seas with a full load of Navy Jet fuel plus other refined products. She rode very well in heavy weather. We had only 19 people manning this vessel.


SS Marine Chemist


This is the Marine Chemist. She is a vessel that carries a lot of different chemical from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast plus other US ports and territories for ports of call.

M/V Jeb Stuart

     I spent my last 4 years at Diego Garcia onboard the M/V Jeb Stuart/WRGQ. The Jeb Stuart is usually stationed in Diego Garcia in the Middle of the Indian Ocean.

     This ship, at one time, was one of the Worlds Largest Ammunition Ship. Since it was self unloading with two onboard Pusher tugs (Pictured below). This ship could bring a "War to Your Front Door." Check these Pix's

     This top picture was taken just as we were approaching Alcatraz Island  in the San Francisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. We were doing a re-load in the Bay Area.


Working 4 months on 4 months off was excellent both home and away. When I was in Diego Garcia my call sign was VQ9ZZ. I left the Island for the last time in May of 1999.

I was forced into retirement in 2000, due to the fact that my Radio Electronics Officer's job, was eliminated from the ships with the new Global Marine Distress Safety System (GMDSS) with its dual Satellite systems with battery back-up.

I then went to work for Teradyne in downtown Boston, as a Systems Test Technician for them. This company was beyond the leading edge of computer technology with its computerized IC testing stations.

Teradyne really had to have Extremely Advanced Technology, since they had to develop "Test Stations" and software for the newest IC's and the newest Computer Processors before they are put out on the market. I was their "Cellular Module" Test Technician.

I am retired and I now work DX from Florida with a modest Rig. Yaesu FT-990 with 100 watts and two verticals one is a 33.5 foot 40 meter vertical ground mounted with 50 radials. I also have a 16.5 foot 20 meter vertical with 3 radials. They get out okay at best.

After 50 years of copying fairly high speed CW, I have recently been able to reach the 50 WPM level. I am not saying 50 WPM was solid copy, I just heard a few words pass by extremely fast. Copying CW for all these years,and now just touching 50 WPM, really makes me feel like I crossed a new barrier. I was able to copy a few words at up to 53 WPM during these QSO's I hear on 7028.0 Kcs + or- a few,on Saturday mornings from my QTH.

My life has been an adventure from the Spritual essence to the stark reality of every day life.

73 de Jim NS1L ex K1TAD, WB6MMJ, W6MQO, N6CF and VQ9ZZ,Plus 34 call signs from different ships



7438587 Last modified: 2016-07-12 16:37:08, 10957 bytes

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