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First got my license while in high school about 1959.  Had a crystal controlled Globe transmitter and a Drake 2A receiver.  The transmitter was later changed to a Central Electronic 10b with bc 454 VFO.  

After completing College at University of Illinois in a Electrical Engineering I went into the Army.  While moving around and taking training I operated using a Hustler Mobile antenna with resonators 80 thru 10 meters, a Galaxy 350 transceiver and Galaxy 2000 amplifier.  After leaving the university with a Masters Degree in Electronics and a new wife I was stationed at the 18th Airbourne Corp. in the 82nd Airbourne Division.

I went to Vietnam as a Captain and was stationed at Camp Eagle where I managed the operateration of 5 ham stations for the 101st Airborne Division while working my main duty as Division Radio Officer.  The main duty called for assigning frequencies on an non interference basis. This may sound easy but not when you consider that the host country controls the distribution of all frequencies and the helicopters once in the air project different propagation patterns - and many times you are not autorized to know their mission or where they are headed.

Additionally, We handled radio traffic from the troops back to their loved ones in the States.  I received a letter of appreciation from General Abrams - we had 5 separate stations scattered across Northern I Corps. And averaged over 2000 calls a month. The Mars ham stations all operated Collins radios and various Henry amplifiers. The main station at Camp Eagle had a Log periodic antenna mounted on a 60' pole with rotor. We even put up a blimp with a radio to relay signals from Navy personnel and patients on a hospital ship back to our station and then thru our equipment back to their loved ones in the states.   I had presured my Dad and wife to get their licenses and while I was in Vietnam they communicated using Morse code - Between Franklin Grove, Illinois and Urbana Illinois.  They sent me many tapes of their QSO's and that was exciting to be able to listen to those tapes.  I was very proud of both of them and particularly my wife who had no knowledge of electronics. THOSE DAYS - We're the days when all the equipment had to be manually tuned before you could operate the station.

After Vietnam I was assigned in thc Electronics Division of  headquarters Test & Evaluation at Aberdeen Proving Ground Md. The command was under the Army Materiel Command. Leaving the Army in Feb, 1972 I went to work at Ford Motor Co. In Dearborn Michigan.  During this period I was maintaining regular QSO's with my Dad WB5bfc. In Illinois and Texas.

Leaving ford motor in 1973 I returned to the Test & Evaluation command at Aberdeen Md..  Now working as an Electronic's Engineer in the Air Defense Division; But now I was a Civilian. Later I became the Division Chief for the Aviation Division and over saw testing of all aviation helicopters and equipment for the Army.  The radio equipment in my station at home remained the same.  

By this time 2 meters was coming to life in the Amateu radio community and I bought Clegg and later an Icom 2OAT.  My antenna for HF was changed to a Mini beam and multiple dipoles.

Later I bought 2 Icom 706 MK II transceivers, Several 300w mobile amplifiers, an Ameritron 810B and Ameritron 600watt amplifier. Several 440 transcervers were also purchsed.

Seversal other HF transceivers we'd also purchased.

I am currently operating most from the sun room with an Icom 706 MK II G, GOLDE EAGLE 300 watt amplifiler, and single coax out to two Hamstick doublets mounted on a fiberglass 25' push-up mast - one for 17 meters and the other for 20 meters.  This was put up because my HexBeam came down in a ice storm in 2014. The HexBeam is from Jaffee and is currently sitting on a picnic table waiting to be put back up into the air.  I have just started using the HexBeam on the picnic table and believe it or not I have made 4 out of 5 QSO's with a 59 report on 15, 17, 20 meters. I am going to try and continue using the picnic table HexBeam.  All the current antennas are selected by manual connection and antennas are rotated by hand.

You should also be able too see the solar panel on the porch.  It is manually rotatable vertically and horizontally.  It is used to charge a battery to power the radios In an emergency. Otherwise it powers a DC light bulb for grilling at night.  It can also power a 140 watt inverter to power a string of LED lights or a small flat screen TV.  Other inverters can make this power source available for other uses - Such as the 2500 Watt inverter will power our refrigerator or freezer for about 3 hours.

73's Don





6802643 Last modified: 2015-10-24 20:35:58, 4912 bytes

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