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W6DRZ USA flag USA

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Background

I grew up in Southern Michigan and was first licensed in 1962 as WN8DRZ, upgrading to WA8DRZ (which I held until August, 2012). I was active on both 6M and 75M AM. My best friend in high school was Steve, K8BNC (SK) -- Leo, W8AJM (SK), his father, was my Elmer. He used a classic homebrewed AM rig: a pair of TZ-75s modulated by a pair of TZ-40s. He gave me an Eldico TR-1TV AM transmitter which I still have and am restoring. I became interested in broadcasting as a stringer for the local radio and TV stations.  At the age of 17 my dad drove me to the FCC field office in Chicago where I passed my First Phone commercial test that started my career.

While attending the Illinois Institute of Technology I worked as a summer intern at the NBC (WMAQ-TV) Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago. After college I stayed in the Chicago area and obtained a secondary call, WB9EGU; I used it on 2M AM, initially. Later, I joined the US Air Force and after electronic training at Keesler AFB in Mississippi was stationed for three years at Hahn AB in Germany where I was active on SSB MARS frequencies using a Collins S-Line as AJ3XM, and on the ham bands using my Swan 350 transceiver as DL4FV.  We had several dipoles and a 60 foot log-periodic on a 90 foot tower that worked quite well from the mountain-top location.

After leaving the service I returned to Michigan and was Assistant Chief Engineer for WUHQ-TV in Battle Creek. We constructed this new UHF-TV station from the ground up, in an empty farmer's field, including an 1,100 foot tower and a 110 KW output transmitter. My next job was with WSNS-TV in Chicago where we installed a 55 KW UHF transmitter in the 97th floor of the John Hancock center during the building's final construction. After working at the TV studio of New Trier High School, with a 27-school ITFS network, I moved to sales with a local video dealer, ROSCOR, and subsequently was recruited by Ampex Corporation to sell television equipment to broadcast stations in the Midwest. Joan had the distinction of being the first female ENG camera-person for WBBM-TV, the Chicago CBS station. During this period, I developed an interest in amateur VHF/UHF FM and repeaters. Two years later, in 1982, Ampex moved us to New York City where I called on TV networks and commercial production houses and Joan edited Sunday Morning with Charles Kerault. I became active in ham RTTY, with eight Teletype Model 28 machines in the basement of our house in New Jersey.

WinLink/Globe Wireless

A close friend, Vic Poor, W5SMM (SK), got me interested in messaging with sailboats; we met when he and Flo were sailing across the Atlantic. My NJ ham station was their daily contact with family and friends. Subsequently, Vic wrote, and I tested, the DOS program APLink which automated AMTOR messaging to hams on sailboats and transferred messages to the land side packet radio networks that were then popular. The software was ported to Windows - becoming WinLink - and is still in use today as WinLink 2000. In 1986 Ampex moved us again, to their headquarters in Redwood City, California where I worked in Marketing Management. At our new home in Palomar Park I set up a dual-transmitter WinLink station on AMTOR, PacTOR, and Packet while Vic improved and enhanced the software.

In 1994 I left Ampex and joined two local entrepreneurs who had just purchased marine radio station KFS in Half Moon Bay, CA and were not sure what to do with it. We purchased another station, WNU near New Orleans, and linked both stations so that CW operators in Half Moon Bay could listen to receivers in both CA and LA and could key any transmitter in either location. Both stations also ran SITOR to provide Telex for ships at sea. Vic, W5SMM, was hired as a consultant and we developed an automated email program, initially using SITOR modems, so that ships could connect with Internet email that was just becoming popular. That HF system, Globe Wireless, allowed ships to automatically send and receive email and data using short wave radio. Over 330 HF channels at stations in 23 countries provided worldwide 24-hour service to ships at sea using HF frequencies from 4 to 22 MHz. At its peak, Globe Wireless provided services to over forty thousand commercial ships. I retired from Globe in 2006. Inmarsat purchased Globe Wireless in January 2014. 

Palomar Park Radio

Our home is located in unincorporated San Mateo County, California near Redwood City; an area known as Palomar Park. We overlook the Interstate 280 freeway, the Crystal Springs reservoir, and the San Andreas fault. This hilly area is covered by redwood and live oak trees and offers pleasant views, but is challenging for HF antennas. Palomar Park Radio, W6DRZ, currently uses a 90 foot folded dipole at 25 feet, part way down in a canyon (used mostly for receiving) and a 135 foot off-center fed dipole up on the ridge nearer the house (for transmitting). I would like to get on 160 meters and am trying to figure out where to put a decent antenna for that band.

I recently returned to using Amplitude Modulation and enjoy chatting with all the wonderful people using AM (Angel Music), where an R-390A receiver is a great asset. Over the years I have used several R-390As; currently there are three in the racks, one on the bench and one in the corner waiting its turn. They are wonderful receivers; there is a lot of information available on the web.

Studio A at Palomar Park Radio is equipped with two Super Senior AM Transmitters (Class D) by K7DYY at Index Labs. One covers 160/80 meters and other 80/40 meters. The audio system uses an Electro Voice RE320 microphone a Symetrix 528 Voice Processor, and a CRL broadcast audio chain (pictured). A Flex-1500 with KE9NS software is the main receiver assisted by a Drake R4245 (rack mount R7A). Nearby in Studio B is a pair of R-390A receivers, with a homebrew diversity combiner, and the Eldico TR-1TV AM transmitter from my high school days (pictured). When I finish its refurbishment I will use it on AM.

Palomar Park Radio recently installed a weather station to serve the local community. Click on the panel at the bottom of this page for all the details.

After almost 30 years in California, I decided that I should have a more traditional '6' call. The FCC issued W6DRZ to me on 25 Aug 2012. At the moment I am most active on AM phone at 3865, 3870, 3885, or 7293 kHz. My AMI number is 1714. I would be happy to QSO with you on AM.

KFS WebSDR

In February2016 I installed a publicly-accessible HF WebSDR receiver system at Globe Wireless's KFS receive site right on the Pacific coast near Half Moon Bay.  This multi-user system covers the 160, 75, 60, 40, and 20 meter phone bands and the 40 and 30 meter CW bands,  A commercial antenna by TCI is in use and offers superb reception. Click here to access the system.  Click here for a list of WebSDR systems worldwide.

                           

7809262 Last modified: 2017-01-05 15:33:35, 10364 bytes

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