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Brief Bio:

I started as an SWL enthusiast at an early age. I toyed with citizens band in the early 60s. I have been a licensed ham since 1966, same call. I started out with a home brew 10W 6L6 CW transmitter, a Hallicrafters S-120 and a 40M dipole as WN3DZS, rockbound on 7161 mHz. I passed the Advanced Class exam in 1975. I'm working on my Extra Class. I was mostly inactive between 1990-2015.

My wife Dawn and I are suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania natives. We have lived at our current QTH since July, 2010, having moved here from Manassas, VA where we spent 21 years making a living, raising our family of three children, and in church/community service. In addition to Manassas, VA, I have previously lived in Havertown, Pennsylvania; Langhorne, Pennsylvania; Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; Newark, Delaware; Williamstown, New Jersey; and Phoenix, Arizona. Please view the photos below which comprise my radio and family life. You will also find some photos of this beautiful area of the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge area in south central Virginia. We are not in the suburbs anymore!

I have many and varied interests in retirement in addition to my general radio avocation. They include but are not limited to electronic kit building, audio technology, film and digital photography, genealogy, Western Civ history, classical and big band music, philately, vintage die cast model restoration, classic automobiles, gardening, nature hiking, target shooting, boating, personal finance, and our eBay die-cast model store.

My career was centered around the international marine fuels and lubricants refining and marketing business.

In as much as amateur radio is concerned, I am keen to learn new skills and advancements in communications technology. I have been mostly absent from ham radio over the last 25 years and am playing catch up. The ham radio social environment has very much changed from what I remember; for better or worse. I am drawn to CW more than voice communication modes but I'm very comfortable with a good rag chew as long as it does not venture into politics. I can and do act as a net control station fairly well but it's not my strong suit. I'm too loquacious. I spend a lot of time on 40, 17 and 10. I very much enjoy searching for 10M beacons and working band openings on 10. When I'm indoors, I monitor 28.400 mHz most days when I'm not on 40. 

Affiliations/ Memberships:

Life Member #30499, East Coast Amateur Radio Service (ECARS). www.ecars7255.com

Life Member #2047, Ten-Ten International Net, Inc. since 1967. www.ten-ten.org

Member ARRL Diamond Club.

HF/VHF Equipment:

Transceivers and other HF equipment:

Two Ten-Tec Omni VIIs, and a Ten-Tec Paragon II. Ten-Tec Centurion Linear (220V P.S.) into Ten-Tec 238C Tuner. Kenwood TM-281 (65W) for 2M. Another TM-281 in 4X4 mobile service. Three Rivers Embeded Systems, Inc. pan adaptor for Omni VII. See:  http://3resr2.com/omni-vii-pan-adapter-kit/ . I have recently acquired an LP-500 Digital Station Monitor.

Antennas:

Mosley CL-33 M-WARC with Mosley TA-40-KR 40M rotatable dipole on the front driven element of the CL-33. Texas Tower TX-455 60' self-supporting motorized crank-up, tilt-over tower. Home brew G5RV dipole at 35 ft. Mosley MY-244 9 el. 2M yagi, Hy-Gain V-2R 2M ground plane.

Emergency power:

In the event of utility power failure, A.C. circuits automatically transfer to 12.5 kW Briggs & Stratton whole house propane fueled generator. That system is backed up with a portable dual fuel 10 kW generator. 500 gallons of propane in reserve.

Grounding and RFI control:

12, 8 foot copper clad rods in ground field around the Ufer grounded tower, bonded to the utility ground and lightning rod system. An additional 4, 8 foot rods ground the green pole. All equipment bonded together and earth grounded. Line isolators and baluns installed where needed. Lightning surge protection by Alpha-Delta or Morgan on every antenna. Rotor protected by DX Engineering shunt to ground. Earth grounding is an inexact science. I've spent a lot of time on theory and practice. I hope it all works.

Photos:

  .

QSLs left to right, top to bottom: 1) My current, 2) A Pontiac promotional offering from 1968; 3) My first from 1966; 4) When call signs were issued by zone from 1975.

From way back when the ARRL used typewriters.....

Our QTH, 11 hectare (25 acre) mostly wooded property on a 400 m (1300 ft) ridge in Huddleston, Virginia, which is 60 kM (40 mi) SSE of Roanoke, Virginia, 1 kM east of Smith Mountain Lake. Finally; lots of room for antennas! Google Earth will give you a good perspective of the area.

 

Out here, we're not only consumers of power but also all members of our electric cooperative, Southside Electric Co-op. I can't say enough good things about them. Here is an SEC crew setting my green pole. http://www.sec.coop/

This area is called 'lightning alley'. I've done everything possible to insure a good earth grounding system. The tower base foundation employs a 'Ufer ground' http://www.psihq.com/iread/ufergrnd.htm. The tower is ballasted with 6.5 cubic meters (9 cubic yards) of 2500 PSI (17.2 MPa) concrete. When we built this home, I had my 'bucket list' ham radio station in mind. I want to make sure it all outlasts me.

Alumnus Villanova University (Villanova, PA) and Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA).

Retired from Mobil International Aviation and Marine Sales, Inc., global marine fuels sales and operations. Now operate a die cast toy restoration business on eBay. Retirement? What retirement?!

Married to my beautiful and patient XYL Dawn, since June,1981. Her we are at our favorite sea side vacation spot, Ocean City, New Jersey. We have to get back to the Philly area annually for good cheese steaks and soft pretzels. Next photo shows Baer, our son's female black lab, whom we sit while he is deployed, which is frequently. Next is Rusty, our adopted part setter, part lab, and just maybe part coyote. Look at those eyes. He's a loveable mutt. Actually, he adopted us. He slept in our home while it was being built and never left.

We have three adult children: Suzanne (Long), R.N. Georgetown U., and hubby, Dave, of Fredericksburg, VA, two children; John J. Jr., SSgt., USAF and his Air Force wife Traci of Navarre, FL, one son so far; and Christine (Boyarsky), B.S., University of Mary Washington, and hubby, Nate of Trumbull, CT. We spend a lot of time on I-81, 84, and 95. None is a ham but I'm working on it.

Three grandchildren: Sophia, born 3 Sep 2010 and Owen born 31 Aug 2014 (Suzanne and husband, Dave). John Patrick McCloskey, born in 23 Sep 2015 (John Jr. and wife, Traci)

Hobbies which we both share: photography (current and archival), die cast toy restoration, stamp collecting, gardening, classic Mopar (Chrysler) car owner and restorer. We own a pristine 1990 Chrysler LeBaron GTC; pistol and rifle target shooting, Life Member, National Rifle Association; 30s-60s big band and vocal swing music, particularly anything Frank Sinatra :-). We are also into genealogy on ancestry.com. My ancestral heritage is Irish and Italian (like Marconi), 50/50. Dawn's heritage is Welsh, Scot, and German (maiden name Hepfer or, in Deutsch, Hoeppfer). Apparently, we all settled in Pennsylvania.

Our 1990 Chrysler LeBaron GT Convertible inspired by a DeTomaso/ Maserati design. It's the only one we still own.

This page is dedicated to the memory of my Dad (John F. McCloskey, 1914-1993) who encouraged me to pursue my education, my passions, and my ham radio hobby. He was a radio man in the U.S. Navy in WWII. We love you and miss you, Dad.

 

Our immediate environs (views from our front veranda, facing north-west) in the piedmont of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Roanoke River Valley, as well as nearby Smith Mountain Lake and hydroelectric generating facility. The dam is pictured in the last photo.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Mountain_Lake

The tall mountains to the left are called the Peaks of Otter, which Thomas Jefferson thought were the tallest mountains in the country. The highest is 1217 m (4,000 ft.) high. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaks_of_Otter

Our 'neighbors' drop by for lunch.

The valley below is incredibly beautiful in the Fall. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs atop the mountains in the distance.

Every sunny day ends with another beautiful sunset and every one is different.

A rare sight. Fog blankets the valley up to the Peaks on 1 Jan, 2012.

Sailing is popular on the Lake. So is fishing. It is a notoriously challenging lake to fish and an ESPN bass fishing tournament is held annually.

The Lake comprises 885 kM (550 miles) of shoreline and is more than 8000 ha (20,000 acres) in area. It is more than 65 kM (40 mi.) long. More than 80% of the shoreline is developed.

View from behind Smith Mountain Lake dam. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Mountain_Dam

73, John/ WA3DZS.

The Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) Memorial, Washington, D.C.

8504344 Last modified: 2017-12-10 15:54:59, 20131 bytes

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