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AE4NT USA flag USA

alias for: WA4DMV


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Ben Goldfarb, AE4NT

I'm located in Central Florida, about 12 miles (20 km) north of Orlando, and appropriately, I'm running a Mickey Mouse approved amateur radio station.

Historical Notes

I was first licensed in 1960 through 1965. Upon departing the beerless comfort of my childhood home to attend Penn State University, when the ham license came up for renewal I was too cheap to pay the FCC's newly instituted, albeit nominal, renewal fee. (I think it was $5.) Beer money was much more important at that juncture. Life and a few careers intervened. Fast forward to now and you'll find that having retired, I'm a ham again.

My original rig consisted of an E. F. Johnson Viking Challenger transmitter, a Heathkit AR-3 receiver (both were kits I built), a backyard dipole cut to half-wave at 40m only about 8' off the ground, which was all my old man would allow, and an Ameco 6m Nuvistor converter. (Remember Nuvistors? I didn't think so.) As K3NJB, I ran 40m CW and 6m AM phone back then in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When my family moved in 1961, I had to sell my rig. Once re-situated, I set up the WA4DMV shack pictured below driving a five-element yagi with a Gonset G-50 and operating 6 meter AM in South Florida with a bunch of hooligan teenage hams including the legendary K4YSN (SK). One New Year's Eve on-air party in 1963 or 1964 got us all in trouble with the FCC, who showed up at my house in the personnages of Mr. Gilbert and Mr. May to have a look at my logbook. Not long after that excitement, my ham career was rudely interrupted by high school graduation followed by the aforementioned university, although I was briefly licensed there as W3BDH.

My Old Ham Shack ca. 1963

Pictured: the indoor part of my 1963 ham station. What you see here is a Gonset G-50 six meter transceiver with an Astatic JT-30 microphone (cheap back then, but it seems to have regained favor with the amplified harmonica virtuosi today -- who knew?). I think the xcvr put out 50 watts on a good day into my five-element 6m yagi mounted on a guyed mast attached to our separate garage. You can see the ancient AR-22 antenna rotator control behind the mic. Finally, there is my keyboard -- the pride of Underwood.

Moving to the present era, the FCC granted me my original Florida call,WA4DMV, which I thought was important on the odd chance that someone who worked me back in the golden age of ham radio is still alive and kicking and might recognize the call. No one came forward, so I decided I needed a vanity call with lighter code weight, hence came AE4NT. (The "NT" stands for Nittany Turkey, which is a blog I write about Penn State football.)

The Present

I dove headlong into the SDR thing when I got bored with traditional knobs and dials. Being a computer geek, it was a natural for me. I looked at everything from dongles to high-end ANAN and Flex stuff, settling on a used Flex 3000 as my "getting feet wet" SDR rig. It took me less than a week to decide that SDR was the way to go, and before another month had passed, I sold my Yaesu FTDX-3000 and put the Flex 3000 on the block with an eye toward buying something more current.

My present rig is a Flex 6500 and an ACOM 1000 amp, which when I'm not melting baluns and coax, I run SSB and digital modes into a stealth, ground-mounted Tarheel 100A-HP, replacing the stock whip with a 72" mast and a DX Engineering cap hat on top, with 36" spokes. Then, I stuck a 72" whip atop the cap hat. I've got 24 ground radials at the moment, but will be increasing that. With this arrangement, I've even made contacts on 160m, albeit with very low efficiency. It will tune only through 30m, so I have to use a separate antenna for 20 and up. What I am using at the moment is an Alpha-Delta DX-EE fan dipole, which is shortened on 40m and full length on 20, 15, and 10. The miraculous antenna tuner in the Flex 6500 allows me to tune this thing to work on 17, 12, and 6, too, albeit with significant associated loss in overall efficiency and ERP. 

I'm playing with a W6LVP active receiving loop antenna, ground mounted for stealth, of course. I'll put a rotator on it this week so I can mess around with it some more. So far, the results have been impressive.

I liked the Tarheel 100A-HP so much that I bought a Tarheel 400A and a hitch mount for the car, along with a used Icom IC-7000 to play with as a mobile rig.

My latest venture is into VHF/UHF SSB/CW/digital, just in time for summer skip season. I do 6m with the Flex 6500and an M2 HO-LOOP, which is a compromise, but no way could I get away with a rotatable yagi in this antenna restricted HOA community. I've got a couple of Elecraft XV-nn transverters hooked up to the Flex 6500 to give me the 2M/70cm capability, along with some stacked MHO-LOOPS.

WA4DMV present shack

My station in 2013. That's a Heil Classic mic bearing my former call sign in glitter, which gives me the retro kitsch look. I dedicated a back bedroom for use as the ham shack, which has a big, blank wall ripe for certificate wallpaper (now full). If you look out the window, you might see a diagonally oriented white wire. That was one half of my crappy little half-length G5RV. Note the tree on top of the AL-80A there -- that was my top-off tree signifying completion of the station. (But you and I know that a ham station is never "finished"!)

I enjoy all aspects of ham radio. I've earned WAS, WAS Digital, WAC, and DXCC, and I've received my 55-year pin from QCWA. I'm also a member of ARRL, the Orlando Amateur Radio Club where I volunteer annually for the commercial end of Hamcation, and Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society (LMARS), as well as the 3905 Century Club, where I'm  Fourth Area Director, Awards Secretary, and Chairman of the Awards Committee, and a Journeyman NCS. I also occasionally check into the OMISS nets. I'm an ARRL and Laurel ARC certified VE who regularly participates in exam sessions for OARC and LMARS.

Aside from amateur radio, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, photography, Geocaching, spectator sports (showing my PA roots -- Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, and Nittany Lions), blogging about Penn State football, cooking, charitable fund raising, and last, but certainly not least, my YL, Jenny (KM4NEK) and her three kids. 

73,

Ben

8068493 Last modified: 2017-05-01 21:53:35, 7358 bytes

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DX World Award#5009
Granted: 2017-01-25 22:09:41   (AE4NT)

United States Counties Award#1849
Granted: 2016-07-19 23:32:03   (AE4NT)

Endorsements:
  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Phone
  • 250 Counties Phone
United States Award#2007
Granted: 2016-04-16 04:30:02   (AE4NT)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • Mixed Digital
World Continents Award#6697
Granted: 2015-03-11 06:04:55   (AE4NT)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Digital
Grid Squared Award#5568
Granted: 2015-03-11 06:00:03   (AE4NT)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    6 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Digital
  • 40 Meters Phone
  • Mixed Phone
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