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WA8EBM USA flag USA

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I have been licensed since 1962. I was in the USAF from '66 to '70 in communications in USAFSS as an analyst "202".

I received my BSBA in '74 and worked for the City of Grand Rapids for 30 years as Emergency Communications Supervisor for Police 911 ops.

I retired in 2006 and enjoy pursuing my hobbies. I have been married since '68 and have a son and daughter and two fantastic grandsons.

Since retiring I have built up the station considerably. I am currently fascinated with the new Kenwood "Flagship" TS-990S.

My HF antennas are height challenged so I do have several amplifiers. Hoping to move to that dream antenna farm location as soon as the wife and I can agree on a house which means I will probably be spending much more time at the current QTH.

I enjoy the satellites but really miss the old high orbit birds. I have the sat antennas on a 52 foot Force 12 telescoping tower but the 3 element SteppIR is only about 35 feet high on a roof mounted quad-pod. Huge sycamore tree preventing a decent tower.

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This May I hit my 55th year in Ham Radio.  First rig was a Lafayette KT-320 kit receiver that I cut lawns for a whole summer to buy.  I built a transmitter, open chassis, with a 807 and 6V6.  Found the schematic for it in Science and Mechanics magazine.  It was originally designed to fit in a big steel military ammunition box. I also bought a used Globe Scout that I even tried to run mobile with my first car, a 54 Plymouth using a dynamotor for HV B+.. Also in the pic is a Wire Recorder that I used to record code practice CW from W1AW. 

 

Me at the satellite corner of the station

 

3/6/2013 My new Kenwood TS-990S transceiver. It will take me a long time to become proficient with all its capabilities! Beautiful craftmanship. Pictured running RTTY with a wireless keyboard connected to the radio.

 

Making the best of a city lot with a SteppIR--(If I can hear them I can usually work them)

My wife Susan and our second grandson, Ryan Michael, born on November 6, 2012

My latest endeavor is this 6 foot diameter magnetic loop antenna which is constructed with 3.5 inch OD flexible irrigation pipe helically wound with 44 feet of 3 inch wide .008 copper foil.  It tunes 80 thru 30 meters with a large vacuum variable capacitor and gamma feed. I painted the loop with Krylon CoverMaxx "Italian Olive" spray paint which has not degraded the performance of the antenna.   For extensive info on helically wound loops QRZ or Google "Rich" K8NDS.

I adjust the vacuum variable capacitor at the base of the loop with a Stepper motor.  The controller I built is thanks to the effort of Loftur TF3LJ/VE3LJX, who designed it. He provides a circuit board for the project and firmware which is then loaded into the onboard Teensy 3.1 which is the brains of the controller.

 

Portable operation with the "AlexLoop" , magnetic loop antenna.

Search "WA8EBM" on YouTube to see an AlexLoop to AlexLoop Qso between myself and WG0AT.

MyElecraft KX3, ser # 067. Teamed with the above Alex Loop it is an outstanding portable rig.

Here is my Hardrock HR-50 amplifier which is built from a kit. A very nice boost in power for 1/3 the price of the Elecraft KXPA100 amplifier.

Heath SB1000 Linear amp I converted to 6 meters. It delivers a KW with 100 watts drive.

Here is my DVMega UHF DStar Hotspot that I use mobile or portable.  Shown is the DVMega and Raspberry Pi in a "Beagle Bone" case.  A homemade "short range" antenna made from a SMA to BNC adapter with a 51ohm resistor inside.  It is powered by the attached 5200mah li-ion battery pack.  The internet connection is through a new "Karma-Go" cellular hotspot with internal battery.  This setup will give me at least 4 hours of operation without outside power or re-charging.  The Karma-Go is a no monthly fee system that uses non-expiring data that can be purchased in increments. Dstar data usage is minimal.

Here is my setup to do the Extended VFO Temperature Compensation on my KX3.  This allows me to successfully use digital modes such as JT65 on the radio and have it compensate for oscillator drift due to heating from extended transmit times.  I have also installed the ProAudio heatsink on the radio.

With the decline in propagation I decided to mothball the HF Rig in the Avalanche and go with DStar and Fusion Wires X with hotspots for both at my QTH.  I installed the ID-5100 and FTM-400DR in the truck.

I also found some nice strong 3 inch magnets at Harbor Freight and fabricated an ultra stable mag mount for my mobile whip using a Diamond K9000 motorized mount.  It now easily clears the garage door and even if I forget to lower the antenna the torque adjuster will allow the whip to fold down.  The mount, with 4-90lb pull magnets, will not budge on the roof.

I really enjoy the digital voice modes of DStar, DMR and Fusion/WiresX.  Lots of arguments against them by Amateur Radio purists but they have their place as long as you realize that Amateur Radio Emergency Communications still has a need for normal voice not dependent on the Internet and Cellular just good old fashioned RF point to point and backup power sources.

 

 

7955557 Last modified: 2017-03-09 18:48:47, 7322 bytes

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