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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 mastering my Kenwood TS-990S and the little Italian ELAD FDM-DUO SDR transceiver.

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.




Me at the satellite corner of the station



This is the BUSY corner of the station.  I have set up the TS-990, Flex VU5K and Elad FDM-DUO for ESSB operation with the SPE Expert 1K-FA KW amplifier.  I use an Electro Voice RE-27 microphone and a Symetrix 528E Voice Processor. I also control digital modes such as my Wires X node, DMR and DStar Hotspots  from this area.  I run satellites with the TS-2000 or the Flex VU5K with 100 watt amps for 2M and 70CM along with controls for polarity switching cross yagis on a 52 foot telescoping tower. I easily switch processed audio in to the radios from the Symetrix deck and out to a pair of Bose speakers with the W2IHY Iplus switch box.  The Home Patrol scanner keeps me linked to my Public Safety roots.


On the left side of this photo is antenna tuning section with the AT5K tuner, Magnetic Loop Stepper controller and DX Engineering 8 position antenna switching relay controller to move antennas among radios.  I use a RigExpert AA-200 analyzer to tune the Open Wire doublet without putting a signal on the air.  I have the Pro III and PW1 amp fed with slightly processed audio into the Balanced modulator input with W2IHY boxes and a Heil PR-40 microphone. Next to them are the KX2, KX3 and K3 with P3 along with a HyGain rotor and SteppIR box all automatically controlled by DXLab software.


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

5 years Later, Christmas 2017---same little guy Where did the years go?

My latest antenna project is this 6 foot diameter magnetic loop 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 8-400pf, 10.5 kv 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.


Even with poor band conditions, here is who heard my 10mhz WSPRLITE 200mW beacon, on 10/12/2017, using the loop beaming East/West.


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 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.



8599797 Last modified: 2018-01-23 13:11:04, 8120 bytes

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