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I am located on the outer banks of Virginia in a condominium located on the Atlantic Ocean.  The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and bay is to the south and west.  I'm only a few feet above sea level but have a really good and watery ground plane. North Carolina is my nearest neighbor.

I was originally licensed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1976.  My original call was WN3AYG back in the time when the "N" designation was used for a novice.  The call was reissued as WB3AYG when I passed the upgrade test.  The new call and it's privileges could not be used until the "ticket" was received in the mail from the FCC.  


Over the years I've been more or less active in Amateur Radio.  I am now retired from the defense industry and have more time for radio.  My one and only personal QSL card is from 1977.  From this photo my Kenwood TS-520 transceiver (new at the time), Drake 2B receiver, and Dentron tuner are really outdated.  However, my son, Jason, is still excited about daddy's toys.  




Today my Amateur Radio station is a FlexRadio 6500 SDR located in a 19-inch equipment rack along with a server and Internet connection.  The server enables me to run remote operation.  

I envy radio Amateurs that have well equipped radio shacks with lots of equipment, computers, reference books, and wallpaper of their radio achievements.  I, on the other hand, have a "radio shack" that is located in a garage next to the right front fender of my car.



My antenna is a 130-foot inverted "L" supported at the 50-foot level by a convenient tree.  The antenna is end feed and tuned with a SGC SG-236 automatic tuner.  The configuration works well during remote operation. 





SDR Remote Operation

I've run remote operation from many hotels here in the United States, but my greatest achievement to date is to log QSO's while on vactaion in Europe.  Not all hotels have a wireless LAN that will support a connection back to my FlexRadio in the States. But when it does, the connection is rock solid and just like operating from my QTH.  My best wifi connection was from a hotel room in Locarno, Switzerland.  

In this photo I'm talking with Katie Allen (WY7YL) on 40 meters during the grand opening of a new HRO store.  I was just one more station in her pileup, but I thought it was really neat.


Smithsonian Institution Donation

My other greatest QSO was with the Queen Mary (W6RO) from the famous Smithsonian Amateur Radio station, NN3SI. Unfortunately, NN3SI is no longer in operation. 

In the early 1980's I was working with a fellow named Homer Johnson.  He told me that his mother, Margaret Donahue, was the first woman licensed telegrapher in the United States.   He thought the Smithsonian Institution would be interested in her telegraph key.  I contacted them and they verified it.  I had the honor of making the donation and also was given an opportunity to operate their station.  As luck would have it, the Queen Mary was on frequency and we had the QSO. 

I handed my camera to one of the tourists visiting the museum and told him to start taking pictures.  This was one of them.


This is Margaret Donahue in 1917 and her key:





8488703 Last modified: 2017-12-02 23:01:14, 5058 bytes

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