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Howdy.  I go by Tim, not Patrick.

Right now, if you're hearing me on HF (from my home), I'm using a 240 foot doublet up around 75 feet with about 140 feet of window line fed directly into a Palstar AT-Auto tuner.  I've also got an 80-10 OCF dipole up around 40 feet.  Plan to replace it with a 135 foot doublet soon.  Also terminate the balanced line into a big 1:1 current balun outside and coax it in from there.  A little too much RF in the shack - especially with the RF amp running!  Also have plans (and partial supplies courtesy of K4LD) to make an N4GG array.  Right now, I'm thinking about 40, 30 and 20 meters.

If you're hearing me on VHF (from my home), I'm using a small discone antenna (100 Mhz and up) mounted in the highest point of my attic.  It's fed with high quality coax and does an excellent job from my fairly high location, just North of Atlanta.  I also have a tri-band (6,2,440) antenna hoisted up about 80 feet in a tree fed with good coax directly into the shack.  It's a ton of fun finally having a decent FM antenna up high.  Simplex distances are amazing now.

My HF rigs are a Flex 6300, Kenwood TS-2000, and an Elad FDM-S2 SDR receiver.  Also operate on 6, 2 and 440 all modes with the TS-2000.  Sometimes on remote mountain tops during VHF contests.  Contesting and camping together are a great combo!  I totally love SDR technology.  If you haven't jumped in, what's holding you back?  I started with the Flex 1000, then the Flex 3000.  Also enjoy an older Drake R8B analog HF/VHF receiver I bought myself after graduating from college.  I'm also 900 MHz FM active with two Kenwood rigs.  One in my truck, the other at home with a commercial grade omni antenna on the top of my roof.

I love to operate CW, SSB and some digital modes.  Played around with digital voice (FDV) on HF too.  Just wish there were more folks doing the same thing.  It's a native mode on the Flex radio now.  Very easy to use.  Part of the hobby I have also enjoyed for years is helping public service events as a ham.  Last summer, I bought an Icom ID-51A+ HT that I've been very happy with.  Replaced an HT that wasn't working out well.  That new HT also does the digital D-Star mode and I've played with it a bit.  Got a DVAP at home hooked directly to a Linux box in our main TV room.  Works great.  Now if I could only find conversations that don't include topics on weather and what kind of radio they're using.    I didn't buy this HT for the digital mode, but have casually enjoyed it around the house.

I enjoy using a hand held Arrow multi band antenna for satellite work.  I've made many contacts with my 5 watt HT on FM birds in orbit.  Lots of fun.  Also used my TS-2000, arrow antenna, laptop and headphones with HRD software and battery on the tailgate of my truck to make SSB satellite contacts a few years back.  Busy work, but still fun.  Maybe one day I'll get more serious with satellites and get the gear needed to enjoy them from inside?  FM contacts are fun at first, but SSB/CW contacts are where the real fun is.  I'm still looking for a local ham that also works the satellites.  I want to work him/her through the satellite when we're standing next to each other! 

Been an active ham since 1976 (when I turned 16).  Enjoy going to the gym a bunch (gym rat).  Also swimming, jogging and biking.  All outside if weather permits.  I also have a large 1500 square foot garden that brings me a lot of joy (and food)!  Last year we had to put a large deer fence around the whole thing to keep 'em out.  What they don't eat, they trample - virtually destroying almost all the vegetation overnight.  There is currently one HF antenna over that garden.  I wonder if high power HF radiation helps veggies grow?  If so, what mode is best?

I reluctantly use a Windows desktop computer and laptop for all my ham radio stuff, but gladly use a Linux computer for ... everything else.  Also started using Chromebooks recently.  The keyboard shortcuts are wonderful when browsing the web.  Battery life and running Android apps makes the little computer a very powerful tool when traveling!  Once you start using a Chromebook, your experience on most any other platform is inferior.  And don't forget the lower cost of ownership.

I've been on active duty in the US Navy twice.  First time right out of high school.  I was an Electronics Tech on active duty for just three years, then three additional years on active reserve duty.  17 years later I was talking with a friend who couldn't convince me enough how much better the Navy reserves were.  He finally convinced me to check it out.  He was right, and I signed up again.  Went to IS (Intelligence Specialist) school and almost immediately after my security clearance was approved (took almost a full year), I was recalled to active duty for the 2nd Gulf war.  Spent 4.5 months in Bahrain.  Even thought the whole thing was a sudden change, I met three local hams over there and still keep in contact with them to this day.  They went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome.  It's amazing how a common hobby of ham radio transcends different languages, cultures, nationalities and religions.  Kind of like the Masons I suppose.  Part of what makes our hobby so powerful.

I've enjoyed playing as a team member on numerous mini DX-peditions over the past few years.  So much fun getting into the hot seat and running a huge pileup on the air!  Especially CW.  For years, I wasn't much of a contester, but sort of fell into it a while back, and found I was good at it.  It's a very challenging part of our hobby.  BEING the DX, not a DX-er.  Ohh and the traveling to/from different places around the globe is truly just icing on the cake.  To date, my most memorable expedition was a 4-day, 3-night trip on the Dry Tortugas island with a group of other hams.  We all had so much fun, that we'd all go back in a heart beat.  I've also been lucky enough to join a team from Atlanta and operate the contest station PJ2T in Curacao for the ARRL DX SSB contest.  What a blast that was!  It will be a dream fulfilled to participate in a top 10 DX-pedition one day soon.

Are you like me?  Do you often look at other metallic structures and wonder if they'd load up and radiate on HF?  That's when you know you're a real ham  :)

Best of luck to you.


8029696 Last modified: 2017-04-13 12:57:56, 6687 bytes

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