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My first FCC license was not a ham license, but a 1st Class Radiotelephone license. I got that so I could move from being a kid disk jockey to an engineer at a local radio station. My first ham license was a tech ticket back in 1961 (more or less) but I didn't use it much as my main interest was experimenting with VHF- microwave transmitters. Well, back then, you could only reach so far with 2 meters AM and with all home brew equipment that was about 60 miles. Moon bounce was not in my budget and 6 meters was only mobile due to TV interference on a weak channel 2 in our area. The mobile also created heavy TVI, but by constantly moving, I spread the pain around. Anyway, my interest in ham radio declined as my interest in girls rose. I kept the commercial ticket for quite a bit longer as it made money for college.

Actually, I did spend a couple of years bumming around the South Pacific repairing marine radios and crewing on sailboats.  My longest stay was on Kiriwina Island in Papua New Guinea.  That was a wonderful time and I got to handle actual radio traffic.  I stayed/worked at a guest house and discovered they had an unused SW transceiver.  I fixed it, got some crystals and the guest house was on the air.  We handled actual traffic, albeit on AM voice. Our antenna was a long wire strung very high between two palm trees.  The base station we communicated with was on Samarai Island, about 200 miles away.  It was possible to make a voice phone call (simplex) over this setup, but the quality was terrible.  I called my parents one Christmas and I didn't hear a word they said.  All I heard was the voices of various operators relaying their comments word-for-word.

Leap forward about 50 years and I am a ham again. So, I guess I am either a new old ham or an old new ham. Do I count as a rookie? I'm not sure. I still work 2 meters and enjoy it but now I use an HT instead of a table full of home brew and converted military surplus equipment. Wow, during my 50 years of down time, somebody figured out how to put both the transmitter and receiver in the same box! Very cool. But now I operate the HF bands, too.

You will often hear me on 80-10 meters SSB or CW and if you do, please give me a call. I have some great "Elmers" who have been teaching me CW. So after about 6 months, I am ditting and dahing at a blazing 15 wpm - somewhat faster on a good day :) On the air, I use the name "Jim" in CW and DX and contesting because it is an easy send and everyone recognizes it as a name and not some strange call sign. Locally where everyone knows me on 2 meters, I use my nick name "Jaimie". I don't care what name people use to call me.

I finally bought (2013) my very first new piece of equipment that wasn't someone else's new piece of equipment first - a Yaesu FT950.  My station now consists of that transceiver driving an old Swan Mk 2 linear amplifier.  The Swan outputs only 500-600 watts continuous depending on the band because a previous owner rebuilt the power supply and its voltage is a bit low. On the other hand, it does run off 115 vac instead of the recommended 240.

I like to experiment with antennas so I currently have a Carolina Windom for all bands and dipoles for 12/17 meters and 10/15 meters and a dipole for 40 meters.   Hint, I only use the Windom on 20 meters where no tuner is necessary and occasionally on 80 m where I can take over a 3:1 VSWR because I don't work it much. The highest point of any of these antennas is only about 25' off the ground.

I am a retired electrical engineer, but I still work. I run an event video production business and am an Adjunct Professor at a local community college.  I like to both rag chew and contest in SSB and CW on 80-10m. I am working towards getting on in some digital modes, but I'm not there, yet. Also, I am interested in getting started in SDR as it looks to me like that is the technology of the future.

I respond to all QSL cards. If you send me yours, I'll send you mine. If you eQSL, I'll do the same. Bureau or direct, foreign or domestic, it doesn't matter to me. BUT, the bureau is VERY slow, it takes about a year for bureau cards to get to me.  If you want fast response from me, please send your card directly to my address.

I am a member of the ARRL and the Johnson County Radio Amateur Club. I am also a "S" member of the Straight Key Century Club (#9667S) so, if you work me during one of their sprints, I'm worth 15 bonus points.

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6227492 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:25:11, 4671 bytes

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