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IV3KBU Italy flag Italy

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I used this call sign while I was stationed with the US Air Force in support of NATO at Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy from late 1985 to mid 1988.

During the early part of my assignment there (from December 1985 to September 1986) I simply added the IV3 suffix to my existing US call and signed KB1SF/IV3. In September, 1986, I was assigned the call sign IV3KBU by the Italian PTT and used that call sign until the end of my tour of duty in August of 1988.

I have since uploaded all of my logs from this operation (using both call signs) to Logbook of the World (LOTW).

The magazine cover shown at the upper right includes a photo of yours truly using a handheld and Arrow Antenna to work through one of our AMSAT satellites. The photo graced the cover of the January, 2010 issue of Monitoring Times Magazine.

The other photos (below) show our Italian rental QTH nestled at the base of the 5000 foot high front range of the Venitian Alps. My station there consisted of a Drake C-Line and Kenwood TS-120S along with various 2m FM handhelds and base station radios. My HF antenna was a ground mounted Hy-Gain 18-AVT (80-10m) vertical. My 2m antenna was a 5/8 wave ground plane of Italian design mounted at the peak of the roof. If you look carefully, both antennas can be seen in the photo.

The house sat on 10 acres of land. It had on it some 20 olive trees and a vinyard with 50 grape vines. Each year, our landlord and his family harvested the grapes from these vines which he then made into several liters of wonderful Italian wine (a lot of which he freely shared with us!)

The house was situated at an approximate elevation of 1300 feet overlooking the Po River valley to the east, south and southwest. Looking through a pair of binoculars on a clear day, I could often make out the bell tower in St Marks Square in Venice (some 50 miles away!) from my front porch!

After my return from Italy and later retirement from the USAF in 1993, I went on to serve as an Exective Vice President, President and Member of the Board of Directors (BOD) for The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). I stepped down from the AMSAT BOD in 2003 (to give others a chance to contribute) but am now once again serving the organization as their Corporate Treasurer.

From 2010 to 2012 I also wrote the quarterly "Sky Surfing" column about amateur radio satellites for Monitoring Times magazine until it ceased publication in 2012.  I also was an editor for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)'s new Satellite Handbook.  Currently, I write the amateur radio satellite columns for The Spectrum Monitor magazine and The Canadian Amateur magazine.

These days, besides operating mostly HF (CW) with the call sign KB1SF during occasional cross-border trips to the USA, I'm most often heard operating from my home QTH near Sarnia, Ontario (Canada) using one of my Canadian callsigns (VA3KSF or VA3OB).

Anyone still desiring a paper QSL from a contact with KB1SF/IV3 or IV3KBU can forward their request to KB1SF via the incoming US QSL bureau or via VA3KSF through the incoming Canadian QSL bureau. Direct to either address as shown in the QRZ database with an SASE and return postage will also generate a reply.

(Current as of September, 2014)

6226202 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:25:07, 4755 bytes

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