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     I was first introduced to amateur radio by my cousin Stan, K3RDM in Pennsylvania in 1963. Our family pulled up stakes and moved to Arizona in 1966. I found a local radio store that had classes after hours to help get your license. I became WN7HBH as a novice in 1967. In 1968 I passed my General and became WA7KLK. Held that call for many years and eventually got my extra class license.  When the vanity call system came into play I applied for and was lucky to receive W7USA in November of 1996.  W7USA was the MARS station at Ft Lewis, Washington for years. As the Vietnam War ended the station was moved to Ft Monmoth, New Jersey and the call was made available. 

   Since getting the new call family and friends have suggested keeping some aspect of my station tied to the military because of the history with the U.S. Army.  I never served in the military but always liked the old radios and vehicles from the Korean and Vietnam era. So for a few years I have collected many 1950's , 1960's military radios and two vehicles. Some of the gear ( many of which are in working condition ) are ... R390, R390A, R272C, R220, R388, 51J3, SC106, PRC47, BC348, BC312, RT66, RT67, RT68, GRC106, R392, T195, RBB5, RBC1, AN/FRR23, R808, 75A4, 75S3B, 32S1, and many parts and antennas.

   The two vehicles I am restoring or maintaining are a 1953 Dodge M37 with a communication shelter attached and a 1972 Jeep M725 ambulance. ( which may end up a comm truck )

   My current station includes a FT1000MP MK V, IC746, Ten Tec Paragon for HF and a variety of VHF / UHF xcvrs. For SOTA and portable operating I use a FT817, SG2020, IC706MKIIG, DX70 and a Xiegu X108. I am fortunate to be in central Phoenix on a large lot which gives me some room for antennas. My current choices are 160 / 80 / 40m fan type inverted vee, 2 el 40m yagi ( that needs repair ) 5 el 20m yagi, 3el 12m yagi, 8 el 10m yagi, 6 el 6m yagi, Titan all band vertical, 30m GP vertical and a all band folded dipole type inverted vee on three towers.

   I retired in 2012 and got involved with SOTA ( Summits On The Air ) to help stay in shape and play with QRP radios. I can't say I am keeping fit and trim but really enjoy the hiking and exploring Arizona and rest of country. The local group of SOTA operators have helped me achieve "Mountain Goat" status after 3-1/2 years of doing Summits.

   I was very active in the NPOTA ( Nat'l Parks On The Air ) activity in 2016. I traveled from west coast to east coast. Met some great people. Saw lots of Americas treasures and history. 

   I am capable of doing most modes. CW, SSB, RTTY, FM and Digital. I must admit the current new mode FT8 is rather addicting. Currently spending lots of time using that mode on all the bands. My favorite band is 10M. Unfortunate with solar cycle where it is I have to look elswhere. The ARRL started the "International Grid Chase 2018" I am participating in it. I find the scoring rather confusing and disappointed that there is no "Activator" class like in NPOTA. So not sure if I will do the chase for the long haul. 

   As far as QSLcards are concerned. I guess I am a bit old school and like the paper. So direct or via the bureau is fine. I did not look forward to entering thousands of contacts into a LOTW capable logging program but I have almost finished that ordeal and currently using LOTW. I must admit I am not quite up to date as of right now. 

   So... thanks for taking the time to read my comments. Hope to catch on the bands from home QTH, mobile, portable or on a SOTA Summit.

 

                                                                                                                       ... Ray / W7USA

 

 

8615779 Last modified: 2018-01-30 14:06:16, 5121 bytes

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