Operating POTA from Galveston State Park.
My QTH Shack:
I have the following equipment in the shack:
1. Icom IC-7610 with Heil PR10 mounted onto a PL2T boom
2. Ultamax-100 66 foot end fed for 6-80m
3. Ameritron ALS-600 (600 Watt PEP) amp
4. LDG 600 Pro II
5. Icom UHF/VHF “ID-5100A Plus” base station
6. Diamond X200A attic mounted vertical UHF/VHF antenna
7. OpenSPOT3 for D-Star and DMR
8. Bird 43 wattmeter
9. MFJ-269C Antenna Analyzer
10. Rig Expert 230 Antenna Analyzer for field use
11. Heil PR-10 mounted onto a PL2T boom
I am using a 2020 MacBook Pro with RT Systems Software for all three radios. Windows 11 on Mac running through Parallels as virtual machine to run RT and other Window’s based software. N3FJP is my primary software for logging.
“Go Box” is equipped with Icom IC-7300. I have a solar generator with 100w panels as backup charging.
– Icom ID-51a Plus 2,
– Kenwood TH-D74A
– Yaesu FT5D
Current Collection of Keys and Paddles
Ultamax-100 66 foot end fed for 6-80m attached to top of dormer @ 30’ AMSL sloping to 12’
How long have you been a ham?
Since July 2017
How did you get interested/started?
I was inspired by my best friends (W5GJX) dad (SK) in the early 1960’s while a pre-teen. He was an Extra who built all his equipment that covered the back of his single car garage. A few years afterwards I started studying for Novice class learning CW but as a young teenager even with a paper route I didn’t have enough resources to get the equipment I put my plans on the back burner. After more than 50 years I retired and finally had the time and resources to live my dream to become licensed.
Favorite ham radio modes/activities
I enjoy FT8 digital modes as during solar cycle 24 propagation was poor and I was able to DX in the digital mode. Now with cycle 25 being so much better I enjoy HF as well, particularly 20 meter and 15 meter. Having spent the last year and a half learning CW I am really enjoying this activity. My speed is still under 20 WPM but well enough for POTA and FD activities.
Favorite ham gear, and/or antenna type?
I really enjoy my Icom IC-7610 in the shack but also my IC-7300 Go-Box that would be considered a portable shack. My POTA gear is a lightweight ID-705 in a backpack with external solar generator and 100w panel. I have several portable antennas depending on which radio I take. A Buddipole for use with the 7300 and a Precise Mag Loop for the 705. I also have ordered a Eagle One telescoping vertical multi-band fiberglass for use with either of portable radios that doesn’t require guying in environmentally sensitive parks. Mounts with a tailer hitch device.
What you’d like to learn to do in the future?
I have a Arrow satellite antenna that I need more practice with and hopefully will spend more time working with that. I also have a French Military kite rigged for lifting an EFHW to use with the 705. I have yet had the right conditions for using it yet but with summer here will make an effort to set up and try it out.s
Most fun or funny ham radio memory.
Most fun I’ve had is working the 13 Colonies Special event held in July. Objective is to contact all 13 original Colonies special stations and three bonus stations ie. Great Britain, France and PA. I have worked this event two years now and was able to make every station in last years event except GB. The special QSL cards are beautiful, and you also get a special certificate.
Projects you are currently working on?
I purchased a Hardrock-50 amplifier kit last Christmas to use with the 705 giving it a 50W output. I hope to start the construction of this kit soon. It will be able to run from my solar generator.
Best radio accomplishment you are proud of.
Learning morse code. I have always been fascinated by the mode and realize now that it’s possible to reach very distant locations on very low wattage. The other beauty is the ability to make out the code when it’s almost impossible to make out voice on SSB. This has been very satisfying for me. Also very good exercise for maintaining mental alertness.
What other hobbies you have interest in?
RC Planes, Model Rockets, In-Line skating and bicycling of which I have had to give up. I am very satisfied with my Amateur radio hobby now and don’t miss any of the other hobbies I did previously.
Anything else you’d like to share?
During my last two years at NASA I worked as the Manufacturing Project Manager for the construction of the cryogenic floor section of the James Webb Space Telescope test chamber “A” cryogenic upgrade in Bldg 32.
I was in a rock band during the late 60’s and have the privilege to be in the backup band to Ike and Tina Turner during one of their concerts in Dallas.