SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ham Radio Forty-Six Years Later

It is my estimate that forty-six years ago I got my start in Amateur Radio in my home town of Dothan, Alabama. I had been listening to CBers in the neighbourhood on a Knight Kit Star Roamer. I said "Dad I want to do CB radio." My Dad said "No you don't, You want to be a Ham operator." My Dad was not a Ham, but avid kit builder in those days. He built kits from the stereo amp and FM receiver up to a large HeathKit projection TV. He had a friend at his work Mr. Snellgrove who was a Ham. Mr. Snellgrove gave me the Novice Class in his home  He also loaned me a transmitter that had plug-in coils and many crystals. Over the next few years, the yard had a everything from Hygain 18 AVQ vertical, to a tri-band two element quad. I credit this technical hobby with launching a career in Electrical Engineering. My Dad's and Mr. Snellgrove's help has had many returns.

So forty six years later I do enjoy a visits with Mom and Dad who live in the same house. I usually get an hour of on-the-air time there from my Dad's workshop. Today, I worked Steve WA5FRF in San Antonio who related a similar story. about his Dad and his career. We both hope amateur radio can play a similar role for other teens out there.

I have an antenna in the yard that takes advantage of the high pine trees. It was originally an off-center-fed dipole with a balun. The improbable ice storm last Winter brought a limb down that destroyed the balun. So now it is fed with 300 ohm line. I use a SGC 237 balun to match the 300 ohm line to coax. I am very pleased with that arrangement. Today, I had a good string going on 20 SSB. It  included Texas twice, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Yes Ham Radio still is great fun even forty-six years later. Thanks Dad!

300 ohm line to a 80 meter off-center-fed dipole

The SGC 237 which I bring when I visit.

The Icom 7100 in a go box with 30 AH battery

The Icom 7100 control head.