N8SDR : " November 8 Software Defined Radio"
Prior call of KD8LCD from 05-12-2009 to 11-09-2013
My first experiences with Amateur Radio came in the early 90's under the call of N8SRA. I was then active on 2 meters SSB mainly county chasing with an old Kenwood TS-700A the 10 watts output in SSB drove a Mirage 160 amplifier for almost 140 watts output into a Cushcraft 13 element beam. I was also into 440 ATV and with the help of another Amateur Tom WA8ZAH I was able to build a simple 50 watt ATV transmitter and receiver using a home-brew exciter and a Motorola RF brick, it was simple, stable and work well. I used a 48 element J-beam that antenna was actually part of a lager array that WA8ZAH had up but if I recall correctly it came down during a bad storm or mast failure, fed with some hard-line it worked well and I had a blast with a regular group that were active ATV Amateurs. But time soon came to an end and I was moving around for next few years I never got back on the air, sold my equipment and let my license expire.
One day while I surfing around the internet I came across some pages by Amateurs and remembered all the fun I had years before, and thought I can take that test and get back on the air. In May of 2009 I did just that I took my Technician element and passed that with a perfect score, my first radio was an older Yaesu FT 690R II all mode QRP 6 meter rig, although it was QRP I had a blast with it. I used an Diamond 2 element 6 meter antenna (A-502HB) and worked some good contacts with that setup. That got me hooked back into amateur radio and I soon wanted more.
During my technician test I met Don, N8KYX who soon became my elmer. He helped me with my antenna for 6 meters and soon helped me in studying for my General Class License. In August of 2009 I took and passed my General exam and now had more band privileges but still only had the QRP 6 meter radio and on a tight budget, looking around I found that the Yaesu FT-450 was going to fill the need for more bands and more output. It was an HF/6 meter all mode100 watt transceiver. In 2011 I Upgraded to a Yaesu FT-2000 transceiver, then in October 2011 replaced it with a FLEX 3000 which is the current rig. Now I needed an HF antenna to work my new privileges, having a small yard was not helping that out. I choose to use a Fan Dipole by Alpha-Delta model DX-EE at first , it is a shortened 40-10 meter wire dipole that has an overall length of about 40 feet, its narrow banded on 40 meters In 2010 it was replaced by an S9 SV43 vertical. After working more DX and getting started with some of the digital modes I soon found that the bands were becoming less and less active mainly due to conditions. But it seemed I always heard a couple stations in the DX portions of the bands mainly in the extra class segments, looks like I was going to have to upgrade again and in December of 2009 I upgraded to extra class.
Amateur radio is a great way to meet and make new friends. It's also a way to find old ones as well. Back in 2009 after getting relicensed I was on a area local 2 meter repeater and heard a call that sounded very familiar it was my old ATV friend Tom-WA8ZAH.
Thanks to all for the encouragement and help along the way of getting back into the hobby of amateur radio.
Please take look around the site and if you find some article or link useful, intersting or just feel genersous, you can buy me a beer.
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