Hi all. I am age 57 and was happily married to Irene for 27 years until her recent untimely death on March 24, 2012 due to a pulmonary embolism. I have 4 children, 2 sons, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 grandson, and 2 granddaughters. My oldest son is a Gunnery Sergeant in the United State Marine Corps currently serving at Camp Lejeune. NC Oohrah! My hobby is the best hobby in the world, Amateur Radio, better known as Ham Radio. I first became interested in radio when I was 15 years old, but didn't study for my ham license until I was 35 years old. I spent all those pre-ham days operating on Single Sideband on CB Radio (11 Meter band) on 27.375, 27.385, and 27.395 Mhz. I used to belong to a radio group called the 12 America Sideband Group, number 12 because North Carolina was the 12th state to join the union. I was 12 America 018 Cliff and my FCC callsign was KBPU-1686. I met many good friends in this group who have done like myself and gotten into the ham radio hobby and also a few that have passed on. The 12 America Group in it's heyday was over 600 members and I used to publish a monthly newsletter for the group. We held an annual dinner at Elk Shoals Methodist Campground in West Jefferson, NC. My first interest in radio was sparked by a Cobra 85 radio, an Astatic D-104(lollypop) microphone , and a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna my Mom bought me for Christmas at age 15. Mom says it's the only thing she ever bought me I didn't get tired of. I enjoyed 11-meter single sideband for the next 20 years until a friend of mine, KF4LLF Seth Oneal, got me to get off my lazy duff and study for my ham ticket. I finally passed and got my Technician License on October 16th, 1996 after taking the Novice Class and Technician Class written license exams and in the next 9 months I studied and learned International Morse Code and passed the written tests for my General Class, Advanced Class, and Extra Class licenses in addition to passing the 5, 13, and 20 words per minute Morse Code examinations. I'm now at the pinnacle of the hobby and absolutely have a blast with it working voice (phone), CW (Continuous Wave or Morse Code), and several digital modes such as JS8Call, FT8, PSK31, MFSK16, Hellschreiber, RTTY(radioteletype). My VHF radio equipment consists of a Yaesu FT-897D and a Cushcraft A14810S 10 element yagi antenna. My HF equipment consists of a Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V HF exciter and the Yaesu FT-897D that does 10-160 meters HF, plus 6 and 2 meters VHF and 70 Cm = 440 Mhz UHF. On HF I also use an Ameritron AL-80B 1000 Watt HF Linear Amplifier, Heil Proset Plus headset, and a Yaesu MD-100A8X microphone. My HF antennas consist of a Solarcon A-99 vertical(Antron 99) for 10 meters and a 260 feet long doublet dipole antenna horizontal at 60 feet high for use on 10-160 meters. It was manufactured by WZ4I Mark and is one super antenna! I have also installed a Double Bazooka coaxial dipole for the 75/80 meter band in an inverted V configuration that performs almost as well as my 260 feet doublet on both transmitted and received signals. Wish I had put one of these up years ago! I also just recently purchased a Hustler 5BTV vertical antenna and 100 feet of #12 stranded copper wire to lay down 30 33 feet 4 inch radials for DXing on 10,15,20,40 and 80-meter bands. I still have to assemble and get this newest antenna up which I plan on doing over the next few months. I purchased an 8 feet copper clad ground rod for it and recently purchased 150 feet of Bury-Flex RG-8 coax from Davis RF and 2 gold-plated Amphenol PL-259 coaxial connectors. . I also use a Palstar AT-1500CV antenna tuner.
I run the Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V from a Yaesu FP-29 power supply that goes with the rig and run the Yaesu FT-897D from a Pyramid PS-36KX 35 amp power supply. I currently own 3 Morse Code keys, a single lever chrome Vibroplex Deluxe Vibrokeyer, a J.H. Bunnell CJB26003A Navy Flameproof straight key I bought from NOS = New Old Stock from the J.H. Bunnell Company in Kings Park, NY, (See http://jhbunnell.com/navykey.shtml ) and a Czech Military RM-31 straight key I bought from NOS being sold by W4KRN Karen at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention at Hara Arena in Dayton, OH. My favorite mode is CW. I am a member of the SKCC(Straight Key Century Club) Morse Code group, SKCC # 652C. We are 19,519 members strong as of December 11, 2018, and are dedicated to the preservation of Morse Code and the use of the straight key telegraph keys and bug keys (NO Electronic keying devices). We operate on: 1.820, 3.530, 3.550, 7.055, 7.114, 10.120, 14.050, 18.080, 21.050, 24.910,and 28.050 Mhz in the 160, 80, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12,and 10 meter bands. I can mostly be found around 7.044, 7.055, 7114, 7123. 14.050 and 28.005 & 28.049 Mhz on CW. I am also a member of FISTS CW Club-FISTS#16001 see http://www.fists.org, NAQCC-the North American QRP CW Club-NAQCC#1491 (see http://naqcc.info ) , the Flying Pigs QRP CW Club-FP#1183 (see http://fpqrp.net )the Feld Hell (Hellschreiber) Club-FH#062 (see http://www.feldhellclub.org ), the Great Outdoors Radio Club-GORC#399 (see http://thegorc.org/ ), and of SATERN-the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (see satern.org ). My newest interest is "QRP In The Field" operating. I now own 2 QRP radios, a Ten-Tec R4020 40 and 20 meters rig, and a Hendricks PFR-3A that was willed to me by my good friend W4CUX Bill SK. Bill also willed to me (3 bands = 20, 30, & 40 meters) a set of W5JH Baby Black Widow paddles that attach to the front of the Hendricks PFR-3A rig, (the A in the model number indicates the PFR-3A has a manual antenna tuner built-in) a Hendricks 50 ohm 10 watts SMT dummy load, and a single lever Vibroplex Chrome Deluxe Vibrokeyer. Give me a call sometime! I frequently monitor around 7035 Khz on 40 meters and on or near SKCC call frequencies as well. I can sometimes be found in the old 40 meter novice band between 7010 and 7125. Very 73 from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina-Grid EM95iv. I built a Emtech ZM-2 QRP antenna tuner from a kit and my next project is a Flying Pig Rig. I use a 44 feet dipole as my QRP antenna or a 66 feet end-fed vertical wire antenna and a I use a K7HB Straight Key and K7HB Mini Paddles I picked up at the 2012 Shelby Hamfest for portable ops.