I am an Extra class amateur radio operator in Kearney, Nebraska.
I have recently passed my General and Amateur Extra exams in late 2020. My primary HF antenna is my home-built Off-Center Fed Dipole, good from 80m up to around 10m. I am a new dad, so my radio time is limited, but I hope to try out as many things in radio as I possibly can! I enjoy digital modes, phone, and I'm working on learning morse code! My goal with this hobby is to try to sample as much of it as I can, trying as many things as possible before settling so that I know what all is out there!
You can learn more about me and what I get up to outside of amateur radio, and see my other projects at my personal website!
I live in Kearney, Nebraska, a community of about 30,000 people, located along the Platte River in Buffalo County. I moved here after getting married in 2019, so I'm relatively new to the community, but my wife is a Kearney native. Originally, I grew up about an hour away in Aurora, just east of Grand Island.
I am an active member of the Midway Amateur Radio Club (W0KY) here in Kearney. I manage the club's web presence and also help manage the local D-STAR repeater and gateway (KD0PBW). I am also an ARRL accredited VE, ARES member and certified Skywarn Spotter. In addition to MARC, I am also active in the Amateur Radio Association of Nebraska (W0WWV) based out of Hastings, as well as other amateur activities in the tri-cities region.
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Being a relatively new ham with a limited budget, my setup is rather modest. My shack lives in a detached garage, which is my workshop for all my hobbies. It houses my 3D printer, and my general electronics/computer workbench. My ham shack lives in the back along one wall where all my gear is set up. The garage is insulated and drywalled, and has an electric heater and window AC unit, so I can keep the temperature fairly comfortable year round!
All of my HF operations from the shack occur on an ICOM IC-7100. This is powered by an MFJ 4230MV MightyLite 30A power supply. I also use an MFJ 941E tuner between the radio and my primary antenna. The IC-7100 is also capable of VHF/UHF, but doesn't get used for that most of the time. Generally, for local VHF nets and occasional contacts off I-80, I use an IC-2100.
A laptop acts as my station computer, resting off to the side, and connecting to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It also connects via USB to the IC-7100. Most of the time, I use Windows 10, but the laptop is configured to dual-boot with Andy's Ham Radio Linux, from KB1OIQ, which I also use sometimes. I use Win4ICOM Suite for rig control, and Log4OM 2 as my primary logging program, as well as for a few other handy functions. It also has a slew of other ham radio software installed on it for various digital modes, radio programming, antenna design/analysis, etc.
My VHF/UHF antenna consists of a home-built quarter-wave ground plane trimmed for 2m, and it also works well on 70cm! My HF antenna is an off-center fed dipole antenna, roughly 133' long, and fed around 33%/66%. The feedpoint sits about 21' up on my "mast" outside the shack. The house came with a very sturdy basketball hoop in back which doesn't get used, so I used a 21' length of steel gas pipeline and hose-clamped it to the basketball hoop pole, which is heavy steel tubing, bolted to a concrete foundation. I am also working on a tilt-down mechanism for this setup to make maintenance easier. At the top of the steel pipe, the last few feet are covered with plastic PVC pipe, and topped with a short section of smaller PVC attached at 90°, and a T attached to that. In the middle of the horizontal segment, a pulley is mounted, and the feedpoint of the OCFD is lifted up to hang just below that. My VHF/UHF antenna sits on top of the T joint on the end, and it's feedline comes out the bottom and runs down from there. Both feedlines follow the mast down to around 7', then cross the gap between the mast and the garage, and enter the shack through a passthrough hole in the wall. The feedlines are supported across this horizontal gap by paracord twisted around them to hold them together, and tensioned on both ends to take the weight off the coax.
For mobile operations, I have a modest setup in my 2015 Ford Escape. I have a 38.5" Nagoya whip on an articulated NMO mount, attached to the left side of the rear hatch. This runs to the front of the vehicle to an ICOM ID-800H dual-band transceiver mounted on the drivers side dashboard, and powered directly off the battery via wiring routed through the firewall. I am also getting ready to start doing POTA once the weather gets nice again, so I have a (modified) Wolf River Coils SB1000 TIA antenna, and for the time being, I use the IC-7100 for mobile HF when needed, but I eventually hope to have a dedicated HF transceiver for mobile.
Coming soon. A bit about my story and how I wound up in ham radio!
All of the utilities on this website are proudly provided to the amateur radio community free of charge! However, there are costs (servers, etc) involved for me to keep it going.
If you have found them useful, and would like to show your appreciation and help with costs, you can throw a few dollars into the hat below!