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W4DOI

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W4DOI last won the day on February 4

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About W4DOI

  • Rank
    +10db

Personal Information

  • First name
    Alan
  • Military service
    Yes
  • Military history
    Air Force
    6-20 Years

Amateur Radio

  • Licensed?
    I am currently a licensed amateur radio operator
  • License class (USA licencees)
    Amateur Extra
  • License year
    1965
  • QTH grid
    FM18ku
  • HAM Interests
    HF operating
    VHF/UHF operating
    Portable & field operating
    Remote station operating
    Digital modes operating
    Contesting & Field Days
    Antenna construction
    Emcomm & public service

Recent Profile Visitors

889 profile views
  • Callsign: W4DOI
  • Class: Amateur Extra
  • Country: USA
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About Me

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USAF.png
 United States Air For
ce

[ R E T I R E D ]

Aircraft-Flown (Top to Bottom)
Boeing B-52G - 8 Engine Heavy Bomber
Northrup T-38A - Twin Jet Supersonic Advanced Trainer
Cessna T-37B - Twin Jet Primary Trainer

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Greetings from Fall Church, Virginia (VA) USA located just across the Potomac River from Washington DC
COUNTY:  Fairfax County  //  GRID SQUARE:  FM18ku

ICOM 7300 HF 160-10m
HF 160-10m
VHF 6m
2-100w
~300wPEP
2-100w

Antenna - Doublet / LDG 600ProII autotuner
w/RM-Italy 305v Amplifier

 

ICOM 7100
All Mode w/d-star

HF 160-10m
VHF 6m

2-100w
2-100w
Antenna - Misc Portable (primary - Doublet)
MFJ-993B autotuner
  VHF 2m
UHF 70cm
2-50w
1-35w
1/4-wave Mag Mount

ICOM 2300h FM

VHF 2m

5/10/25/65w

Homebrew Hentenna - 1/2" copper
QYT KT8900 FM

VHF/UHF Mobile

10&25w 1/4-wave Mag Mount


Ailunce HD-1 DMR

Baofeng UV-82 FM
Baofeng UV-B5 FM

VHF/UHF Handheld

VHF/UHF Handheld


1/5/10w

1&5w
2&5w


Stock Antenna

Stock Antenna
Stock Antenna

 


First licensed in 1965 as a 5wpm Novice via the high school radio club, first call sign WN6NRM -- The club's novice station consisted of a Heathkit DX-20 transmitter (running at 50w input), a National HRO-50T receiver, and a 40m dipole antenna (used on 40 and 15 meters).  After the novice license expired, I made my way to the Los Angeles FCC office (the VE system was not yet established and all testing except Novice and Conditional licenses took place at the local FCC field office) and took the 13wpm Code and General Theory exam -- passed and received my new call, WB6VLM.  The club's General station consisted of R.L. Drake equipment -- T-4X transmitter, R-4A receiver, L-4B amplifier plus a 40' crankup tower topped with a Hy-Gain TH6DX triband beam -- a great station.  Once I went off to college, there was no ham club and with all the distractions of college life, I slowly fell away from the hobby and my licensed expired.  I entered the US Air Force upon graduation and it was off to pilot training. 

In the mid-1980s while living in Michigan, I heard about a Novice class that was about to start and decided to get back into ham radio. I took the class and again passed the Novice 5wpm code and theory exam receiving callsign KA8UCX.  A local ham was selling his Drake C-Line pair - T-4XC, R-4C, and the matching MS-4 speaker which held the transmitter's AC-4 power supply.  Reminding me of my early days operating the club Drake station, I purchased them.  That's the equipment pictured with me above. Within months of receiving my new call, my job moved me to California.  After several more moves, I again fell away from the hobby.  One more move to Virginia and after a few years, I retired from the military.  After training and certification, I started a new career in the world of computer data networks as a network engineer - the Internet was just becoming mainstream and all sizes of businesses were putting in data networks - nothing better than good timing.

Finally, in the summer of 2015, I entered the ranks of the retired and decided it was time to get back into the hobby again.  Licensing had changed -- the code requirements were gone, the question banks were published, and the exams were given locally by VEs.  I found out that there would be exams given in two-weeks at a location less than a mile from my home, I took that as motivation to study and take the Tech exam.  The material was still very familiar and being retired allowed me to devote study time every day.  With that license behind me, I learned that the same VE team gave exams monthly.  So, I decided to attempt the General and Extra exams the next month.  The General material also was still very familiar, the Extra material required most of my time and effort since much of it was new and/or more in-depth.  I took and passed both exams the next month.

I dusted off the old Drake equipment and started listening to the HF bands with the R-4C to re-familiarize myself with operating practices and propagation.  I also dusted off an old Radio Shack scanner and programmed the local repeater frequencies to listen to VHF/UHF activity.  I had never operated up there in the past - the equipment was out of reach for a high school student back then.  To get on the air, I decided to let the Drake equipment sit for future refurbishment and started looking at new equipment.  My first purchase was an Icom IC-2300h two-meter FM transceiver so I could begin using local repeaters.  For HF, I decided on the Icom IC-7100 - it met my wishlist for an all-purpose radio covering 160m thru 440mhz (sans 220mhz) plus D-star which I thought I might dabble in --  I also knew it wouldn't be too long before I would add a dedicated HF radio and the 7100 would make a good all-purpose backup radio plus all-mode VHF/UHF radio with potential as a portable/mobile radio. I enjoyed getting back on the HF bands using a multi-band, window-line fed 135' doublet wire antenna tuned with an autotuner.  I  experimented with several HF antennas... dipoles, a full wave horizontal loop, and end fed wires.  For 2-meters, I built a Hentenna and also a 2-element yagi, both out of half-inch copper pipe.  My first foray into VHF operating on a local repeater was very positive, meeting many wonderful people on the air. I am looking forward to exploring more aspects of the hobby, including some of the new digital modes and digital voice modes.

It took about a year and a half, but the latest addition is an Icom 7300.  In the meantime, I downsized and am now apartment bound with all the ham radio limitations that brings with it.  I have experimented with many different antennae but, alas, the building construction is reinforced concrete and masonry.  Thus far, it all seems to act like an RF-sponge/Faraday cage.  Experiments continue but have now shifted to mainly operating VHF from the apartment.  My primary repeater, K4US 146.655, is within sight out my balcony windows and  only about 4-miles distance -- no problem reaching it with any VHF radio from the apartment including HTs from inside.  For HF, operating has shifted to mainly "car and field portable" operating using the 7300 and/or 7100 in a portable rack box.

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Attended my first Contest University and Xenia Hamvention in 2018 and again in 2019.  Both were enjoyable experiences.  It was fun seeing all the equipment vendors and manufacurers and being able to see and touch the latest equipment.


Timeless words from the past about our hobby:

THE AMATEUR's CODE
BY
Paul M. Segal W9EEA
circa 1928

The Radio Amateur is:  
CONSIDERATE
Never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
 
LOYAL Offering loyalty, encouragement, and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE
With knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.
 
FRIENDLY With slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED
Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school, or community.
 
PATRIOTIC

With Station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

 


DXCode_Logo_small.png
DX Code Of Conduct

(equally applicable to Special Event chasing and Pile Ups in general)
 

I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.

I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.

I will not trust the DX cluster and will be sure of the DX station's call sign before calling.

I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.

I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.

I will always send my full call sign.

I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.

I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.

I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.

I will not transmit when the DX station requests geographic areas other than mine.

When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.

I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.

I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect. 


 

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