Sunday, May 29, 2005
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Monday, April 18, 2005
Monday, March 28, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Circa 1969 "Ham Radio" QSL postcard. "QSL" is the radio signal meaning: "I am acknowledging receipt.". Hams send these cards to each other in the snail mail after they make a radio contact. This is a "picture" QSL postcard which showed off my rig. My station was an American made R.L. Drake "C line" with R4B and T4XB receiver and transmitter. This rig allowed me to contact stations around the world. Also in the picture is a Heathkit "electronic keyer" which was primitive and prone to errors but made higher speed morse possible. Also visible is a Heathkit "twoer" VHF transciever that put out about 1/2 a watt on 145Mhz AM. With a homebrew 7 element Yagi antenna I routinely worked stations in Fort Walton Beach, Florida about 40 miles away with the "twoer". The microphone you can barely see was from an Ampex reel to reel tape recorded that I lifted from my dad's Hi-Fi system. It worked fine. Also visible is an electric 24 hour clock (in front of the "twoer") set to GMT. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the international time standard. It is the current term for what was commonly referred to as Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT). Zero (0) hours UTC is midnight in Greenwich England, which lies on the zero longitudinal meridian. Universal time is based on a 24 hour clock, therefore, afternoon hours such as 4 pm UTC are expressed as 16:00 UTC (sixteen hours, zero minutes). Some military refer to UTC as "zulu time".
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Florida Gator holding Florida Gator
This photo was taken in the Florida Everglades in January 1990. I was having a holiday between semesters with 2 female German language teachers who were teaching at the University of Florida. They were from Germany and we went to Key West and Miami. They didn't like fast food, which made it expensive for me, but I learned a lot anyway.
Vanus in 1971. After spring 1969 when I graduated from Pensacola High School, my family moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I enrolled at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College to pursue Electrical Engineering, but I wasn't prepared for the demands. The faculty at OWJC were mostly retired Air Force officers and many students were in school to get a draft deferment because the Vietnam War required cannon fodder. In order to avoid the draft you either went to Canada, or did well in College. The professors knew that so they made it difficult to pass. I managed a C in Chemistry I, and a B in Applied Mathematics, but was failing some others, so I changed my major to Music in the fall of 1971. In spring 1972 I withdrew from college and joined the Navy. My draft lottery number was drawn after I enlisted and I got number 411, which means I never would have been drafted, but I'm glad it turned out like it did because I enjoyed the Navy. I never stopped wanting the degree in Electrical Engineering so I took up the quest again in 1986 and graduated at age 41 in 1993.
Morse code on the flashing light. I was a radioman on the U.S.S. Alamo LSD-33, and a proficient morse code operator, so I enjoyed chatting with the signalmen on other ships. I joined the navy on 13 June 1972 and was released from active duty on 25 May 1976. I spent 14 weeks in radioman "A" school, and 9 weeks in teletype maintenance "C" school. My first duty station was at the navy radio station (callsign: NPN) Finegayan, Guam where I was a morse code communicator. That was loads of fun. I "worked" lots of "merchant ships" as well as our submarines. While I was studying teletype repair in San Diego, I went ahead and qualified for specialty number 2342 morse code proficiency, which required 22 words per minute receive on a manual typewriter. The highest speed code requirement ever required for an Extra class amateur radio license is 20 words per minute, that requirement has been reduced to 13 w.p.m. When I was in the navy I planned to become a merchant marine radio operator when my enlistment ended, but although I got a merchant seaman's "Z" card from the U.S. Coast Guard, I never got a commercial radio license and took up welding instead. That's a good thing because morse was dead just a few years later.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
I'm the one kneeling. This photo was taken at WCOA radio station in Pensacola, Florida. I was involved in "Junior Achievement" and we had a company called "Voice of Achievement". We met weekly to produce a show that aired on Sunday afternoons. The date on the magazine is January, 1968, which makes me 16 years old at the time. That's the same year I taught myself morse code.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
On May 1, 1993 I graduated from U.F. I began pursuing the degree in 1986, the year I returned from Australia. I enrolled at Pensacola Junior College in the fall of '86 and began my studies at U.F. in the Fall of 1989. The reason it took me so long to graduate is because I worked every other semester as a "co-op" student at Gulf Power Company in Pensacola to earn money for school.
Friday, December 31, 2004
Soon after I arrived in Australia on 15 June, 1979, I took a job as a Boiler Maker. Shortly after that I heard an ad on the radio for Control Data Institute. I fell in love with the idea right away and quickly enrolled. Upon graduated, I was offered a COBOL programming job at American Express in Sydney. I really enjoyed working there. I had an interest in computers, beginning while I was aboard U.S.S. Alamo where I built a Sinclair Scientific calculator from a kit, but I didn't really know a programming language until I attended the six month course at CDI. I took eight months to complete the course because I wanted to get my AU $3,700 worth.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Thursday, November 25, 2004
This was my hamshack in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. I had several different call signs in the land of OZ, but the one I made the most contacts with was VK2DJF. The computer was an Apple II. I made the computer stand out of aluminum. It featured glass shelves. On the shelf above the keyboard is an external floppy drive.