DXCC – WAS – WAC -WPX
I am an Amateur Extra Class Amateur Radio operator in Dalton, Georgia (Whitfield County), and have been licensed since 1989. My first call was KC4MWH followed by N4XOG. Dalton is in northwest Georgia approximately 30 miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and approximately 90 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. Northwest Georgia is known as the Carpet Capital of the World, and much of the U.S. carpet production takes place in and around this area. Dalton is home to the Dalton Amateur Radio Club (W4DRC) which presents one of the southeast’s premier hamfests, every year on the fourth Saturday in February. The DARC is a non-profit organization, and an American Radio Relay League Special Services Club. The DARC has a long tradition of serving northwest Georgia in many capacities. For more information about the DARC, please visit the club Facebook page or the club website.
Although in recent years I have been less involved in local amateur radio activities, I am the past President of the DARC, and have served as the Emergency Coordinator (Whitfield and Murray Counties) and the District Emergency Coordinator (Northwest Georgia) for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. I have also served as a Volunteer Counsel for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). In 1992, I traveled to south Florida to provide amateur radio assistance in the wake of the Hurricane Andrew disaster. An article about this trip was published in the December, 1992 issue of QST, the official publication of the ARRL. I have also served in a number of capacities in the Dalton Chapter of the American Red Cross, including Disaster Committee Chair and local Chair of the Board. The Red Cross, both locally, regionally and nationally, has always partnered with amateur radio in times of need.
In the past, I have been active on the Geratol net and earned Geratol number 2598 and Director Number 708.
As of 2019, I have been continuously licensed as a ham for 30 years. After being a ham for 25 years I decided to join the Quarter Century Wireless Association (“QCWA”) and was given QCWA #36339.
The Ham Shack
For HF in the ham shack, I currently operate a Icom IC-7851 and an Icom IC-7300 as my backup rig. I love the IC-7851 and it has one of the very best receivers I have ever heard! I use an Electro Voice RE27ND mic the IC-7851. I don’t use any outboard audio processing equipment and am very satisfied with the customization available in the IC-7851 settings.
When I need a few extra S-units, I use an Icom IC-PW1. This is a wonderful SO2R amp that is tightly integrated with the Icom HF radios!
One of the biggest dilemmas for my operating position is the speaker to use with my radios. After a bit of research, I decided to try two Voice Master speakers. These speakers produce the best sounding audio I have ever heard coming from my various radios. Because these speakers are very large, I decided to use them for all of my audio (HF, VHF, UHF, D-Star and scanner) and therefore connected both speakers and all equipment through a Peavy PV-10 mixer and small Pyle Pro amplifier that I had sitting around the shack gathering dust. The result is great sounding audio from all sources and the ability to control and blend the audio from each source from one location. I also use a Radiosport headset from time to time. I recently acquired a Inrad W1 headset with boom mic and am very pleased with how it performs.
A big part of the station is the computer that serves as an integral part of radio control and runs various other ham radio applications. I put together a system consisting of a Micro Center PowerSpec G412. This system is well equipped as follows:
- Intel Core i7-4770K Processor 3.5GHz
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
- 16GB DDR3-1600 RAM
- 2TB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
- 120GB Solid State Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
I run the system with a 42 inch LG monitor so all of the ham radio applications fit nicely on the large screen. This monitor also has several HDMI inputs for use with radio video out ports and other video sources. This computer has become the heart and soul of my logging and DX spotting operations. My favorite software for logging and DX related functions is DX Lab. This free software suite is very impressive and offers rig control, logging, DX spotting and many more features. Not only is this software free and feature-rich, it has some of the best customer support I have ever seen.
A recent move to 1.75 acres with no restrictive covenants has allowed me to greatly improve the antenna farm. I currently have a 55 foot self-supporting Rohn 55G tower. On the tower, I have a JK Antennas Force 12 XR6 multi band beam (great antenna!) and a Comet GP9 vertical for VHF/UHF operations. I use an Alfa Spid Rak rotor with a Green Heron Engineering control box.
On a separate 30 foot pole, I have a Comet CX-333 tri-band antenna for use as a back up and with other radios. For additional HF operation I have a G5RV at 50 feet and a 246 foot OCF dipole for top band use. I also use a Pixel Technologies RF PRO-1B receive loop (now sold by DX Engineering). This receive-only antenna is fantastic and is connected with a splitter to the IC-7851, Icom IC-R8600 and an SDR Play RSP Duo.
Two of my favorite accessories in the shack are the LP-100A Digital Vector Wattmeter and the Array Solutions Power Master II. I use a Palstar HF-Auto tuner with the G5RV and the OCF dipole.
For Dstar, VHF and UHF in the shack I use an Icom IC-9700 with a Heil PR-781 mic. I also use a Kenwood TM-742A for 2 meters, 440 mHz and 220 mHz with a Heil PR-781 mic . For portable operation, I use Icom’s 51A Plus 50th Anniversary Edition HT for 2 meter and 440 operation, and to play with D-Star either directly or though my computer connected DVAP. You can learn more about my D-Star activities on my D-Star page.
I like to play with APRS, and recently interfaced an Alinco DR-135 Mark III with a Microtelecom WX3IN1+. I use AB4BJ-2 (mobile), AB4BJ-10 (shack) and AB4BJ-15 (weather).
Thanks for stopping by.
(Page updated on December 3, 2019)