My Station and Equipment

Note: Site updated on 6/13/2023
My radio studio is remotely located from the main residence which is serviced by an AC power line and WiFi.

My primary rig is a Yaesu FT-710 AESS and my back up rig is a Ten Tec Eagle with either driving driving an Ameritron ALS-500M amplifier running 500 watts to an 80 meter Full Wave Delta Loop at 90 feet and also a 40 meter Double Bazooka at 53 feet. The mics are a Ten Tec Studio One, boom mounted, and a Blue Yeti USB Studio mic which can be switched in at the push of a button. I operate 9 computers of which four are in the ham shack. One is a home assembled MSI machine running Linux Mint 21.1 Vera with which I do my early morning daily internet surfing.

The other is a Microsoft Surface 3 running Windows 10 Home. I still use Windows only because I run JT Alert software which, so far, only runs in Windows. I'm living for the day that it runs in Linux! I operate the Win4Yaesu-Suite for the FT-710 and the N4PY cat control program for the Eagle. I can switch my Printer, keyboard, and mouse, back and forth between the two computers with the push of a switch. Both computers are connected to my WiFi system via wireless adapters to an Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 configured as an Access Point device running 1 watt output. This device has a radiation pattern of 60 degrees affording a range of up to 15 Kilometers (LOS) at full power output, thus providing solid connectivity to my 500 Mbps internet service. This setup gives me an internet speed of around 70 Mbps, or better, down and 12 Mbps, or better, up, according to Ookla.

Additional station accessories consist of an LDG AT-600 Pro II Automatic antenna tuner, a Taiwanese digital watt meter, a SignalLink USB digital interface, and a 24" as well as a 19" monitor.

My favorite band is 40 meters while the second is 17 meters. I can be found on any of the hf bands but normally on 7.214, 3.773 MHz or one of the FT 8 frequencies on 80, 40, 30, 20 17, 15, 12, 10 or 6 meters. My radio activity is, about 99.98 percent of the time, conducted in the mornings from around 6 to 9 a.m. Central Time.

Starting on January 15, 2017, I ran, and fell in love with, the JT65 mode and spent about 70 percent of my hamming time operating it with the balance on SSB. The popularity of JT65 was murdered by the FT 8 mode and contacts dwindled to practically zero. I had tried FT 8 but failed to catch the same enjoyment that I had found in JT 65. However, the lack of activity running the JT 65 mode finally drove me to committ myself to FT 8. On April 18, 2018, I started pursuing FT 8 contacts and fell in love with it. I had well over 1600 qso's logged via JT65 and have now logged well over 5,000 qsos via the FT8 mode as of 6/13/23. I have confirmed WAS with both LOTW as well as EQSL in both JT 65 and FT 8 modes and I have worked all continents in FT 8. I have more than 111 countries confirmed in eQSL and, although I also upload to LOTW, I don't track my QSL's and thus don't know how I stand on my WAS or DXCC's. I'm sure the numbers are greater there! Most all of my contacts, by the way, have been with 30 watts.

Computers are also an important part of my life. I find Linux to be far superior to Windows but still try to stay up on Windows to a fair extent. I replaced the Windows 7 OS on a small netbook with Raspberry Pi Buster and dedicated it to HamClock where it provides a great accessory to the shack operations. I then installed Raspberry Pi Buster on a second netbook and have it running 24/7 as my Pi-Hole server, which has turned out to be the best piece of equipment in the home network providing great web surfing with no popups or ads, thereby enriching our internet experience by a thousand percent, or so! I have a wireless print server providing wireless printing throughout the WiFi system as well as two Brother printers on the network.

I also have a media server running on Linux providing movies, video files and photos, on demand, throughout my home network. This also runs 24/7.

Our office desktop computer was home assembled originally running Windows 7 Pro. I updated this machine to Linux in 2015 and it is currently running Mint 21.2 Victoria with the Cinnamon desktop environment.

My laptop was originally running Windows 8.1 and then I upgraded to 10 and didn't care for either so I switched it over to Linux Mint 17.3, Rosa, then 18.3, Sylvia followed by Mint 19, Tara, then upgraded to 19.2 Tessa, then 19.3 Tricia and then 20.0 Ulyana, 20.1 Ulyssa, 20.2, then 20.3 Una followed by Mint 21.1 Vera and now running 21.2 Victoria. (Whew! That is a lot of upgrades!) I now run the Cinnamon Desktop Environment on all Mint system computers.

The software that I use for my FT-8 activities includes WSJT-X and JT Alert auto-uploading to EQSL and manually to LOTW,

About WA4HWN

I live in Dothan, Houston County, Alabama, having moved here on 5/1/2009 from Gaylesville, Cherokee County, Alabama. Prior residences, include Naples, FL (23 Years), Miami, FL (53 weeks, 2 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes and 19 seconds), about a year in San Jose and Alajuela, Costa Rica, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

I have held ham calls WN8UFV in Ohio, WA4ZYN in Kentucky, WB9KAV in Wisconsin and my present call, WA4HWN when I transferred to Naples, FL from Milwaukee, WI in 1973. Back in those days one had to change one's call when moving from one district to another.

I hold the Extra Class license, having started out with the Novice Class, and then sequentially progressed to the Technician Class, the General, the Advanced and, finally, the Extra Class.

I'm married to Carmen, who is a General Class licensee (WD4AGY)and am fortunate to have my eldest son, his wife and their two daughters licensed (Extra, General and Technician, respectively), as well as my youngest son who is also a Technician. That's seven hams in the immediate family. Also the husband of one of my grand daughters is licensed.

I spent 38 years in the insurance claims adjusting and management business, retired in 1996, then quickly got bored, and went to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an Insurance Specialist Supervisor and also as a Floodplain Manager. I spent 16 years with the Agency, leaving in December, 2012 after working on Hurricane Sandy in New York City. I, again, quickly became bored and went to work, part time, for the Wire Grass Humane Society, in Dothan working there until 4/5/2017.