WB8NUT - Operator/Station Background


I was first licensed in late 1972 as WN8NUT (Novice Class). At that time, the Novice Class license expired after two years. Not wanting to lose my ham radio license, but also not very proficient in CW, I decided to upgrade to Technician. I upgraded to Technician in 1974, and my call was changed to WB8NUT.

At that time Technicians did not have any HF privileges, so all my time was spent on 6 and 2 meters. I really fell in love with 6 meters, operating principally on 50.4 using AM.

The family moved to St. Louis in 1986 after McDonnell Douglas (now known as Boeing) transferred me there. Around that same time Technicians were given access to the 10 meter voice band. Sun spots were hopping at that time and I was getting my first taste of real DX. I had to increase my CW speed so I could pass the 13 wpm test and upgrade to General. On a business trip to Houston, I picked up some CW tapes at a downtown ham store, studied very hard and passed the 13 wpm CW test in June of 1987 at the Egyptian Hamfest in Illinois.

While living in St. Louis, I almost Worked All States. Actually got up to 46 states. But we moved back to Cincinnati in 1990 and that pretty much started the process all over again. In February 2002, I finally achieved WAS. I was able to get my WAC certificate while I lived in St. Louis. I recently reached 103 confirmed countries and submitted the QSL cards to the ARRL for DXCC. On September 26, 2003, I was awarded DXCC certificate #39,162. I am currently working on WAS RTTY endorsement and WAS Digital endorsement and only a few states yet to achieve those endorsements. In late 2011 I received a second all-mode WAS award just using the ARRL LOTW system. In 2012 I received another award for WAS using Digital only. In early 2013, I received a fourth award for WAS using only the JT-65 digital mode. So now I have one WAS award achieved using traditional paper QSL cards, and three WAS awards that used all digital QSL cards!

I am active on HF on all bands except 160. Rigs are a Kenwood TS-590S, Flexradio 1500 SDR Radio with THP Amplifier, Yaesu FT-817 (QRP), Ten-Tec Argonaut V (QRP), MFJ 9420 (QRP), various FM VHF and UHF transceivers and handhelds for 2 meters, 220 and 440; Icom V82, ID-51A and IC-92AD handhelds for D-Star plus an ID-880H for D-Star from the shack. I also use an Alinco DR-235 for FM on 220Mhz. HF antenna is a 6-Band (6BTV) vertical and a tri-band (10, 15, 20) dipole.

Many years ago I jumped aboard the digital bandwagon and operate on the more popular digital modes like PSK31, MFSK, and Hellschreiber. FeldHell (a Hellschreiber mode) is my favorite mode on HF with most of my activity on 80 and 20 meters. I primarily now use Ham Radio Deluxe/DM-780, but will occasionally use the MixW, FLDigi and MultiPSK software for all the new soundcard digital modes including SSTV. You can find me on 14.070 (PSK31), 14.076 (JT-65) 14.063 (Hellschreiber), 14.080 (MFSK) and 14.230 (SSTV). I also use JT-65HF for low power digital contacts using the JT-65 mode. In fact, as of February 2013, I achieved WAS using just JT-65 and all contacts confirmed on LoTW.

All of my software for digital modes runs on a Hewlett-Packard computer system with a quad-core Intel processor and 6GBs of memory and Windows 7. I needed a beefy computer since I run so many amateur related software applications at the same time. For example, on most days I have the AGWPE Pro application for connecting to several TNCs at the same time, APRSIS32 for APRS tracking, DVAR Hotspot for the D-Star hotspot, D-RATS or D-Chat for D-Star texting, and using the digital programs of DM-780 (Ham Radio Deluxe), MultiPSK and MixW, I still have processing power to spare.

Below are some sample SSTV pictures that I received using the JVCOMM32 program.

SSTVoneSSTVtwoSSTVthree(these samples are 25% of the actual size)

As previously noted I am active on APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System). My home APRS packet station is on continuously on 144.39 Mhz and serves as a fill-in digipeater for the Eastern Cincinnati and an IGate (Internet Gateway) for the entire Greater Cincinnati area. My APRS digi station consist of a Kantronics KPC3+ TNC connected to Kenwood D710 for digipeating through the International Space Station (ISS) and the built-in TNC running in APRS mode for the local APRS network. Software controlling the APRS station is APRSIS32 as it is the only APRS program that can interface to the Kenwood D710's internal TNC when in APRS mode. An APRS mobile station is now installed in my Saturn Aura using either an ID-51A with built-in GPS receiver using D-PRS (gated to the APRS network) or a Kenwood TH-D72 with a built-in TNC and GPS receiver. Anytime you want to see where I might be, just go to http://aprs.fi/wb8nut-14 or http://aprs.fi/wb8nut-7 (mobile APRS station may be off the air at times).

Field Day 1998 from the backyard

When the weather is nice, I love operating outside on the back patio. In 1998 I participated in Field Day using QRP and battery power on the patio. If you are interested in seeing pictures of my Field Day '98 (QRP of course!) operation (I can't believe it was that long ago since the last time I operated Field Day from the house). Here is a picture the XYL took of my patio Field Day Operation.

fieldday98

Memberships:

GQRP Club - 8452
American Radio Relay League (the organization every ham should join)
Fists - 9920
Flying Pigs QRP - 464
Feld Hell Club - 75
OMISS - 4383
SMIRK - 5279
TAPR - 8639
Ten-Ten - 45041
PODXS 070 Club - 172

Current Operating Awards:

WAC - Isn't this everyone's first award?
WAS - Using 100% paper QSL cards
WAS - Using 100% LoTW Electronic QSLs
WAS - All Digital
WAS - All JT65
WAS - All RTTY
DXCC - Mixed
DXCC - Phone
DXCC - 10 Meter Band
WPX - Mixed
WPX - Digital
WPX - Mixed North America
WPX - Digital North America

I QSL 100% using standard postcard QSLs or via LOTW.

Please feel free to use the Contact Page to send me a note.