Larry F. Skilton
South Windsor, CT
QCWA # 36771
I was first licensed in July of 1958 in Morris CT. During the first 7 years I worked mostly 2M AM with mostly home brew equipment. In 1965 I got active on 2M SSB and HF. I used a BC-610 military transmitter and a R-388 military receiver to start with. It was a great rig on AM in those days. In 1967 I got my first commercial radio a Drake T4X R4 receiver. Now running a IC-7800(NOV 2008), L7(USED FOR 20 + YRS), (Replaced with PW-1 Dec 2014) 4&5 element quad antenna (1995). Just added a 6M 4 element quad on July 12 2011. Made it 6 element in Nov 2012. Heath SB221 Modified for 6M (DEC 2011) (Now PW-1)
In the late 60's I became interested in repeater operation. I set up a 2M AM repeater in My back yard on the MARS frequencies. 143.95 out . 148.125 input. This repeater covered almost all of CT and RI and some of the islands off Ma. My back yard was 1150 ft above sea level a wonderful VHF UHF location.
I got married in 1968 to a woman I had met on 2M 10 years before and moved to South Windsor Ct. At this time I pretty much gave up all HF work and worked only repeaters, I got very involved with repeater clubs and the technical part of setting up repeaters. I joined the PVRA repeater club in 1974, 3 years after it was started and have been on the Board of Directors until 2008 except for a 3 year stretch in the 70's.. I was President for about 10 years on and off. The club runs 15 repeaters, links etc and has had a membership of as high as 500 members. With the proliferation of repeaters and the addition of the 145 section many have formed their own little groups so membership is down to the 200 region now.
The HF bug really bit me again in 1989 and I started to put a station together. In 1990 I got on with substantial antennas, a Kenwood TS-830S, Heath SB221, and a lot of operating time. I changed the transciever to a FT-1000D in 1994. I started with a 88 ft tower and several mono band yagies. Sometime the next year I started a relationship with the station at the South Pole. KC4AAA . I stared a nightly schedule to run phone patches and traffic . I continued that schedule until 2002. During that time The stations at Palmer Station (KC4AAC) and McMurdo Station (KC4USV) became regulars with the group that had formed on 14.243. Another station started with me in Iowa, N0OJO. She handled the traffic when I couldn't hear or I was gone. Glenna really cultivated some long lasting friendships with the Antarctic group. Glenna's husband retired in the middle 90's and they left Iowa and I continued on until 2002. At that time their internet equipment upgraded enough and the technology increased enough that the use mostly voice over IP which took away almost completely the need for phone patches. Prior to that I was running about 500-600 phone patches a season. (Sept.-Mar.) Plus other types of traffic. I have been the QSL manager for KC4AAA, KC4AAC, and KC4USV since 2000. I try my best to get the cards out but logs are slow in coming and many contacts are not even logged so if you work them work them again on another night to make sure.
The National Science Foundation has rewarded my 11 + years of continuous nightly service to the Antarctic group by naming a geographic area there after me. It is called Skilton Ledge. As far as I know I am the only Ham that never went there to have this done for them. I consider this a great honor.
Presently I am still quite active. My present equipment is IC-7800 (put on the air 10-30-2008 ) (used a FT-1000 from 1995) a Drake L7(replaced with PW-1 DEC 2014) amp and the antenna is a large Quad. It is 4 ele on 15, 17, and 20 and 5 ele on 10, and 12. It is 33 ft long and the boom is at 80 FT. Custom built by Lightning Bolt Antennas in 1995. (ALMOST NO MAINTANCE UNTILL OCT 2011). I added a 6 meter ant in July 2011 and a KING CONVERSIONS 1500W 6M amp in Dec 2011. (replaced with PW-1 DEC 2014)
I also had been a Firefighter for over 54 years (43 in So. Win.). I joined the fire service in 1958. I retired as a Deputy Chief with the South Windsor Ct Fire Dept. I had held that position for 30 years. I was a line officer. I retired from that on March 11 2012. All had been with a volunteer Dept.
AS OF JUNE 30, 2011, I AM RETIRED FROM MY REGULAR JOB (AGE 71).
AS OF MARCH 11 2012, I AM RETIRED FROM THE SOUTH WINDSOR FIRE DEPT. AFTER 54 YRS OF FIRE SERVICE 43 WITH S. WINDSOR, 30 YEARS AS DEPUTY CHIEF (AGE 72). NOW I CAN BE ON THE AIR ANYTIME I WANT.
73 to all
Look for me on 17 or 12 mostly but I might be on any band SSB, DIGITAL, LITTLE CW
November 27, 2015