N7ELB - James L. 'Jim' Schmitt N7ELB

James L. 'Jim' Schmitt
Aloha, OR

QCWA # 31603

I was originally licensed as a Novice in Portland, Oregon in 1958 as KN7ETL at age 15. For history buffs the Novice license at that time was a CW only license with privileges on very small segments of 80, 40, 15 and (I think) 10 meters with a very low power input limit, valid for a one year period and was nonrenewable - you upgraded or died. The Novice did have voice privileges on a small segment of 2 meters but that segment was pretty much ignored by the 'upper' class hams in some (most?) areas of the country. All Novice transmitters had to be crystal controlled; the VFO was the province of the upper class. I remember my first transmitter was a World Radio Labs Globe Scout 680A - wish I still had it - and my first receiver was a Hallicrafters followed by a National Radio receiver ' couldn't afford the Hammarlund receiver that I lusted for.

I upgraded in 1959 (K7ETL) after moving to Boise, Idaho still using the equipment I had as a Novice. Then the hormones kicked in as this high schooler discovered the opposite sex. I also obtained my First-Class Radio Telephone operators license because I worked at a commercial TV, AM and FM broadcast station and also became a licensed private pilot. Somehow I even managed to graduate high school and prepared to move back to Oregon to attend college.

It was while I was in college that I allowed both my ham and commercial tickets to expire (VERY STUPID!!!). I had married and we had our first child: Family, classes and job had higher priorities (VERY SMART!!!).

After college graduation, I played the corporate gypsy game for several years moving from Oregon to the Los Angeles area then to Kansas City and Wichita before saying 'to hell' with that life style. At that point (1974) I moved back to Oregon and have been here ever since. I remarried in 1976 and have been with the same beautiful woman ever since (VERY SMART!!!).

I relicensed as a Novice (KA7DVG) in 1976 and, although not being active on the ham bands, in 1987 I took the trip to the FCC field office to take the exam for what ultimately became known as the Technician Plus license (N7ELB). During that time and continuing until I decided to reactivate and get back on the ham HF bands I was very active on CAP- USAF traffic nets, flying transport and search missions and as Wing Commander for the CAP. I upgraded to Extra (N7ELB) in 2001 and have never looked back.

I'm proud to say that since 2001 I have qualified for DXCC (mixed, phone and 15 meters), WAC, WAS (basic, phone, digital and RTTY; 40m, 20m, 17m, 15m and 10m) (still working on 80m, 30m, 12m, 6m and CW - not 160m capable yet, but we.ll see) as well as WPX (mixed, phone and digital). Still need 3 zones for WAZ. I.m not an avid contester but do participate occasionally on a part time basis - I can only tolerate the QRM & QRN for limited durations. I.m a member of the ARRL, WVDXC, 3905 CCN, 10 . 10, DMC, EPC, 070 and OMISS groups operating Phone, Digital (PSK, RTTY & JTx) with some CW mixed in (my body no longer allows me to properly control a key anymore and I am a lousy typist!!!) For a couple of years, I was the 'E' section sorter for the W7 Incoming DX QSL Bureau. I completely retired from the commercial world (2010) and I truly enjoy being a HAM RADIO OPERATOR! The XYL and the kids are not interested but there is a glimmer of hope with a couple of the grand kids - Grandpa and Dad are both hams, they like that.

My station has become more elaborate as time has evolved. It.s still a work in progress, consisting of a Kenwood TS-2000, a SignaLink USB for digital modes, Heil Gold Line mic, Heil ProSet Plus headset and a Vibroplex keyer. Also in the shack is an ACOM 1500 amp and a Palstar HF-AUTO tuner to give me greater operating flexibility from occasional QRP to occasional QRO and a broader choice of antennae. For VHF/UHF I use a Kenwood TM-D700A(G) and a Kenwood TH-D7A(G) in conjunction with the TS-2000. If I might operate portable I can use the Kenwood Sky Command II features to relax (fishing maybe) and still operate on the HF bands.

As much as possible I utilize computers for the operation and control of my station. I have a complete host / client network at home with several work stations, three of which are dedicated full time to the station. I have set up my own local cloud storage as well as a remote cloud storage for all our data needs . the XYL even uses the cloud.

Until recently we have been very much into the RV lifestyle and fishing for salmon, steelhead, trout, halibut, dungenous crab and a variety of clams - now it.s .hoteling. and fishing (??) - maybe I.ll set up a remote connection so I can still operate from home while I travel. Like I said, 'a work in progress!' Hi Hi

Thanks for viewing this rambling dissertation.

Jim, N7ELB

January 18, 2017