Thomas D. Presley
QCWA # 37563
I am currently operating portable from Breckenridge, Colorado (DM69xn) at an elevation of about 9300 feet/2800 meters (between June 2, 2017 and June 23, 2017). I'm using an Icom 7300 for HF and a Scorpion screwdriver SA-680 antenna mounted at the back of my Jeep.
QSL INFORMATION: I QSL direct (upon request), via bureau, eQSL, LOTW, CLUBLOG, and HRDLOG on a regular basis (normally at the end of the day but no less than once a week). If you want a QSL card either send me an email, or a QSL card requsting one, and I will respond 100% of the time. I DO NOT need return postage, money, or a return envelope for my QSL card whether you are in the United States or DX. SWL (shortwave listeners) reports are welcome via eQSL. I'm still old fashioned in some regards and while confirming contacts electronically is fine, I always welcome a paper QSL card!
I was licensed in 1977 as a Novice in El Paso, TX as WD5GBS. My interest in ham radio began in 1975/1976 during the CB craze in the United States. During that time it seemed like everyone had a CB radio! I remember cutting many lawns to earn a few dollars to buy CB equipment. During my sophomore year in high school, my science teacher Bob Huffman (WD5EBV SK) agreed to sponsor a CB club at our high school. My lifelong friend Rick Davis (WD5EBU SK) and I started the club and it took off. But we wanted more and eventually the CB club became a ham radio club. Mr. Huffman "recruited" Bob Carroll (K5IE) and he became our Elmer. Bob volunteered his time and taught us what we needed to know to pass the Novice test. I remember Bob was an avid CW operator and I was amazed as his CW proficiency and at his Drake and Collins equipment as well as the huge tower (it was probably only 30 foot but it seemed huge at the time). Bob Carroll was an integral part of my future in ham radio that continues to the present day. I'm grateful to Bob for getting me started in ham radio. Bob is still around and still active on 20 meter CW.
After I passed the Novice test and got my license, I saved enough money to buy my first rig for $100.00. It consisted of a Hallicrafters HT-40 (75 watt crystal controlled) and my receiver was a Knight R-55 shortwave receiver. A few years later I upgraded to a National NCX-3 tri-band transceiver, and then my dream rig (at the time), a Kenwood TS-520S (1985) followed by a Kenwood TS-450SAT (1991).
After high school, I joined the military and spent the next 22 years serving as an Air Force Security Policeman and a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). I was fortunate to live in many far away places including the Republic of the Philippines(Clark Air Base, Angeles City), Germany (Bitburg Air Base), South Korea (Osan Air Base and Kunsan Air Base), Saudi Arabia (Dhahran and Riyadh) and Qatar (Doha) as well as many assignments throughout the United States. During my four year assignment in Germany, I was able to travel to many countries throughout Europe and I experienced the history, culture, food and the people! I operated as DA1UT in Germany and HL9TP in South Korea. I was also a volunteer AF MARS operator (AFA7PY) between 1987 and 1991 while I was stationed in Germany.
After I retired from the military in 2001, my family and I settled back in my home state of Texas. I worked as a police officer and crimes against persons detective for the next 14 years and then decided it was time to retire and enjoy life. I still do some investigative consulting work on a part-time contract basis, but most of my free time is spent riding my Harley Davidson, traveling in our new Tiffin motorhome, and playing radio!
I have a decent station today compared to what I had back in the 70's but I'm limited by my antenna as I live in a neighborhood that has antenna restrictions. I've come up with a decent antenna setup which is a Scorpion SA-680 screwdriver antenna (http://www.scorpionantennas.com). It's designed to be a mobile antenna, but I've installed it on a tripod in my backyard using Ron's (NI7J) home installation kit. Its behind my 8 foot privacy fence and that keeps it discretely hidden from the HOA police. It works quite well!. I also have an attic mounted MFJ-1788 magnetic loop (40-15 meters) and a LNR Precision EF- Quad which don't perform nearly as well as the Scorpion SA-680.
Here is my primary equipment at home:
Transceiver: Yaesu FTDX-5000MP (my new toy... an ICOM IC-7300 as a backup)
Amplifiers: Ameritron AL-80B
Antenna: Scorpion SA-680 screwdriver antenna mounted on a tripod about five feet off the ground.
Antenna Tuner: Palstar AT2K antenna tuner
Mobile and in my motorhome: Icom IC-7000 and a Scorpion SA-680; for DSTAR/2m/70cm & HF: Icom ID-51a, Icom ID-5100a, and Icom IC-7100.
Portable and field ops: Elecraft KX-3, KXPA100 and PX3, or Yaesu FT817ND with multiple LNR Precision wire antennas at 40 feet using Spiderbeam fiberglass masts. Power supplied by Buddipole LifePo4 batteries and solar panels.
I'm interested in chasing DX and light contesting but I don't consider myself to be an avid contester. I work SSB and have recently begun exploring some of the digital modes including PSK-31, JT65 and JT9. I don't know what the attraction is, but I find them to be a lot of fun. My code proficiency is seriously lacking compared to what I was capable of 40 years ago but my plan is to increase my code proficiency and get back into CW. I remember how much I loved that mode when it was the only mode I could operate as a novice.
December 20, 2017