I’ve had a lifelong interest in ham radio, but it wasn’t until November 1997 that I decided to sit for my Technician license. I was in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, when I decided to study to get my license. After earning the system-assigned callsign KD5COL, I really didn’t do too much with my license. I was given a new Yaesu FT-2800M as a present and had it in my computer room in the early 2000s (I didn’t own a car then). I didn’t do much else on the air until 2008 when I decided to upgrade to my General license.
I then got on the air a little bit until I moved to Tennessee in January 2009. I was able to get a proper shack set up and built my first real antenna, a G5RV Junior. That little antenna has served me very well. I had a new ICOM IC-718 but had to sell it. I later bought an ICOM IC-735 and an ICOM IC-706MKII. I’ve traded off the IC-735 but still have the 706 and I still use my original G5RV Junior antenna occasionally. My current daily rig is a Yaesu FT-450D (100W normally) going to a MFJ-969 Versa Tuner Deluxe II antenna matcher out to an 84′ EFHW at 20′. I also have a Kenwood TS-430S I picked up at a very good price. It’s in storage right now.
I enjoy working SSB on 12 through 80 meters currently. I chase DX and sometimes I am DX depending on my mood. I like collecting paper (receiving QSL cards and certificates) from special event stations. A good ragchew is always enjoyable. I am an avid shortwave listener when I am not actively on the air. I’d like to learn CW one of these days. I do have a Signalink that I’d like to start using. I just need to get it set up for the 450D.
I really like providing public communications, such as races, parades, and the like. I’m a Legionnaire (member of The American Legion). I am also a member of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club or TALARC. I am a certified weather spotter for the National Weather Service in the SKYWARN program. I am in District 7 (TN) SKYWARN but am an inactive member at this time due to my job taking up nearly all of my time.
Occasionally, I like to pack up my little station and head out into the Appalachian Mountains to operate when I get a chance. Out here, there’s plenty of places to operate and be in peace.
I enjoy building my own antennas, mainly wire ones, and experimenting with them.
I use N3FJP’s Amateur Contact Log as my main logging program. I have his entire suite of ham radio programs registered.
Besides ham radio, I enjoy computer programming, running my bulletin board system (BBS), cooking, baking, reading, hiking, “shadetree” mechanics, listening to music, and going for drives out in the woods with my four-wheel-drive SUV.
My cat, Felix, occasionally will grant me permission to stay on the radio for long periods of time as long I promise to keep his food and water bowls full.