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New license tag

20141108_130950[1]Two things in life give me pride — my military service and my amateur radio service. Years ago, I had special state-issued amateur radio tags with my call letters. But after getting a Bronze Star tag a number of years ago, had to give up the call letters. Recently, Norman, N4NH (thanks, Norman!) pointed out I could have BOTH! It came today. A combination Bronze Star / call letter tag! (in NC this only works if you have a 1x2 call, total 4 characters). --W5VE

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MARS Station, AB8AAR, Vietnam, 1969


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New QSL Card

QSL card design … amateur radio operators confirm contacts with each other by exchanging ‘QSL’ cards. I needed one for my new ham call, W5VE. And what’s the use of having amazing graphic skills (or at least a copy of Photoshop) if you can’t design your own. So, here we go.



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2014 Shelby Hamfest!


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My 51-year-old Morse Code Key

20140821_094057[1]Operating Morse code 51 years ago … Last week I found my first telegraph key. Remember buying it at Freck Radio Supply in Asheville for $3.95. It still works great. The key is shown here on my WN4NUO novice class log book with the page for 8-20-63 showing. I soon upgraded and got the call WA4NUO, which I kept to last May. then stepped up to my present 1x2 call, W5VE.

Some people say CW (Morse code) is obsolete but it still gets messages through when all other modes fail.

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Ham Radio Payload to Circle the Moon

moon “A lunar flyby with a ham radio payload transmitting JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz is expected to take place toward the end of this year, giving earthbound radio amateurs the opportunity to receive some otherworldly DX signals as the payload flies around the Moon.

China has announced plans to launch a lunar orbiter carrying a 14 kg battery-powered payload known as 4M-LXS, which was developed at LuxSpace. Signals from the Amateur Radio payload can be decoded using the free WJST software by Joe Taylor, K1JT.

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will land on the moon, collect samples, and return to Earth. The launch, planned for 4th quarter 2014, is aimed at testing technologies that are vital for the success of the spacecraft. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit and then perform a lunar flyby before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere after 9 days. The orbiter, which arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan, on Sunday, August 10, has been transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. — Thanks to AMSAT-UK ..." ... http://www.arrl.org/news/ham-radio-payload-to-circle-the-moon

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Knight-Kit T-60 Transmitter

In 1963, my first ham radio transmitter. Still in high school, I worked and scrounged enough to buy this baby. It came in kit-form and took me a week or so to build... and it WORKED. So when my first license from the FCC arrived, WN4NUO, I was ready! Made a lot of contacts. Great rig.


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ARRL at 100: A Century of Ham Radio

A 30-minute video. Enjoy!


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EchoLink Presentation

Presented at my home ham radio club, W4MOE WCARS in Asheville NC on 7-3-14.


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DL4RR, best mobile ever!

M113 APCMy best mobile setup ever. In the 3rd Armored Div. in Germany in 1967-68, I was assigned (as the radio operator) to a M577 command track (like the one pictured). We had both HF and UHF on board, including teletype. I was WA4NUO then but also in Germany I held the callsign DL4RR. I made lots of contacts on lonely boring nights while out on training exercises. Only time I got in trouble was over an East German QSL card that came in the mail and some busybody reported me. Luckily, the investigating officer's father was a ham and he understood. 😉

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AB8AAR MARS station, Vietnam


AB8AAR, Quan Loi, Vietnam

This is the story of my ham radio experience under fire in ground combat.

I served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, 1968-70. During most of that time I was first the assistant operations sergeant (E-5), 2nd BN, 7th Cavalry (George Armstrong Custer’s old outfit), then promoted to Order of Battle Specialist for 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (callsign: Cold Steel 2 Mike Delta). Tactical intelligence. Had a “good” war. Did not get wounded and won the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, some other decorations.

Getting close to rotating home, the Army offered what I thought was a real deal ...

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