AB1OC By The Tower

Member Spotlight – Fred, AB1OC

What is your background?

I am a Purdue University graduate (MSEE) and I spent most of my working life at AT&T Bell Laboratories/Lucent where I worked on Wireless Systems, Broadband Access, Data Networking and VoIP products in a variety of engineering and business management roles. I also served as the Chief Technology Officer for a  mid-sized VoIP and Wireless company in Dallas, TX for about 7 years.

When did you become licensed and build your first station?

I have wanted to be involved in Amateur Radio since I was about 8 years old. Growing up in a rural area of Pennsylvania, I did not have anyone who could really help me to learn code and become licensed. School, work, and other things took up most of my attention until late in 2010 when I looked seriously at Amateur Radio again and decided to earn my license.

AB1OC/AB1QB Shack
AB1OC/AB1QB Shack

Anita, AB1QB and I built our home station in 2012. The project included a 100 ft tower which covers all of the bands from 160m through 70cm and a dedicated shack which is set up for multi-one contesting and DXing. We added a satellite ground station and equipment for EME late in 2012.

Our Mobile HF Station
Our Mobile HF Station

In 2015, we built our Mobile HF station. I enjoy working DX, running counties and doing special events like National Parks on the Air using Mobile HF. I am QRV on all bands from 160m through 10m in the mobile. We also have 2m/70cm FM setups in both of our vehicles.

What do you like to do most with Amateur Radio?

I really enjoy station and antenna building. I also enjoy Field Day, Contesting, Space Communications and Mobile HF.

Tuning the 6M Yagi
Tuning a 6M Yagi

I enjoy helping others to learn about and have fun with Amateur Radio. Finally, I am the NH State Manager for the Thirteen Colonies Special Event and I have a lot of fun every year operating during the Thirteen Colonies Special Event.

Presentation at the Dayton Contest Forum

I also enjoy speaking about Amateur Radio station building and related topics at Hamvention and club meetings. I have had the opportunity to speak on these topics on many occasions including at our and other clubs meetings, and at  Boxboro, Dayton and the ARRL 100th Anniversary Hamvention.

I write also write a Blog about Amateur Radio Station Building and related topics. This is a great way to encourage and help others to do Amateur Radio projects similar to the one that we have enjoyed.

Satellite Station Antennas
Satellite Station Antennas

Recent projects include portable HF and Satellite stations which we built to share at club events, license class, and GOTA opportunities. I am also working on learning CW.

AB1OC Operating In CW WPX SSB
AB1OC Operating In CQ WPX SSB

I have been fortunate to do a lot of operating in the 5 1/2 years since becoming licensed.

What are some of your most memorable experiences in connection with Amateur Radio?

Early in 2012, my company provided a trip to Bora Bora Island in French Polynesia. Anita suggested that we take a radio and portable antenna on the trip and do a holiday style DXpedition.

QSL Card from FO/AB1OC and FO/AB1QB from Bora Bora

We had almost no SSB phone experience prior to this trip. The response (and the pile-ups) were amazing on Bora Bora and I was able to earn a Worked All States from French Polynesia in just 5 days of operating from there. I came home totally hooked on running pile-ups and operating SSB phone in contests and during special events.

I was one of the W1AW/1 operators for the ARRL 100 Centennial Special event and had a ball operating during both periods when NH was on the air as W1AW/1.

My most memorable contact ever was working Japan for the first time on 75m SSB phone from my truck using Mobile HF.

75m SSB Contact to Japan via Mobile HF
75m SSB Contact to Japan via Mobile HF

All involved in this contact were very surprised that such a short antenna (I use a screwdriver antenna with a 4 ft rod and a cap hat) could be used to make such a contact.

Abby, KC1FFX earns her Extra Class License
Abby, KC1FFX earns her Extra Class License

The experiences that mean the most to me are those involving our work to bring young people and new Amateurs into our hobby. Being able to make a difference for people and aid them to learn means a great deal to me.

What do you like to do with the Club?

I really enjoy participating in and contributing to our Tech Night programs. It’s great to be in a position to learn about the many aspects of Amateur Radio and to help others to do the same. We have a tremendous knowledge base among our club members and our Tech Night program provides a way for us to share everyone’s knowledge and experience for the benefit of the entire club.

40m V-Beam 3
40m V-Beam at Field Day 2016

I also really enjoy our yearly Field Day. It ‘s a lot of fun to plan, build and operate a multi-multi station with as many transmitters and towers as we typically put up for our club’s Field Day operation.

Bishop-Guertin High School HAB Project Students
Bishop-Guertin High School HAB Project Students

Our club’s High Altitude Balloon Project has been a lot of fun. It was fun to be part of delivering the STEM classroom program associated with this project.

Teaching Amateur Radio Licence Classes

FInally, I really enjoy contributing to the license classes that our club offers. There is nothing that I find more rewarding than to help someone new into Amateur Radio or to help an Amateur earn a license upgrade so they can expand their participation in Amateur Radio.

Fred, AB1OC

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