Matt N1ZGN

Member Spotlight – Matt Sapienza, N1ZGN

Greeting from Matt, N1ZGN. I first got into radio communications in the mid 70’s late 80’s as my dad had an old Pace 40 channel base CB and a radio shack ground plane that sadly it came down in pieces in the winter on 1978.

How Did You Get Into Amateur Radio?

At that time the FCC still issued a family license to operate and to this day I still remember the call sign. At age 14 working after school, I saved my money and me and my dad took a ride to a CB shop in Salem NH and I purchased a Shakespeare antenna. My dad looked at me and said what radio would you want??? I said the Cobra 29 LTD, of course, I’d pick that one as it was the top of the line at the time. So we drove home next day he hand made some galvanized brackets with a flat mounting section for U-shaped clamps and he already had some RG 8 coax. We installed the antenna on the 2nd-floor front flat porch roof. The brackets were secured through the side of the house at the peak with threaded rod and we screwed 2 pieces of wood across two main roof supports at the peak. We placed a ½ in section of copper water pipe and both a flat and lock washer and bolts and made sure they were good and tight and we put up the antenna.

Once again I saved my money and placed an order for a Cobra 142 GTL that was when they still accepted COD. When it arrived my dad wasted no time unboxing and had it plugged in and using it. And I did return the 29 LTD to him so he had a radio in the car. I would stay up until 11 pm after he was finished his shift at work; especially in the winter time. I’d talk with him till he was pulling into the driveway. Sadly, he passed away in 1994 of lung cancer. I sure hope he is proud of me getting into amateur radio. I wish he was here to see for himself how much I advanced and the QSL cards of countries I talked to. I’m sure he is watching over me.

I got into amateur radio with the help of a good friend and my 1st mentor N1UZN. Lillian Jackson. I used to study every day and she allowed me to take a practice test on her computer.I was granted my current call sign on May 19th, 1997. In 2015 after two unsuccessful attempts for my General License at NearFest, I saw the N1FD flier at HRO and called AB1QB. I signed up 2 weeks prior for the General course/exam and passed!!!! I got my CSCE and immediately left to get on the air!

N1ZGN Shack
N1ZGN Shack

I already had an Icom 746 and LDG  Z11 pro tuner and a G5RV set up. My 1st HF 40-meter contacts were K4BR, John from Waynesboro, Georgia and Fred, AB1OC on his setup at the General Class test site.Since then I have worked all states on on SSB mixed bands. I also became a member of ECARS #10132 for life. I also joined OMISS # 10504, 100 Watts and Wire #1197, Nuts Bolts and Screws #1647, and North Carolina radio group #0095. I also received my VE accreditation and joined both NH ARES and US ARMY MARS. I have taken many extra class exams as well as 2 extra class courses thru N1FD and to this date have not passed. I hope to break that streak and pass hopefully before 2017 is over.

How Often Do I Operate?

And what bands do I operate on? Pretty much every day on 2m/70 cm on simplex anytime I can. I’m on 220 MHz all the time as well. I have a radio just for that band and its always on the Pepperell repeater. I’m on 10 thru 80 meters as well. I am mostly on 4 0meters or 75/80 lately.  I enjoy being the N1FD 10 meter chat net control. I only wish more members would check in.

Do I Build Equipment?

No, I do not. I do on a rare occasion wire up microphones. I’m pretty good with Icom wiring. I have made my own RJ 45 to 8 pin Icom adapters. But now I have two Heil’s with foot pedals. So I retired my soldering iron although I do sometimes take it out and will wire up something so I don’t get rusty should I need to fix or rewire something.

Has Ham Radio Influenced My Profession?

It did when I was enlisted in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. I helped my section with Singer radios and OE 254 antenna setup. Soon I will own a complete OE 254 setup that covers 35 to 75 MHz. It will be a good field gokit. It will work on 6 meters as well.What are my other hobbies? I love the outdoors fishing/camping and I always include amateur

What Are My Other Hobbies?

I love the outdoors fishing/camping and I always include amateur radio. I love to ride motorcycles and I just purchased one and I am looking forward to spring to ride it after doing some minor repairs and upgrades.

Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Matt N1ZGN

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3 thoughts on “Member Spotlight – Matt Sapienza, N1ZGN”

  1. Wow that Lolipop Mic on the Left reminds me of an old timer friend on CB with a Tram D-201….. Ok I’m new to Ham and only with a 5W portable but am very old to the Radio Hobby…

  2. that belongs to a friend that i bench test radios for i really wanted that microphone is is a night eagle . i had quite a collection at 1 time of desk microphones . a turner ssb transistorized i had 3 i still have my 1st original 1 and cs custom . plus 3 and plus 3b and super sidekick i sold off all the turners but 1 plus 2 and my SBE mdx 100 2 d104’s one amplified one not both have old bullet style mike heads or better known as 10 da heads and a shure 450 wired to a golden eagle mark 3 last but not least a have a working 1940’s army/air core signal company desk microphone . feel free to give me a call 603-400-4445 and i can bring them to a meeting sometime i usually get there 30 minutes early so give me a call n I’ll put them in my truck. for next meeting

  3. i sold alot my desk microphones and now use 2 heil icm’s on my 746 and 751 and a mfj 299 on 1 icom 208 h and hm 103 on my mk2g other 208 and hm 56 on my ic 38-a 220 radio.

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