Tag Archives: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight – Desmond Johnson, WK1V

Name: Desmond Johnson
Callsign: WK1V Licensed since 1992)
License Class: Extra

Current Age: 54

How and when I became Licensed:

Years prior to obtaining my HAM license, I do recall when the fascination with 2-way radio began for me. Between the age of 6 or 7 from a pair of walkie talkies, my parents once purchased at Christmas to my bugging and convincing dad who eventually purchased a CB radio back in the mid-seventies as I wanted to fit in with the rest of my sixth grade. Most of the guys in class had one. While growing up in NYC and being heavily involved in CB radio in my early 20’s, I remember being approached by a couple local hams who use to also frequent the 11-meter band at that time. They were encouraging me to join the amateur ranks. Unfortunately, at the time, it just wasn’t high on my list, I was having a blast on Citizens Band. I also remember this time because I knew that it was said to be illegal to work skip on 11 meters and the skip was very intense daily that you almost had no choice to engage. However, I couldn’t ignore these exciting phenomena and wasn’t going to turn my radio off, nor did a lot of other CB’ers. Looking back during that time, I think was one of the better cycles, cycle 21. I’m not sure why I didn’t pay enough attention to those guys now that I think about it.

Perhaps they just didn’t convince me enough that being a HAM was the better choice when you can work skip and use a kilowatt legally. Maybe it was the material I had to study and the Morse code was definitely a factor. On a couple of occasions, I was shown their shacks which I saw these guys had very sophisticated equipment compared to what I had. I knew I would pursue my ticket one day. As the years passed by with radio was always a thought in my mind, I eventually became employed as an installer at Motorola Inc in Elmsford, NY. This job was right up my alley. The Installers position entailed mobile cell phone installs, at that time no, mobile phones were not as portable, commercial mobile, base and repeater 2-way radio systems for any business and industry requiring 2-way communication technology. After 3 years I transferred to a Motorola shop in Baltimore. I first acquired my novice ticket in 1992 when I lived in Maryland as KB3AIJ. After waiting for my license in the mail, I purchased my first 2-meter radio from the sale of a collection of CB radio’s I have had over the years.

Many thanks to my Elmer, Fred Joyner WB3GBF, who lived not too far from me who assisted me in obtaining my ticket. I also added Fred to the log as I operated as one of the 2017 K2K team members for the 13 Colonies Special Event earlier this month. That was a special memorable contact.   Thanks to another Fred, AB1OC,  and Anita   Kemmerer, AB1QB for all allowing me  to use their very nice competitive contest station during the event,  not a shack by any stretch. Thanks to the hard work to all of the members who participated, we were the top club and state in the event this year.

Desmond Johnson

My current work schedule doesn’t allow me to get on the air very much.  I can see that radio technology is ever changing and I started to feel I a bit left behind. I ran across the Nashua Area Radio Club , N1FD.org  website while surfing online at work one day looking for more info on increasing my CW proficiency. The club offered CW classes on Saturday morning which I attended and it helps me tremendously to get better. Its still a work in process for me which I welcome the challenge. I decided to join the N1FD  club because I see they were very involved in amateur radio. It was also a great experience to get involved in this year’s Field Day activity with the club. I learned a lot and had fun. In addition, I took video and still images with my DJI  Phantom 4 drone.

After a reduction in workforce at Motorola, I returned as a full-time student completing college at the University of Baltimore. Upon graduating, I decided to relocate and took employment at Raytheon Systems in Tewksbury, MA in 1998. Not long after, decided to change my call sign to reflect the area I currently live in. I became KB1EDF. Living in an apartment at the time, the majority of my operating was mobile for a few years until I moved to my current home in Merrimack.

I’ve always desired a shorter call sign, so when I upgraded to Extra in 2006, I changed again and became WK1V. At this time I also worked part-time at HRO in Salem, NH only on Saturdays.

Other Hams in Family: None

Other Ham Organizations: OMIK Radio Association Inc.

SKCC #17099

How Often Do I Operate: I try to get on a few times a week, even if just shortwave listening

Bands I Operate: 2 meters, 6 thru 80 meters

Types of Operation: Chasing DX or Ragchew, CW, PSK31,

Do I build Equipment:

Very little, once made home-brew G5RV with Elmer’s assistance when first licensed. As time permits, I would like to try kit building

Has Ham Radio Influenced My Profession: Yes and No

While at Motorola in the early 90’s you can see the industry start to change. Radios became more portable and more computer like.
This is one reason I’ve decided to go back to school.
I earned a BS degree in Information Systems.
Currently employed at Oracle Inc.

Other Hobbies: Cycling, Photography, Flying my Drone.

Desmond, WK1V

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

Member Spotlight (Abby – AB1BY)

My name is Abby and I’m thirteen years old. I’m in the seventh grade and live in Nashua, New Hampshire where I am a straight-A student and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. I play flute and oboe in the band and I also play soccer, tennis and I have received my junior black belt in karate. I am a member of a Destination Imagination team that has competed in the Global Finals representing the state of New Hampshire and placed 17th in the world… twice!

Member Spotlight, Abby, AB1BY
2016 ARRL NPOTA – St. Gaudens NHP

But, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that I’m a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (AB1BY, formerly KC1FFX)! You may ask what gets a young girl interested in Amateur Radio? Well, I have my dad to partly blame for that! He was a new ham and was very excited about amateur radio and wanted to share his new love with my brother, Connor (KC1GGX) and myself. In January of 2016, he told us about the ARRL’s Kids Day on the Air and let me operate his rig. That was it. I was hooked! He registered me for the next Technician Class Licensing Class through our club, the Nashua Area Radio Club (N1FD).

Member Spotlight, Abby, AB1BY
Receiving my Tech License (with Anita AB1QB & Fred AB1OC)

I received my Technician Class license in March of 2016 when I was eleven. I took the club’s licensing class. It’s a two-day class over the weekend with the exam held on Sunday night. That Sunday I passed the exam for my Technician Class license.  In October I took the club’s General licensing class and upgraded to General Class.

Member Spotlight, Abby, AB1BY
Common Emitter Birthday Cake!
Member Spotlight, Abby, AB1BY
Extra success! KC1ENX/AE (with Fred AB1OC and Anita (AB1QB)

Finally, on April 30th, 2017 (the day after my 13th birthday) I successfully passed my test to upgrade to my Amateur Extra Class license! It was a very hard test. I took the licensing class, which was 3 long days and I spent several months of studying with some help from my dad (KC1ENX) and lot of help from my Elmer and friend, Fred (AB1OC). Fred spent many, many hours with my dad and I helping me understand the difficult material – I think my dad learned a lot too!

Member Spotlight, Abby, AB1BY
Our club members are awesome Elmers!

I am very lucky to be a part of the Nashua Area Radio Club. It is a very active club and there is always something to do. The members are awesome Elmers and don’t treat you like you’re a kid. They have given me a lot of help and it makes me want to help other kids get involved with amateur radio.

Member Spotlight - Abby, AB1BY, On Kids Day
My friends trying out Amateur Radio for the ARRL’s Kids Day
Members Spotlight, AB1BY Operating as N1FD Youth Outreach at Mine Falls Park
N1FD Youth Outreach at Mine Falls Park

Some of my friends joined us for this year’s ARRL Kids Day on the Air even though we were having a bad snow storm! The Nashua Area Radio Club does a lot of youth outreach activities and I am really looking forward to the High Altitude Balloon launch that is coming up in June!

 

Members Spotlight, AB1BY Operating SOTA
Summits on the Air (SOTA) – Mt. Pack Monadnock

You may hear me on the air calling CQ DX! I love chasing DX (my farthest contact is New Zealand on 100 watts!)and contesting. I also enjoy mobile and portable operating. I have done a couple of Summits on the Air with a 2m HT and an Elk antenna and participated in National Parks on the Air at St. Gaudens NHP. I also like to Fox Hunt and I am learning CW through our club classes. I have been a part of the N1FD team that has taken part in the ARRL Rookie Roundup for SSB, RTTY, and CW and have been an operator for the 13 Colonies Event as K2K.

Members Spotlight, AB1BY at 2016 ARRL Field Day
2016 ARRL Field Day – Everyone pitches in!

I am most excited about Field Day! Last year’s field day was a blast and the highlight of the year for me. We spent Friday setting up antennas, tents, and stations. Friday night I was allowed to sleep out – although I really didn’t get much sleep. I was busy “testing” out the radios. Once field day began I was on the air most of the time. I even operated most of the night on Saturday until I finally crashed for some sleep.

 

 

Member Spotlight, AB1BY Operating at 2016 Field Day!
2016 Field Day!

Our call sign is N1FD or Number 1 Field Day and it’s for a good reason. This year we are going to have a better setup than last year, which is hard to believe.

My brother, Connor (KC1GGX) working on his pixie ki
My brother, Connor (KC1GGX) working on his pixie kit.

I’m really happy my brother, Connor (KC1GGX) will be joining me this year. I think he got interested in radio last year when he saw the setup that the club had. He is going to have a great time this year!

There is so much to do with Amateur Radio and I look forward to trying many new things. There is always something interesting and fun to do and so much more to learn. And that is really what got a young girl interested in Amateur Radio.  73!

Abby, KC1FFX

Member Spotlight – Anita, AB1QB

 How did you become licensed?

My OM, Fred, AB1OC found out some time in 2010 that he could get a Ham Radio license without needing to pass a code test.  He took his test in December 2010 and got his Technician, General and Extra license in one exam session.  I have a background in Electrical Engineering so I picked up his books and thought it would not be hard to get my license as well.  In April 2011, I passed both my Tech and General exams and was licensed as a General.

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

A few months later, Fred was invited to go on a trip to Bora Bora, French Polynesia.  I was studying about propagation for my Extra class and saw that this would be a great place to operate from as we were staying in bungalows out over the water.    I suggested that we take a radio along on the trip.  Before long we had a whole portable station with an IC-7000, Buddipoles, a Signalink for digital, antenna tuners, the whole works.  I was responsible for getting our operating licenses for French Polynesia.  I learned that in order to operate, we needed to both have Extra licenses.  That was my incentive to get my Extra, which I got in December 2011, just in time for our trip in February 2012.

Member Spotlight - AB1QB in 2014 JARTS RTTY Contest
AB1QB in 2014 JARTS RTTY Contest
What do you like to do most with Ham Radio?

My favorite Ham Radio activities are DXing and RTTY Contesting.   I have earned a DXCC Challenge and have confirmed 290  DX entities and I have earned certificates in the ARRL RTTY Roundup as #1 in New Hampshire, and the BARTG HF RTTY contest, where I placed in the top 5 in my category.  I have also earned the JARL Century Cities award for contacting 100 Cities in Japan.  I am just one contact short of my 5 Band WAS, looking for that last contact with Alaska on 80 meters.

My pursuit of new DX entities led me to create my current hobby project, the DX Alarm Clock, a Raspberry Pi based software program that I can customize to notify me when those needed entities are spotted on the air.

Member Spotlight - AB1QB logging for AB1OC/M during the NPOTA activation
AB1QB logging for AB1OC/M during the NPOTA activation.

I also like that Ham Radio involves such a diverse set of activities.  I have been a tower climbing ground crew,  helped to build (and rebuild) a SteppIR DB36 Yagi, was a driver and member of the Hollis site management team for WRTC 2014.  I have also operated as W1AW/1 during the ARRL Centennial and as K2K in the 13 Colonies Special Event. and operated from a mobile station in our F150 from several National Parks.

What is your background?

My educational background is in Electrical Engineering and most of my technical experience is in Software Development and Program Management.  I am currently a Program Manager at Verizon managing projects related to a cloud platform.

Nashua Area Radio Club License Training Class
Nashua Area Radio Club License Training Class
What do you like to do with the Club?

I am currently the Activities Chairperson for the club.  I have organized several contesting activities at our home QTH to help other club members to become involved with contesting.   These include the ARRL Rookie Roundups, including the latest one where the multi-op N1FD entry achieved the highest score in the contest.  We also hosted a multi-single entry for CQ WW SSB, where we helped the club get a DXCC in a weekend.  I am also an instructor for our Ham Radio license classes, where I teach digital modes and propagation.  I also use my project management skills to manage all of the logistics for the classes including the VE sessions.  It is a great feeling to be able to help people get their licenses.

Anita, AB1QB