I have a Amateur Radio license, General Class, call letter N8WCR.
I was born on July 13, 1956 in the city of Euclid, Ohio, a suburb just east of Cleveland Ohio. I grew up there, attended Euclid Sr High school. After high school I attended Lakeland Community College for a short time, going for my Electronic Engineering degree, which I never achieved. I have worked in machine shops, had my own photography studio, doing weddings and portrait photography. I did get an Associate Degree in Computer Science, and now work in the IT field, having been a system administrator, network admin, consultant and now Technical Support Engineer for a software company. In 2005 I moved to Vancouver, WA living with my soon to be wife, Sylvia, as well as our three cats, Larry, Curly and Moe. Vancouver is a nice place to live, not too hot, not too cold and hardly ever snows, which is fine by me, after putting up with the snows every winter in Ohio. I also enjoy photography and video recording. I'm going to try and get some more photos uploaded as well as videos. Might even get a travel trailer and start doing some traveling together with my lovely wife.
As well as computers being one of my hobbies, I am also a amateur radio operator, otherwise known as a "ham". Amateur radio is a noncommercial, licensed system of communication, and is as old as the medium of radio itself. Ham radio is a hobby to most participants, but hams are best known for the emergency communications they provide during disasters. Hams are licensed by their government to communicate both domestically and internationally on a wide variety of radio bands.
Amateur radio gives you plenty of ways to get involved in radio communications. You can get involved in emergency services, during natural and man made disasters Amateur radio is usually the only means of communication left standing. Weather spotters are another area Amateur radio operators are involved, working closely with the National Weather Service spotting inclement weather. There are contests you can get involved in, or you can just rag chew with people all over the world. Myself, I like to chase the elusive DX stations. Plus I enjoy the technical side of radio communications.
My influence was my older brother Ken, also a ham, K8YLY. My interest in Ham radio started back in high school. My high school, Euclid Sr. High, had a radio club, WA8ZGE. I became a member and I received my first license back in '71, my novice ticket,WN8LJP. I upgraded to Tech, with the call sign of WB8LJP. I kept that license for a while, but getting busy with family life, I sort of put ham radio on the side. After a while, my license expired. In 1982, I took the No-Code Tech exam with my present call N8WCR. I later upgraded to General class. My next step is to go for my Extra Class license.
My main rig is a Icom IC746. I really like this rig, its very versatile and with 160-10meters, plus 6m and 2m, its all I really need for most of my work. Since it has a built in antenna tuner, I have all I need in one neat package. What I really like about this radio, it had replaced 3 other radios, plus an antenna tuner, and a digital signal processor, not to mention its all mode! While in the high school radio club, we had a couple of Swan rigs, a Swan 500C and a Swan 250C. I still have a fondness for these rigs, and have owned a Swan 500C and a 6 meter Swan 250C. My equipment consist of a MFJ-1798 80-2 meter vertical antenna. My rig is the Icom IC-746, and I use DXLab Suite for my logging and radio control from my computer. I also have an ICOM IC-229H into a Diamond CP-22E antenna, plus been experimenting with SDR using the inexpensive RTL-SDR dongles. Using the RTL-SDR dongles I have put together a public radio trunking scanner for the Vancouver and Clark County's Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) public radio feed, which is the scanner feed on the main page. With more RTL-SDR Dongles I have been using it with SDRSharp radio software, tuning into other frequencies, Amateur Radio satellite communications, tracking airplanes tuning into ADS-B transmitters and tuning into other VHF/UHF transmissions.