WB8VLO, Ron EN81

Been a ham since 1975. Was first issued novice call wn8vlo before receiving the wb8vlo call when the FCC said there was to be no more distinctive calls. Well, so much for that. Father in law (wa2pqf) and brother in law (k2rqb) encouraged me to learn the code and get my license. Only took me ten years after marrying their daughter / sister. I  upgraded to General then Advanced class in 1978 just after the blizzard. My first station consisted of a Heathkit DX60B with matching VFO, and a National NC300 receiver and a j38 hand key. Had to hand switch the NC300 from tx to rx. Lots of fun. My first transceiver was a Henry Radio Tempo One and a Regency HR2B for 2 meter FM.

I’m using a Kenwood ts 2000 to a inverted vee antenna at 40 feet for 40 meters and a 80 thru 6 ocf dipole  at the same height. It is working  well on all bands . I  am using a kenwood ts850 as a backup. The ts570 will go to my grandson KE8ASR. The  TS 2000 is fed to a 160 w Mirage amp for 2 meter ssb.

For 2 meter FM I have a Kenwood TM 281 and a TYT 9800 quad band . My 2 ssb antenna is at 50 ft and my omni dual band is the same height plus my 14 ele fm yagi at 45 ft. Although my two meter ssb station is not “big”, I am enjoying it very much. So far I have made contacts with 19 states. There are  lots of great guys on two ssb who are always ready to help. I have been threatening to move from the center of town where the noise level is high and am surronded by obstructions so I can hear better on 2 ssb. I’m using the 2000 for 6 meters into a 4 element yagi. I have  added digital modes to my HF  station so if anyone hears me they can tell that I need a lot more practice typing. I can assure you that I am not typing with my toes. For software I use Ham Radio Deluxe and Digital Master 780 with a Signa Link USB. I use JT65, FT8, PSK, RTTY, JT9, and am having lots of fun learning how to make contacts with MSK144 using JSJT-x. version 8 for meteor scatter.  I am now using the ts2000 for HF, 2 and 6 meter cw, ssb and digital communications. The 432 antenna will come at a later date. We also just put up a 4 element 6 meter beam and are in then process of testing it at 20 ft. Its working well at that height. Someday I’ll get it on the tower.

I enjoyed going to our local National Battlefield and activating it for NPOTA. It was a lot of fun at the River Raisin Battlefield Park.winkI am also a ARRL volunteer examiner.

Since I live so close to Lake Erie, my height above sea level is only 600 ft. Not the advantage hams are looking for. With this station I have been able to earn my DXCC, WAS, WAC and over 800 prefixes and more than 1000 counties confirmed. This since Jan, 2012.

I am retired from Ford Motor Company after 33 years where I was a statistical process technician  for the catalytic converters. I am happy to sit at home and play radio and not have to fight the elements to go to work at 4 am.

Served in the United States Air Force repairing AN FPS 35 and FPS 6 Radar sets from 1961-65 and watched the U2 overflights of Cuba in ’62. Spent most of my Air Force career  at the 698th Radar Squadron in Thomasville, Alabama and went to electronics school at Keesler AFB, Ms.  I met my wife Becky at Thomasville who was there on vacation from Watertown, New York .Widowed after 37 years with xyl KA8DQR. My grand daughter just graduated at Mississippi State University she also played in the Marching Band. All 4 ft 9 of her.  🙂  . My grandson is at  Michigan Tech University School of Engineering in Houghton Mi where he is majoring in civil engineering and business management  with a minor in transportation especially rail transportation and has several scholarships and grants including  a ARRL scholarship. He was just awarded a research Fellowship for the Rail Transportation Program for the summer of 2017 and accepted into the Honors Collage.  He is also a licensed ham so hopefully will be able to make skeds with him as he will be 578 miles from here in the UP. It is well to note that just 2 floors above  his room is the MTU club station W8YY.   I feel lucky to have such great grandchildren.

For those that are interested, you can click on the satalite view in the upper right corner of the map in order to see the difficulty I had finding space to install antennas. Note all the trees, cable lines, phone lines and power lines. The tower is located in the corner to the left of the dog kennel (red roof near the fence). In the new photos you can see my two meter and the 15 meter Moxom antennas. It has not been an easy task but I do have 40 and 30 meter inv vees and a  80 thru 10 meter ocf dipole. 14 element 2 meter ssb yagi, a 14 element two meter fm and I have since removed the Moxom and replaced it with a 4 element 6 meter yagi that we are testing at 25ft. Hopefully it will be at 40 ft before I have too many more birthdays. 🙂

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