About HAM Radio Station KB3HHA

Here's some information about how I got started with HAM radio and the equipment and software I use.

How I Became Interested

I clearly remember two separate things that got me interested in radio. The first was my grandfather. He helped me build a simple crystal radio when I was very young. It always amazed me that I could hear AM broadcast stations on a radio that didn't even need any batteries. Of course it didn't hurt that there was a very powerful station only a few miles from my house.Later on my grandfather gave me a portable radio that could receive AM and FM broadcasts, VHF, and shortwave. The shortwave was what fascinated me the most. I used to spend a lot of time listening to all the foreign stations. The second thing that got me interested was a large console radio at my neighbor's house. I remember the push buttons on the front labelled with the names of foreign cities.

In junior high school I joined the radio club. I learned about ham radio and was working on getting my license. Unfortunately the student who organized the club decided to quit being a ham and the club fell apart. I tried to continue studying for my license, but when I saw the price of equipment I quickly determined that the hobby was cost prohibitive for me at the time. I slowly turned to other hobbies, but my interest never completely died.

During the late 1980's/early 1990's I worked with Mary Garret, a blind computer programmer. In conversations with her I learned she was a ham radio operator. When I told her I had once studied for my license she gave me a copy of the recent study guide so that I could renew my efforts to become licensed. That got me thinking about ham radio again, and I did start studying, but still didn't get my license.

Finally, in 2001 I became determined to get my license. I studied the theory and regulations, and practiced the Morse code, which was a requirement for getting a license. I did pass all the tests, and received my call sign, KB3HHA, from the FCC. And it only took me 30 years.

My station consists of the following commercial hardware:

  • ICOM IC-7300 100W HF-6M transceiver
  • Alinco DM330 30 amp power supply
  • MFJ 993B Automatic antenna tuner
  • ICOM IC-2100 2 meter transceiver
  • AEA DSP232 TNC
  • SDRPlay RSP1A SDR Receiver
  • MFJ 1708B-SDR Antenna switch
  • MyAntennas OCFD-8010 antenna
  • Yaesu FT-50R Dual band VHF/UHF handheld transceiver
  • Baofeng Dual band VHF/UHF handheld transceiver
  • Several Radio Shack scanners

Along with a number of kits and homebrew projects.

In addition, I use the following software:

  • HamRadioDeluxe
  • Win4IcomSuite
  • WSJT-X
  • JTAlertX
  • ICOM 7300 Memory Manager
  • APRSViewer
  • SDRUno

On The Air Activity

Here are the most recent contacts from my log: