Welcome to my site!
This is to provide information about my adventures in Amateur radio.
This story actually starts years ago. My Father (K5YYA), had talked to me about amateur radio on several occasions. Each time I kinda blew it off, "that's an old man hobby" I used to think. Of course at those times I knew absolutely nothing about the hobby. Fast forward to 2014. I was on my way home on my beauty of a bike. My 2003 anniversary edition Harley Davidson Road King Classic. If there was an aftermarket part for it, it had it. It was a real joy to ride. Anyway, it had just rained and I noticed a white truck coming up a dirt road and it didn't look like he was gonna stop for his stop sign. Well, he didn't. I went headlong into the front left quarter of his truck. The only thing I can remember is right after noticing him I hit his truck barely having time to think "Oh shit!!!!!!". Anyhow, I wound up with a broken back and other injuries. Over the next year my back continued to get worse. In June of 2015 I decided to have fusion surgery.
During this time my Dad started talking to me about amateur radio again. He even bought me a Baofeng UV-5R and a study guide for the technician test. He said he wanted me to have something to do while I was laid up after my surgery. In the mean time I used the Baofeng as a scanner and listened into local repeaters. This really got my interest up in amateur radio, FINALLY! In June of 2015 I tested and got my Technician's ticket. My first call sign was KG5ICI. Dad also got me a mobile unit, a TYT TH-9800. This is basically a Chinese copy of the Yaesu FT-8900. I found something to peak my interest and gave me something to do in my spare time. I spent a lot of time reading about amateur radio while I was on the mend after my back surgery. During this time I bought several mobile and HT Chinese radios (TYT, Wouxun, Baofeng). I never had a problem out of any of them. I even went right out and applied for Radio Operator plates for my Ford Escape.
In July 2015 I retired after 22 years of service to the City of Frisco as a Peace Officer. I retired as a patrol Sgt. During my time at Frisco I was a Field Training Officer, the first traffic officer, first traffic Sergeant, certified crash re-constructionist (basic, advanced, auto-ped and commercial reconstruction), school resource officer Sergeant and also was team leader of our containment team (an assist to our Special Operations Unit, we would provide a perimeter on scenes and assist in take downs).
After retirement I really needed something I could latch onto and occupy my time. I wanted to get out on the air further. In October of 2015 I tested for General and passed it! Shortly after that my Dad helped me purchase a Yaesu FT-450D. I was able to borrow a Hustler 6BTV from our club, (Fannin County Amateur Radio Club, K5FRC). A fellow club member, Jessie Brown (KF5SOX), was instrumental in helping tune up the antenna. We had it working like a champ! Since then I have rarely not been on the radio daily. At first I was mainly on phone, but not too long into 2016 I discovered digital modes, (mainly PSK). I was able to integrate radio with another love of mine, computers. Not too long after that I tried JT modes and really liked it. My HF rig consists of my FT-450D with a Signalink sound card and I run Ham Radio Deluxe for logging and rig control. I also push my HRD log to eQsl, QRZ, LOTW and Club Log. I am a member of 100 watts and a wire, PODXS 070 Club and OMISS. I like to chase DX and rare US states.
In April/May of 2017 I really got interested in getting a vanity call. I wanted something personal to me, something that had meaning. All of the combinations I considered were not available. Finally, I accidentally checked K5YYA and of course found my Dad's info. I did some thinking and searched for W5YYA, same suffix as my Dad. It wound up being available and I applied for the new call. It was approved and I was assigned W5YYA on May 16, 2017. I was tickled pink about this choice since it was my Dad who got me interested in amateur radio and now we both had the same suffix.
My shack is set up in a metal shop next to the house. It is a work in progress even to this day. I am currently designing a new desk area which will have room for equipment expansion and I will mount my four 32" TV/monitors on the wall to free up desk space. It will have two dedicated circuits for electronics, a power-pole strip hooked to the power supply and a normal surge protected power strip. I also want to add a UPS power supply to keep the computer up and running when the power goes out. Ahhh, the list of wants keeps growing longer :).
I can't say enough about how much I appreciate my Dad finally getting me interested in radio. After retirement it is the only thing to help me not go insane. Being retired for the first several months is great, but after a while you miss that purpose and need something to fill that void. Amateur radio did that for me. Whether it's working phone or digital, I love making the contacts and seeing what remote part of the world I can communicate with next.
To take a look at my old page, click below.