Amateur Radio Station N1BAC

I was first interested in Amateur Radio while growing up in Kansas. I started studying with an Elmer during High School, but it appears that something became more important - girls! I continued with the radio bug in CB radio and found it fun. Finally, after marriage and two children and several moves in the Air Force, I started working with the Great Bay Radio Association in Rochester, NH and received my Novice ticket in 1978 as WB1HJN. I upgraded to Technician in 1979 and General in 1980 requesting a change of callsign. I received N1BAC in May and upgraded to Advanced in December.

Radios that I remember are a set of Heathkits (separate transmitter and receiver) that drifted quite a bit. Sold those and got a Galaxy V, a very nice tube radio that was very stable after about an hour of warmup. It also kept the coffee warm! During that time, I also purchased a Heathkit 2036 2 meter rig and put it together. I kept that for quite some time transfering it between the house and car when I traveled. I also had several HTs during that time, a Tempo 440 and an Icom IC-2AT which were also used mobile at times. I was also a member of the Saddleback Repeater Association and was even President for a year.

My next steps in radios were to sell the Galaxy V and acquire an Icom IC-701 which I still own and operate as my base rig. I have also owned an Atlas 210X which I used mobile and sold it when I had a chance to pickup a used Icom 706MkII at a very good price. I still run it mobile with an Outbacker Perth 10-80 mobile whip with an LDG automatic antenna tuner. I have also had several other 2m and 440 mobiles and have settled on an Alinco DR-610 dualband for the automobile.

HTs now include a Yaesu VX-7R as my primary HT, Kenwood TH-D7, and a tiny credit card size Alinco DJ-C5 for local short range with a few other 2m HTs that are used with my various TinyTrak APRS tracker devices. My traveling is usually done with N1BAC-1, but -2 & -3 might also be used. I also have my Davis weather station hooked up into the internet sending weather data every 10 minutes. You can find all my running devices at Findu.

I have also had fun with repeaters building my first one with the Clegg FM-76, splitting the TX & RX boards into separate RF-proof boxes. The first controller was very simple but did the job of IDing at the appropriate times to keep it legal. I couldn't afford a set of duplexers, so was able to use split antennas 100' apart on the NH PTV tower in Walpole, NH. My repeater frequencies were 224.72 output and 223.12 input. It was linked into the New England Network as part of KG1C's bunch of repeaters. The repeater receiver was changed to a modified GE Master Pro VHF receiver and the transmitter upgraded to a Hamtronics exciter with a 15 watt amp after the Clegg Transmitter developed a bunch of really bad spurs. I later sold the repeater after the prime KG1C New England Network repeater on Pack Monadnock had to be removed. Since I could not link to any of the other repeaters, I decided it wasn't worth the effort to keep it going.

I have since decided to build a low-power portable emergency repeater system. I have acquired three HTs, two Yaesu FT-470s and one Yaesu 727R to act as a repeater and link radio. A set of mobile duplexers will handle the 440 repeater (FT-470s) and the FT-727R will handle the linking. The repeater is built in a carrying case with a 12v power supply as the primary power source, but will have batteries installed to be able to handle remote locations. It will use a mobile duplexer to allow the repeater on 440 and the link radio on 2m to use one dualband antenna. Next is the purchase of a repeater controller. I had an ACC RC-96, but gave that one to Joel, WA1ZYX for use on his Cannon Mountain 440 repeater. The RC-96 was really overkill for my purposes as well as larger than what I would wish for a portable emergency repeater. I am considering the acquisition of a Hamtronix Repeater Controller which will do what I want very nicely.

I am a member of the Cheshire County DX Amateur Radio Club (CCDX) and enjoy the fun we have. Our meetings are on the third Wednesday of each month except July & August at the New Hampshire West Chapter of the American Red Cross located at 83 Court Street in Keene, NH. Visitors are always welcome! There is also a group of hams that "meet" weekly on Saturday about 10am at Campy's Country Kettle on Route 32 in Swanzey to enjoy breakfast and fellowship together. All are welcome to that event as well. We are also very involved providing communications in public service events such as the Clarence DeMar Marathon and during emergencies. You will also find us as a presence during ARRL Field Day and other ham radio events/contests as club station AD1T. CCDX also supports and operates the K1TQY 2 meter repeater on 146.805- with pl100.0.

An additional note - While flying as a Navigator in the FB-111A out of Pease AFB, NH, I had quite a few occasions to operate Aeronautical Mobile on 10, 15, & 20 meters. The HF radio (thumb-wheel frequency selection) was capable of AM & Upper Sideband only but tuned 3.0 - 30.o MHz with an automatic antenna tuner. The antenna was the dorsal fin & leading edge of the vertical stabilizer. I don't remember what the power output was.

Arnold "Arnie" Johnson, N1BAC


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