Welcome to n0xmz.com! My main persuits in amateur radio are home-brewing and working DX. Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with electronics. My dad worked for Dale Electronics and would sometimes bring home parts which got me very curious. I'll never forget this enormous resistor he used as a paperweight. I built my first AM transmitter when I was about 8. I wanted to know what all those parts actually did and eventually, I learned.
My main haunts are 40m and up, whatever bands are open. I work SSB, PSK-31, and occasionally SSTV and other digital modes. As for repeaters, I'm usually found on 900 MHz and occasionally 2m or 440.
I was first licensed on June 15, 1993. I passed the written exams for the Technician and General class licenses, but I didn't know Morse code. In 2006, I finally learned it after a few weeks of daily practice with an excellent program called "CW Player" by Gabriel, F6DQM. I was then able to upgrade to Extra Class at Hamcom in 2006.
There isn't much room for antennas when you live in an apartment so I make due with what I have. I'm always looking for new ways to "make a better mousetrap". I'm able to work all bands from 7 to 927 Mhz. I keep a 10 meter dipole in the attic along with a j-pole for 2 meter and 70 cm. HF, 33 cm, and scanner antennas are on the balcony.
Above: Electronics testing/building gear and junk boxes are on the left side of the desk. There are 5 computers here (a 486 tower is not visible). The main machine is home-brew: 3.1 GHz x 3 AMD Athlon on a 64-bit Biostar with 300 GB, 1.5 TB, and 2 TB HDDs, 2x DVD-RW, 8GB RAM, TV card, & 2 monitors (24" & 19"). It connects to the IC-725 through a home-brew CI-V/digital comm. interface. On the lower right is a 386 running DOS. There is a Commodore 64 behind the Lonovo T60 laptop.
Below: Radio closeup: Icom IC-725, Motorola Spectra for 900 MHz, & a Uniden 386T scanner.
Below: Icom 207 dual-band FM radio for 2m and 70cm. The MFJ-259B antenna analyzer in the top left corner comes in very handy when loading up the antenna outside. No ham should be without one. The jars contain various resistors, capacitors, semiconductors, and other parts for my home-brewing endeavors. There's a Radio Shack TRC-465 AM/SSB CB as well. It was CB radio back in the early 90's that got me interested in ham radio.
The Commodore 64 is complete with Model 1702 monitor and (2) 1541 disk drives (the other one is connected to the 386 DOS box.) Lots of software and blank 5.25" disks made about 15-20 years ago are all in working order. The joystick slightly hidden behind the computer is from the Atari 2600. It's the best-selling computer ever and it still works great today. The laptop is a Lenovo T60 with a 500GB hard drive.
Below: Part of the antenna farm. I live in an apartment, so stealth operation is important. This is also why I live on the top (3rd) floor. Working HF is especially challenging when I have almost no room with which to put up an antenna. For now, I'm using two mobile antennas back-to-back as a dipole. I have to change them whenever I change bands. I used to have magnet wire in the trees and it worked great - until the wire broke. I grew tired of replacing the wire (which always left some in the trees!).
On the apartment balcony hangs a cellular mobile antenna with a ground plane that reaches out to three of the Dallas area 900 MHz repeaters. It's joined by a 2 meter yagi currently being used for the scanner.
Below: The Honda Accord antenna farm. The antenna on the right is a 40 meter Workman (Hamstick clone). I keep Workman antennas for other HF bands in the trunk. On the left is a Larsen 2/70 dual-band VHF/UHF. In the middle is a is a Larsen for the 900 MHz band. Some people freak out about drilling holes for antenna mounts. Truth be told, it's the ONLY way to properly install an antenna. A car makes for a very lossy ground plane. Why make it worse with sub-par antenna mounts? Why do you think the professionals like cops, tow trucks, taxis, etc. drill holes? Because it works better, for many reasons. Alan Applegate, K0BG, the mobile ham guru of the internet, has quite a bit to say about this and his work is a must-read for anyone considering operating mobile.
Click here for an Excel spreadsheet of Dallas area repeaters, police frequencies, and more. More HAM radio stuff is to be added in the near future. You're welcome to visit the rest of my website (which purposely does not link to this page) at: www.scottbomb.com
Above: The Icom 706-MK2G and Motorola Spectra 900 remote heads. The radios themselves are in the trunk.
Below: Icom 706-MK2G and Motorola Spectra 900 (30 watt version).