About AD7MI

My interest in radio comes from a childhood fascination with shortwave broadcasts. My dad (KD6EUG, Larry) held a novice license back in 1954 (KN6ILL). In his bedroom hamshack, he ran 75 Watts input to a 4D32 Output final Tube on a HT-20 transmitter on the HF Novice Bands – using a National NC-57 for a receiver with an 80 meter dipole.

KN6 I Love Lucy

KN6 I Love Lucy

His license eventually lapsed, got married, had two kids, got divorced, and moved around to various QTHs in the Santa Clara Valley. Some of his old equipment ended up in garage, along with old electronic books and amateur radio magazines. As a kid, these strange pieces of equipment fascinated me and one day my dad brought in the National NC-57 receiver to my room and strung a dipole across the roof of the house in Saratoga. We sparked up the NC-57 and it was MAGIC! BBC from England, Radio Moscow from Russia, Deutsche Welle from Germany. This was 1981 – the Cold War was raging and shortwave broadcasts played a major role in the propaganda campaign. I received a letter from Moscow confirming my reception report and a parcel of books from Deutsche Welle’s German language on-air class. I built a basic AM receiver using a Radio Shack kit and graduated to a kit to monitor the aircraft bands. Dad had a crystal scanner that blared the local police, fire, and sheriff communications. I’d briefly considered attempting to get my Novice ticket, but the Morse Code requirement just seemed too daunting. Time went by and with high school my interest drifted to other subjects.

My interest was re-kindled after my enlistment in the US Army. After a year of language school and I was off to Goodfellow Air Force Base in glorious San Angelo, TX. My training involved monitoring radio traffic and I spent many hours underneath a set of headphones, furiously scribbling down everything I heard. After graduation it was off to Fort Wainwright, Alaska (outside of Fairbanks). I was lucky enough to be assigned to an aviation unit and my job was to fly in the back of an EH-60 (AN/ALQ-151(V)2 – QUICKFIX) Blackhawk helicopter that had been modified with radio equipment to conduct direction finding operations as well as communication jamming.

So I was getting paid (with extra flight pay) to cruise around the interior of Alaska while having fun operating the DF station and my all time favorite radio: the AN/TLQ-17A(V)2. After completing Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA I was posted out at Fort Lewis with a similar signals collection unit that used ground-based equipment. Our equipment was old (AN/TRQ-37, AN/PRD-10, and briefly got to mess with a RACAL jammer) – but we still had a lot of fun on rotations to the Yakima Training Center and the National Training Center near Barstow, CA.

In the spring of 1997 I was transferred to Ft. Bliss (El Paso, TX) with an air defense artillery unit. By the beginning of 1998, I’d completed my service obligation to the Army and decided to get out and take a job back in California. After an initial stint with Northern Telecom, I took a job with Fatbrain.com working first with the web editorial staff and then moving over to the engineering section. Those were exciting days, still under the boom of the internet. However, after two years I realized I missed the camaraderie and special sense of purpose I enjoyed as part of the Army. I applied for a voluntary recall, returned to Ft. Huachuca and Ft. Leavenworth for additional training, and in December 2000 went overseas where I was stationed at Camp Hovey, Korea – about 15 miles south of the DMZ in between North and South Korea.

Korea was, overall, a great experience. It sparked my interest in traveling – I frequently enjoyed trips down to Seoul, making use of their outstanding subway system and enjoying the wonderful Korean food. I was also able to travel the island of Cheju-do (south of the Korean Peninsula) and to Vietnam. At this point my interest in shortwave radio returned and I purchased a Ten-Tec RX320. I spent hours with that black box and quickly concluded I needed to get an amateur radio license. From Korea the Army sent me to Heidelberg, Germany. Enroute to Germany, I spent Christmas back in California and was able to take (and pass) the Technician exam. Three days later I was issued the call sign KD7PJQ.

I’d always wanted to be stationed in Germany and had finally got my wish – to include a reciprocal German license: DA6PJQ. Early in my tour I had the opportunity to travel to France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Poland. In the early part of 2003, my unit deployed to Kuwait in preparation for the war with Iraq.

All in all, I was deployed for exactly 365 days, spending time in Kuwait, moving up to Baghdad and then moving back down to Kuwait before flying back to Germany in February 2004. I packed my Yachtboy shortwave radio during the deployment and enjoyed keeping up on the news.

I need to do a better job at updating this seeings as I went to Iraq again from June 2007 to June 2008 and operated as YI9MI.

From June 2010 to June 2011 I completed another tour in Korea and held the call HL9MI.

I’m now at Fort Leavenworth and enjoy getting on the radio when I can.

73 Scott AD7MI

4 Comments

  1. Mark Jensen says:

    Scott,
    Great article in Stars & Stripes regarding Ham Radio power!
    I spent 10 years in Yokosuka as 7N4MQN during the haze grey and underway days.
    (my oldest daughter is a DODDS School teacher in Daegu)
    What kind of case do you have your ICOM rig housed in?
    It looks like a keeper.
    All the best in the land of the morning calm.
    73 my friend/ Mark Jensen / WA6MVT

  2. Trippy says:

    Hi Scott, since you’re interested in antennas, and I am as well, here’s a new contest for you and any ham who loves doing anything with antennas! It’s the first anual, and it’s gonna be big! If you could get this to all antenna enthusiasts, and contesters, I’d love it! The info is below! 73, Trippy, ac8s The first annual on the airantenna party.
    Sponsored by Trippy Brown, ac8s.
    starts 2300Z, September 21
    ends 0400Z, September 23
    bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters
    modes: am, cw, fm, ssb.
    purpose: to get as many hams on the air as possible that weekend, and help hams know about different antennas, and hear how they get out, so they can put up one just like it. I want us hams demonstrating our antennas, so other hams, can put up better antennas if they hear one they like.
    exchange: signal report, US state, Canadian province, or dx country, antenna being used, where it’s located, for example, on a balcony, in an attic, how high up it is, and, how much power you’re running.
    An example exchange would be “you’re 59 Alaska, running a long wire, in a backyard, up 10 feet, running 200 watts.”
    work once per band, once per mode.
    Class, single station, single op, I want as many stations on as possible.
    power: must run 200 watts or less.
    Must run only from a fixed location, such as, your place of residence.
    Logging: no logs need to be sent to me. Just take down any info about the other stations antenna that you need to know, such as what is given by the station.
    The station can give as much info on the antenna as needed, such as, how to build it, or, tell the station you’re working, that they can find directions on how to build and put up the antenna at a certain web site, or, to send you an email with a request on info about the antenna.

  3. Jim Hawkins says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for QSO and my first MFSK8 contact. Also, thanks for your service to this country.

    I served in the USAF from 1969-1973. First year spent training as repairman for navigation (doppler and intertial) equipment on F-4s, B-52s, KC-135s. Second two years I was stationed at K.I. Sawyer AFB (SAC) in upper Michigan. While there I was allowed to set up my rig my dorm room on the top floor and stretch a dipole on the roof. I went through a few rigs there and lots and lots of snow.

    I was briefly involved with the MARS station there and gave a course for people who wanted to get a Novice license. I taught Morse code there too.

    Ended my service with about 1 year in Thailand as SSGT.

    I decided to go back to civilian live, but look back on my service years as rewarding.

    I have been a ham for 50 years, having received the General class license in 1962. I just got my Extra in May 2012.

    I just happened to be tuning around on the digital band when I heard the “musical” mfsk signals, so I just took a shot because fldigi had that capability.

    Ham radio sure has changed since I made my first contact on CW with a single tube, 8 watt transmitter and a receiver torn out of an old RCA console in 1962!

    73,
    Jim Hawkins – WA2WHV

  4. Jack Haefner says:

    Scott:

    Bumped into your feed while researching operating in Korea. Every post is a gem. We seem to have many overlapping interests; not uncommon based on our postings.

    Keep up the good work,

    73 Jack NG2E

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