In 1992 I took the Basic Amateur Radio Operating Test and passed. I had become a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and choose the call sign VE3FMC. I choice that call as I worked for Ford Motor Company and thought it would be an easy call to remember and others would remember it too.


          After operating on the VHF 2 Meter Band for a couple of years I passed my first Morse Code endorsement of 5 Words Per Minute. This allowed me to operate on the HF or High Frequency Bands. I was granted operating privileges on 80 and 160 meters. Due to the length of antenna required to operate on 160 Meters I was not able to use that band. However I had room for an antenna for 80 Meters and soon I was on the air talking all over the United States and Canada. The best time to use 80 Meters is at night, so I spent many a late night in my Radio Room, or Ham Shack as it is called.


          By December of 1995 I had upgraded my code requirements to 12 WPM and I was then granted full operating privileges on all the HF Bands. Now I could easily work stations in Europe, Asia and all over the world. Simple wire antennas will allow contacts worldwide if conditions are right. Next step was taking the Advanced License test. After passing that I was allowed to run more power.


          My current station consists of a Yaesu FTdx-1200 with a Heil GM-5 mic, Ameritron AL-80A amplifier, Palstar AT1500 antenna tuner and Autek WM1 SWR/Power meter.


          My backup HF radio is a Yaesu FT-950, and I have a Heil GM-5 mic on that radio. I operate digital modes with this radio with a SignaLink USB interface and various software that copies and sends digital modes.


I operate on HF using digital modes, PSK31, RTTY, OLIVIA and JT65.


Below are some photos of my radio equipment.


Yaesu FTdx-1200 160-6 Meter HF Radio

Yaesu SP-2000 speaker

Ten Tec Paddles

SignaLink USB

Autek WM 1 SWT/POWER Meter

Alinco DM-330MV Switching Power Supply




Ameritron AL-80A 160-10 Meter HF Amplifier

Plastar AT1500 Antenna Tuner

CDE Rotor Control

Ameritron RCS-4 Remote Coax Switch Control Box.

On top of the shelf to the right is a Yaesu FT-2500 2 Meter FM radio




Main computer monitor 32 inch flat screen Sanyo




One of two monitors used for operating digital software and rig control

software. I can operate my FTdx-1200 with the mouse on the computer it is

connected to. The software also contains my log book and digital mode software.





The Heil GM-5 boom mounted microphone.

















I have a Hy-Gain 12AVQ mounted 16 feet off the ground with four resonate radials for each band.


I put up a 12 Meter ground plane for the winter, that antenna is supported by a maple tree!


Below is a photo of a Hy-Gain TH2-MK3 that I installed on December 12, 2012.

It replaces an old TA-33JR. The cross arm on the tower holds a 80 meter and 40 meter dipole.


TH2-MK3 2



A Cushcraft 3 element yagi for 6 meters. That support arm supports a 17 Meter dipole.