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 FT-950 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 recently purchased Kenwood TS-850S, and I have a Heil GM-5 mic on that radio.


          I use a Kenwood TS-570S with a SignaLink USB to operate digital modes.


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


I recently added some lighting underneath the shelf that computer monitor is sitting on. The lighting is 12 VDC LED Strip lighting. With it turned on I do not need any other lights on in the shack while operating. Energy savings!



A photo of my operating desk.




My Yaesu FT-950



The Kenwood radios, the TS-570S on the left, the TS-850S on the right.





Ameritron AL-80A HF Amplifier


Nov 008.JPG


This is this switching setup I use so I can switch between the three HF radios.

The FT-950 and TS-850S feed into the 2 position switch and from there into the AL-80A amplifier.

From the amp back into the Alpha-Delta switch. That switch also has the TS-570S fed into it.

So that allows me to switch between the three radios.


The remote coax switches handle the 6 HF antennas.








This is a new 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 & a 30 meter dipole.


17 and 12 meters are covered by two home made ground plane antennas that

are mounted in the maple tree behind my house. Simple but they do work well considering

the height they are mounted at.


TH2-MK3 2



A Cushcraft 3 element yagi for 6 meters. That support arm will soon be holding up a 30/17 meter fan dipole.