My favorite hobby is Amateur (Ham) Radio. From my station , I can talk to other HAMS around the world with voice (phone), morse code, and teletype. Once upon a time I had an Amateur Television station where I could see the other people with whom I spoke. But, I sold that transmitter not long after I bought it because I got sick of looking at the same person all the time. There was only one other amateur operator in my town with ATV. The above picture is of my shack in 1996 when I lived in Ishpeming, Michigan. The picture below is my current shack in Aurora, Minnesota.

Whenever amateur operators make a contact with another station, they send each other their QSL cards to confirm the contact. HAMS collect QSL cards and use them to apply for awards such as "WORKED ALL STATES" and "WORKED ALL COUNTRIES" among others. My card is on display here. I have a collection of cards from all around the world.

I enjoy operating AM PHONE. AM is a mode seldom used in amateur radio these days. These pictures show my AM equipment. My transmitters consist of a Heathkit DX-100 (vintage 1953) and a Collins 32V2 (vintage 1951). The receiver I use is a Hammarlund HQ-129-X (vintage 1948). The station delivered a whopping 150 Watt carrier, and is plate modulated. This equipment is very bulky. The Heathkit transmitter weighs 100 lbs., and the Collins weighs slightly more. The receiver weighs over 50 lbs. This equpiment is a pleasure to operate, especially on those cool winter evenings. With the lights turned off the tubes in the radio emit a mysterious glow about the room. The heat from the transmitter keeps my ham shack toasty warm.

This picture was taken in 1996. Here I am sitting at my operating desk with a future HAM, my son, Chad. Chad loves to play with his Dad's radios. Often, I catch him alone at the desk making a secret contact (luckily I keep the radios unplugged whenever I am away).

In the early 90's, I visited a fellow amateur in Marquette (Michigan). When I entered his shack, I noticed he had a commercial-made "ON THE AIR" sign hanging above the door. I tried to purchase the sign from him, but he would not give it up. Recently, I made a protoype of the same sign from memory. This sign was constucted using plexiglass, masking tape, and black paint. The sign is mounted on a pine frame and is lit using a 7 Watt night-light bulb.

You are looking at the base of my tower, which was recently erected (Novemeber, 1999). The tower is a 40 foot Rohn 20G. At the base of the tower I mounted an aluminum plate which contains 6 bulkhead SO-239 connectors. All the coax's on the tower are terminate here. This serves 3 purposes: (1)All coax shields are grounded at the zero voltage point of the tower. This will keep RF off the shields when I load my tower as a vertical antenna. (2)All the feedlines can be disconnected at the tower to prevent static from entering the shack during thunderstorms. (3)Allows me to connect a jumper cable from the tower to the garage when I decide to operate from that position.

Willy's Favorite Ham Links

QRZ Callbook
ARRL Homepage
W8YY Mich. Tech. Univ. ARC
NORCAL QRP web site.