MY HOBBY PAGE
I became interested in Amateur Radio shortly after getting out of the Navy, December 7th 1945. It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I got my license in 1953. My favorite bands were 40 and 15 mtr's. I had an AM ultra modulated home brew pair of 813's. When SSB became popular, I built a phasing type of SSB exciter, all solid state, using Tung-Sol, the first generation of replacement transistors. My Ham Radio Station was all home brew except for my SX 71 receiver. I home brewed my tower and beam as well.
The great thing about Ham Radio back then, before incentive licensing, was that there was no distinction between hams. We all QSO'ed together, enabling the new hams to learn from the older ones. Hopefully we are headed back in that direction.
I was not very active on the bands for about 10 years, (1964-1974) while running two businesses. When I got back on the air in the late 70's, I became interested in SSTV. (Slow Scan TeleVision)
I bought my first scan converter, a Robot 70, which was an 8 1/2 second B&W using a CRT with a long persistence. By the time it was scanning the bottom of the picture, the top was fading out. I was bit by the bug and moved up to the Robot 400. With the 400 we were able to send 12 second pictures and could modify it to 36-second pictures. I then upgraded to a 1200C, using a Commodore 64 computer for the graphics, running a program written by the late Tom Hibbins, KB9MC. This was before the popularity of the color camcorders.
We made color pictures with a black and white camera, using three, (red green and blue) filters. We would take three pictures of the same object, while holding a filter in front of the camera lens. Then mixing the three together for a color picture. All of our pictures were stored on audiotape. All of the Robot modes have a sync pulse at the beginning of each line. This allows them to be stored on audiotape. It was a very popular way of making and saving pictures. It took 6 minutes to store a picture on a floppy disk.
After retiring, in 1991, and moving to Trinity, I bought my first IBM PC-compatible. I first used Bert's (W5ZR) SSTV PC program with my 1200C. Bert was the early pioneer in writing PC programs for the 1200C. Several others followed him; one was Tom (N9AMR) who wrote a fine program that I used for years.
John Langner (WB2OSZ) accomplished the next advancement in SSTV. He developed the first SSTV Computer System called Pasokon TV. It was done with software and a board that plugged into an ISA slot in the computer.
Shortly thereafter, Ben Vester (K3BC) wrote a GW basic SSTV program that used a simple Op Amp interface that plugged into the serial port of the computer. To run this program, as Ben intended, required some knowledge of GW basic and computer programming. It was fun and we learned a lot about GW basic.
This simple serial interface started an avalanche of SSTV programs to be written. They kept getting better and better. I think I tried them all.
The next generation of SSTV programs was Window based, using the sound card for the interface. Most of them run fine on all machines. The better ones like ChromaPix require a modern fast machine.
Every since the digital mode of sending
pictures over ham radio was available, I have been trying all of the different versions.
I like EasyPal the best.
I have a GE 2.4 GHz cordless phone interfaced to my HF radio so I can walk all over the house and my six acres. I carry it in my shirt pocket and use a one-ear head set/mic. I like it so well; I use it all the time.
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