Hello, my name is Jim, operator of amateur radio station AB4D. My interest in radio began at a young age (9 years) in the fall of 1972 with a gift from my parents, a Lafayette Radio 10 channel VHF/UHF scanner purchased from the long been defunct Lafayette Radio store in Falls Church, VA. I vividly remember searching the local white papers to select the proper crystals for the scanner. When I finally got the crystals installed, and the scanner working, I was intrigued by the "magic" of radio and radio scanning. I was into scanning and listening to AM Broadcast DX until about age 13, then my radio interests somewhat dwindled during my adolescence/young adult years, only sporadically monitoring a few times a year. Later, in 1985 my interest in radio was rekindled. I had been married for a couple of years and my wife and I purchased our first home which needed remodeling. I was spending a lot of time at home doing projects, so I decided to treat myself to a new scanner, a Radio Shack Pro 2006. I had a knack for tinkering with things electronic, so I also spent some of my spare time repairing electronics for some of my friends. A mutual friend introduced me to Rick KC4REW, who showed me ham radio. After seeing ham radio, I knew I wanted my own license too.
In September 1993 I passed the Technician examination, and in December 1993 I was granted the call sign of KE4IAQ (in those days it took months to get the FCC to act on your application). Subsequently, I upgraded to Tech Plus, then passed the General and Advanced, and was granted the call KU4BV. Soon thereafter I upgraded to Extra, obtaining the call of AF4BL. Finally, in April 1997 I obtained the call of AB4D through gate 2 of the FCC's "new" vanity call program.
My main interest in amateur radio is working HF and VHF SSB DX, but I also enjoy local contacts on HF SSB phone, 2 meter FM, and HF CW on a rare occasion. In the future, I want to experiment with the digital modes, and learn more about the D-Star protocol which appears, may have a significant impact on the future of VHF/UHF amateur radio communications. I have used packet radio in the past, but it appears that packet VHF it is mostly outdated, and there is little if any current local packet activity on the 2 meter band except APRS.
Most recently, I have not been very active on the radio, except for using an Icom IC-706MkII mobile on the local repeaters, and for making a few HF mobile contacts. In December 2004, I relocated to Warren County, Virginia, (the town of Front Royal is the County Seat http://ci.front-royal.va.us/), and finally have enough space to put up a decent HF antenna system. Currently (9/07), I am in the process of slowly rebuilding my "shack" and haven't done any antenna work as of yet. In the future, I will post more detailed information about my ham radio station/activities and will try to post a few photographs of my station. Until then...73 de Jim AB4D.