wb4huc

lake travis, tx



Youtube Channel

I have a YouTube channel where I post stuff that is interesting to me. I can't say anyone else would be interested, but check it out if you like.

Most of the videos demonstrate various features of the N4PY Pegasus Plus software that I use with my OMNI VII transceiver but there are a few videos on other topics.

Six Meters

My favorite band is six meters. I operated six meters back in the mid-1970's from Huntsville, AL using my dad's station which was either a Lafayette HA-460 transceiver or a Utica 650 transceiver connected to a 6 element beam up about 40 feet.

We operated AM only, no sideband or cw. My dad even ran the HA-460 mobile for a while with a squalo antenna mounted to the back bumper of the station wagon where it rode 2 or 3 feet up above the car.

There was a lot of local six meter activity in Huntsville back in those days. A net was held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there would be 30 or 40 check ins from all over North Alabama. My dad and I would have ragchew sessions on Sunday afternoons with several local guys. Operating six was a lot of fun back then even though it was all low power AM.

I got back on six meters in October 2013 after being off the band for about 35 years. I'm not sure what took me so long to get back on the band but I put a 2 element beam on the tower and it's up about 45 feet. I use a Ten Tec OMNI VII and an Elecraft KPA 500 amplifier.

I've been keeping some records since I got back on six meters in 2013 and I've put them in the table below. Confirmed means confirmed with a paper QSL card. I get more confirmations through paper QSL cards than I do through the ARRL Logbook of the World.

My SMIRK number is 6974.

                          Updated August 04, 2016
Worked Confirmed
States 37 37
Grid Squares 194 147
DXCC Entities 11
Smirk Members 95 67



The station as of January 2016

Station photo January 2016 - click photo for larger image

Primary Station

Ten Tec OMNI VII

N4PY Control Panel

Click the photo to see a larger version.

My main station transceiver is a Ten Tec OMNI VII which I operate using the N4PY control software.

Model 302R Remote Encoder Keypad

I use a Model 302 remote tuning encoder for tuning the VFO. The encoder has the tuning knob, 3 function keys, and a numeric keypad. Radio controls can be assigned to the three function keys and all of the keypad keys except the E key.

You can almost operate the radio entirely from the tuning encoder if you assign the button functions according to the way you operate. You almost never have to use the mouse to work the software.

My computer has four 9-pin serial ports. The radio, the KPA500 amplifier, and the serial relay board are plugged into three of the ports. The N4PY software talks to all three devices so that the amplifier automatically changes bands when the radio changes bands. The proper antenna for each band is automatically selected through the serial relay board which is wired into the Ameritron RCS-8V antenna switch.

The logging software reads the frequency and mode from the Omni VII when I make a new log entry so that I don't have to remember to do it.

The amplifier can be operated through the N4PY software. The amp can be turned on or off, put into operate or standby mode, and the current operating temperature and any fault codes will be displayed in the software. Faults can also be cleared from the software by cyling the amp between standby and operate modes.

The N4PY software talks to the HDSDR software that controls the SDRPlay software defined receiver. The SDR provides a second receiver and panadapter up through six meters for the Omni VII. When the radio is tuned the SDR follows and when a signal is mouse-clicked in the SDR panadapter display the Omni VII is tuned to that frequency.

Click the images below to see some diagrams that show how everything is wired together.

WB4HUC Station Wiring Diagram
Click the above image to go to the station wiring page.

WB4HUC Software  Control Diagram
Click the above image to go to the software control page.

WB4HUC ADR2200 Diagram
Click the above image to go to the automatic antenna switching page.

Other Radios

Ten Tec Eagle
Ten Tec Eagle

I bought a Ten Tec Eagle in June 2015. I like it a lot. I use it mostly for CW but I have operated phone with it.

Yaesu FT-817ND

I use the FT-817 when operating portable. I run it off a 7ah battery and I use my Buddipole antenna system. I added the 500hz cw filter which makes a big difference in CW operation. When I'm not operating portable I have the radio set up so I can use it at home.

Early Ham Years

I got my Novice license in 1971 and call sign WN4UPI. I kept my Novice license for the entire 2-year term then upgraded to Technician class, then General class. My dad was always trading stuff so I had several different radios as a Novice but my favorite station was the Heathkit DX-60 transmitter and the RME-6900 receiver. Everyone knows what the DX-60 is but maybe are not familiar with the RME-6900. Here's a YouTube video that demonstrates the radio. I always loved that huge slide rule dial.



Professional Career

IBM 370 Model 138, around 1980

IBM 370 Model 138, around 1980 at General Computer Services in Huntsville, AL

Professionally I have worked in the computer software industry since 1975, almost exclusively in the IBM mainframe world. I started on an IBM 360 Model 50, then a 370 Model 138, 3031, 3033, and so on up to the current generation of mainframes. I've beem a computer operator, CICS systems programmer, production support manager, applications programmer, and have had several other jobs on the mainframe along the way.

I've worked for a bank, an insurance company, and a couple of contract companies but for most of my career I have worked for software companies.

Currently I do software development and support for SAS (formerly SAS Institute). When I started at SAS in 1996 I provided technical support for the SYSTEM 2000 Database Management Software but now I do development and support for SAS Fraud Management.

I used to write software for my own use but I don't really do that any more. I wrote a packet radio terminal program (remember packet radio?) for the Atari 800 and I wrote a control program for my Ten Tec RX-320 receiver that ran on Palm OS PDAs. My favorite programming language is REXX which started out as a scripting language for VM/CMS. Now it runs under z/OS as well as DOS, Windows, Linux, and I think even on Apple computers.

The extent of my software coding for personal use these days limited to writing small SAS programs to produce various reports from the Logic 9 software log database. I also write utility software on the mainframe for my own use using ISPF, REXX, COBOL, and SAS and sometimes a little assembler language code where needed.