My first foray into radio was in 1995, when I worked at a AM/FMx4 Radio cluster in Ohio (WILE AM/FM, WCMJ FM, WWKC FM, WBNV FM). The Broadcast engineer took me under his wing, and taught me enough to be dangerous when it came to RF, Computers (specifically VAX/VMS and Linux), and electronics. A random sunday morning he asked me if I wanted to make a road trip, and we went to a Ham Radio sponsored by the Marion County (Ohio) Amateur Radio Club, went to see Big Ear Operate for one of the last weekends, and got got the company van stuck in rural Ohio on the way home – and I’ve been hooked ever since. I started out with the “General Radiotelephone Operators Permit” (for broadcast) in 1995, and have always had some level of licensing since then. My call sign has changed a few times since then, but, I was able to get K4IMW in 2018 and it’ll probably be mine until then. I am an Extra Class, and I do VE work for both GLAARG as well as Laurel: helping new hams – regardless of age – get into the hobby is something that I enjoy doing, and if you’re wanting to join the hobby, just reach out to me, and I’ll try to point you at the right resources!
From there, I went and grabbed a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, focusing on RF and Computer Hardware. I have an MBA with an emphasis on Non-Profit Administration, and another degree that I rarely use, but, I don’t do a lot with that anymore. I’m currently a Senior Information Security Guy/Architect at my current company, and while my company is very supportive of me, any thoughts or opinions that are expressed online – either here, my “technical blog,” or twitter/discord are my thoughts and my thoughts alone, and may not represent those of my employer.
I occasionally chase severe weather to help out my local National Weather Service office by providing real ‘on-the-ground’ information about what’s happening with storms, and providing first-aid from motorists or individuals who have been impacted by severe weather.
I am a former Paramedic and sometimes have APRS enabled when I’m out and about.
I run a few different ‘modes’ of equipment. Most of my traffic is either on VHF, UHF, or Brandmeiser.
- A Remote Ham Radio subscription (this is how I primarily handle HF working).
- An ICOM IC-9700 for VHF/UHF comms.
- A MMDVM Hat for Brandmeiser that runs pi-star with a Raspberry 4.
- An ICOM FD-62D for communicating with my MMDVM over NXDN/iDAS.
- I utilize both Uniden and Whistler Scanning producs, as well as trunk-recorder for capturing P25 traffic.
- A Kenwood TM-D710GA for handling my APRS and listening to the calling frequency
- An ICOM ID-5100A for communicating while on the go.
- A L3Harris Money Pit
- A L3Harris Money Pit
- A Yaesu FT-2D
I encourage you to reach out to me if you see me or my vehicle and feel free to ask me any questions!
Thoughts on inclusivity and privacy in ham radio
Amateur Radio should be inclusive to ensure that everyone who is licensed has access to the airwaves. We can support inclusivity in amateur radio in many different ways, making sure that you’re being supportive and empathetic with those who you communicate with. We, as a hobby, should be more inclusive rather than exclusive: it takes you no more energy to be positive on the radio than it does to be a grouchy asshole. Help others who have accessibilty needs by encouraging blind, hearing impaired, and neurodivergant individuals to explore the hobby.
Your call sign is public data, and having your name and address public as being part of the “trade” to use the public spectrum is challenging for those who are in abusive situations, those in the middle of a gender/identity crisis, and those who value their privacy. If you’re a ham, and you need an address, let me know – you’re more than welcome to send things to my PO Box…just email me and we can work it out.