A Little About Me And My Station

Hello, I'm Harold Bell (Hal). I operate Amateur Radio Station K4HB, which is located in Milledgeville, Georgia in the United States. My interest in radio came early in life, while in elementary school, when I constructed a Knight Kit Space Spanner short-wave radio. Listening to foreign broadcasts on this radio really sparked my interest in short-wave. I was so fascinated hearing broadcast stations from around the world. Radio Moscow, one of my favorites, always had a good signal into the US. About the only thing that could pull me away from the radio was in 1957 when Sputnik was making it's rounds. There was nothing more exciting at the time than to run outside at night to watch Sputnik pass over. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision that one day I would not only be hearing Russia on the radio, but would be talking back to Russia. Nor would I have believed I would actually be talking to people in space.

Not only could I hear broadcasters on my short-wave radio, but I could listen in on these people called "hams." One ham I especially remember hearing was Ben Jordan, W4PCF. I was fortunate to meet Ben in person and was invited to sit in on his Friday night sessions with several other local kids, where we learned Morse Code and Ham Radio Theory. What I learned in these sessions prepared me to take and pass the examination for the Novice class license. I was issued the call WN4CUZ in 1962. Ben is now, unfortunately, a silent key. He is dearly missed by his many friends, both hams and non hams. His callsign W4PCF is now the radio callsign of the Milledgeville Amateur Radio Club.

My Novice license expired in 1963 and I wasn't licensed again until 1980, at which time I was relicensed as a General with the call N4DPC. In 1994, I upgraded to Extra and in 1996, I was issued the vanity call K4HB. I'm an active DXer, meaning I go mostly for long distance contacts. I'm also what is know as a "paperchaser," since I chase various amateur radio awards. I find ham radio both rewarding and exciting. I find it most exciting to be able to communicate with other operators in all areas of the world, which include the North Pole and the South Pole. While most of my contacts have been with land based stations, I have also communicated with operators on ships, planes, trains, big tucks, farm tractors, you name it. I even have confirmed contacts with cosmonauts & astronauts aboard orbiting spacecraft! My total country count is 338 countries and political entities confirmed and approved out of a possible 340.

The rigs here are a Yaesu FT-1000 and an Icom-746Pro. This enables me to be active on 2-160 meters. The feature I like most about the FT1000 is the Sub VFO tuning knob, which makes working split operations a breeze. What I like best about the 746Pro is it's ability to cover a wide range of frequencies from 2 meters to 160 Meters. The HF Amplifier is a QRO 25000DX. I normally try to work without extra power, but when it's needed, I turn on the amp. The amplifier especially comes in handy on 160 meters. The 6 meter amplifier is a Command VHF-1200. The 2 meter amp is a Mirage B-5030G rated at 300 watts.

For tuners, I have a LDG AT-200Pro auto-tuner, Ameritron ATR-30, and a homebrew feed point tuner that is operated remotely from the shack. This setup tunes two inverted Ls on the low bands. The feed point tuner is enclosed in an acrylic case and inside a wooden box, which is mounted to a tree approximately 100 feet from the shack. More of this tuner can be seen on the Low Band Antenna System page. My other antennas are three homebrew dipoles, which are fed by ladder lines for HF. The For VHF, the 2 meter antenna is a vertical and a M2 6M5X is used for 6 meters.

While this setup is modest compared to the "Big Guns," I have managed to confirm all 50 states on 10 different bands, more than 100 countries on 10 different bands, and a total of 338 countries of a possible 340 for DXCC Honor Roll. My band/country count is over 2900 confirmed. I have 199 zones approved for 5 Band Worked All Zones, 35 zones approved on 160 Meters, over 2900 prefixes for the WPX award, and over 500 islands approved in the IOTA award program.

Ham Radio And The Internet

The internet is a wonderful and powerful tool when put to good use. I use it mostly to support my ham radio activities. So much useful information is available online to help hams make contacts and to help them get a QSL card from the operators they work. There are sites that spot stations that are on the air and give the frequency they are transmitting on. These stations are spotted by other hams throughout the world. There are sites that that give QSL information, which is the address and sometimes the email address of hams worldwide. Other sites post bulletins which list upcoming operations to those rare and semi rare locations. Many hams have web pages, such as this one. I often communicate with hams whom I have met over the air, via email. It's sad that the ham community is losing potential operators to the internet. Why not have the best of both worlds? I do and I love it.

Station Information

Ga County: Baldwin
Longitude: 8313'52.47"W
Latitude: 3308'27.18"N
Grid: EM83jd
10X # 66945
QCWA # 27660