Must Be Art

Must Be Amateur Radio

Paul Williamson, KB5MU

Must Be Art > Amateur Radio

AMSAT AMSAT has done some of the most exciting stuff in amateur radio today: amateur radio satellites. Yes, amateurs build their own spacecraft and put them in orbit. I've even helped with design, construction, and debug of several spacecraft myself. I was one of the control operators for one of them (AO-16). I established AMSAT's original web pages (replaced by new PHP-based pages in June 2004, and rebuilt again in 2013 using WordPress on a new server), and served as Vice President for Electronic Publication until AMSAT's reorganization of October 2004.
SANDPAC The San Diego Packet Radio Association is dead now, but I was involved from start to finish.
PARC I served as webmaster for the Palomar Amateur Radio Club, the biggest general-interest amateur radio club in San Diego County, from 2002 through 2016.
ARRL I'm a member and supporter of ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. I hold an ARRL appointment as Technical Specialist, and serve several times a year as a volunteer examiner.


See also my software page. Most of the software I've published is connected to amateur radio.


Summer 1977 Novice license, WD5HFW
May 1978 Purchased my first rig, an Eico 753 (ugh), and put up a 40m dipole at my parents' house in Orange, TX
April 1979 Upgraded to General. Bought my first microphone (a beautiful Astatic D-104).
June 1979 Upgraded to Advanced.
July 1979 Received new callsign, KB5MU.
August 1979 Moved to Houston, TX for college.
June 1981 Purchased my first 2m FM rig, an ICOM IC-2AT handheld.
July 1982 Purchased my first decent HF rig, a Kenwood TS-830S.
January 1983 Upgraded to Extra (at the Houston FCC office)
July 1983 Started into digital communications with an AEA CP-1 computer interface for RTTY using a Commodore VIC-20 computer. I swore to myself that the computer was only for amateur radio. Oh yeah.
January 1984 Moved to San Diego, CA for work - apartment bound. Worked mostly 2m FM, including lots of traffic handling on the local net.
February 1985 Moved into a house (renting a room).
April 1985 Put up an HF antenna again, thanks to a cool landlord.
September 1986 Made my first satellite contact via RS-5.
March 1988 Made my first packet satellite contact on the FO-12 satellite BBS.
October 1990 Bought my first house. Room for antennas!
since then... Filled up the house with toys.

Here's a picture of the antenna farm in San Diego before they all came down in 2004 for a house renovation project:

[Antenna Farm]

Visible, counterclockwise from the upper left:

Not visible is a chimney-mounted 2m/1.25m dual-band vertical.

That house is now rented out, so all those antennas are down. The new place is nominally covered by CC&R's that prohibit antennas, but there is no homeowner's association and thus no enforcement. No one has complained about my 43-foot vertical for HF with automatic antenna tuner at the base.