About me and this blog

(updated June 1, 2012)

My parents named me Keith.  The FCC calls me WH7GG, Whiskey Hotel Seven Golf Golf.

I am an amateur radio operator (otherwise known as a “ham”) based out of Kailua, Hawaii.  I’ve been a ham since July 2007 and have climbed the ladder:

  • Passed Technician exam: June 20, 2007
  • Received callsign: July 2, 2007
  • Passed General exam: February 28, 2009
  • Passed Extra exam: October 16, 2010
  • First DX contact: February 12, 2011 (local Hawaii time), with the Cook Islands

Along the way, I’ve gotten a lot of help from other hams who have come before me, in particular a co-worker, a well-known ham here in these parts. “Elmering,” as amateur radio operators call mentoring, is a tradition passed on from generation to generation. I originally started this blog as a Technician to chronicle my growth as a ham. Now I’m an Extra, and I’ve passed all the exams offered, and now can administer them myself (as part of a VE team with at least two others). But that doesn’t mean my learning has stopped. It never will. I hope to chronicle what happens in the ham world around me, and in so doing, (1) help other hams, and (2) help others who may be interested, get into the hobby.

Currently, I frequent the local 146.88 MHz (-) repeater here on Oahu and attend meetings of the Emergency Amateur Radio Club, where I’m the newsletter editor and the regular Tuesday night net control station. I’m also a Volunteer Examiner with the ARRL VEC. And, on HF (shortwave), I’ve been spending more time on 20 meters than is good for me, and in particular, I’ve discovered and gotten hooked on PSK31, making more contacts on the computer than on the microphone. Recently I’ve also started to branch out to the other bands as well.

My current goals: Get better at Morse code, get a good antenna for my HF station, learn more about digital modes on HF, VHF, and UHF, and continue to help other hams along the way.

My current equipment consists of the following:

  • Base: Yaesu FT-857D HF/VHF/UHF radio (100W max on HF, 50W on 2 meters, 20W on 440). Connected on HF to a LDG YT-100 tuner, and an end-fed dipole matchbox antenna made by members of the Emergency Amateur Radio Club. Connected on VHF/UHF to an Arrow Antenna GP146/440 ground plane antenna. Powered by a Samlex SEC-1235M power supply.
  • Reserve/Go-Kit: Yaesu FT-7800R dual band mobile (50W max on 2m, 40W max on 70cm) into a MFJ 1724B dual band mobile antenna and magmount.
  • Portable: Yaesu FT-60R dual band walkie with an aftermarket rubber duckie
  • Mobile antennas: MFJ 1724B quarter-wave dual-band; Workman KS1SMA quarter-wave dual-band

When I’m not on the air, I enjoy music, computers, and distance running.

And no, this is not a vanity call. It was sequential, and was first assigned to me as a Tech; I haven’t changed it. Despite how the last two letters of my callsign (GG) are read in ITU phonetics, I’ve tried, but I just can’t hit that little white ball. My hand-eye coordination is pretty much non-existent. :( Still, though, having a repeated-letter suffix is pretty easy to remember, so I’m probably going to keep it for a while at least. Think “triple sevens” – 7, followed by the 7th letter twice.

If you have any helpful hints, feel free to comment on any of my entries…your comments may also help someone else later on.  Feel free to check out the rest of my site.

If you want to learn more about ham radio, you can start by reading my “Ham Basics” series (links to which are on the right side of the page). The Amateur Radio Relay League is also a good place to start. Let me know if you have any questions.

Legalese

All text copyright © 2008 Keith K. Higa. All rights reserved.

Graphic elements released under the following licenses:

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