Greetings my fellow amateur radio friends! I’m so happy you’ve found my ham radio home for K0LWC.
How I became interested in radio communications
I started out in radio communications when I was introduced to 11 meters by my father when I was nine years old. Since that time I have held a GMRS license and now my amateur radio license.
Growing up I can remember always loving walkie-talkies. Whether we’re talking CB radio, FRS, GMRS, it didn’t matter. I loved them all. You can see me working GMRS while sitting in my father’s 11 meter shack when I was just a kid (photo left) back in central Wisconsin. I would spend countless hours experimenting with how far the HTs would go and what I could do to increase their efficiency. Sitting in my bedroom, I would use an old boombox with a telescoping antenna and listen to distant AM stations coming in from around the world in the overnight hours. I even put tinfoil on the antenna to increase the received signal. Just don’t tell my mother where all the aluminum foil went.
Finally getting my ham radio license
I received my amateur radio license in 2007 right before I left for college. While in school I was active around the Menomonie, WI area and met some great elmers. My good friend Dan (KC9LZF) and I would set up my Icom 706MKIIG portable in a local park since operating from the dorm was out of the question- talk about RFI!
In 2011, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Stout where I studied Information & Communication Technologies with an emphasis in digital marketing. After being “done” with Wisconsin’s harsh winters I moved out to Colorado in 2012 and began working for Centura Health. I was responsible for handling social media marketing for a large health system throughout southern Colorado. My time in Colorado Springs is something I’ll always remember, I still miss gazing at Pike’s Peak every morning on my way to work.
In 2013, I moved north to Denver and worked at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus where I worked for nearly eight years. After my son was born I moved my family to Maple Grove, MN to be closer to family. I currently work in digital marketing for a large healthcare company in the Twin Cities metro.
Where am I hanging on Ham Radio?
I’m interested in APRS, portable operations (VHF/UHF, HF) and DMR/C4FM/DSTAR. You can find me on:
- Brandmeister Talkgroup 310847 (SkyHubLink)
- Brandmeister Talkgroup 31629 (SwINe)
- Yaesu System Fusion MNWIS Room (C4FM)
- HF bands (40/20/15/17/10)
Other related hobbies
I also have a passion for meteorology. I’ve been fascinated with severe weather since I was a child; I remember biking down the street as a child to watch incoming storms in central Wisconsin. I grew up going to the lirbary and get inter-library loaned textbooks from the University of Wisconsin – Madison on meteorology and reading them for fun. Through the years I’ve chased storms across the Upper Midwest documenting many kinds of weather phenomena. My specific area of expertise is real-time mesoscale analysis, particularly using NEXRAD radar to detect sever weather criteria.
Inside the KØLWC ham radio shack
My ham radio shack is growing every month and I’m currently in the middle of building my new ham shack in Minnesota. Here is my current equipment list:
- Icom 7300
- Kenwood D710G (2M-70CM)
- Kenwood D74A
- Yaesu VX-6R
- Yaesu FT1DX
- AnyTone D868 (Analog and Digital)
- AnyTone D878 (Analog and Digital)
- AnyTone D578 (Analog and Digital)
- Uniden BCD-436
- LDG AT200-ProII Tuner
- Dell PC running Windows 10 Professional with dual 27″ monitors
- Cicsco 525G – Hamshack Hotline VoIP
- Diamond X300NA VHF/UHF vertical
My antenna setup at my old QTH in Denver, CO
I had one of two antennas set up at my place, it just depended on what I was experimenting with at any one time. Here is my 40m dipole that stretched across my backyard. It was only 35′ in a sloping configuration. The life of an urban ham is not easy; take it from me. However, my antenna did a great job and allowed me to make many contacts. I was very close to getting my Worked All States (WAS) award. I also made contact with a fair amount of DX.
Working on my new ham shack in Maple Grove, MN
In May of 2020, we purchased a home in the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. I’ve been in ham shack planning mode ever since. Here is the latest photo from inside the K0LWC ham shack.
VHF/UHF vertical antenna
I’m currently running a Diamond X300 mounted to a 1.25” antenna mast. It’s anchored to my deck with a custom fabricated aluminum base plate. The antenna mast puts the tip of the antenna near 40 feet above the ground.
The antenna is fed with 100 feet of genuine LMR-600 for superior performance on VHF/UHF.k
I may upgrade to a Diamond X510 and put it another 15 feet higher in the Spring of 2021. That remains to be seen!
K0LWC HF antenna
If you’ve made contact me on HF you’ve likely heard me on my ZS6BKW wire. That’s a 93′ modified version of a G5RV. It’s at 50′ AGL at the center conductor and oriented WNW to ESE. However, the WNW leg gets about around 70′.
My rolling electric ham shack – the K0LWC mobile
I have one of the coolest ham radio mobiles a guy could ask for. It’s a Tesla Model 3 LR and it’s an awesome car to work mobile in — especially digital. In my car I have VHF/UHF capability on both analog and DMR digital. The large 15″ screen in the car allows me to have a digital dashboard up as I’m driving so I never miss a thing. The antenna is a Comet SBB-5 on a Diamond K400 lip mount.