NOTE: Since my heart attack and open heart
surgery we moved from the farm to a smaller
QTH in Saint Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
See my new QTH
This picture web site acts somewhat as a before and
after record of my restoration efforts to get my Ham
Shack up and running again after it was wacked by a
falling tree during hurricane Katrina. Originally this
structure was a two story play house built by the
previous owner for his kids. The upper and lower rooms
were originally plain unenclosed stud walls. Now, since
Katrina, the big kid here has added the little window
a/c, then, with the help of a local handyman, insulated
the walls and ceiling and paneled them in 1/4 cedar
boards (to keep bugs away).
Much of the equipment and gadgets shown in the photos
was in storage for years, and some of it went under
water as a result of flooding from Hurricane Isadore.
This happened when we lived in a camp style structure
on a barrier Island separating Lake Catherine from Lake
Borgne in South Louisiana. That structure was also
totally destroyed by hurricane Katrina five months
after we moved. This island was 25 miles SE of the city
of New Orleans. I am now slowly repairing and
rebuilding much of what can still be salvaged or
giving it away to newer local Hams.
To quickly get on the air, I purchased an inexpensive 2
meter IC-2200 transceiver and fashioned a quick simple
dipole from an old telescoping pair of TV rabbit ears.
That was easy and it worked ok, however I wanted
something with a bit more gain. Following Terry Bajuk,
KS5Z, instructions, I build my first real antenna in
years, a J-Poll. The total cost of material for the J-
Pole was an amazingly low $12.77. The angle of the J-
Pole photo makes it look a lot longer than it actually
is. The J-Pole is held up on two 10 foot length of 4
inch PVC which was slipped over a 3 foot length of
standard 3 inch PVC buried 2 feet into the ground,
essentially resulting in a self supporting vertical.
My current antenna project is building a 2M 4EL Yagi
style beam. This beam caught my attention because of
the unique way the driven or active element is
connected to the coaxial feed line. Its basically a
direct connection, thus eliminating touchy Gamma or T
matches. Whats really neat is utilizing a PVC frame to
house and contain the various elements. This lends
itself to easy construction and minimal weight. You can
find more details on building this beam at
HamUniverse. My hats off to the guys who dream up
these clever ideas.
Cheap plastic cabinets with drawers ($9@) from WalMart
made storing and organizing my junk a bit easier. The
wall shelving (recently installed) was from one of my
early businesses and always moved with me from place to
place as we relocated. It was very easy to put up and take
A photo of interest is my original Novice Amateur Radio
License issued in 1956 when I was 13+ years old. I
recall taking the code test for my Novice ticket at a
U.S. Navy Radio station (W5USN) on the south shore of
Lake Pontchartrain. My how time flys when you are
I plan to add to this site as things progress! Stay
tuned :) Meanwhile, until I can get back on HF, you can
find me from time to time on various Internet Chat
services including my own.
Another of my various
hobbies is programming where I authored an IM Chat
program called PopNote .
I originally created PopNote to keep up with some of my family and friends who were
dispersed all over the world. Many Hams friends
took an interest so I eventually released it as freeware.
Here you can find out more details about my programming projects.
Here are photos of other damage Hurricane Katrina
caused at my QTH.
For a great "how to" site on building Antennas visit Don (N4UJW) Butler's
HamUniverse Web Portal.
You are also invited to read my reviews of other poplar VOIP and Video chat software
including my "Hints and Tips" using EchoLink
and my Blog that I call The Briefing Room.
Since the advent of Google's WebRTCs (a unique free multi
conference Voice and Video protocol) I can be found most
days there. webRTC only requires you have a modern Web
Browsers, (i.e. no special software needed).
Mikes Chat Room
My Gmail ID is mike.k5hum. If you havent requested a free Gmail
account yet, you are missing out on some great new services.