Who is this guy who has been developing the new HCRA website? Well here is your chance to find out. Our October member profile is on HCRA member and webmaster extraordinaire Jeff – NT1K.
Name: Jeffrey Bail
Town: West Springfield
Previous Callsigns: N1BMX, KB1GJQ
License Class: Extra
Main station equipment: Yaesu FT-950 HF+6M All mode, Yaesu FT-736R 2M 1.25m and 70cm All mode , Yaesu FT-1900R 2M FM, Motorola Maxtrac for 70CM FM. I have a homebrew 5el 2m Yagi, Diamond X-510 Dualband vert, 10M Dipole, G5RV and a ButterNut HF9V that still needs to be installed. I also have a Heathkit SB-200 500W Amp for a little help here and there
Mobile station equipment: Motorola MCS2000 UHF Only
Favorite Band(s): 20M SSB and 75M SSB
Favorite Mode(s): SSB, PSK31, JT65 and RTTY
What year were you first licensed and what license class? 2001 with the call KB1GJQ. I hated the call so much that I’ve changed to N1BMX within weeks. You might not see it now but I used to really be into BMX (Bicycle Motocross). Changed the call when I obtained extra class because it’s obvious I don’t do BMX anymore and I had extra class…. Why not!
How did you become interested in amateur radio? I’ve been into radio ever since I could understand the Radio Shack catalog in the early 90’s. Started off with CB radio in the mid 90’s and when my uncle Don (N1JOI, SK) noticed I was spending more than I should on CB’s he started bringing me to MTARA meetings at the soldiers home in Holyoke and some HCRA auctions. I Participated in Field Day in 1995 at Mount Tom where I got to play on 40M which got me hooked and I was more determined to get my license. I’ve tried a couple times in the mid 90’s to get my license but my brother had to one up me (he got N1XSA) so I gave up until my senior year in High School.
What are some of your favorite aspects of the hobby? I enjoy almost all aspects of the hobby to a certain extent. That’s what is so great about Amateur Radio; there is something to always keep you busy. If I were to pick a favorite, It would have to be contesting followed by DIY/Kit building.
What is your most memorable experience in the hobby? At this point in time, passing my General class license. After getting initially licensed in 2001, I was in and out of the hobby. The only time I was active was around field day when I knew I could operate outside of my license privileges. Over time other hobbies took over and Amateur Radio was put on the back burner. After getting married, purchasing a home and having kids, I’ve found myself home more and more, which caused Amateur radio to come back. However, I wanted to do more than VHF/UHF so I made sure to get my General to take advantage of HF.
If different from the above question, what was your most memorable contact on the radio? Making my first JA (Japan) contact on 10M using 50W into a dipole that is located in my attic in 2011. Was really impressed because I thought I would never hit Japan.
What do you feel ham radio operators must do to help ensure the future of the hobby? I feel that ALL operators should put aside their differences and embrace any changes or new technology that could attract new and younger operators and make them stay active in the hobby. It may not be your particular cup of tea, but don’t dismiss it because of your personal beliefs. Things like SDR, “Digital Modes”, Digital Communications (e.g., D-Star P25, C4FM) and “No-Code” licenses are what attracts some of those new people to keep our hobby going.