Last updated Thu, 02 Jun 2011
Most folks probably describe their shack here, but I decided to create a separate page for my shack and equipment.
I'm pretty active on this wiki. To encourage other users, I've put together a wiki help/links page.
I received my Technician license in Feb 2009 and upgraded to General the following month. I'm trying to get some on-the-air experience before I try to upgrade to Amateur Extra. I bought the ARRL manual back in 2009, and with the question pool changing in 2012 I guess it's time for me to get cracking!
I applied for my vanity call the day after I got my Tech license. I wanted a 1x3 call with "JIM" as the suffix, and N3JIM was the only such available. I applied for it, even though I'm a "sixer" through and through. I have lived in 3-land, but it was only for about six months when I was 10 years old, long before I got my license!
My first radio was (is) a Yaesu VX-3R that I bought used from a River City ARCS member, Rodney KN6DA. I found this radio extremely difficult to program, just reading the manual and using keys on the radio. The programming software from Yaesu helped a lot, but the biggest help came from another ham, N6OIM, who works in the same building with me at Sac State. Thanks, Eric!!
I live in a stucco house, and I've recently discovered that the metal lath underneath the stucco makes an excellent RF cage! I've been able to take my handheld out to the back yard and hit most of the repeaters, but winter weather is soon going to put a stop to that. So my next project will be home-brewing an antenna for the 2m band, which I'll be mounting on one of the gables on my roof. We have a fairly steep-pitched roof (6/12), so the peak is over 20 feet above ground. Routing the feed line from the gable into the attic will be easy, but I'm not sure where I'll take it from there--I may just operate in the attic over the winter, until I can set up my shack on the main floor of the house.
I buy most of my electronics "stuff" at Metro Electronics. Their prices are usually within 5% of Fry's, but Metro's staff is intelligent and helpful. Park over on I St (for free), and you probably won't walk any farther than you would at Fry's.
I'm on FaceBook and I also have a blog (which hasn't gotten much attention since I jumped into FB).