I was borne and raised in Philadelphia, PA then did a three year tour with the Army in the Far East and Texas. My first career was as a printing pressman lasted for 26 years until 1993. Then after a series of life changing events in 1993 and 1994, I went to work for my son in 1995 on an outdoor adventure series shot in Alaska. The series went on to win two awards and was later aired on PBS.
While working on the video project I was so taken by Alaska and its people I bought property and after completing the project returned to live here. For the first three years in Alaska I worked as an assistant hunting guide. During this time I obtained an Alaskan fishing guides license and began running fishing trips down the Yukon river. In 2001 I began helping a friend build a home then the one home turned into three and I was offered a new place to live and have been here ever since.
While at my new home I became a licensed Ham radio operator so I could talk with my family in the lower ’48’. Though the cabin has no full time electricity I have a battery bank, solar panels and a generator for when the need arises. Out here there is of course no running water, phone service or TV but I have found the pleasure of books…lots and lots of books. I also continue to work on Video projects and have a small editing suite for working on them.
Even though I miss my children and grandchildren my daily life is full. I have few close by neighbors but I do manage to spend time with the woman that gave me this place to live and her daughter. On those few times when I may be down I have only to open my door and walk outside into the wilderness that surrounds me and I can see Gods handy work all around.
Welcome to the virtual home of KL1HB in Alaska.
I am located 65 miles North of Fairbanks, Alaska and (at BP55) a scant 135 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Here’s the “helm” of my starship:
My home has no phone, no postal mail, no cable TV, no running water or full time electricity. There is no internet or broadcast TV but I use Winlink/Airmail for emailing my family and friends. I have a battery bank charged by solar and a small generator. Off this I run my station and computers.
Since our winters are sometimes severe I only make the trip to Fairbanks every couple weeks for supplies, mail, and phone calls to my family. My son Anthony (KB3DVS) talked to me about becoming a ‘ham’ for several years. So in 2002 I worked at it and got my first two tickets.
Anthony visits every year and brought up the initial radio gear I needed to get up and running. After a few years of operation, he shipped up a Mosley TA33jr and on his next trip he helped me find, strip, & prepare and mount the mast and antenna on a suitable 38 foot Spruce tree. This was quite an undertaking and included manually pounding in the three guy wire mounts and hand-building all the mounts and cables.
The tower is sunk a few feet in the permafrost, and there’s a few feet of mast above the tree, so, in the end, we can say that it’s about a 35′ tower, on a hill about 20′ above the road next to it. It faces down a hill, southeast to Canada and North America from Alaska. I have replaced that antenna with a new Mosley TA-33 next to my cabin, when my son visited in 2011.
The picture here was taken in September. I thank him for his efforts to motivate me to become a Ham. I has proved to be a rewarding pastime and fills the many, many long winter nights up here.
My gear reflects my retired nature, but does just ‘FB’. I run a Yaesu FT890 and an Icom 740 through a MFJ 986 out to either a G5RV or the Mosley. I hope to get a real tower up someday, as the tree is splitting and won’t last too much longer. Then I can also fly several dipoles off of it for when I want to work the big bands.
With the hearing going of late I have been more active on PSK and I am exploring other digital modes.
The photo below was taken when my daughter, Tricia, visited.
She, like my son, has learned to enjoy the winter, and its Northern Lights, as well as the summer. Next to the entry way, blue tarp, is the 11 element stacked yagi system I use for my email. On the far side of the house is a 4 element yagi used for 2 meter repeater operation. These come from the generous donation of time and effort by Fairbanks’ own Jerry Curry (KL7EDK), as smart, and humble a ham as you could possibly meet. He is always willing to help out in any way and his generosity is boundless. Many thanks go out to Jerry for everything he’s done over the years.
Ham’s looking for the true Alaskan wilderness experience, or those wishing to operate at the Arctic Circle, or even at the top of the world at Prudhoe bay, give me a shout and I will be glad to help in any way I can.
Come out and enjoy our hobby among the wilderness and the animals in a place truly touched by God.