W5GGW's home page

About me...

Back in 1982 or so, I met WB5RWS (now N0LID, go figure). That was my second exposure to Amatuer Radio. Steve had a TRS80 Model-I, and a 2-meter HT. I learned about programming computers on his Model-I (now I do computer software for a living!). I learned Z80 assembler, and created a program called Digi-Comm that used the cassette I/O and motor control to key the PTT and send digitial data between stations. It was called Digi-Comm. It never really had a measureable distribution. I think at most 3 HAMs ever saw it...

Digi-Comm provided interactive messaging a facility to leave a message and, a canned response for people out of touch with their equipment. This was a basic implementation of what Bob Brunniga (WB4APR) has done with text messages in APRS. (but, the transport did not use AX.25 or otherwise it was pretty crude).

I finally decided to get my license in 2000 after being encouraged by KA9MVA to do so. I could play with APRS, and use some of the Java software that I created for him so that we could plug APRS into our work MUSH. This allows him (and now me), to receive and soon send APRS traffic using the MUSH environment to talk to a robot user that is a Java program that then talks to APRSD to effect the appropriate actions.

My HAM page will be containing more information about my APRS exploits as they occur. I have 3 IOPENER's that I plan on turning into sophisticated APRS display stations too, so this should be fun and exciting.

APRS Stuff

  • I've used an I-Opener in my van for APRS stuff.
  • Check out JeAPRS, my Java based APRS application toolkit and development environment.
  • I also have a bicycle rig set up too.
  • I've put together an ATV rig for the bicycle.
  • I've put together a simple ATV backpack rig too.

My Equipment

APRS Operations

Kenwood TH-D7A

I have a Kenwood TH-D7A, HT for APRS operations. I am dealing with the fact the Kenwood did not foresee people using the HT day in day out pluging and unpluging the connectors for GPS, mic etc. I wore out the jacks! I had to resolder the recepticals onto the board multiple times, and the last soldering operation rendered the device non-operable.

I did buy a 3A, 12V, regulated power supply from Radio Shack to use at home.

It would have been so nice for Kenwood to provide a 1.5 amp at 14 volt supply with the radio so that you could just plug it in and run it with the battery always charged and ready for use. The 60hz hum on transformer wallwart supplies would have been noisy. But, it is possible to build a supply that would work in a small package for a small price.

Clearly, there is a wide range of uses for the D7A, even though it is an HT. I find that I can use EL power levels from my house to do APRS and reach most repeaters in the Tulsa area.

HF Operations

Swan HF-700S

I have a Swan HF-700S that I was given by W5UIP (now SK). This is a usable radio that I have grown accustomed to tuning up. I have a handful of spare tubes for it. I use a hand made G5RV antenna for the Swan. I've talked on 10-80m with the G5RV and no tuner.

Yaesu 857D

I have a Yaesu 857D installed in my Dakota Pickup Truck. I have a simple Hustler antenna system with the 54" mast and coils for 17m, 20m, 40m and 60m. The antenna system works well for me. I have the processor turned on all the time with a level of 68. I have the SSB mic gain set at 86 I believe. This gets me good audio reports and people think I am strong for a mobile.

VHF and UHF Operations


I bought two Yaesu FT-1500M 2M mobile rigs to use for APRS and other 2M packet operations. There was a good deal on these that I could not turn down.

Yaesu FT-8800R

I have an FT-8800R that I use at home for repeater operations. I do put it into my wifes car when we go on trips in it. I tuck it under the seat and use an 8' extension cable to velcro the head to the dash. This seams to work fairly well for me.

Other Interesting Links

  1. KA9MVA has some interesting links...
  2. Some Tulsa Area frequencies are listed here.