My first exposure to amateur radio came while taking the radio merit badge at boy scout camp in 2000. Shortly thereafter, some scouting friends and formed a venture crew dedicated to ham radio. We operated quite a few contests in the early 2000's, including the big NE1C multi/multi WPX SSB operations. I was also afforded the opportunity to be on K2BSA staff at the 2005 National Jamboree in Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. Notable folks from this era include KB1GHC, KX1X, NX1X, KB1ISP, KK1W, WB1Z (sk), and others - far too many to list!
It was through the venture crew that i started operating major contests at the superstation of Dave, K1TTT. I would go on to be a part of many teams there - and still occasionally am. I even won North America single-op in WAE one year, narrowly beating W5WMU (who memorably let me have it on 80m, in good fun of course - now SK). Words can't describe the experience of operating at a well-designed, loud station and I'm thankful for having such access to Dave's place over the years.
The hobby has taken me many places. I spent an interesting few years in Newington at the ARRL DXCC and Contest desks, during which time it was my pleasure to work with a truly talented and caring crew at Headquarters, including KA1RWY, W3IZ, and NN1N. Also around that time I was part of the 8P8T dxpedition for the ARRL 10m Contest with fellow ARRL staff KI1U and K0BJ; we didn't win, but we did turn an AL-811 into a firecracker and exhausted the supply of tubes on Barbados.
My primary interest has always been HF contesting, and specifically the major DX contests. I'm also a passive DX'er and accidentally achieved 5 Band DXCC. Recently I've been very active on 160m, and you can find me there most evenings/mornings.
My parents (Dad is K1FWM but usually inactive) were incredibly tolerant of my hobby growing up, and allowed me to build a tower and literally hundreds of [successful, unsuccessful, impractical] antennas over the years! Without their high degree of patience, I simply wouldn't be involved today.
I was fortunate in 2018 to finally move to an antenna friendly home in Western Mass and have begun building a real station. I look forward to adding the next chapter here soon. Until then, good DX and pass me a mult!
N1TA is located in the City of Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, FN32od. I am mostly active on 160 - 10 meters, with a focus on contesting and casual DX'ing. I can also be found on the local 2 meter repeaters occasionally. My favorite mode is CW, but I also operate phone and dabble in the JT modes.
I am currently using a ladder line -fed doublet at 100'+ AGL for 80 - 10 meters.
On 160 meters, the open wire feedline is shorted together via an open frame high-voltage DPDT relay and fed against an acre of galvanized hardware screen; in this configuration, it becomes a Marconi T-antenna.
For more information on using a ground screen as opposed to traditional radials, see Rob Sherwood's (NC0B) article in Ham Radio, May 1977.
I also have a fan dipole for 20 and 40 meters at 40' AGL, usually hooked to my skimmer or used for local contacts.
A permanent 300-foot switchable beverage runs North/South for 40, 80, and 160 meters. I also use a 200-foot switchable Beverage-On-Ground (BOG) running Northwest/Southeast.
Inside the Shack
I have two operating positions. The first has a Flex-6600 and the second is an FT-1000MP. Using bandpass filters or lockouts for partner mode, both positions can be operated simultaneously. Usually the Flex is used as a multiplier station while the FT-1000MP is used as a run station during contests.
I use several amplifiers, most homebrewed to some extent, some modified for single-band use and automatically switched. The run station uses an accidentally heavily-modified Dentron Clipperton-L.
I've been into ham radio for 20 years (as of 2020). I've spent most of that time contesting and accidentally DX'ing. I prefer CW and phone, but also spend some time on the JT -modes, with a focus on 80 and 160. You can find a full radio biography here.
Past contest results are available on 3830scores.com.
Subscribe to the N1TA YouTube Channel for irreverent shenanigans.
UPDATE - JULY 9, 2020: the node is currently offline as I migrate to another cluster software. I will have it back online shortly; thank you for your patience.
The N1TA DX Cluster Node can be accessed by telnet to dxc.n1ta.com. I no longer maintain an RF port. The advantage of using this node is speed, high volume of spots, and relatively few user connections. All users are welcome -- please connect and spot.
AR-Cluster Version 6 by AB5K (SK)
The node passes both traditional DX spots, as well as spots from the Reverse Beacon Network, and occasionally the N1TA CW Skimmer, located on-site. As such, this node passes a very high volume of spots; please configure your filters at the node level and within your client software (probably your logging program).
If you use the spotting network (regardless of node), please contribute by making spots yourself.
Node access is provided as a free service to the amateur radio community.