On The Cover: January  2006

 

Mark Jensen, KA0WTX

On the Cover

 

Yes, Mark Jensen, KA0WTX, is checking the SWR of his flagpole because his flagpole is really a Stealth Bazooka antenna (www.iacantennas.com/stealthbazooka.htm), which allows him to get on the air on 80-10 meters from his covenant-restricted neighborhood in West Fargo, North Dakota. Under the snow, and under the sod, are 16 radials, which Mark laid out before the sod was put down. His coax also runs underground - not a bad idea for North Dakota winters. Inside his shack, Mark uses a Kenwood TS-940 to operate SSB and digital - mostly PSK 31. He says his favorite on-air activities are ragchewing and the opportunity to learn new things from his fellow hams.

Mark first became interested in ham radio as a boy, when his uncle - W0SIF - loaned him a National receiver and, later, a Hammarlund HQ-140, and he got deeply involved in ham radio while in school. But he never had a chance to get a license. It wasn't until he was settled in Fargo, with a job and a family, that he was able to "spring free some time" to take a licensing class offered by the Red River Radio Amateurs, in 1986. (His two sons later attended RRRA classes and got their licenses, although neither one is active at the moment.)

A surgeon at the Fargo VA Medical Center, Mark is hoping to work ham radio into an annual medical mission to Haiti that he makes each January. After his first trip last year, Mark says, he filed paperwork with Haitian authorities for a license, but has not yet gotten a response. Mostly, though, he looks to ham radio for a break from the pressures of his job. "The thing I really like about ham radio," he says, "is that it's so different. I can really learn something completely new." (Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)

 

 

 

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