“Special Event Station” at trial of would-be Presidential assassin John Hinckley

1982 Hinckley Beach

In June 1982 as a Cameraman for NBC News based in Washington D.C. every Saturday for a month I was assigned to stake out the U.S. Federal Courthouse where the trial of attempted Presidential assassin John Hinckley was underway. All the networks and the print media set up on the front lawn of the courthouse. (This was back when Federal Courthouse security was waaaay more lax than it is today.) Our job was to await new developments and the lawyers would periodically come out and stand in front of the microphones and update the press.  We in the Press Corps called the setting, “Hinckley Beach” since it was summer and little happened until the end of the trial.  We’d bring lawn chairs, coolers and umbrellas to beat the DC summer heat and humidity.

One weekend, I threw my Kenwood TS-130 HF rig in the microwave truck and and a Hustler Mobile Whip that I mounted on an upside down trash can (a faux ground) and set it up on the roof of the van. A Washington Post photographer thought my radio set up was interesting and shot the photo above. It didn’t make it into the paper, but he sent me a copy.

My recollection is, I worked alot of DX on 15 meters that day. Foreign Hams would express surprise when I told them where I was operating from. Surely operating from the courthouse would be prohibited!  I was on the air, MC-60 mic in hand when this photo taken. It was fun.

NOTE: Some years later (mid 90’s)  I would see Hinckley up close and photograph him thanks to (Bearcat Scanners)….but that’s another story for another time(and video too!)

It’s Veterans Day: “Don’t Thank me for my service”

Go and Google “Don’t Thank me for my service“. You’ll see page after page of entries. One I like is “3 Reasons  to Stop Thanking me for my service” article by former Marine officer,  Stanton S. Coerr.

Took Basic Training at Ft. Bliss Texas.  I was a Platoon Guide.  It was a Blast. Loved Basic Training.  Scored in the top 3% Army Wide. (Well that’s what they told me! Ha!) The US Army was into “Big Data”  long before it was cool!

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basic-photo

Spring 1971.  Fresh Ruck, heading to Chopper Pad for insertion into the Bush. Know what the difference between a “Cherry” and an experienced “Boonie Rat” is?  His RUCK.  That RUCK is tied down HaRd. I could throw it out of a chopper at 10-12 feet and it wouldn’t break open!

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The work horse of the helicopter war. a “Slick” or Huey UH1
101st ABN 1970
mew Slick Eagle copy
My Dog “Argo” on my leg.

I didn’t take a conventional R&R. — I was bitten by the Photography bug and I wanted a 35 mm Camera.  I couldn’t afford to go to Hawaii or Australia or Bangkok and drink and Fuck for a week. So I went to China Beach near DaNang.  First time I ever surfed was in the S. China Sea. Man it was  fun. Surfed everyday all day on R&R. Oh and I got the Camera too.  A Yashica 35mm Range-Finder.

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Left Vietnam (Cam Rahn Bay)  on June 30 and was honorably discharged on July 2, 1971.  10 Days later I was a student at the University of Texas at Austin. I was one very Lucky young man!

Bronze Star 2

No Ceremony. No Handshake.

The Combat Infantry Badge. Among the most coveted awards in the U.S. Army

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The Combat Infantry Award

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I went back to Vietnam and shot a documentary in 1995. We spent a month In-county. From Hanoi to the Delta. It was an amazing trip.

1995 Doc SHOOT copy

At an American bomber crash site from 1967. 300 coolies digging in the mud. They found the pilot’s ID badge and an old .38 pistol in the wreckage the day we were there.

 

 

What else does the “Dog” do?

Here in Charlottesville, Va home of the University of Virginia there is an on campus guest speaker program open to the public. I go to these often.

In October three Professors discussed the British Exit from the European Union.   Each brought a different view.  A political science professor. A European economics prof and a History professor.  I got in the last question from the audience. I asked, “What would Winston  Churchill have thought of BREXIT?” 

Photos: WA4D

Anyway I look forward to these meetings!

Nevada Desert

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I spent 10 years in Los Angeles. Every year I attended the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas.  I had the option of flying or driving. No contest. The 5 hour drive was best!.  It’s an awesome drive on I-15 smack through the middle of the Mojave desert. I tossed my CW paddle in the car one year and put it on the desert floor. An “end of days” image.

The FPGA.  The chip that makes Software Defined Radio possible. 

FPGA Chip

When I became interested in the Flex 6300 a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about the FPGA concept. (And as I am not an Engineer or a Computer Science major). I still know little. That said, I went in search of a tutorial that would serve as an introduction to the FPGA and an explanation as to why it has opened up this new world in Ham radio.  There are many FPGA video tutorials out there.  And none are perfect for the Ham Op. But this one I found very useful. Maybe you will too?  Runs about 30 Min.