Hi my name is Joe Zynel and I hold the Amateur Radio callsign N3FHW.  I had always had an interest in electronics and radio since I was a kid.  I started by listening to Shortwave Radio when I received one for Christmas when I was 8 years old.  I use to listen to European broadcast stations like the BBC and Radio Netherlands.  I then moved onto utility listening.  These included military, HF aircraft and maritime stations.  I also got a Bearcat 8 channel scanner for Christmas when I was 9.  It was crystalized and we had to got to the local Lafayette radio shop in Bel Air, MD (my hometown) to get the channels we wanted. They consisted of VHF police, fire and public service channels.

I ended up getting an internship at APG working for the US Army doing electronic technician work when I was 16 years old.  I worked summers at the proving ground until my junior year in college.  While pursuing my degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, I joined the Ham Radio club on campus, W3EAX.  I earned my first license as a novice with the callsign KA3QHL in 1986.  What a horrible call for CW.  I immediately upgraded to Technician and by the end of the year I upgraded to General and received the new call N3FHW which I have had since.  I ended up changing my major in my junior year to Economics and earned by BA in 1988.  I was the president of the radio club at U of MD for 2 years.  Great memories from that time.

After college I had minimal stations running 2m in the car and minimal HF with a small station in my apartment and then later when I moved to my townhouse.  I was done hamming by about 1995.  There are some minimal QSOs in my log book after that time but very few.  I moved from my townhouse in Arbutus, MD to my current QTH in Hampstead, MD in 2003.

In 2012 we were doing renovations in our house and I was up in the attic doing some work wiring the bedroom for sound when I looked around and said, “Bet I could fit an antenna up here and get back on the air”.  So I bought a G5RV mini on Ebay and it stretches the length of my attic pointing due East/West.  I later installed a second G5RV mini in an inverted V pointing North/South. I used my old TS-120 for about 10 QSOs and realized the age and non-use had taken its toll.  So I drove to DE to HRO and bought a new TS-480SAT which I love.

blue-topI use Ham Radio Deluxe to run my station.  It is a excellent program for CAT control, working digital modes and logging.  I highly recommend it!

I ended up getting an Icom ID-880 for 2m mobile.  I spend a lot of time on the road locally for work.  I work the local repeaters and D-Star. I also have a DV-Dongle for working D-Star from home. The dongle Is a great way being on D-Star without the expense of a radio in the shack.

d710I also installed a Kenwood TM-D710 in the shack for use on the repeaters and simplex on 2m and 70cm.  This radio is also capable of using APRS and communicating with the ISS via ARISS.  When not being actively used, it is setup as a Echolink node, simplex on 446.750MHZ so I can use the HT in and around my house to communicate on Echolink.  The node number is 853200 and is usually only running 5 watts.Baofeng_UV-5R_Camo

I also bought a Baofeng UV-5R (yes the camo one) and a Arrow II Antenna and use is mostly for doing satellite work on the FM satellites AO-27 and SO-50.  A satellite station handheld for under $200.

I have posted some of my QSOs using my satellite setup and my HF setup on the blog. As well you can see some of the QSLs I have received from around the world.

Enjoy the blog and thanks for having a look.


Joe, N3FHW