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Welcome to my HOME PAGE....Come on in!

I'm Don, KD2REU - a Ham on the Air!

 

This is my virtual playground where I share my hobbies and interests.  Through this site and my newly launched YouTube and social media pages, I hope to specifically show how exciting and fun learning to be a ham radio operator can be.  I've been interested in radio all of my life, but only recently took the steps needed to become a licensed ham radio operator.  I'm learning a lot more than I thought was ever involved in amateur radio - and it's amazing!  I volunteer at my local radio club and I hope to share the lessons I'm learning along this journey to becoming a ham on the air!

 

Ham Shack

ENTER the Ham Shack!

 

Website

We'll I guess you found the website because you're here!  My site started out way back in the 1990s (so you'll see a lot of it still looks embarrassingly old-school).  I prefer to have full control over the HTML code on the site, plus much of the existing content is already in place - so the site is a work in progress.  But it's a place to share my corner of the Internet with you.

 

YouTube

Latest Videos....

 

Featured Videos:

  This video is part of my ARRL Orlando HamCation series. This episode focuses a little less on radio and more on the travel aspect of HamCation. Although I do show the HamCation site and a few scenes from the event, I focus this time more on how you can make the most of your Orlando and Central Florida area visit with the least amount of money (and most amount of fun)! This video will show you how I turned my HamCation into a low-cost extended vacation. My road trips include a visit to the space coast to watch a rocket launch (and tips on where you can watch a launch), and some classic roadside attractions (like alligator farms and the historic Desert Inn). You'll also learn about Fort Christmas and the town where Christmas is celebrated all year round. If you like wildlife, history, exciting amusements, awesome scenery, along with radio communication - you'll enjoy this video.
  During Orlando HamCation this year, I was invited to tour an amazing shortwave radio station in Okeechobee Florida - just a short drive south of Orlando into the vast open tropical farmland on the outskirts of the Everglades. It was an unusually hot February day filled with adventure. I was given a full tour of the shortwave facility and the vast antenna farm that fills a square mile of land surrounding the station with station engineers Bob Biermann, Don Frish, and Pat Travers. General Manager, Jeff White discusses the history of the station and gives his insight regarding the future of shortwave radio. Office Manager, Thais White provided warm hospitality and made sure my visit was both educational and memorable!

 

More About My Channel....

      I started a YouTube channel back in 2010, but couldn't decide on a direction to go with it. I have a LOT of hobbies and interests and my channel became an eclectic hodgepodge of just about anything that interested me - family adventures, haunted places, antiques and vintage records, historic places and events.  I called it "Everything Weird & Wonderful with Don Vallone".  It gets a handful of views a few loyal subscribers.  Then in 2019 I earned my FCC amateur radio license and finally added ham radio videos to my channel.  The ham radio videos documented events at local radio clubs, special field operating events, training presentations, travel to ham events around the country, and interesting radio-related topics that got me excited.

   

Those videos quickly became the most popular on my channel - yet held little interest for the long-time subscribers who came for "weird and wonderful" content!  So I created a NEW channel exclusively for the ham radio content and decided to start the companion website and Facebook pages to better engage with other hams - the elmers and the newbies, like myself!  I hope you'll check out both my channels and subscribe to let me know you're out there watching!

   

 

Facebook

In 2020, I added a Facebook page to help keep all of us in contact.  I hope you'll follow the page.  I'll be posting cool ham-related links that I discover, sharing news stories, promoting ham events, and using the page to engage conversation and interest in the hobby.

 

 

Navigating the Site

The Virtual Radio Shack is Don's Ham Shack. Here you'll see the current radio equipment, ham news and information, contest operations, latest QSOs around the world (including a world map of contacts made), and more!

The Audio Lab is where he spends his free time collecting and restoring antique radios and phonographs, preserving vintage broadcasts, and cataloging antique records.

The Video Lab is where Don's photography studio is located.  There, you can also learn about vintage television, vintage photos, vintage advertisement, and even vintage ViewMaster slides!

In the Earth Lab you'll find his weather station, and learn about earthquakes and even rocks and minerals!

The Space Lab is where you can learn about observing the sky (the planetarium is where Don keeps his telescope and sky journals).  You can find information about upcoming sky and celestial events, and investigate strange and mysterious phenomena.

The Computer Lab is where Don plays with his vintage TRS-80 Coco 2 and also dabbles with other programming and computer-related hobbies.

Ham Shack Video Audio Archives Astronomy Earth Computing For Sale

 

 

MORE ABOUT MYSELF

Growing up in the 70's, I was inspired by some of the most "exciting" weather events to impact the region, such as Hurricane Agnes in '72 and the Great Blizzard of '78.  I spent much of my childhood captivated by the weather - documenting daily climate statistics and dreaming of being a meteorologist some day when I grew up!  Eventually I earned my degree in Meteorology - choosing to attend schools on the shore of the Great Lake Ontario to study lake effect snow formation and atmospheric physics.  Papers I authored include studies of Mid-Latitude Cyclogenesis and Atmospheric Refraction at Low Altitude, and I published a weekly newspaper column discussing local weather events called "WeatherAware".  I have been a member of the American Meteorological Society and an on-air Broadcast Meteorologist for the Northern Finger Lakes and Western regions of New York State.  I later pursued my Master's Degree in Secondary Science Education at the State University of New York and taught Earth Science and Astronomy to 9th & 12th graders.  I've since earned a living as a Software Quality and Product Development Engineer for several global companies in the graphic communications and medical diagnostics fields.  I still enjoy a good storm chase and find myself always looking to the sky (usually with a camera or a telescope!) and waiting for the next exciting weather event to unfold.  

I'm a recently new ham radio enthusiast, licensed in 2019. I currently hold a General FCC license. I'm a member of several local amateur radio clubs. For me, the hobby started out as a love for antique phonographs and radios. Before I was even a teenager I had a wind-up Victrola and hundreds of 78 RPM records. Then I discovered radio and began collecting AM and Shortwave sets from the 1930s, 40's, and 50's. I am a proud member of the Antique Wireless Association and recommend that you visit our new radio museum in Bloomfield, New York if you haven't already been there! After I retired I decided it was time to take my hobby to another level and get on the air! Along with my experience from my most recent career as a software test engineer, I am a trained meteorologist and educator. I taught high school Earth Science and Astronomy. I've spent time as an on-air meteorologist and presented planetarium programs to introduce school children to the wonders of the universe around them. I have a weather station and still love to track and monitor storms. I'm a trained Skywarn weather spotter and my weather station provides data to the National Weather Service and other weather organizations. I have a weather page on my website which interfaces with my station and webcam to provide local weather information.

My ham shack includes an ICOM IC-7300 HF rig that I bought at the Dayton Hamvention. I operate with an end-fed dipole over the roof that gets me on the air across 80 meters through 6 meters. I'm learning CW and have an MFJ 422 Pacesetter Morse Code Keyer/Paddle Combo with a Bencher iambic paddle. I am a member of my local ARES/RACES organization. My go kit includes a simple 5W Baofeng Tri-Band VHF/UHF HT radio with a high-gain antenna and shoulder mic. I am combining my passions for meteorology and astronomy with the ham radio community to contribute to severe weather awareness and education, climate data, and emergency response.

I currently operate a YouTube channel on which I feature videos that document my ham radio journey - sharing the knowledge and experiences that make the hobby fun and exciting. I visit interesting radio-related venues, hamfests, and conventions as I persue my hobby. As a videographer for the Rochester Amateur Radio Club, I am helping to bring the flavor of club events and educational presentations to new audiences and new hams via YouTube. I'd be honored if you were to visit and subscribe to my channel. I release a new video every week. Here is a link to my ham radio playlist. I also have other videos not related to ham radio if you also happen to be interested in history, travel, weather, astronomy, geology, antiques, vintage audio and video, and all things weird and wonderful.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCttSTNm2tQgF1nRZyySSJ0w

 

 

 

Don Vallone
KD2REU

LINKS:

 
 

KD2REU Lakeshore Weather Network

 

 

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