[dropcap]B[/dropcap]eing “vision-challenged” hasn’t stopped Jackson ham Mike Duke K5XU from experimenting with all kinds of antennas. One might say he has a love for antenna wire! During the March program of CMSARA, Mike shared a box full of antenna parts and pieces with personal histories of how he used them. Wow! Being a dorm mother at the Mississippi School for the Blind where K5XU attended must’ve been a boot camp in ham radio. Mike and his fellow non-sighted amateur OMs experimented with all kinds of make-do and “let’s see what this does” types of experimentation. Often making fun of himself, K5XU is a mature amateur radio operator. He is perhaps the “Dean” of hams in the Capital City area!
For apartment dwellers, as Mike and his XYL (also a licensed ham) were for a number of years, he gave a life time’s worth of ideas for what does and probably won’t work for getting on the air successfully. Hint: QRP and especially CW are really viable options. Mike now enjoys a tower in the yard of his house where he and his XYL reside in Jackson, MS. Rumor has it that Mike may have climbed towers during the night time so as to not alarm neighbors. He dead-panned that he couldn’t tell the difference between a tower climb during the day from that at night!
Over 40 amateurs, including officers of the Jackson ARC, attended this informative and unique talk. Mike K5XU serves on the Board of the JARC and is Director of the Director of the Radio Reading Service for the MS Public Broadcasting and a member of the Board of the American Council of the Blind Radio Amateurs. CMSARA thanks the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Rankin County EOC for monthly use of their fine facilities for our Association meetings!
A handout from Mike’s talk can be downloaded in PDF here.