Ak3Y

Episode 303 – Bob Fontana – AK3Y

Bob Fontana, AK3Y’s, ham radio and electronic career was a friend’s broken shortwave to AM downconverter.  Bob shares his ham radio story, his past and current ham radio interests, and the ultra wideband technology that he developed over his career.


Hometown: Chicago, IL
Mentor: John Wanzowitz,  W9DUT builder in 73 magazine
First License: Age 15, Novice, WN9PYA

Favorite operating mode: FT-8, JT64, JT9

First Rig: 
Heathkit HW-30 “Twoer” AM  $44.95
40 Meter Homebuilt Novice Transmitter
Hallicrafters SX140 Receiver

Current rigs:
Icom IC-7600 HF Transceiver
Acom 1000 Power Amp
Palstar Antenna Tuner
Myantennas.com, End Fed Antenna
Collins 75S-3 Receiver
Icom IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1.2 GHz Transceiver
Outdoor rig: Yaesu FT-891 All-band Transceiver

Bob’s Ham Radio Workbench
500 Mhz Oscilloscope
Spectrum Analyzer to 3 GHz
Scalar Network Analyzer
Signal generator to 1GHz
10 Mhz GPS Sync

People and Terms:
Nuvistor Down-Converter 2meters  to 10 meters 
Coin Hobby
Stamp Hobby
Baseball
Popular Electronics Magazine
Shortwave Downconverter to AM band
Shortwave Listening
QSL Cards
Radio Teheran
Radio Brazzaville
Coup d’etat
Chicago Public Radio
ARRL Handbook
73 Magazine
CQ Magazine
21 MHz Receiver IF Frequency
Illinois Institute Of Technology,  BSEE
Raytheon, Boston
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, MSEE communications systems
Stanford University
Hughes Aircraft 
Carnegie Mellon University
EA6B electronic warfare system
AN ULTRA WIDEBAND RADAR FOR MICRO AIR VEHICLE APPLICATIONS Robert J. Fontana, Edward A. Richley, Anthony J. Marzullo, Lance C. Beard, Robert W.T. Mulloy and E.J. Knight
Soldier Tracking
British Petroleum
5G Transmission
Joe Taylor, K1JT
Rag Chewing
QRP, Low Power Mode
D-Star Digital Mode
SDR – Software Define Radio
HomeOwners Association
Rocky and Bullwinkle Cartoon Cells
Boris and Natasha Cartoon Cells
Charlie Trimble,  Trimble Navigation
Covid-19 Pandemic
Lumberjocks website.  
Maui, Hawaii
Marquetry WoodWorking
Arduino 
Silicon Labs SI5351 Chip
Klystron Tube
2K25 Klystron

Greatest challenge facing amateur radio now: getting young people involved. 

Excited most by: bring some of the information theory in to ham radio like the digital modes. 
JS8Call

Advice to new or returning hams: get involved, local club, repeater group, facebook groups. Get on the air. 


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Hallicrafters SX-140 General Coverage Receiver
Heathkit HW-30 “Twoer” 2 meter AM
Collins 75S-3 HF Receiver
Icom IC-7600 HF Transceiver

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