44.07685 North (44° 4' 36.66" North)
70.26235 West (70° 15' 44.46" West)
geomagnetic declination 15.66° West
elevation 237 feet (72 meters)
grid square FN44ub 88ME
Paul N. Leonard
Auburn, ME 04210
Welcome to my spot on the Internet. This is where I share my enthusiasm for my hobby which is centered around Amateur Radio.
The Internet has a wide range of informational sources although there seems to much that is not based on theory or fact as much as opinion and heresay. What I hope to provide here is support for my interests based on sound theory and facts that are supported by reliable sources.
I have always been interested in Amateur Radio. Much of that is due to having always been around it since my father was an Amateur Radio Operator and so was my Grandfather. Tinkering with electronics is where I began since there has always been stuff around the house to take apart and try to put back together.
Both educational and occupational paths included heavy electronic involvement. These were the days of calculators costing several hundred dollars so slide rules were still in use, but on their way out. There were no microcontrollers, and just a few kilobytes of memory cost hundreds of dollars. Hard disk? Forget about it! Floppy drives were 8" in diameter and we were happy with that!
My first programs were written on punch cards for a WANG computer in High School. The cards were put into "toaster" readers (there is nothing like the glow of neon). At the same time I was learning assembly for the 8080, 8085, and Z80 microprocessors. The 8080 based system was a development kit programmed through a Hexadecimal keypad. The low level stuff was much more fun, still is.
Progressed through BASIC, APL, Fortran IV, using everything from paper tape, cassette, and punch cards to store the programs and data.
My first personal computer, an Osborne I, tan case, with an Epson MX-80 printer. Z80 based, 64K RAM, Dual 5.25" floppies and a 300 BAUD Modem. Great way to practice assembly programming under CP/M. At work I was exposed to various versions of UNIX but interacted mostly with SCO Xenix. This is where my experience in C started.
From there, the integration of hardware and software continued mostly blurring the distinction of development for me. It is still hard to envision developing just electronics or just software, since there is so much to be gained by integrating the two.
Amateur Radio ties it all together. Knowledge of electronics and software are key to getting the most out of any system and being able to properly operate the many components of a modern HAM shack. Satellite, data, voice, and television communications are all things that can be accomplished with Amateur Radio. Beyond the technical aspects of the hobby are the communication aspects of it. Passing messages reliably over whatever medium is available requires perseverance and adherence to standards and procedures.
I've been the Emergency Coordinator for the City of Santa Clara, California and am currently the Emergency Coordinator for Androscoggin County in Maine.
So here is where it all gets shared. Electronics, Software, DIY, and Amateur Radio are all featured here and hopefully you are able to take away something that heps you with your enjoyment of these areas of interest.