N0NJY Amateur Radio

N0NJY's Home Page

Table of Contents

Rick's old shack back in Colorado.

OKI Shack 
Rick's Shack in North Carolina (Card Table)

My New Desk (refinished)

All Set up

Table of Contents

About this Site:

Welcome to my amateur radio pages. I'm Rick, N0NJY. 

I do a lot of writing, but it's not always about Ham Radio.  I also write a couple of blogs, one about sailing our ketch, Adventure. I also have some political stuff, and related material.  I won't list any of that here.  If you're interested, you'll have to contact me privately.

Below, on this page (and in the Table of Contents page) there are links below for other things that I might write about.  On the pages of this site, I will have information specifically about Ham Radio.  This won't be a "blog-style" site.  The pages on this web site will be more or less static.  I tend to post things on Facebook these days on my Ham radio page there, but if I write something important or interesting to other Amateurs, I'll put it here as well.


Normally, you will find us somewhere along the East Coast of the United States, usually in North Carolina, near the Cape Fear River (where we've taken up temporary residence in the ship at a marina).  Lately, we're in Colorado for a few weeks due to health issues, more on that below.

Recently (2020-2021) my wife JoAnne (KB0IRW) was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and was going through chemo until mid March. After another spat of bad luck, a hurricane in August which damaged our marina severely, having to move our boat elsewhere, I decided it was probably time to move back to land.

Before that we were back in Colorado staying with my son while she underwent her second time through chemo.

We still own Adventure, but are not living aboard at the moment. Chemo took a lot of her strength and I can't see her staying on the ship as it can be dangerous  We are considering selling Adventure in the new future.

Edit (update): In 2020, the hurricane that damaged out marina left us without a slip.  I wound up moving Adventure to two different marinas, and because JoAnne was undergoing chemo in 2020, could not move back aboard, so I rented a house on Oak Island.  A few months later, I started looking for a permanent place to move to, and with some luck we found a perfect little beach house on Oak Island, North Carolina. 

In March 2021 we bought the house.  A year later, JoAnne started going through chemo for her fourth time.  On 1 November 2022, she completed her 24 (or likely 26th based on some occurrences previously) infusion of chemo drugs. One of the drugs did a lot of damage to her body.  On the 17th of November 2022 at 1900 local time, she suffered a massive stroke and seizures, was transported to the hospital, and airlifted to Wilmington, NC to deal with the issues. She was recovering, when on the 5th of December 2022, a mistake by a doctor making incorrect entries to her records caused a lack of care (in my thinking, "criminal negligence" is the correct phrase) and she suffered a cardiac arrest (due to lack of oxygen, from improper care of a tracheostomy).

She spent more time in the hospital, and finally, finally came home to me on 29 March 2023, where we are currently still going through recovery.  She has PT, administered by me most days, and two days a week a Physical Trainer comes into the home to assist us. Currently, she is in a wheelchair most of the time, but is walking with a walker and my assistance.  We have no plans to move back to Colorado, nor at this time, to move back aboard a boat.  Adventure was sold in March to a wonderful family who are currently living aboard ship.


(Old) Current projects I am working include some QRP radios, an S-Pixie transceiver (currently building) that will be set up for 7.023 Mhz CW and a qrplabs.com QRX transceiver (on order), that will cover the 20m band.  My other project in the works is a 20/40 meter magnetic loop antenna (collecting parts) that I can use while I'm visiting Colorado for the next few months.  And, of course, this web site, and my regular blogging for our "Cruising Life Style".

(New) Current projects, putting my ham shack together and trying to get an antenna or two up.

Why Colorado?

We lived in Colorado for 25 years and raised our kids there.  We both still have and likely will keep our original Call Signs as well.

Listed below is a link to our blog site "Winds of Time" for the sailing vessel "Adventure".

We've lived aboard for six years.  Last August 2020, a hurricane hit us and our marina.  It destroyed one marina near the Cape Fear, and damaged ours severely.  Since then, moving the boat, getting repairs, and chemo has taken up most of our time and our lives. 

Amateur Radio:

Over the years I've operated everything from TNOS (a TCP/IP packet system) to RTTY, packet on multiple frequencies, CW, bpsk (which I currently operate from the ship and now the house), SSB, AM, FM and many other modes on multiple bands.  I ran a full packet station on multiple frequencies in the 1990s and early 2000s in Colorado Springs.  Before I was a Ham, I ran dial up bulletin board systems using Apple computers (Apple ][+, Apple //e etc, not Macs).

I still operate RTTY from the boat occasionally, and also bpsk on 14070 Khz.  Those are easy modes to do from the boat, require only low/qrp power levels and simplistic equipment (computer, and a Tigertronic Signalink "sound" device) and a very simple antenna.  CW as well, albeit, rarely at this time.  I am working on getting a couple of qrp rigs up and working, and an antenna online soon, so CW might become more of a mainstay for me later.

Before I was a ham, I was an avid shortwave listener, and actually started building crystal radios at the ripe old age of eight years old.  Because Morse Code (and other languages) always got the best of me, I never became a Ham until I was much older.  When I was 10 years old, I received a junked Shortwave receiver from a neighbor who saw me playing with crystal sets.  I repaired it (dirty potentiometer, replaced a couple of dried electrolytic capacitors and a couple of tubes) and had it up and running in a day or two.  I strung my very first dipole antenna up the day I got it working, with my Dad's assistance, and never looked back.

In the early 1990s, I applied for some positions with certain, three-letter-Government Agencies.  I had to learn Morse Code, the Amateur Q-signal codes, become a "Certified Electronics Technician" (through ISCET) along with a few other prerequisites to work for some of these groups. In the end, I continued teaching, continued my AF career, and eventually became a government Contractor instead of a secret agent....

Electronics was my life, my career and was way more than a hobby to me.  I ran a TV shop at the age of 16, out of my basement, as well as had a lawn care business that I ran on the side.  I joined the US Air Force in 1976 (signed up late in 1975) and went on to retire from the USAF in 2002.  I worked for the Missile Defense Agency for 18 years as well, from 1997 - 2015 (I was in the USAF Reserves by 1989) and retired finally in 2015 to sail away on Adventure.  (Scroll down for a picture of my wife, JoAnne (KB0IRW) and myself standing on the deck of s/v Adventure). 

At some point during the 1989-1996 time frame, in addition to being in the Air Force Reserves, I was also an electronics teacher at a local college in Colorado Springs, teaching basic, advanced and digital electronics, a TV "repair" course and humanities, along with "light" (beginner, as a refresher to some) Physics to those students who were interested.

Below are a few links to take you to various pages.  Some are mine, some are not.  I'll add others as I create them and find them necessary.  There is information about me on QRZ.com, and you can reach me at n0njy@qsl.net.  I respond to most email unless it's spam.

About this web site:

I run several blogs, none of them having anything to do with amateur radio.  They are political, survival/prepper in nature and being a writer, I usually write about literally anything. (See what I did there? :) ).  Thanks to QSL.NET for their support to Amateur Radio Operators, and giving us a place to set up a web site, such as this one.

What I do NOT like are web pages full of gadgets, gimmicks, graphics, backgrounds, flashy stuff, and ADVERTISEMENTS.  Most of the other things I run have those "built in", not by me.  I chose QSL.NET because they are simple, support Hams around the world (Not just US Amateurs!) and want to keep the pages simple text (and a few images) for the most part.  We gain information and knowledge from reading, not looking at pictures.  Sure, Confucius says, "One picture worth thousand words" and that is true at times, but flashy, nonsense isn't helpful in assailing your senses. 

Thus, most of what you will find are simple links, simple images, and text on the following pages. Enjoy.

Hit the Table of Contents link below to see the rest of the site!
All of the links on this page following the TOC link below, will take you off-site!

Table of Contents

Rick & JoAnne's Jamaica DXpedition (2007) (Previous Blog)

Rick's N0NJY Facebook Page (Facebook Link)

Contact Page (Email, Radio Etc)

Winds of Time (Sailing Vessel Adventure's Blog)

N0NJY's Radio Blog

Rick's Author Page

Rick and JoAnne's home for six years of extended cruising

Sailing Ketch Adventure
a William Garden designed Transworld 41, a full keel, heavy displacement, ketch-rigged sailboat.

Displacement 16 tons, Over All Length (OAL)= 50', Draft = 6', Beam = 13', Main Mast height = 53' (from water line to top)

Antennas:  VHF (Marine), HF insulated backstay (approx 35'), several wire antennas that can be hoisted in the rigging.
Rigs: ICOM Marine radio, Icom IC-735, Yaseau VX7R, several marine handhelds and one Baofeng handheld.

Best part? Comes with two built in towers!

Please email me at n0njy@qsl.net about broken links, thanks!
All Site material N0NJY, Rick Donaldson, 1997-2023