From: Spinosa@msn.com (Joe Spinosa)
Date: 97-02-19 21:46:20 EST
Here is a message I sent to a bunch of folks who have been helping me with my
tower project. It was suggested that I post it to the tower-talk reflector.
It's rather long (aren't all of my posts), and not really nuts & bolts type
stuff. I know a lot of people have been following the saga, so I thought I'd
forward you a copy. Feel free to post this to the reflector if you think its
appropriate. Otherwise, I was just planning to post a brief summary when
sort of resolution is reached.
Thank You -- KF6CWX -- Joe Spinosa.
This is an update to let you all know what's going on.
First, I've tried to assemble a distribution list, since so many valuable
have contributed to this matter. I'm sure I'm missing a few. (Brad, could
you E-mail me Dick Brown's address so that I can add him to the list, and
forward him this message. I know, I know, more work on Mr. Spinosa's
Second, if you are reading this, please accept my sincere thanks and
appreciation for all the help and advice you've provided concerning my modest
Now then, I hope most of you are aware that I've asked Harry Styron (ARRL VC)
of Walnut Creek to represent me in this matter. Mr. Styron has an impressive
history in amateur radio, law, and community service. I feel that I am in
good hands with Mr. Styron. I believe he has the best interests of amateur
radio at heart, and is a credit to our ranks and the community.
Harry has informed me that while he may have had great success in Walnut
Creek, there are no guarantees that will be the case here in Concord.
I can tell you this: Without Harry, I would surely be denied. Worse, I may
have set a precedent of sorts, making it worse for future hams who attempt to
challenge Concord's bizarre and antiquated antenna restrictions.
I made a mistake with my delay in obtaining legal counsel.
Live and learn.
On February 5, I asked for, and received, a continuance before the Concord
Planning Commission. I asked that my application be continued to the March 5
meeting. That will be coming up in a couple of weeks. Harry Styron has
agreed to be present at that meeting.
Revised plans were to be submitted to the planning commission. Instead, a
letter form Mr. Styron was hand delivered by me (in order to meet the
of February 10).
I've always fancied myself a bit of a word-smith (we are communicators after
all), but Mr. Styron's letter was far more concise than anything I had
prepared to date. Experience paired with knowledge is a powerful
It was my initial meeting with Mr. Styron, as well as the prepared letter to
the planning commission, that convinced me of the error of my ways. I just
hope it's not too late.
Many of you have jumped into this thing so quickly that I've not had an
opportunity to tell you anything about me, or more precisely, why I got
interested in amateur radio and what my ham-goals are.
Very briefly, I am 36 years old. I obtained my ticket last April (96). My
current license class is Technician. I've been an amateur astronomer for
years. My ham-shack is in a corner of my back-yard observatory. Anything
space related has interested me since childhood. I've always been a
technology buff. When I learned that the astronauts aboard MIR were
communicating via amateur radio, and that there was such a thing as amateur
satellites, and AMSAT, I had to get involved.
I had several goals right off the bat: To talk to someone aboard MIR. To
carry on a live two way communication through an amateur satellite, and to
explore other (mostly technical) avenues of this thing called amateur radio.
I've already done number one. I spoke with Lt. Col. John Blaha (KC5TZQ) when
he was aloft. Then I did it again... And again!
Suffice it to say that I'm hooked.
It was in the building my satellite station that got me into this whole tower
mess. I haven't operated through a satellite yet, but along the way I got
interested in VHF/UHF weak signal work. After all, satellite communication
still falls under the umbrella of "weak signal" work. I joined SWOT
(Sidewinders On Two) a national organization of VHF/UHF sideband enthusiast.
No FM for this crowd. I quickly lost interest in repeater operation and
concentrated on the weak signal stuff on the lower portions of 2M and 70CM.
The result, in a nutshell: VHF can sound like HF. Same modes, same
camaraderie, same technical oriented rag-chewing! So what if multi-mode
VHF/UHF rigs are a bit more expensive (and scarce). In short, I love it.
So here I am. Right now I'm learning CW. It's not a license requirement for
what I want to do per-se, but there is a use for it especially in satellite
and weak signal work. Many of the VHF/UHF SSB operators are old hands with
much experience. I am convinced that CW will play an important role in my
future experiments. I will learn the code regardless of license
I will also upgrade my license class, but not to go "down" to HF (at least
not right away) but to go "up" the weak signal ladder!
Microwaves excite me.
My back-yard observatory was already out-fitted with a variety of high tech
gadgets including computers and telescopes (along with their drive systems,
mounts, motors, and such). Amateur radio is a natural for someone like me...
More things to tinker with!
I dream of putting the satellite station together (including the antennas!)
almost as much as I dream about actually working contacts through "the
Phase 3D is coming in 1997 if all goes well, and I'll be there! (Right
Interfacing everything through the computer, along with power systems and the
myriad of other technical challenges, makes me think that it could take a
long, long time to get tired of all this (much less master any of it!). I
would like to become absorbed in the many facets of amateur radio. It has
certainly found a place in my heart and soul.
I hope this provides some perspective. Here is how to reach me if you don't
already have this information:
5279 Jomar Drive
Concord, CA 94521-2342
Best Regards, and stay tuned for the March 5 meeting report.
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