Welcome to the W4HH Amateur Radio Website







Welcome to my website


I am Joe Schlatter, amateur radio call sign W4HH and this is my amateur radio website.  I have set up this site to share my interest in the hobby of amateur radio.  There's nothing earth-shaking on this site, just one person sharing his experiences -- I hope you find something interesting here.  I'll add material from time to time, so, please come back and visit.

My current station

I have three HF rigs and one VHF/UHF rig: 

  •  An old ICOM IC-729 160-6 meters, 100-watt, all-mode transceiver, purchased in Japan in 1992; with AT-150 antenna tuner and PS-55 power supply.
  •  A Yaesu FT-817 QRP 160-1.25 meters, 5-watt (0.5 - 5 watts), all-mode transceiver; with LD Z817 antenna tuner
  •  An Elecraft K1 QRP 40-30-20-15 meter, 5-watt CW transceiver with built-in keyer and antenna tuner.  I purchased this rig used in March 2012.
  •  Yaesu FT-7900 VHF/UHF transceiver.

I use simple wire antennas on HF and a vertical on VHF/UHF:

I operate almost 100 percent CW using mostly an old 1950 Vibroplex Lightning Bug, or, a WW-II-vintage J-38 straight key.  I also have, but rarely use, a miniature key from American Morse Equipment, an AME miniature paddle, and, a K1EL WinKeyer.

I use the FT-817 and the K1 about half-and-half, each running five watts, mostly with the old Vibroplex Lightning Bug.

My amateur radio biography

I obtained my first amateur radio operator's license in November 1958 -- Novice Class, KN4FPT.  A few months later I upgraded to Technician Class, K4FPT.  Here's my license history:

  • Novice, KN4FPT, November 1958;

  • Technician, K4FPT, February 1959;

  • Advanced, K4FPT, April 1979;

  • Extra, K4FPT, September 1992;

  • Received vanity call W4HH, January 6, 1997.

  • While stationed in Japan, July 1990 - July 1993, I held Japanese amateur radio license 7J1AJJ.

I am a retired Army officer and was on active duty from May 1967 to April 1995.  As a result of frequent moves and living in all sorts of housing -- our own home, rented houses, apartments, military housing -- I have been on and off the air.  At times I was on the air with a lot of equipment and antennas, at other times everything was packed away and I was not operating.  Now that we have settled down into our own home, I am on the air from time to time with a modest station.  I try to get on regularly, mostly on 40 CW.  I usually am on the air 3-4 days a week, early morning and late evening.

Location:  Northumberland County, VA along the Potomac River where the river joins the Chesapeake Bay.

Here's a photo of me making bread -- one of my other hobbies. 


And here are my two grandsons


(L) Jackson (b. 18 November 2010)
(R) Little Joe (b. 29 Aug 2007)
In Grandma and Grandpa's back yard; August 2014

Jackson (L) and Joey (R)
with Grandpa
in Potomac River in front of our home


Here I am operating my QRP station during ARRL Field Day, 26-27 June 2010 -- 1 watt output -- powered by a battery that is charged from a solar panel.

What's on this site?

The Table of Contents for this site is located along the left side of each page -- click on the links next to the little blue diamonds.

Another hobby

Another of my hobbies is amateur astronomy Follow this link to my family website where I have several pages about amateur astronomy.

My Current Weather

My current weather courtesy of WeatherUnderground.  If you want to see details of weather at my location, go to WeatherUnderground and search for station KVAHEATH4.  From time to time, the old laptop computer that puts my weather data on the Internet goes down, however, most of the time you can see my current weather and my weather for the past day, week, or month.



My weather station is a Davis Vantage Pro2 using the Davis Weatherlink software that sends the weather station data to the WeatherUnderground site.

Go to this link for photos and details on my weather station.

 And . . . here's a photo from my webcam, looking out my front window, across the road, across the neighbor's property, onto the Potomac River (If it's night, you'll see only a couple of dots of light from my driveway marking light and my neighbor's porch light):




Current weather

Here's the current weather at my home (I'm having a problem making the software report rainfall rate and accumulated rainfall -- it may show 0 or a strange amount).



Member, North American QRP CW Club
NAQCC #3938

American Radio Relay League

QRP Amateur Radio Club International
QRPARCI # 14145


Member, Straight-Key Century Club
SKCC #7954


Member, FISTS
The International Morse Preservation Society
FISTS #15405


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Visit our family web site -- www.schlatter.org