This week we spotlight Gary L. Schwiter, WH6EPS.
A little bit about me, currently I live on the Big Island of Hawaii in MT View “BK29kl” a few miles from the volcano. I enjoy exploring new and old technology so amateur radio found a place in my life rather easy. I was first licensed in 2014 and went for my extra about 6 months later. I recommend doing it all while it is still fresh in memory. At the time my 9-year old daughter Angelina WH6EVK supported me and passed her tech around the same time I took my extra. It’s hard to get her on the radio, however she does support ham events.
Again, I enjoy technology; I spend most of my time on 40M and 2M nets. I have very modest equipment, for the HF side I have an ICOM 718 with a RigBlaster and for the V/U I have a few TYT and Baofeng’s. I have a repeater on order the Yaesu DR2X. I’ll upgrade to a real V/U rig after my repeater is active. My antennas are usually something just a dipole or a discone, I know I need to invest in a real antenna one day.
Scanners are on all around the house, when I was growing up I remember always having one. It goes back to both my father and grandfather. On my last trip back to New Jersey I brought back my grandfather’s old crystal scanner. I’m looking for a crystal for 147.120, if you know where to pick one up please let me know. I believe they stopped making them a few months back. I have several bearcat scanners and enjoy using the proscan software. Since I spend most of my time on a computer, I use SDR’s for receivers most of the time. I recommend giving SDRConsole a try, being able to watch the entire band adds a whole new level of awareness. If you don’t want to buy hardware, try giving www.webSDR.Org a try.
Digital modes are fun and have to play a few times a week with some type of mode. Recently I have been playing with WinMor, FLDigi, and packet. It always fun to receive an SSTV image either from the ISS or on HF. It’s been a while since I played with satellites, I believe my last contact was on AO-85 Fox1.
I always have a few open projects and have recently been playing with Raspberry PI. I have a RPI packet station, was playing with SVXlink, and started building a weather station out of a few PI 3, I am just scratching the surface. There is so much you can do with these little boards. If you have time, like computers and want to try some simple coding, give it a try.
My background is diverse, I started in construction and my hobby was in electronics / technology. I started moving into the tech sector back with AutoCAD 8, I built homemade robots in the 80’s had the Heathkit Hero One and enjoy building Drones when I have time, a whole hobby in itself. I gained invaluable experience working in a chemical plant with a team of engineers in the mid 90s.
I’m a Navy Veteran, can’t say I seen much I was in the submarine force and they did not let us up much. I got to play with some billion-dollar toys. Was stationed from Groton CT to Pearl Harbor Hawaii, my last boat was the USS Tucson SSN 770 a Los Angeles-Class Fast Attack Submarine, I had a little fun with the tomahawk mark 4 and was part of the first test team. I really enjoyed the experience I gained in the service.
After the military, I received several Microsoft certifications and received a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Soon after I started a career in health care information technology and medical record systems. It’s been an experience with all the changing health care law / regulations and takes a lot of my time.
I enjoy activities with my family. We try setting Sundays aside to enjoy the island. Family time allows us to build meaningful experiences and memories. When we can, we enjoy astronomy, fishing, or just relaxing on the beach.
I still manage to serve my community when I can with the South Hilo Rotary Club, The Volcano Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Puna Emergency Radio Club (PERC), ARES, and the Big Island Amateur Radio Club (BIARC) KH6EJ. Being involved in the community has allowed me to grow, to change, and to show passion in everything I do. I value knowing I am part of teams that make a difference beyond the obvious in supporting our community.
You can visit Gary’s QRZ page at https://www.qrz.com/db/wh6eps