Welcome to the internet home of Amateur Radio Station W4ZD. My name is Marv Luse. Here you will find a bit about me and a few of the projects I've done over the years. They're not much, but they keep me occupied. Perhaps you will find something to pique your interest.

The Location

The Shack

How it all started...

In 1963 I spent a weekend with a classmate/friend. He had an old Knight Ocean Hopper regenerative receiver, and we spent the wee hours of the night pulling in SWBC stations from across the pond. It was magical, and I was hooked. Over the next couple of years I read everything I could get my hands on about radio and electronics, and even homebrewed a few simple receivers and the like.

By 1965 I had learned Morse and found an elmer, and soon had my Novice class license. It was great fun. I built a Heath GR-64 general coverage receiver and homebrewed a single-tube crystal controlled transmitter and was working 40-meter CW whenever I could.

A Knight Ocean Hopper receiver

The young ham and his license...

Me, circa 1965, a newly minted Novice

The license, from February, 1966

Those early days were great fun. I didn't work a lot of foreign DX, but did manage to work 48 states over the course of my Novice career (from Centrl Florida). The only ones I missed were Alaska and Wyoming. The night I worked Hawaii on 40 CW with about 12 watts to a dipole I would have to count as one of the high points of that year.

Over the years...

I lived in Colorado for 35 years (1980 to 2015) and did the majority of my hamming there. The last 15 of those years were spent in the mountains NW of Fort Collins, Colorado. The elevation at the QTH was around 7,500 feet, and it was quiet, peaceful, and lovely.

Sometime in the late 1990s I finally upgraded to Extra Class, and received the callsign AB0IO. In those days I was a diehard Ten-Tec aficionado (still am) and ran pretty much nothing but Ten-Tec gear. Here is my station from then. I constructed a custom oak console to hold the gear, as one of my other hobbies then was woodworking.

AB0IO, Livermore, Colorado

The present day...

The image at the top of the page shows my current shack. The rig is a Yaesu FT-950, a very nice rig, though by today's standards it is getting a tad long in the tooth. The IF has been tapped for a panadapter, but I don't use it. Being old school, I have little use for many of the modern gizmos that are considered essential in a ham transceiver.

Right now I am running a multi-band vertical mounted on the roof, an Alpha Promaster. It claims to be a 10-80 meter antenna. It does a reasonable job on 80, 40, and 20, but on the higher bands-- even with a tuner --it does a dismal job.

I have an MFJ-993BRT remote tuner sitting on the shelf in my shack. I hope to get that deployed one of these days, when I either feel up to it or can convince some younger ham to do it for a pizza and a six-pack! :)

I hope to work you soon...

Being old school, my OTA time is spent about 95 percent on HF CW. I love a good rag chew, but snagging a bit of rare DX is still exciting as well. Hope to catch you on the bands someday soon. 73, Marv.