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One of my hobbies when I was a student of high
school to university was amateur radio
which wireless communication operator is called "Ham". This ham is not
edible but somebody careless can eat. Each amateur radio operator needs
both an operator license and a radio station license. When the radio
station license is given, the call sign such as KCBS for commercial CBS radio
station at San Francisco, is assigned. My
call sign is "JA1VJY". The first letter or the first two
letters exhibits the country where the radio station locates. The next
numeric value exhibits the regional area of the country.
everything needed to explore the wireless related hobby more in depth
such as receiver, transmitter, antenna, and measurement equipments like a dip
meter to measure frequency tuned and SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) meter to maximize
antenna efficiency. A good receiver must equip 3S, Sensitivity,
Selectivity, and Stability and 1F, Fidelity. We, human beings, must have
such ability as well. I have
all of the licenses given to amateur radio
operators in Japan. The first class license, the hardest to get and we
must master transmission and reception of both English and Japanese
Morse code, allowed me to input 1,000 watts to radiate effective
antenna output of 500 watts. The power is almost equivalent with a
commercial local radio stations. I normally used A1 (CW), telegraph, to
communicate with foreign amateur radio operators at
7MHz, 14MHz, or 21MHz band. The number of countries I have
communicated reached 48 in 6 continents. The first class license is
equivalent with "Amateur extra" class in US.
|License in USA
||License in Japan
As is well known, the birthplace of Renaissance is
Florence and the birthplace of amateur radio
is USA. Telecommunication technology kicked off and advanced from the
intensive curiosity and practical endless experiments contributed by hams.
I got first class license in Japan as noted above. Matter of course, next
step was to obtain amateur radio license in USA. Especially the highest
class of Extra.
Before taking Extra class exam, test takers need to pass exams of Technician
class and General class one by one as prerequisite. University level of
electrical engineering scholarship as well as broad knowledge and handling
skills related to transmitter/receiver/antenna/measuring instruments are
required to pass the exam. I had actually tons of accumulation of such
experience since being in Japan. Studying the license exam reminded me a
lot of issues related to amateur radio that I did not touch for a long time.
Luckily, I passed the three license exams flawlessly in one and a half month.
Just after passing Technician class, I got serially assigned call sign of
KJ6TMZ. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) accepts a request of
specific call sign called Vanity Call Sign. I requested
AJ6TN which means
6 (regional code assigned to California)
(wife's name). Only Extra class licensees can specify "A" as a first
letter and one or two letters after regional code. The last two letters of
TN sounds beautiful short ending of Morse code. I chose TN due to the fact.
It is reverse of Windows NT, isn't it. Listen to Morse code of "CQ CQ DE
AJ6TN AJ6TN K".
California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) also accepts a request of Special
Interest License Plate. In case of license plate related to amateur radio,
no annual fee is required after paying one time fee for license plate production
cost of $14.
I practiced violin for 2 and a half years at
Suzuki violin class when I was an elementary school student. Even
today, I can play violin with my youngest son of course he plays much better
than I play. I like music, especially playing music instruments such as
Violin, Harmonica, Ukulele, Hawaiian Guitar, Clarinet, and electric organ from
Yamaha. MIDI (Music Instrument Data Interface), making music notes, and
listening audio CDs (Compact Discs) are my favorite as well.
I was not only good at playing ping-pong, baseball, valley ball, swimming, and
skiing but also running fast for short track like 50m and 100m. My best
record of 50m dash was 6.1 seconds recorded at junior high school.
Accordingly, I was selected as an athlete for short track, relay, valley ball,
and ping-pong at sports festival frequently.
I went to everywhere such as Akihabara to purchase junk electronics parts and
Zushi city to visit grandparents riding on my bicycle.
In every summer vacation through high school to university age, I enjoyed
climbing mountains and camping at tent or bungalow with my friends.
We went to Mount Chokai in Yamagata prefecture, Kitadake in Nagano prefecture,
Mount Bandai in Fukushima prefecture, Gozenyama (the highest mountain in
Tokyo), and so forth.
I started skiing after I joined NEC and enjoyed it every winter season handling
my own Ogasaka ski. I have visited ski resorts such as Yunomaru, Tsugaike,
Happo One, Shiga Kumanoyu, Myoko Akakura, Hakuba Goryu and so forth. They
are all in Nagano prefecture.
Since I was a kindergarten child, I raised a tortoiseshell cat and a black
haired medium size dog (Scottish terrier: Scotty). When they fought, a cat won a dog all the time
because a dog (God in reverse) is milder than a cat. I remember that my
dog got a scratch injury on his black nose by cat's nail attack and scarlet
blood dropped from it. A dog tames with human beings and a cat tames with
home. Accordingly, I like a dog better. We now live with
a female Scottish terrier who is a third generation for me since
I also raised gold fishes, tropical fishes, various turtles that I captured in a
pond wildly, beetles from pupa hunted under dead grass, and Java sparrows who
ate bate on man's hand. At grandparent's house at Okaya city Nagano
prefecture, we raised a goat and chickens. We drunk heated goat's milk
every morning, ate chicken eggs, and delivered them to neighbors for free by
riding a bicycle with a rear car when summer vacation.
We have hundreds of gold fishes, two turtles, and a white cat fish in a pond.
Most recently, we visited Nikko Tochigi
prefecture, Yokohama Kanagawa prefecture, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima by bus tour and
Beppu Oita prefecture, Kitakyushu Fukuoka prefecture, Matsumoto & Nagano Nagano
prefecture, and my wife's parent's house in Osaka as well. We stayed a
cottage at Karuizawa Nagano prefecture, Atagawa Shizuoka prefecture, and Okaya
for a while when we are on vacation in Japan. We often visited Jyogashima
at the point of Miura peninsula and Irouzaki at the point of Izu peninsula by
car. It took 9 hours one way at night between Tokyo and Osaka by car
although the distance between them is similar to the one between San Francisco
and Los Angels. I drove 5 times such two routes in Japan and in US.
It takes only 6 hours even daytime between SF and LA.
I always rent a car when we trip. We visited Virginia, Washington DC,
Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas
in Arizona, Hoover Dam, Death valley, Los Angels, San Diego, Yosemite national
park, Lake Tahoe and so forth by family trip. When we went to Grand
Canyon, I rented a brand-new Dodge Caravan (7 passengers van) and drove 2,000
miles a week. Finally, the engine of the car got over-heated and towed.
Photograph & Video
My father had a photograph enlargement & print
system that is made in Germany. I have used it myself in a dark room when
I was 12 years old. I bought an Asahi Pentax TTL (Through The Lens) that
provides manual and auto exposure, focus through the lens, wide range of shutter
speeds, and allows to exchange various types of lenses. All the pictures
on my publications were taken by the camera. Especially, pictures of CRT
screen were taken by gradually changing the exposure setting the shutter speed
of slower than 1/10 second because the frame frequency of NTSC standard is 30Hz.
I privately bought a Hi8 video camcorder to record the drawing speed
demonstration using a bread board of graphics processor when I was at NEC Japan.
I visited customers bringing the video cam with 8mm video tape and displayed the
demo on CRT monitor screen that customers prepared. Every time we go to a
trip, I took moving pictures. When we boarded on an airplane to tour Grand
Canyon from air, I looked down the marvelous sight through the 8mm video cam,
got air sick, and threw up eventually on the ground. I have over 10 video
tape collection now.
Replacing a conventional still camera, I bought
a Kodak digital camera with CF (Compact Flash) slot. Some of the pictures
on this Web page have been captured by the digital camera. The CF is
detached from the camera and plugged into SanDisk ImageMate (CF card reader
connected to PC through USB (Universal Serial Bus)) to upload picture files to
PC. I know all things about how ImageMate works in details because I
designed an entire USB-to-CF/MMC (Multi Media Card)/SD (Secure Digital) bridge
LSI at SanDisk recently.
Gardening & Painting & Home Improvement
I started enjoying Gardening 3 or 4 years after
we came here in US. Because we can easily get gardening tools and
fertilizers at Home Depot or Orchard Supply, everybody can enjoy the hobby.
Especially, I liked to do carpentry and create things to achieve my purpose.
I have duplicated a spare key of my bicycle by cutting aluminum board and
shaving by a file.
The first job was to cut down Japanese Junipers
from the root by using a 18" electronic saw. Next, I made lawn from
preparing lawn bed, making sprinkler watering system, and sowing lawn seeds.
It was successfully done. Home improvement work was so pleasant and made a
big profit. We sold our home $350,000 as much as the original sales price
2 years ago.
I have now a gas mower, a weed & lawn gas trimmer, a branch trimming electric
saw, a electric saw (the second generation), an extendable aluminum ladder, a
wooden ladder, and so forth. I can be a good gardener as well.
I have attached and adjusted two satellite dish
antennas and wired the coaxial cables to two receiver inlets. Now, we have
three satellite dish antennas directed to satellites at west longitude of 148,
119, and 110 degrees to receive all of available satellite channels in USA.
PC hardware & software
Handling PC (Personal Computer) and the peripheral devices, making software in
Intel 80x86 assembly/Basic/C language, and assembling electronic parts gathered
on PCB (Printed Circuit Board) are also my favorite hobby. I have used
IBM/NEC PC with MS DOS/Windows/Linux/Solaris, Apple Macintosh, and Sun Work
Station with Unix/Solaris. I have presently 5 PCs with Windows and 1 PC
with Sun Solaris at home as well as 1 color laser, 3 B/W laser, and 1 color
inkjet printer tied together through home LAN (Local Area Network). My
favorite text editor on PC and work station is "vim", "vi" improved. The
"vim" is embedded under Microsoft Visual C++ compiler and the Solaris machine.
I always use Microsoft Word to make documentation along with Visio for graphics
implementation. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Outlook under
English Windows installed Office XP can accept utilizing both English and
Japanese language without going back and forth between English and Japanese
When I bought a color plotter from Graphtec Corp., I made
a graphics art called "Karuta" by intensively handling a graphics
drawing tool. 9 Karutas which are represented by 3 letters of my kid's
name, "Ma-sa-shi", "A-ki-ko", and "Ta-da-shi" were drawn along with animals
appeared on Japanese picture book of "Guri & Gura". It was fine to stop
then but I applied the contest held by Graphtec Corp. plotting all the color
pixels of "Karuta" by small "x" one by one. I designed a data
conversion & color plotting software myself. As a result, I was rewarded a
certificate along with French dish dinner celebration out of over 300
Through such various hobby, I studied and polished practical English,
creativity, concentration, curiosity, endurance, generosity, crisis management,
and so forth.
I have touched with AC (Alternate Current) 750V output from transformer for a
high power transmitter. The AC 750V unlike DC 750V is defined as a high
voltage by electrical regulations. I was blown away all of sudden but
fortunately I did not get any secondary damage that is fatal because there were
nothing at rear. My finger numbed for next 10 minutes and the portion
touched was dried up. After such physical experience, I get static
electricity and something else very easily.
It's sure that the hobby broadened my personal
characters and brought up right judgment and direction ability. I am
possibly able to know the consequence of the matters earlier than others.
Accordingly, I always intend to be practical and realistic utilizing sensitive
intuition rather than superficial debate and idealism.