About Me: Tanner Sterling, KD0KX


25 May 2023
Tanner Sterling

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. My name is Tanner Sterling, also known by my amateur radio call sign as issued by the FCC as KD0KX. Well, initially, it was actually KD0SZK, I changed to a vanity call sign of KD0KX after I received my Extra license back in 2013. I first got into amateur radio while my wife and I lived in beautiful Colorado Springs. I took all three test there, before my wife and I moved back to both of our home state of Nebraska, but this time in Hastings.

1st Radios

My "first shack" consisted of my first radio, that was a Wouxun KG-UV3D that I still have too! It's a great first radio, all said and done with accessories, I think I paid $150. In my first shack, I soon added an Icom IC-718 as my first HF "real radio". It was a great first "real radio" too. I had the LDG IT-100 automatic tuner (sitting on top of it). I also added a West Mountain Radio RIGblaster digital mode interface for my IC-718. I soon became a PSK-31 junkie and made many contacts that way. When I was early in my ham career, I was shy to be on SSB. I loved doing contests though because the exchange is so quick, there was no time to goof up, I guess? I now don't have that fear, but operating digitally during that time was great. I don't do much digitial at this point, besides Fusion on 2m/70cm. So if you are like I was, shy on SSB, don't worry about it. Just keep listening to make sure your exchanges are solid and correct compared to the "pros" on the air. And just know that anyone on the air that is a "pro", they usually aren't and just "turn the dial" and QSY (change freqs) to friendlier frequinces. Also meet some more local radio guys that you can practice more with on 2m/70cm. You'll get the shyness out pretty quick after that. And at the end of the day, who cares if you goof up? It's AMATEUR radio, we are not professionals. So don't worry about goofing up, we all still do it. You just don't notice us goofing up yet. You'll soon see it the more experienced that you get. Keep going with it and don't give up. Find other modes to explore; work on cw, a skill that I'm still working on...

2m and 70cm radios

On the VHF side of things, I soon added a Yaesu FT-2900R. I still also have that radio as well. It was unique in that it went up to 75W and it met some mil-spec for Jeep people, you know. It is a very nice single-band radio though. My Icom 5100 and Yaesu FTM-300DR, both dual-banders, have since replaced that radio in my main shack, anyways. Along with the FT-2900R, I also got the MFJ VHF SWR meter that you also see in the pic. You will also see my latest EDC (not really, hihi) hand-held, the Yaesu FT-70DR. It's also a great radio, besides the audio overall is too quiet and the batteries don't last long. Besides that, it's a perfect ht especially for Fusion, the digital mode. It is my current go-to ht though. I like the dual-banders offered by Icom and Yaesu both, but I can't spend that much on "just an ht" at the moment. My XYL says so anyways...