Welcome to the N1ZZZ blog. This will also be the home of my DX callsigns and other operating locations. Since a vast majority of my radio activity takes place outside of my home, it may take us far afield.
I've been licensed since 1997 when I swept through and aquired my amateur call as well as the first of three commercial radio licenses. Currently I hold an amateur extra call, General radiotelephone operators license, Global Marine Distress and Safety System operator (GMDSS-O), and GMDSS maintainer's license. I also hold the radar endorsement. In addition to these FCC licenses in the US, I have also held radio licenses issued by the BIOT (VQ9JA and VQ9ZZ) and Ascension Island (ZD8JA). Through reciprocal agreements I have also operated in EA8 (Canary Islands). Lastly I operated KH0 in Saipan, CNMI; and KH6 from the island of Maui, HI.
I tend to go off the beaten path with most of my operating. While I love being the DX and working the pileups on RTTY and SSB, at home I take a much more laid back approach and perfer the digital modes. On HF I work quite a bit of PSK31 and some of the lesser used soundcard modes. I am particularly fond of MFSK16 and Feld-Hell. Still, I really love using the TOR modes and I have TNC's to operate most of them. My favorite is Hal Communications Clover which I find great to use both to access BBS' and to work keyboard QSOs. I also like to use Pactor, and operate at levels I, II, and III through my PTC-IIe controller. Most of my pactor work is on the Winlink 2000 system at sea for email, but I also enjoy keyboard QSO's. I am also capable of GTOR and AMTOR, but since I can't find anyone to work with me on those modes, I tend not to use them. The only TOR mode I don't use is 300 Baud HF packet. There are so many better options out there, that I just don't like to use it.
On the VHF side, I have the ability to use from the 6 meter to the 70 cm bands inclusive. Most of my VHF activity is mobile or on foot. I use FM voice to a limited extent, but most of my transmissions arein the form of APRS packet on 2 meters. I have a transponder in the car and a portable unit. The car is usually N1ZZZ-9 and pedestrian mobile is N1ZZZ-7.
My day job is a merchant Mariner. That is to say that I work as an officer on cargo ships in the US Merchant Marine. I usually work HF from the ship where I bring a tuned long wire and a small HF rig. As I mentioned, I use WL2K for email, but also get on the digital modes or SSB to work various stations from odd water grids. I usually send position reports via WL2K so it's pretty easy to track me across the oceans.
I do QSL both with paper and electronically. I always answer my cards, but it may take awhile due to my schedule. LoTW and eQSL.cc cards are uploaded fairly soon after I return home, and then I try to answer all direct QSL cards. Buro cards are answered on a secondary basis and are usually mailed to the ARRL right before I return to the ship.