I'm James Branum, KG5JST.
You can find out more about me on my blog www.jmbzine.com To QSL, please use QRZ.com or LOTW. I enjoy receiving paper QSL cards but I'm sometimes slow at responding to them so if you want a fast response, please use QRZ or LOTW.
As of 2021, I mostly operate via the FT8, FT4, JS8Call and WSPR modes, as well as as FM Voice (for our local repeaters and occasional simplex). I rarely do SSB phone and other digital modes on HF bands, but when I do, it is often through remotes to overcome the challenges of QRP. I also do some radio stuff by bicycle, but have yet to find the perfect HF antenna to use while rolling, so I more often use my bike to get to an interesting place to operate field-day style.
I'm also an avid Shortwave radio listener (I sometimes blog about this at radio.jmb.mx and in the past have broadcast programs on Shortwave and Mediumwave via purchased air time from WRMI (Okeechobee, FL, USA), WBCQ (Monticello, Maine, USA), WINB (Red Lion, PA, USA), Channel 292 (Rohrbach, Bavaria, Germany) and Unique Radio 3210 (Halls Creeks/Tamsworth, NSW, Australia), as well as on local day-time AM/medium wave station KTLR 890 AM in Oklahoma City. I also have at times broadcast to my home and a few neighbors via part 15 AM and FM.
I have also had the opportunity to visit my friends in the correspondence department at Radio Havana Cuba. I highly recommend making this a stop for any shortwave radio enthusiasts if they get to visit Havana.
When not traveling, I'm located in the Montague-Sonador neighorhood of far Northwest Oklahoma City, aka Deer Creek (locator EM15ep) in Oklahoma County.
- Blog: JMBzine.com - My blog (with content going back to 1995)
- Law: JMBranum.com - Law Firm of James M. Branum (I primarily practice in the area of defending US servicemembers facing courts-martial or other administrative proceedings, but as a civilian).
- Editing/Writing: I currently serve as the editor of Humanistic Judaism, a quarterly magazine of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. I also blog at blog.JMB.mx
- Interfaith Peace Activism: I currently serve an an interfaith minister with the Oklahoma Objector Community, a religious humanist community affiliated with the Objector Church
- Father and Husband: I'm a step-dad (and home school teacher) to an awesome teenager, and also am a husband to a physician/writer here in Oklahoma.
Since I do a lot of portable/field-day style operations (mostly digital), I use several callsign suffixes, etc to enable more efficient and accurate logging, especially for folks who are gridchasing, etc.
- KG5JST - My home QTH, EM15ep
- KG5JST/14 - Operating at Lindley House B&B, Duncan, OK, EM14
- KG5JST/880 - Receiving only with my Tecsun 880, most often at EM15ep
- KP4/KG5JST - Operating via remote in Puerto Rico
- W1M/KG5JST - Operating via remote in Athens, Maine, USA
- Yaesu FT-817: My primary HF transceiver, but only QRP. I normally operate at either 2.5 or 5 watts.
- Baofeng UV-5RRA - My first radio. I know they get a bad rap by many but it is hard to beat their price. They work fine for hitting local repeaters as long as you switch out the antenna. On Simplex they can be pretty frustrating as they do not have very sensitiver receivers. I have several of them and they work well for what they are made to do. All hams should have at least one Baofeng.
- LDG Z-817 Autotuner (recently purchased, my first autotuner and I'm loving it so far!)
- MFJ-941E - A really nice manual tuner, purchased for $50 at Ham Holiday in OKC.
- MFJ9201 - A QRP backpacker tuner, with one major issue. The ANT and TX connectors get looser and looser over time, eventually requiring resoldering, and more resoldering. This design flaw is very unfortunate and frustrating.
- My main current home antenna set-up is a 20 meter ham stick attached to a trailer parked in our backyard, but I also use a variety of wire dipoles, loops and other configurations. I unfortunately have to deal with HOA rules but have been pleasantly surprised by what is possible with some creativity..
- Auto mobile: I use 11 meter CB antennas with a mag mount, but of course this necessiates the use of a tuner.
- Bike mobile: I'm still experimenting with several options but mostly I use my 20 meter hamstick, mounted to the frame of my bike, but this is a bit cumbersome when riding under trees (full height to the top after mounting is around 12 foot!). For VHF/UHF I use the Nagoya antenna attached to my HT.
- Pedestrian portable: Still working to find a a good solution for HF.
- CCrane Skywave SSB - My faovirte radio receiver, super small, tiny power consumption but it receives FT8 modes just fine in USB mode. I had a great time in 2019 taking this radio with me to Cuba, the US and British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas and it worked well everywhere.
- Techsun PL-880 - an amazing radio that does a great job of receiving FT8 via SSB. (normally ID'd on WSPRnet as "KG5JST/880"). It has a nice sound but is not easy on battery life.
- Zachtek WSPR receiver for 20 meters (normally ID'd on the WSPRnet as "KG5JST/0") - retired from service due to issues with the audio jack. It did work well for awhile though.
- A multitude of portable shortwave receivers--- I really need to pare down my collection..
- Other Stuff:
- Wolphilink Interface --- not only can be used with the WSPR beacon and other android apps, but with some tweaking it can be used for most FT-8 and other digital modes via a computer.
- PowerBank Model YB1208300-USB 12 V/8300 mAh Lithium Ion batteries (far superior to sealed lead acid batteries!)
- At my Home QTH (EM15ep) --- I use the teamviewer software while traveling to remotely control my computer at home, which i can use to do weak signal modes (FT8, JS8Call, etc.).
- via Remotehamradio.com
- KP4/KG5JST (in Palmas, Arroyo, Puerto Rico)
- W1/KG5JST (Danbury and Chaplain, CT, USA
- W1M/KG5JST (Athens, Maine, USA)
- KG5JST/W1 (Oreans, Massachusets, USA in the very rare FN51 grid.
- KP4/KG5JST (in Palmas, Arroyo, Puerto Rico)
- Via Remotehams.com
- KG5JST/W2 (courtesy of the Methow Valley Amateur Radio Club in Washington).
List of countries/states/etc that I have worked
This checklist was last updated on February 7, 2022. Non-confirmed contacts are marked with *. This list includes all contacts made from my home QTH, but does not include contacts made while traveling.
- Maritime Mobile
- YU2AX/MM - in the Gulf of Mexico
- UW5EJX/MM - unknown location?
- North America
- Alaska (despite it being part of the US, Alaska is normally treated as another country for ham radio bragging rights)
- Still needing: PEI, NS, NF, NWT, YT, Nunavut
- Cayman Islands *
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- St. Lucia *
- St. Maarten
- St. Croix
- All 50 states+DC
- New Zealand
- North Island
Special Event Stations
- W5V - July 23-August 1, 2021 - Promoting COVID Vaccine Awareness
- W5G - August 2020 - 103rd Anniversary of the Oklahoma Green Corn Rebellion.
- KG5JST/M - I did pandemic field day from a cabin in Southeast Oklahoma.
- W6K - September 2019 - I got to be one of the operators for the Route 66 Oklahoma City Special Event Station on 40 meters FT-8.
- W5G, August 2019 - 102nd Anniverary of the Oklahoma Green Corn Rebellion
- W5G, August 1-13, 2018 - 101st anniversary of Oklahoma Green Corn Rebellion
- W5G, August 2017 - 100th annivesary of Oklahoma Green Corn Rebellion
- W5O, Nov. 13-16, 2015 - 29th Annual Oklahoma Fall Peace Festival
Awards and Certificates