About NC4FB

NC4FB at a Field Day

I’m a retired U. S. Navy Limited Duty Officer (Lieutenant Commander; designator 618 – surface electronics). LDO’s are commissioned officers (MUSTANGS) who were former enlisted personnel.  My promotion pattern was E1-E6 (TD), E7 (DP), W2-W3 (718), O2E-O4 (618).


LCDR F. L. Benson, USNR (ret.)

In my early career,  I was assigned to the Operations Electronics Division (OE)  aboard the USS Intrepid (CVA-11) home ported in Norfolk, VA. 


U. S. S. Intrepid (CVA-11)

I was subsequently reassigned to FAETUPAC ATAB Sangley Pt., attached to VP-40 (P5M-2S seaplanes) stationed in the Philippine Islands. VP-40 flew anti-submarine patrols in the South China seas.


Fleet Aviation Electronics Training Unit, Pacific


P5M-2S Anti-Submarine Patrol Plane

My later duty assignments involved surface ADVANCED COMBAT DIRECTION SYSTEMS. The last system I worked on was the AN/SYQ-20 Advanced Combat Direction System (ACDS) Block I.

ACDS Block 1

AN/SYQ-20 Advanced Combat Direction System

The AN/SYQ-20 Advanced Combat Direction System (ACDS) Block 1 consists of computer program software and associated hardware for non-Aegis combatant ships (aircraft carriers and selected amphibious warfare ships). ACDS Block 1 provides extended range display, expanded track capacity, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System interoperability, modifiable doctrine, display of mapping information, automatic gridlock, and doctrine-controlled multi-source identification. AN/SYQ-20 hardware includes computers, a display system with consoles, data terminal sets, automatic data processor, and automated status boards.

Licenses: Amateur Extra; General Radio Telephone Operator + radar endorsement; Global Maritime Distress Safety System Radio Operator/Maintainer

Certifications: Volunteer License Examiner (VE) — ARRL & W5YI; Volunteer Instructor — ARRL & W5YI

18 Responses to “About NC4FB”

  • Tim Palange, NW7TP

    Thank you for your service and all of your effort on behalf of the amateur and GMDSS communities. Long ago and far away, I too was once a squid; a nuc electrician aboard Eisenhower and Carl Vinson. Also ran the MARS station, NNN0CWY, aboard the Vinson. Even though they liked me, I got out and started sailing on merchant ships. Today I’m a teacher and curriculum developer at a nonprofit maritime school in south Florida. We are using your excellent courses to prepare new GMDSS operators and maintainers for ships owned by Military Sealift Command. (Hopefully I’m done with going to sea. It’s been a rewarding career, but time for the youngsters to take over.)

  • I only scratched the surface of this site but just wanted to say that I’m running a 40/20/10 fan dipole with the 40m section shortened according to your model: “Postage Stamp 40 Meter Wire Dipole Antenna”. I have it mounted in my attic at about 22-24′. It performs just like your model, including the ability to get 12m as a bonus! (I had expected the 40m would also get me 15m but probably due to the coil loading, it shifts to 12m). I got started in ham radio in the 60’s due to my dad being a Navy radioman in WWII. He’s scheduled to go to Washington DC soon as part of a program to bring WWII surviving vets there to see the memorials, etc. Thanks for your service!

  • Great Site. Lots of hard work here!
    Thank you for your service in both Navy and HAM RADIO! You are a true American Patriot! Hope to meet you soon. (I Just live in Madisonville!)

  • Great resource! Between the ARRL study guides and your very realistic tests I went from unlicensed to Extra in 2-1/2 months. Thanks for being there the whole way.

  • Joan Patrie, KG8VO

    Thank you for your service, Commander—and thank you for this site; it is extraordinary and excellent—a labor of love, most surely

    tnx = FB es 73 de kg8vo = Joan in Seattle = es a squid thru es thru hi bk

    [dit dit]

  • Jerry Maccoux KA9NSA

    I received the the information on the NC4FB website on February 13th, 2015. On 3-8-15, I took the amateur extra class exam & passed with a 90% score. Thank you NC4FB! Your study materials made it possible.. Jerry Maccoux, KA9NSA

  • Thank you very much for your amazing and very useful site. It was, together with the ARRL Extra book, a perfect training tool for the Extra exam. Especially the Extra practice tests and the flash cards. These allowed me to know the material cold and take the test confidently. Best of 73’s. Jim Ewing, N4TMM

  • Great resource; studying to upgrade to General. Old sailor here too. CTMC(SS) retired in 95 and still waiting for a phone call telling me where to report back to. Wife thinks I might be crazy because I still have a full set of uniforms, including choker whites.

  • Larry Knerr WA3PCW

    Great website. RM on Sampson DDG 10 from 1967-1969. She was a great ship with great shipmates. I belong to the Adams Class Veterans assoc, and the Sampson reunion assoc. Just waiting for the USS Adams to come to Jacksonville, Fl., So I can help rebuild the radio room. Originally from Delaware, but moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1988. Will check back for updates on you’re web site.

  • Fantastic website, I would expect nothing less from a Navy sailor!

    73 from an ex-incountry Vietnam Brown Water Navy RM2

  • This site is a gold mine.  There is no other place i have found that has so much information in one spot and is so easy to use.  And it's a freebie!  NC4FB has done the work on his end – it's all up to you now!
    I was able to get the GMDSS Operator/Maintainer ticket the first go around no sweat, no stress, no worries with scores in the mid 90's on both Elements 7 and 9.  I have held a First Phone since 1978, a Second Telegraph since 1981  both RADAR endorsed, and an Extra since 1980.  i wish the 6 month endorsement was as easy!
    This site rocks!
    Thanks again and best 73!

  • I just discovered your website.  It is fantastic.  Thank you for your labors.   I plan to use it to study and upgrade to Extra.  I, too, was in the Navy (early 70's).  I served on the USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14), North Island, CA, as an EW (also in the OE department).  When the Tico was decomissioned, I transferred to Greece to the USS Sampson (DDG-10).  I retired from the GA Air National Guard in 1996. 73, Jose

  • Roberto C. Vicencio

    Greetings Fred. I am Jojo, DU1VHY, retired EMCS living here in the Philippines. Spent 20 of 24 years forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan. Had quite a few LDO bosses and they were the best to work for. Enjoyed looking oyur page over. All the best. 73 de DU1VHY

  • Like you, a fellow Mustang.  I started in the Patrol Squadron (VP) Navy in 1963 in P2 and then P3 aircraft.  Made it to AX1 and then finished college at Florida State and came right back in as an Ensign – Naval Flight Officer (NFO).  Had a great run including a tour on USS Forrestal and retired in 1988 as a LCDR from NTC Orlando.
    Now I'm retired in Winter Haven, Florida and working with Lake Wales Repeater Assn. as an instructor and VE to populate the amateur radio hobby with new Technicians. 
    Your website and it's resources are invaluable.  Thanks and 73's

  • I'm also USN Ret. (E-7) I served in an ASW squadron (VS-24) aboard the Intrepid on her last deployment. I went from VP-40 in 1963 to Vs-34 aboard the Essex until she was decomm'd, then we were assigned to Yorktown until she was decomm'd, then to the Intrepid. On her last deployment the ship had an unusuual squadron with us. We brought a det from VSF-1, as CAP for the our deployment. Later I was assigned ships company aboard the JFK. I finally retired in 1978. If I had been single I probably would have stayed in until they kicked me out, but being away from a growing family takes its toll. Fair winds and following seas.

  • Great site. Helpfull info.
    Thanks and 73 2 U.
    1 old squid to another


    Thank you first of all for your service  and I myself are currently active in the U. S. Navy, The World Finest Navy. Secondly your website is awesome and it really help me pass my general and this coming Sunday I will be taking the Extra licensing (June 12, 2011). Wish me luck. 73…

  • Chuck Curtin W2EM

    Love your website.  Thanks for all the great info!  73  – Chuck

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