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AA2NI USA flag USA

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QSL: LOTW, EQSL, BUREAU, DIRECT, QRZ

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XML Subscriber Lookups: 10263

QSL image for AA2NI

QSL Manager for: AA2RZ, 4Z1RZ, 4Z4RZ, 4X6KA and 4Z5GE. Please provide a SAE with 2 green stamps in addition to your qsl card.

AA2RZ, 4Z1RZ, 4Z4RZ  posts to EQSL and LOTW ONLY.  No card exchange.

For domestic USA reply please provide a SASE.

Hi fellow hams and thanks for visiting.

QSL

I reply 100%. To direct via mail, Bureau through the Bureau. Please provide a SASE with your card for USA destinations and a SAE with two green stamps and your card for International. I post to EQSL (AG) at the end of the QSO (automatic) and to LOTW at least once a month. If you need me to post to LOTW sooner, for an Award or a Certificate, let me know and I will try to expedite.

GENERAL INFORMATION

I am known to my friends as �Niko�.

I was first licensed in 1993 as a Technician with the N2UHT call and upgraded to Tech plus the same year.

I upgraded to "General" in 2009 and to an "Extra" in January 2010 and changed to a vanity call AA2NI. This is when I started on my DXCC.

I am active in RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).

I am accredited as an ARRL "Extra" VE and volunteer, from time to time, at test sessions.

I teach the "Technician" Class to prospective new Hams.

Memberships

I am a memeber of the ARRL, BARA (Bergen Amateur Radio Association - VP) NJDX ASSOCIATION (Primary Sorter for The ARRL QSL Incoming Bureau QSL cards for the 2nd District), QSL Managers Society, BCFMA (VP) and participate in various club functions.

I suggested to the ARRL to come up with a reduced rate for Life Membership for Memebers over 60. If you like this idea drop them a line. I am waiting their response.

I support the QRZ.com, EQSL.CC and DXWATCH programs and plan to continue to do so.

I started using "Club Log" and am considering supporting it as well.

AWARDS

I started keeping a log and chasing DX when I got my vanity call AA2NI in January 2010.

In April 2011, I was awarded the WAS award for working all 50 States.

In July 2011, I was awarded the DXCC award for working 100 DX entities.

In June 2012, I was awarded the DXCC Phone and 20M awards for working 100 entities in each category.

In August 2012, I was awarded the mixed DXCC 150 endorsement.

In february 2013, I was awarded the Phone 150 endorsement.

In may 2013, I was awarded the Mixed 200 and 20M 150 endorsements.

My current DX Mixed Entity count is 234.   221 on LOTW and 13 QSL cards. Only 16 to the 250 level. I have 5 more QSL's out. If you are one of them, kindly return your qsl card or post to LOTW. It will be greatly appreciated.

That is 33 confirmed entities from a year ago.

LOTW

My current LOTW Challenge count is 429 and my EPFX count is 500 on EQSL. Thank you to everyone, who confirmed and posted a qso's with me.

If we had a contact please post it to LOTW. LOTW is immediate (Last upload took less than a minute) and removes the qsl card filling, sending, receiving, checking and confirmation process. If you are not yet using LOTW, give it a try. I will admit that it takes some time and steps to set it up. But once you have done that, it is a great system. If you have an internet connection there is no reason not to subscribe to the LOTW system. It is free to upload and it is immediate. For international users you will have to go through a license confirmation process with the ARRL, but once that is done, you are on your way to electronic logging.

Why is LOTW better than QSL exchange? Recently, I had to send qsl cards to two different entities that required registered mail. The QSL exchange cost me the following: registerd mail $12.95, plus $1.05 postage and $2.00 for return postage each. That is $16.00 for a single qso. Even a simple qsl card exchange will cost at least $4.00. $1.10 for postage and at least $3.00 for return postage charge as $2.00 are not enough anymore. I just got a card from Italy and the postage on it was for 2.5 Euro. When you are ready to apply for a certificate, or an endorsement, you will be charged a nominal application fee ($5.00) and 12 cents per qso that you select to use. If you apply for a certificate there will be an additional small nominal fee to cover the certificate, pin and mailing charges. I just updated and moved my LOTW reported qso's to the DXCC record. It cost me $5 for the application (that included a 150 endorsement sticker), $4.80 for 41 qso's and with the return postage charge the whole thing cost me $10.52. Less than one registered mail qso exchange and that was for 41 qso's with new entities.

In addition, please consider using paypal to cover postage and expenses. It does not make sense to pay 2.5 Euro to get a card back and the only ones making anything on it are the Post Offices. A recent card from T2TT which was handled by an Italian QSL manger was stamped with 2.5 Euro. Please consider using paypal to receive money for a qsl exchange. You could set one price for LOTW posting and a different one for QSL mailing.

One thing I do not intend on doing is apply for the Prefix award with the CQ program. It will cost me over $50 and some additional unknown charges. No thank you. I will get it for free from the EQSL program.

INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES

I like DX'ing. I like the challange of getting those remote and exotic places. Being able to work a faint signal that could hardly be heard. I do not like the pileups, especially those stations that call all the time and do not leave room for a reply or anyone else. I got my DXCC (Confirmed 100) before I owned an HF amplifier and the Hexbeam antenna. An old Kenwood Ts 450S, MFJ 949E tuner, G5RV JR. antenna and 100 Watts. 75% of the qso's were on PSK. In my opinion it is the most exciting segment of the HF bands. I do not, at this point, operate contests. It took me a while to get there, but once I started making the contacts, recording the qso's and uploading to lotw in addition to sending bureau and direct cards I got hooked. I take it one qso at a time trying not to get too down when conditions are soft. I reached the 200 milestone. I got my cards checked by W2IRT at the NJDXA and the application was approved by the ARRL in a week. My target, for the next step of 250. is January 2015. That is just over 18 months for the next 50 entities.

I am also interested in digital modes, especially PSK and RTTY. I run the HRD and DM780 software with a rig and soundcard interface built by a dear friend AA2RZ.

I spoke to HRD at Dayton 2013 regarding issues with the software hanging up and not being able to reconnect. HRD suggested to use an FTDI and not a Prolific chipset USB to RS232 interface as the Prolific is known to cause problems. I did that but that was not the answer. I ended up uninstalling the virus protection. I used AVG. It helped a lot but is not completely working. I am using HRD on a Yaesu FT 950. On my other station I am using a Kenwood 450 SAT and the radio can be off for days. when I turn it on. HRD synchronizes with it like it was never turned off. Why can't I get the same results with the Yaesu FT 950? HRD's answer was to go to version 6 where they can assign help for it. Fix it first then ask for money is my attitude. There are other free software packages available. One more thing to do which was suggested is to turn off the PC power savings where it turns off unused USB devices to save energy. Find how to do it on your computer. It helped a lot .

I am also interested in running digital modes; PSK and Packet on an Android phone. If you have any experience in this area I would like to hear from you.

I like to operate portable and for that I designed and built a portable inverted �V� dipole antenna, mounted on a tripod, and a portable station to operate on field day or in emergencies. The power is provided by a 12 V battery. See pictures below. The station and antennas support HF as well as VHF/UHF operation. I purchased a 50 feet fiberglass telescopic mast and mounted an OCF dipole in an inverted "V" configuration positioned about 35 feet high and elevated the ends to about 15 feet. This was my antenna for the GOTA station at the 2013 Field Day. We were lucky enough to have a site that could support the size of the antenna.

This is a link to an article from the July 2012 QST magazine (page 76) describing my "station in a box". The picture (in blck and white) and article made it to the ARRL Operating manual for 2013.

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/arrl/qst_201207/index.php?drml=AA2NI&drmp=b1a546cecf6457e8971a8255aea21190e5ead8c0#/96

STATIONS

I run two seperate stations, one for Voice and one for Digital and CW.

My voice station includes: A Yaesu FT950, an Alpha 99 amplifier, MFJ-989C, 3KW Roler Inductor Tuner, Bird 74-6 Antenna Switch and a Drake W-4 - 2KW Watt meter with the Peak reading board installed. I just added a preselector RF Amplifier in line between the radio and the amplifier. I am gathering information on its performance and will post here when I get some conclusive data. My requirement is to enhance weak signals by "Notching" the received signal and amplifying it without increasing the background noise. Initial test results are promissing but I will need some more weak signal comparisons.

I have the use of three antennas at this station; A Hexbeam at 26 feet above ground for 6 bands - 6m to 20m, a G5RV for 40m and 80m up about 60 feet in the air hanging from two trees and a slopper antenna for 160 m. hanging 45 feet up.

My Digital/CW station includes: A Kenwood TS 450SAT and a Drake W-2 Watt meter and I use a homebrew rig controller built by a dear friend AA2RZ. I run the Ham Radio Deluxe program with Digi Master 780. I tried to use FLDIGI on UBUNTU but could not get the rig to transmit. I am back on a Windows 7 machine and the last free version of HRD. I can receive, decode and transmit fine. It is amazing how much I forgot by not using the system for six months.

STATION IN A BOX

In July 2011, for our BARA club's portable day, I improved my portable station and organized it in a Ready to "Go Box". See pictures at the bottom. We operated this station in the 2011,2012 and 2013 ARRL Field Days as the GOTA station on 15 meters and plan to operate it again next year.

Antenna Problem Resolved

The mast on my Hex Beam was bent 45 degrees in the last storm and needed replacement. I changed the Aluminum mast with a steel mast and shortened it by 2 feet so it has less of a wind resistance. I was assisted by our twin boys and two local ham friends, Peter KC2QYM and Rob KC2RDW. Thank you. The antenna itself did not suffer any demage even with wind gusts of over 80 miles an hour. The only improvement I made to the installation was to install a hand winch at the top of the mast, on the wall plate, to assist in lowering and raising the antenna.

Portable Station for Sale

I built a new "Go Box" around an Icom 706 MKIIG and would like to sell the Kenwood "Go Box" to a club or an individual involved in emergency or portable operations. It has a Kenwood TS450SAT (with the automatic antenna tuner) a Yaesu FT7800 (VHF/UHF), 29 Amp switching power supply, connection to 12 V external source, an illuminated digital volt meter, LED Light for night operation and all the wiring, switching and connections. Asking price is $1,250. Contact me if you are interested.

THANK YOU

Thank you to QRZ.COM for hosting this site and providing a valuable service to the ham community.

73 and keep enjoying our hobby. Niko

Email me if you wish additional information. nikoaa2ni@gmail.com

My SSB (VOICE) Station with a Yaesu FT950 and Alpha 99 Amplifier

New bracket to hold the Bird 74-6 Antenna Switch

My Alpha 99 Amplifier Color coded for quick tuning

MY NEW HEX BEAM, 26 Feet UP

The side of the house is holding the bracket and the thrust bearing. The Rotor is down on the Deck.

My new Hex Beam 30 Feet Up

Hex Beam Full View

The Plate holding the thrust bearing and the middle

wall support

The Rotor Box on the deck. Notice the hinges.

The whole thing can be hinged to the ground for service.

My first Portable Station and Antenna

The Top Of The Tripod. J pole and floor flange providing ties for the anchores and the balun

Stress relief from the dipole wire to the Balun

The Balun loaded with the dipole wires on each side

The carriage holding the dipole wire. Note the folding leg and the pin

holding the spool from counter spinning

The completed Radio desk. Dual Band VHF/UHF and a Kenwood TS 450S with

MFJ 949E AntennaTuner. A 12 V car battery for power and a grounding rod for safety.

The New and Improved

Closed "Go Box" Ready to go

"Go Box" Rear Panel

"Go Box" Front Panel

"Go Box" Ready to Operate

Highlight from Dayton 2013 - Setting Up and Operating a PRC 77 in a Jeep Mount

AA2NI's "Go Box" as the BARA 2013 Field Day GOTA Station

Hard to see but this is an OCF Dipole for 10 to 40 M. It is hanging off a 50' mast at 35' and supported at the ends by 15' poles

Field Day 2013 With Bill Hudzik, Hudson Division vice Director

Bill Hudzik "Operating" the AA2NI 2013 BARA's Field Day GOTA Station (KD2CMS)

1083114 Last modified: 2014-07-07 15:14:43, 28481 bytes

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