First off, call me "Ken". My parents apparently never thought of the problem Kermit would present in ham radio when they named me back in 1942. At least they didn't call me Sue. ("Son, I knew how rough it would be out there, with all the QRM, QRN, QSB, key clicks and splatter, that's why I called you Sue." Hmm..... Think there's a song in there somehow? Gee, I miss ya, Johnny)
I was licensed as KN9LIO in February 1958 in the old Novice up or out days and suffered a great deal of anixety until I upgraded to General that fall. I was quite active as K9LIO in CW contests and DXing until 1964 when I moved away from home. After that I was mostly QRT until I rebooted myself as AB1J in 1978 and was active again until 1983 when raising two lovely daughters and my job in the computer industry took up all my time. In 1998, while convalescing from an illness with a lot of spare time on my hands, I got back in again and enjoy it more than ever. In October 2009 I retired so I now have more time for amateur radio and other hobbies. Lately I've been doing a bit of contesting, CW and RTTY. I particularly like RTTY contesting. It's contesting with a speed limit, which works for me. I like CW but I'm not a hot shot op. When some European rocket man comes back at 40 WPM with a cut number up in the thousands, I say "Huh?"
However, ham radio hasn't worked out as well as expected for me since I've retired. Here's why:
Here's how things are today (you may need to refresh the page to get current data):
In this relatively meager cycle, which is now winding down, I spent a lot of time on JT65, which is surprisingly addictive, sort of the crack cocaine of digital modes for me. I've also tried PSK, WSPR and OLIVIA (nice for ragchews, but not much activity) and Feld Hell. I set up an APRS station but I'm not sure what to do with it. I do find its local weather data interesting but I myself don't have a good place to set up an accurate weather station so I can't join in. And it's fun to track some of my local hams as they wheel around the Boston area.
My QSL Policy is simple: I upload all QSOs to LoTW, eQSL(AG), ClubLog and Logs-a-Million (just kidding) plus I send some bureau (via Global QSL) and direct QSLs since I like to chase awards. I QSL 100% to bureau QSLs (but see below) and would appreciate replies to any bureau cards I send out.
Sorry, but I don't use QRZ.log or HRDLog. Please don't ask me to QSL via either of these. I had to draw the line somewhere and I don't understand their purpose. QRZLog has started issuing awards which are pale imitations of existing awards. I hoped they would do something more imaginative. Guess not. Very disappointing.
I used to encourage people to send me paper QSLs, but in the recent years there has been a big shift to online QSLing and now I would prefer to get only LoTW AND eQSL confirmations. The exceptions are special events, rare countries, IOTAs, cool cards (like the LZ saint cards) and things of that ilk. You have to decide if your QSL is special enough to send out. Otherwise I am quite happy with online confirmations. Paper QSLs take up a lot of room and someday my kids are just going to trash them. If you have already QSLed me by LoTW and/or eQSL and still want a paper QSL, just email me and I'll be happy to send you a bureau card (or direct in the USA, on my nickel).
If you have QSLed me via the bureau and gotten my card in return, PLEASE do not keep sending me more cards.
Soapbox: I would encourage all serious ops, contesters, DXers and award chasers, to use both LoTW and eQSL. All eQSL users should get AG status so their QSLs can be used for awards. eQSL is especially useful for looking into LoTW, which is otherwise a black box. I've seen QSO matches go missing in LoTW because of bad data. When these QSOs are also submitted to eQSL, I have a chance to figure out the problem. Otherwise, I don't know what I don't know. I know this sort of subverts LoTW's obsessive security, but, uh, well, it's not Fort Knox gold we're talking about here, you know.
Still on soapbox: Electronic QSLing is clearly the wave of the future. Some progress is being made as LoTW now supports CQ Magazine's WPX award, with other CQ Awards to follow. eQSLs have been allowed for CQ and DARC awards for some time. I hope some day electronic QSLs will be accepted for all awards, just like paper QSLs. It would be really nice if IOTA and the RSGB could figure out a nifty online QSL method. They are getting left behind.
Here I am operating as AB1J/9 (SOSB/15 LP) in the 2011 CQ WW RTTY contest from the Goshen (IN) ARC station (K9WJU). They have a TH11DX on a 100 foot tower which ran circles around my attic dipoles at home. Who knew? At the start of the contest the SFI was 190 and whole world was rockin'. Thanks to the club for letting me use their station.
I was #1 in the USA with a new record, #2 in North America and #6 in the World. This isn't the kind of thing that happens from home, so I was happy. The record only stood for one year, until 2012, when KZ5A broke it. That's what records are for: Make 'em, break 'em. Congrats to Jack.
In 2012 I went back and did it again, this time Assisted (SOSB(A)/15 LP), and was #1 in North America and #3 worldwide and had an even higher score, my best contest effort ever. That record held until 2014 when J35X took it away, although I still retained the USA record. It proved yet again that Grenada is a bettter DXing location than Indiana. Live and learn.
In 2013 I blew out a disc in my back and I didn't go anywhere. I had an operation but it wasn't successful.
In early 2014 I blew out another disc. I think this means my tower climbing days are over. In July 2014 I had another operation, more extensive this time. The second operation was quite successful and I am much better now but I'm still staying away from towers.
Thanks for stopping by. Please call me in contests. Help me justify all that time I try "Running."
Kermit (aka Ken), AB1J
This AB1J Waltham, MA log goes back to July 1979. I update it weekly. If you scroll down a bit there's a log search for my Indiana operations.
This log goes back through 2007 and is my activity (contests, mostly) from Goshen, Indiana. Sometimes I signed AB1J/9 and other times just AB1J, but if you're in this log, you've worked the Land o' Goshen, but not the one in Egypt (Genesis 47:27)
6630933 Last modified: 2015-08-10 14:16:01, 9055 bytes
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