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Welcome to my QRZ page

 

In this photo I'm visiting station W6RO in the Radio Room on HMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA

 

After nearly 50 years hamming I'm enjoying Amateur Radio now more than ever. There is a romance

to Amateur Radio that I don't find in any other means of communication. I began as a Novice Class

operator in 1967 when Novices had to be sponsored by another Ham of at least General Class. That

Ham was my first mentor, Harold W6HKV. He certified to the FCC that I had achieved 5wpm sending

and receiving International Morse Code, then he gave me the written test the FCC had sent. The test

was then returned to the FCC for grading, and there was a wait of 8 or 9 weeks before I learned I had

passed and received my Novice license and the call sign WN6YMO. I started my Ham career at the 

age of 15 on 40 meter CW using a dipole, Johnson Viking 1 transmitter, and Knight R100A receiver.

My first DX outside the USA was KG6AAY on the island of Guam. It has been lots of fun ever since

 

 

Strand Memorial Radio Club Station W6HKV at Kingsburg High School in 1968
 
The kid in front is me at age 16 with the call sign WB6YMO, with friends Robert WB6PPT
in the middle, and Rick WB6WKR at the rear - I was privileged to be a member of this great
high school club in the late 1960s, and honored to serve as club president my senior year
 
Visible in the photo are a Galaxy V transceiver, Gonset GSB-100 transmitter, Hammarlund
HQ-180 receiver, and in the rack is a homebrew kilowatt amplifier and high power antenna
tuner built by Harold Strand W6HKV, my mentor and the station's namesake. Harold became
a silent key in 1967, and his widow generously donated all his gear, tower, antennas and his
library to our club - and many of us went on to college and into technical careers as a result
 
After graduating from college I went on to a career with Sperry Corporation as an electronics
technician. After several years of night school I became an engineer with Rangor, a company
producing automated control and monitoring equipment for Getty Oil, Shell Oil, and other
oil exploration and production companies. In 1987 I moved to Silicon Valley and a job with
Plexus Computers, a minicomputer and software company. In 1989 I moved back to the San
Joaquin Valley and a 23-year career in the Information Technology Department at Fresno
Unified Schools. I am semi-retired and do Information Technology work on a contract basis
 
 
 
 
14 bands 1.8 - 432 Mc on one tower, 13 bands rotatable, 160/80 meter shunt feeds up the sides
 
I modified a Mosley PRO-67C 7-band HF Yagi so it covers all 9 HF bands on one boom and feedline.
It works as a rotatable dipole on 80, 60 and 30 meters, and a 3-element Yagi on 40, 20, 17, 15, 12
and 10 meters. This antenna averages more than 315 countries confirmed on each band 40m-10m.
This single-tower system based on the all-band HF Yagi has worked more than 2,500 band-countries
in the DXCC Challenge from my small city lot. I also shunt-feed the tower as a 160/80m vertical,
so I am using every bit of metal in my system to radiate RF on one band or another
 
 
 
 
Detail of the separate 160/80 shunt-feeds - vacuum-variable series-feed caps, 16 elevated radials
 
The crankup tower sections are bonded together for RF, and the rotor in the tower is RF protected
 
With all of the many metal Yagi antennas on top acting as a massive top hat, the 54-foot tower is
electically long and can be tuned with simple series-feed capacitors on both bands. I tune them
for a purely resistive impedance of some arbitrary value at the feed points, then use the series-
section coaxial matching technique in the individual feed lines to transform those impedances to
50 ohms at the transmitter. This is a simple solution that allows tuning to cover both bands with
kilowatt power without failure. The mild California weather allows the large vacuum capacitors
to sit out in the open without any protection - rain has caused no problems in operation
 
 
 
 
Workroom where I build stuff and restore vintage vacuum-tube gear
 
 
- - - - -

AMATEUR RADIO STATION AD6W

- - - - -

A1 Operators Club - American Radio Relay League - Central California DX Club - San Joaquin Net 3918 Kc - Trustee, Strand Memorial Amateur Radio Club W6HKV

- - - - -

ALL-TIME DXCC - 350 CONFIRMED

DXCC MIXED #32,484 - HONOR ROLL

DXCC CW #6,205 - HONOR ROLL

DXCC PHONE #20,574 - HONOR ROLL 

5-BAND DXCC #4,466 - ENDORSED 30, 17, 12 METERS

160-METER DXCC #2,275 - 120 CONFIRMED

DXCC CHALLENGE - 2487 CONFIRMED

WORKED ALL ZONES #7,797

IOTA - 867 ISLAND GROUPS CONFIRMED

5-BAND WORKED ALL STATES #2,552

VUCC #1,330

ANTARCTIC BASES - 31 CONFIRMED

AMATEUR RADIO LIGHTHOUSE SOCIETY LIGHTHOUSES - 94 CONFIRMED

- - - - -

My operating awards are based only on contacts made from my home QTH in Kingsburg California USA. I'm active on all bands 1.8 - 432 Mc. CW is my favorite mode. I enjoy keeping up with friends by Ham Radio. I chase grids on the VHF/UHF weak signal modes, I chase band-countries for the ARRL DXCC Challenge program, and I chase island groups for the RSGB Islands On The Air award program. I find the IOTA chase most challenging because island operations are usually low-power, short-lived, single-operator, and more difficult to work than many regular DXpeditions.

I enjoy building homebrew projects of my own design, and I enjoy building kits. I built the Elecraft K3 Transceiver kit, and it's now my favorite rig. I use the K3 on HF and 6 meters and on the 144, 222, and 432 Mc bands using transverters and mast-mounted preamps. I've used several top-performing 50-pound import radios, but at my station the 8-pound K3 beats them all. The narrow roofing filters, adjustable digital noise reduction, adjustable noise blanker and CW audio peaking filter in the K3 allow me to hear DX buried in noise that I don't hear on other rigs. Using the K3 I was able to complete 160 meter DXCC using only a shunt-fed tower for both transmitting and receiving. With a rich set of control outputs the K3 automatically band-switches and controls my transverters, mast-mounted preamps, amplifiers and antennas through a homebrew interface. The K3 is one of few rigs that directly reads out transverter frequencies on the transceiver display. Along with modern transverters, the K3 can be locked to an external precision frequency source for ultimate stability in the VHF, UHF and SHF regions. I plan to have 902 Mc and 1296 Mc transverters, preamps and amplifiers operational soon. The K3 has the capacity to to control up to nine transverters, potentially making it a 20-band rig.

I enjoy restoring and operating a large collection of vintage vacuum-tube radios produced by 1930-1970 American and British radio manufacturers. It's really great to find an old radio, clean it up, fix any problems and bring it back onto the air. The look and smell of old vacuum-tube rigs in operation brings a romance to Radio that newer equipment lacks. I especially enjoy the tactile delights of big black bakelite knobs, wrinkle-finish paint, the glow of vacuum tubes, and the smell of warm components cooking in a chassis. There is nothing like the ambience of old gear.

The heart of my 15-band, 1-tower antenna system is a modified Mosley PRO-67C-3 HF Yagi. Experts say these coil-trap multi-band beams don't work, so they are always surprised to learn I've worked more than 2,500 DXCC Challenge band-countries using this antenna on a 54-foot tower from my small city lot in California. The PRO-67C is one of few antennas easily modified to put all 9 HF bands rotary on one tower, and that's what I need to chase band-countries. Mounted above the HF antenna are stacks of M2 Yagis for the VHF/UHF bands. I also feed the entire tower plus antennas as a shunt-fed vertical for DX on 80 and 160 meters.

When I'm not on the air I'm out in the garage building hotrod cars and trucks. I do all construction tasks myself including design, welding, fabrication, chassis and suspension, engines, paint and upholstery. These projects include a low black custom 1951 Ford F1 Pickup, a fenderless black 1931 Ford highboy coupe powered by a 1958 392 Chrysler Hemi, and a green 1928 Ford roadster pickup powered by a 59A Flathead V8. I enjoy taking road trips around the western USA in my old cars and trucks.

Best regards,

Larry AD6W

1732791 Last modified: 2015-02-26 01:09:13, 23601 bytes

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