Visit my (terrible) web-site; http://K3STX.com for more pix of me, my station, and my Morse code keys/restorations.
Old picture of me at age 16 in 1979 and recent picture of me at age 46 in 2009 and with my ol' DX-20 and HQ-170A in 2013. YIKES!!
Active as TK/K3STX in Apr. 2010; LA/K3STX in Feb. 2011; 6Y5/K3STX in Aug. 2012. QSL via K3STX buro
I was first licensed as KA3BOD in 1978 at age 15. It was the peak of sunspot cycle 21 and the bands were CROWDED; as Novice on 15 meters we were working DX like it was next door. I assumed it would always be like this (turns out I was very wrong). I was on the air day-and-night until I went to college in 1981. Changed callsign to N4HEK in 1983 since I was now in North Carolina and didn’t like the idea of “KA3BOD/4” for the rest of my life. Was basically off the air from 1981 until 2003. During this time got married, had kids, and moved to Potomac, MD. Once my two girls got to sleep through the night I got on the air again and changed my call back to a 3-land callsign. Yet another baby (a boy) was born in 2004, so starting this “sleeping” problem all over again. With the vanity license program I chose K3STX. Principle interest is chasing DX on 40/80 meters and my operating mode is exclusively CW. After using paddles and iambic keying most of my life, I have recently started playing with and restoring old Vibroplex bugs (still use the computer for contesting). I like the feel of bugs, but it is frustrating that I can copy 60 wpm but can now only send 20 wpm. Practice, practice, practice. When you hear me on the air I will be using one of my favorite bugs, shown below. My iambic paddles are a Kent TP-1. I like them much more than the Begali Simplex paddles I USED to own.
I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke and I work at the National Institutes of Health where I am the director of a Immunology Research laboratory. The reason I chose K3STX for my callsign is because my lab cloned a human gene that we named “STX”. I thought it would make it easier for me to remember my call that way. I also play lacrosse, and STX is a major manufacturer of lacrosse gear (this has nothing to do with why we named the gene STX). Besides, K3STX is easy to send on CW.
I am 100% old-fashioned pro-code and I am affraid that with the end of Morse code testing CW use will dwindle over the years and by the time I am an old man there will be no one left to talk to on my radios. Neither of my girls has any interest in Ham radio, I am holding out hope for the boy. Outside of Ham radio I play with my kids and I am REALLY into rock music. I am obsessed with the music of the Grateful Dead, I’m a “Dead Head”.
After 25 years I just got a "new" rig, a Kenwood TS-590S. I like the rig; it is a big step up from my original Kenwood TS-520S and light years ahead of my first set-up; a Heathkit DX-100 transmitter and Hallicrafters S-20R receiver. I still have a Kenwood TS-850S as my back-up rig. I still love that rig. I also have an Ameritron AL-811 amp so can push 500 watts if needed.
Most of the time I chat using old Boatanchors that I put on the air, these "stations" have gone through many iterations of assembly/disassembly/sale and re-stocking. Currently I am using a Drake R4A receiver and T4XC transmitter combo. They are great. I also have two "Novice" transmitters that I built. One is a 2-tube 6AG7/6L6 transmitter on the metal chassis. I have coils for 80 and 40, and the little switch next to the XTAL socket is to turn ON the oscillator. The left-most dial is for a simple VXO I have under the chassis, it allows me to change my TX frequency +/- 2 kc. When the oscillator is always running there is almost no chirp on the signal (when I key both the oscillator and the 6L6 there is chirp). I also have a single 6L6 tube TX I built using slat-board construction. The slat-board "1-tube" transmitter has THREE tubes because I put OD3/OC3 voltage regulator tubes in there to control the screen voltage; less chirp that way. I prefer using the old boatanchors, to make a QSO requires a bit more than simply turning to the station and beginning to transmit (as with the TS-590S). I currently have a 20 meter/40 meter fan-dipole up 50 feet facing Europe/Australia, a 110 foot long ladderline-fed dipole up 50 feet oriented E/W broadside, and an 80 meter wire vertical/160 meter inverted L (70 feet vertical) that share a common feedline and common radial field. I also use a Pennant RX antenna (facing Europe) for low band DXing, no RX antenna for Asia (yet!).
I am a member of SKCC, CWOps, and the Potomac Valley Radio Club, I love CW contesting, especially contests that allow me to operate after the kids are asleep and allow me to tend to my family during daylight (i.e. the 160 meter contests!). I have 5BDXCC and WAZ with all simple wire antennas and 100 watts output. I have worked and confirmed 313 countries (SO FAR!!). All of this is CW only, I have confirmed about 20 countries on SSB. The use of my amp got me the basic 5BWAZ (170 zones confirmed) and I am slowly creeping my way up to full WAZ. I suspect this will be a lifetime effort; I still can not imagine working zone 23 or zone 26 on 80 meters.
73 and see ya in the lower part of the bands,
Last modified: 2014-04-08 13:38:17, 7827 bytes
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