My name is listed as Thomas but go by "Mike". QSL via Bureau, LOTW, or Direct with SASE if you are in a hurry. Although I post to LOTW, I enjoy receiving the QSL's. If your QSO does not show up in LOTW, please email me. I read often in QRZ a guy says he cannot afford to QSL even if the other station sends a SASE. I don't get that as a QSL can be written on a scrap of paper which I think everyone gets plenty of that from junk mail. My favorite QSL of all times is one from a ZD7 made from a cigarette carton.
My age is 71. Received my Novice license, KN4TBN, in 1957. Upgraded to Conditional and K4TBN in 1959. Equipment originally was a Heathkit DX35 with one crystal for 3715 Khz and a Hallicrafters S38D and 80 M dipole at 20 Ft. Later upgraded to a Hallicrafters SX99 with a Heathkit QF1 Q multiplier. The transmitter was upgraded to a Johnson Challenger with a Heathkit VF1 VFO. This held me until after high school and through tech school. Upgraded to Extra Class in 1961. After getting my first job with Ga. ED. TV I traded it all in and bought a new Swan 240 and installed it in a 1963 Corvair for my first mobile. It had SSB which was a new mode for me. Served in the Air Force 1964-1968. I married Evelyn in 1964. She now holds the call K4AM. Obtained K4PI in 1976. QTH's changed over the years with jobs at RCA Computer Systems, UNIVAC, and Delta Airlines. Retired from Delta in 2001 after about 29 years in the Flight Simulator Dept and went to work at Flight Safety Int. in Flight Simulation and retired from there in June 2011.
At the present home QTH there are 2 towers each around 100 ft tall. I have been using mostly monobanders but recently took down the 20,15, and 12 M monobanders down and installed a 4 ele SteppIR in place of the 20. The pictures have not been updated yet. On 80 M a K8UR style 4 square with a Comtek Phasing unit is used. Shunt fed tower for 160 M with several beverage type antennas along with a DX Eng 4 square receive array for receiving on the low bands. For 6 M a 6M9KHW at 113 ft . HF equipment is a K3, Alpha 87A. For 6M I use a K3 and a Commander VHF amp. That rounds out the main equipment. DX chasing is my prime focus when at home along with competing in the DXCC Challenge staying mainly on CW going to SSB only if there is a new one. My present Challenge count is 3124 current countries. If you hear me struggling on 160 M most likely I am at the home QTH where the ambient noise is very bad so I did the following.
A second station was built near Bowdon GA, about 43 miles by car from the home QTH, where the noise level is much less. There is a shack with power and a 140 ft tower that supports a 160 M Four Square of 90 ft top loaded verticals each with a 45 horizontal hat, using a Comtek phasing unit. For receiving, at present there are three 800 ft beverages one of which is switchable in two directions, a HI-Z 8 vertical array in a 200 ft diameter that I bought used from my friend K4WM and a 1200 ft two direction beverage 25/205 deg. I use an Elecraft K3, which after using for several years, I consider the best radio on the market for low band, weak signal reception. The amp is an Alpha 76PA, 1400 W output. From this location I was able to finish up a long time goal of achieving 160 Meter WAZ. The last zone, 23, occured In Dec 2009 when JT1CO came though for 2 days prior to sunrise with good signals. Presently 304 WKD / 304 CFM on 160 M.
At the Bowdon station a second tower has been built for VHF. It is 95 ft tall and has stacked M2 6M9KHWA antennas at 95 and 65 ft. An Array Solutions Stack Match is used between the two. A K3 and a Harris TV amplifier module removed from WSB-TV Ch 2, Atlanta, that I modified, running about 1.2 KW is the equipment. I am presently at 144 WKD/ 142 CFM countries on 6 M, all terrestial from my west Georgia QTH's. I got onto 6 M seriously around 1998 so I am somewhat of a newcomer. My most recent new country, Australia, was my best distance also. It was worked from the home QTH. I heard a VK trying to call some locals calling CQ DX but no one was hearing him calling them. I tried to call through them but no luck so went up 1 Khz and started calling CQ and in a few minutes he showed up. VK4FNQ. Within a few more minutes worked VK4TL. My VUCC grid count on 6 M is 1058 confirmed which includes about 23 that have not been submitted. Got a quite a few more worked but just can't get the confirmations from them.
One thing I really enjoy about 6 M, trying SSSP propagation which Han, JE1BMJ discoverd. It allows Japan to USA terrestrial QSO's on 6 M during the June/July E season. My first JA QSO's were in 2008 as I worked during the evening hours and had to depend on an opening occuring during an off day. I am up to 168 JA QSO's in 27 JA grids over the past 6 years. Most all of these were worked from the home QTH with the single yagi. I have not been able to be at the farm QTH with the stack when a good JA opening occured. Being retired now allows me to watch a little closer during E season. During E season we normally only get 2 or 3 nights where the JA's come through.
I do all the climbing on the towers as it would be hard to take it if someone got hurt on the towers. A ground crew is obtained to help sometimes to keep from going up and down the tower more than needed. One person stands out that has really helped me a lot as ground crew, digging tower bases and guy points by hand in mid summer (hi), running beverages and lot of other stuff. That guy is Ron, K4WZ. I owe him a lot. He never operates the station as he says anything he works he wants to do it from his own station. Recently Ron injured his shoulder so Greg, KX4R has been picking up the slack. Some other people that have helped me over time, N4SS, KX4R, K4DN, KS4C, K4WM, W4KTR, W4AUB, N4HU and K4KW. Hope I didn't leave anyone out.
Life member of ARRL and CW OPS #1066. Member of the Southeastern DX Club and past officer several times.
I obtained the call P49I from Aruba by passing their examination and still hold the call. See the P49I station using QRZ. Other calls used in the past. DL/K4PI, ON/K4PI,K4PI/VP2K St. Kitts, PJ0J St. Marteen 1986-88, PJ8T St Marteen 1989, P40PI Aruba 1990 - 93, P49I 1993 - present, K96PI, K400PI, K26PI 1996 Olympics callsigns.
73 Mike K4PI
1105760 Last modified: 2014-07-15 22:06:01, 7415 bytes
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