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K5HEM USA flag USA

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Straight Key Century Club: 8421T

 

Thanks for looking me up and (hopefully) thanks for the QSO!

QTH is Katy, Texas, a booming HOA/CCR infested suburb about 15 miles West of Houston.

I re-discovered Ham Radio in 2011 after being QRT for a "few" years (since 1965, so decades actually) - possibly something to do with being a 16 year old Novice in 1964; 13WPM code requirements, school, work, and subsequently some other past hobbies:

  • Race cars - SCCA H Prod "Spridget" - Primarily in SoCal and AZ - made the SCCA runoffs @ Road Atlanta in '75 and '76 (pic below)
  • Sailboats - J24, J30 "Mabuhay" & C&C 37 "Dynomite" - raced in Dallas (Lake Ray Hubbard) and on Galveston Bay TX - was also a regular at Race Week on Whidbey Island, WA
  • Airplanes - 1979 Grumman AA5B Tiger - N4533P - licensed in 1993, Private Pilot SEL - Instrument (pic below)
  • Fast Cars - currently a triple black 2011 BMW M3 Comp Coupe

Born and raised in Tucson Arizona, I worked my way to the Houston area via the Middle East and the energy industry.

Ham Radio:

Originally licensed in 1964 as a Novice (WN7BHZ) in Tucson AZ with the help of my friends Arnie Lewin (now W7BIA) & Mark Leavitt (ex K7OLZ). In those days the license was only good for a year - attempts to break the 13 wpm barrier failed repeatedly.

Rekindled the interest in 2011 when I moved buildings at work and found myself with a new friend (Haskell Moore -W5HLM) who got me going again:

  • Tech license 6/2011
  • General 8/2011.
  • Extra on 11/2012 thanks to an Extra upgrade challenge organized by Matt (K5NGU).

Currently working on my CW skills but still somewhat QRS. I stumbled onto the SKCC Group "Straight Key Century Club" and learned alot while meeting many new friends. The club schedule page is wonderful. Since joining the SKCC I have re-developed a love affair with Morse code and encourage all to take a look at the CW mode and the fun to be had. The SKCC events are actually more rewarding than chasing DX in my view. With approaching retirement I am working on getting my CW speed up to do some contests and chase that CW DXCC.

Check out what the group has to offer http://www.skccgroup.com

Active on HF (10m-40m) CW in the evenings. Usually around the 20m SKCC watering hole.  The antenna "farm" consists of an Alpha Delta DX-EE inverted fan dipole - now at 24ft hiding behind my slow growing palm trees (see pic below) and a 31' S9 vertical screened by some large bamboo for special occasions - CCR/HOA restrictions drive me nuts.

 

My 2012 goal was to obtain WAS and DXCC in my first year on HF since 1965!

Status:

  • ARRL WAS - Done!! (Basic/Phone)
  • DXCC - Done!! (Phone) = 116/110

Goals for 2013:

  • ARRL WAS CW - Status: Done (50/50)
  • SKCC "Centurion" - Done (26AUG2013)
  • SKCC "Tribune" - Done (16SEP2013)
  • SKCC WAS - Done (21JAN2013) (Note)

Goals for 2014:

  • SKCC TX8 (currently TX6) - not done - must have gotten lazy
  • SKCC WES top ten (very streach goal) - not anywhere close...

Goals for 2015:

  • Get to SKCC TX8 and my "S"
  • Get the speed up and get into the top ten in SKCC contests (SKS/WES)

 

Note - My SKCC WAS was waiting on Iowa. I had reserved that QSO for my friend WS0G - a long time Ham who lost his eyesight a few years back. I convinced him to turn his key collection into on air CW time. He worked hard at it but the need to head copy was a road block. The SKCC format seemed to help and I pushed him to give it a try. Some of my emails to him contained a sound file of a QSO with him so he could get used to the format. All came together on 21 January and it was great to hear his call on the air at the scheduled time. He was great and I hope to get him back on the air again as Iowa is a somewhat rare state.

 

Club Affiliation:

  • BVARC - Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club
  • 10-10 #76290
  • SKCC #8421T

 


Current Rig:

  • Yaesu FT-950
  • Ameritron AL811 - used very little - only on cold nights
  • Alpha Delta DX-EE inverted dipole at 16 20 24ft (the trees have grown)
  • S9 31v (19 radials to date)
  • LDG AT1000Pro
  • Heil Pro Set Elite 6 headset/mic
  • HRD software for logging and rig control
  • Alinco DR-135TP 2m mobile - not currently installed
  • Navy Flameproof straight key
  • Vibroplex Delux Standard Bug (new)

73,

Harold (aka Hal)

free counters

Free counters!

The Antenna "Farm" - 13ft at the top! Ya gotta love CCRs. See updated photo below!
UPDATE below - the trees have grown, added bamboo along back fence and almost ready to elevate the dipole another 4 feet. You can see the S9 31v behind the palm tree - wonder if the money should have been spent on a K3?
N4533P - former partner in this 1979 Grumman Tiger AA5B

Novice card from 1964!

Novice card from 1964

My 1963 HP MG Midget - SCCA Runoffs, 1976, Road Atlanta GA

6181361 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:21:56, 17822 bytes

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