I was licensed in 2002 as a technician class operator in Phoenix Arizona as KD7RQI.
I started to study for the Element 1 test in August of 2004 to gain HF access. This was the 5 wpm Morse code test that was still in effect, being eliminated officially on February 23, 2007. I studied every day for 30 minutes with the G4FON app on my computer and listening to slow code on 40 meters. I barely passed the code test on April 1, 2005.
I did enjoy my new access. I operated mobile for a year and a half using a Yaesu FT-857D with an ATAS120A screwdriver antenna. I know a lot of people have bad-mouthed that antenna, and perhaps it was just beginners luck, but looking back at my paper logs I made a lot of contacts all over the world.
The price of gas was a big factor in deciding to take the Yaesu FT-857D in the house and build wire antennas. The beauty of building your own is that you can put one up quickly for any band and take it down and re-assign it as easily. I had wires at wavelengths above ground and made contacts but I also had wires much lower and still made contacts. You can still have fun and make contacts with a temporary low wire.
I had a job change and moved from Phoenix Arizona to Norman Oklahoma. I wanted to pick up a vanity call rather than take the next sequential call from the 5 call zone. I found K5NOK available and was able to get it. Now I am K5 N orman OK lahoma.
Then life happened and I became mostly inactive with ham radio for 3 years until my son attended the BSA Jamboree. I threw up one of my old dipole antennas for 20 meters in July 2013 and made the contact with k2bsa. I was getting interested again. I put up a low 10 meter dipole in October 2013 right before the Oceana contest and made 15 or so VK and ZL contacts. Then my wires were broken by ice storms in late 2013 and I decided to put into service the Hustler 4btv that had been in my closet for years. I ground mounted it with 45 radials measuring 32 feet. I checked the MFJ Antenna Analyzer and 10, 15 and 20 meters was resonant way below the ham bands. I adjusted the physical length and also had to adjust the traps. The 4BTV has exceeded my rather low expectations. I no longer believed that a vertical radiates poorly in all directions. I now have a 15 meter flat topped dipole up as well as the 40/20/15/10 meter 4BTV and may want to do an A/B comparison with you when we are in a QSO.
73 and thanks for visiting my page.
937555 Last modified: 2014-05-20 17:58:26, 2591 bytes
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