Greetings from California !
My QTH is in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California approximately 160 miles (257 KM) east of San Francisco, CA. I live near the town of Murphys, in Calaveras County. The station elevation is approximately 3500 feet ASL or 1066 meters ASL.
<---- Winter at QTH - View to northeast
Summer At QTH - View to northwest ---->
I was unable to travel for the T32RC mini-DXpedition but set up the website and acted as their pilot while the group was on the island. Please visit the T32 - 2013 website for information about the December 2013 DXpedition.
I obtained my Novice license in 1971 and remain active on all modes on HF in addition to VHF and UHF activity. Please visit my website for more information regarding the station. You can monitor my station receive and transmit audio, when the link is on-line, from the audio menu on the website.
I stream live video from the shack sometimes. If the video is active it can be viewed at K6HP video. This is part of the Cam Radio Group webcam project. You can view all of the amateur radio station webcams involved in the project at CamRadioNet.
The picture at the top right (click for full size) is the latest shack layout with the Elecraft KX3 (which is normally in the RV) and the Yaesu FTDX 5000 MP Limited. The shelf the CW keys / paddles as well as the KX3 are located on was custom made for me by Jack - KE7HTY. The wood work is beautiful and I now have a shelf over the radio to hold either the KX3 or the keyboard for a second computer as well as the CW keys and paddles.
In 2013 it was my first full year of attempting to resurrect my CW skills, from 18 WPM with a straight key as a young ham, to using a paddle now and trying to go from 5 WPM (when I started) to my goal of 20 WPM.
I obtained a model ZN-SL single lever paddle, from Tony at N3ZN Keys early in 2013, and spent the spring and summer practicing. The N3ZN paddle is a great paddle that I enjoy using on the air and while practicing to reach my new goal of 30 wpm.
I have enjoyed returning to CW so much that when a friend recommended the Begali Keys I just had to try them. The result being both a Begali HST II paddle (above) and a Begali Blade (below) straight key. Both of them are amazing keys and fun to use!
While roaming the web looking for various CW training aides I discovered the CW Ops Club website and subsequently discovered the CW Ops CW Academy. I signed up for the fall class, and with the help from my fellow classmates (Ted - KC7PM, Jeff - WK6I, Bob - NF7D) and our great instructor Will - WJ9B, I was able to squeak thru the class. I still struggle with speed on receive but overall the CW Ops Academy fullfilled my goal of exceeding 20 WPM receive. Also, the CW Ops have a bi-monthly sprint like contest called a mini-CWT that is a lot of fun as well as their annual CW Open Contest! Check out the CW Ops website if you are interested in learning CW or improving your CW skill and speed. The CW Academy was the only training of all the things I tried that got me past that 20 WPM wall and now sometimes even up to 25 WPM!
After being away from CW operation for so many years I have found a re-kindled enjoyment of the mode and am having a great time practicing my CW and working new stations on CW. I recently discovered the SKCC straight key sprints. I hadn't used my old straight key for anything other than to key the radio while tuning an antenna, for years. I had to do some cleaning, to get the contacts working on the poor neglected straight key I used as a kid, but once cleaned it worked fine and I made a number of contacts with other SKCC members during one of the sprints. Using the straight key at around 12 to 14 WPM isn't exactly conducive to my current CW goal of being able to copy high speed CW as well as send it but it was fun and brought back fond memories from a youth that seems so long ago. If you like CW and haven't tried out the SKCC sprints give it a try, it is fun! For more information visit the SKCC website.
With the recent purchase of an Elecraft KX3 , along with the pan adapter and a few other options, I will now occasionally be operating QRP at home or more likely from my RV as portable QRP. I am looking forward to using the new KX3 and it's associated toys while operating from several Sierra Nevada lakes and rivers we typically camp at during the summer. I have not decided on an antenna to use while portable but have a few ideas for wire antennas and will probably also try the Buddy Pole antenna for quick deployment on mountain tops in the high Sierras. Hopefully I'll get the chance this summer to do some SOTA (Summits on the Air) activations with the KX3 as well as some "FOTA" (Fishing On The Air) activations from a few of the many lakes and rivers here.
I have recently gotten involved in Ham-Mesh net and have 5 nodes operating around the property with video cameras on four of the nodes. I see a good potential for Mesh nodes becoming a great asset for EmmComm in the future as the firmware and implementation as well as applications (ie. VoIP, live video, IRC, etc.) become perfected. Take a look at Broadband - Hamnet website.
My Novice license from 1971 - Talk about nostalgia!
I am very proud of my son, Garrett, for deciding to obtain his amateur radio license and subsequently doing so after about one month of studying the manual in between work and family. Garrett works in the computer field and is hoping to add an understanding of RF and radio principles to his expertise. As of Feb. 4, 2012 Garrett passed both his General and Extra exams! Garrett's new call sign is KZ6S.
Not all HRD Log additions are loading into HRD Log Net - Not sure why but my apologies if your QSO isn't shown it is still in my log.
1964015 Last modified: 2015-05-14 14:57:12, 17129 bytes
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