Thanks for visiting K7FD! I hope you'll enjoy the banter, fun, and photos. What you'll see and read here is the absolute truth...or at least a decent stretch of the imagination. With that in mind, enjoy!
Early K7FD circa 1969, then WA7IHO
In the big inning...
I was age 11 and Popular Electronics SWL WPE7COH. Many late nights were spent DX'ing on my KnightKit Star Roamer; Radio Nederland's Happy Station, HCJB's DX Partyline, Moscow Mailbag...the good old days. It wasn't long before I was 'all in' on all things radio...and ham radio was on the horizon!
Contrary to popular belief I did not get my ticket from inside a cereal box. My elmer was a dog-eared copy of the ARRL License Manual. A novice since middle school, I upgraded the old fashioned way, in front of a mean and nasty FCC examiner. I still remember that series of rapid-fire 20 wpm V's in the headphones.
Butt weight, there's more!
According to the Radio Amateur's Code..."the radio amateur is BALANCED. Radio is a hobby, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community". So I begrudgingly strayed from all things radio to fit in with the rest of the well-rounded world, knowing full well I'd never be BALANCED.
Graduating from Oregon State University by the thinnest of margins, I worked a series of odd jobs and the occasional even one along the way. After chasing bad loans and repo'ing cars for a spell, I ended up spinning the hits during the late 70's & 80's as a rock n' roll morning man on the FM dial. Our station motto was we're better than we sound! Then video killed the radio star.
Reinventing myself, somehow I became a 'computer expert' - not to be confused with someone who actually studied Information Technology and has degrees to prove it. But armed with a little self-taught knowledge, I battled against pc's, networks, and nitwits for 23 years before calling it quits and hanging it up for good.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Below: QRP Spy Transmitter in a 3" Miniature Curious George lunchbox!
Now retired and a full-time ham, I share the shack with my lovely XYL Annette N7SG; we first met when she came over from 3 doors down to complain about RFI. All I can say is when opportunity knocks, go for it!
Cross stitched by Annette, N7SG
Never did solve that RFI. This year marks my 48th year of continuous brass pounding. My other interests are few but include dropping the Cooper S into 3rd gear, playing blues on my Sunburst Telecaster, or applying another coat of wax on the infamous EMCOMMobile.
I am a firm believer in all play and no work. I avoid gardening at all costs. I especially enjoy rainy days when I must remain inside and hidden in the ham shack.
Did I mention I dislike gardening?
"The Shack", original digital watercolor by Annette, N7SG
In the past, I ran a Heathkit DX-60/HR-10B combo, Galaxy V Mk III, Drake B Line, and other relics of yesteryear. Today the ham shack sports some fine Ten Tec plastic radios, a couple of Elecraft rigs, and assorted QRP rigs like this home built Wilderness Radio SST. Sometimes even an import will sneak into the line up.
No longer programmed for DX or contests, I find a good CW ragchew more to my liking nowadays. And I prefer using the CPU sitting between my shoulders over the one sitting on my desk. In a DX cluster world gone mad, there are still some great fists, interesting conversations, and radio tranquility to be found on the CW bands. Paddles, Bugs, and Straight Keys make up most of K7FD's radio world. Rarely am I found on SSB. However, in an effort to try something different I recently purchased a new mic...
...but admit I'm still struggling to get past 5 wpm. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and the FCC will take pity on us disadvantaged op's that just can't master phone. Until then, I'll remain on CW.
One of my latest finds is pictured below. Although unconfirmed, it appears to be a rare Sapphire Scarab, a bug rumored to be recovered from an ancient Egyptian tomb.
When not pounding brass, I continue to enjoy the art of listening; I particularly enjoy tuning the shortwave and AM broadcast bands. How I wish Tom Meijer and the Happy Station were still on the air...
...with Smiles across the Miles.
K7FD factoid: first transmitter was an Ameco AC-1. It got out so well I even received a special 'pink' QSL from the FCC monitoring station in Anchorage, Alaska!
By popular demand, here's more on the K7FD Red Rooster Hand Puppet Key:
Build the straight key!
All it takes is a Red Rooster silicone oven mitt (available from kitchen stores or Amazon), 2 brass brad contacts, mono plug, and a 2 conductor cable. Punch two holes, insert brads, solder it up, and you're ready for action!
Simply slip your hand inside Red's beak and flap away for flawless dits and dahs!
Key clucks optional; chirps and birdies guaranteed!
Works best at the crack of dawn.
Sometimes it can be a real zoo around the K7FD shack!
Shack mascots Snowball and Keno take a late night turn at the controls. They're responsible for throwing monkey wrenches into my projects, repairs, & restorations!
And Milton the Giraffe says figuring out the all the buttons on the TS-990S is a tall order!
That's it! You've been mighty patient if you've read this far! Thanks for visiting and here's to our next QSO!
73, John K7FD
Field Day, overnight shift. QRZZzzz.
1863260 Last modified: 2015-04-11 02:48:46, 13793 bytes
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