I was first licensed in 1965 as a novice WN6QLM. A borrowed 15 meter crystal yielded my first DX (a JA) and shortly after that I took a section award in the ARRL Novice Roundup. There was no going back. I quickly upgraded to General then Advanced as WB6QLM. My struggles with CW delayed my upgrade to Extra but in 1989 I change my call to KI6VC buckled down and upgraded.
For most of the ‘80s I operated “WLP” (Without Landlord’s Permission) from a condo with all indoor antennas. That was a real lesson in humility and a source of humor. I had contacted VK9NS (SK RIP) on 20. Jim commented that my signal was pretty weak and could I swing the beam around. I looked at the 20m wire turnstile above the bed and then came back to him “… is this better?” “Yes what did you do?” “I opened the window…” Then I was given a copy of “The Complete DXer” (this should be required reading) I learned some real DX Jujitsu.
Today, I’m enjoying the hobby to the max. I’ve tried to setup a station with contesting in mind. I just upgraded the the main rig to the K Line with the KPA500 amp. An AL-1200 takes it to the limit. On the tower at 60 feet is a 4 element SteppIR covering 40 to 6. A G5RV covers 80. It won’t set the world on fire and the big guns aren’t shaking in their boots…just yet, but now there are no excuses. I try to work all the major contests and several minor one.
While I love just about every contest, CQP the California QSO Party is my favorite and the start of the contest season. I'm part of the K6Z crew a group of hard-core full-contact contesters. We hit the field to WIN, take no prisoners leave no survivors. With a lot of work we have won the County Expedition category two years running and now 2011 looks like we did it again. Next to CQP Field Day is favorite with our group KE6RN our CalCity club call.
K6Z SetUp on LonePine Creek
SunSet at Mt Whitney
When I’m not hamming it up at home, I take it on the road in my RV with an IC 7000, an AH-4 tuner and a converted military vertical. For FD or CQP I’ll throw in a TH3jr. If "louder" is needed an FL2000 adds some punch. RVing and ham radio are a perfect fit. Camping with side of DX is the way to go. In a modern RV, field exercises are a real pleasure. For you purists out there, I checked the rules and there is no PAIN & SUFFERING bonus. Believe me after 4+ decades of some harsh outside ops, senior discounts bring a demand for some well deserved comfort. Some of you may have seen my setup at the Visalia International DX Convention. But now the IDXC has banned RVs
Last but not least are the guardians of the ManCave, the Contest Dogs of Doom, DangerDogs Inc.the security team of Meko and Sparky -The Lads-.
Meko The Big Dog,-the old Dog-is a damm good looking mutt and women just love him. He is the chief of site security and time was he could chase more rabbits, lick more plates, munch more Milk Bones and sniff more butt than anything on four paws. He’s part collie part couch-potato and a calculating mass of face licking fury. While he's slowed down a mite he can still put the pup in his place...That would be Sparky the newest member of the team rescued at our 08 Field Day site.
As for breed we think he’s a mix of Border Collie/Terrier and jet turbine. The kid is a fire-pissing-pistol operating on RTTY duty cycle, a seventh level black fur Tae Kwon Dog master and bed hog. The boy trucks no mice or wabbits so beware the Black Spark! He almost didn't make it to this point. There isn’t much in the house without his teeth marks! His “come to Jesus” moment was when he chewed up a pair of my Heil headsets. He owes his hide to Meko (Don’t taz my little bro!) and Dr (he’s soooo cute) Donna at the Heil hospital. With Meko’s help and some better blood pressure meds (for me!) the boy has redeemed himself. The team has it all worked out now Meko keeps an eye out for the neighbors and Sparky watches out for Osama Bin Bunny. Everybody barks during SSB contest. Oh, and pity the fool who messes with the cheese supply!
UPDATE: Aug 18 2012 camping on the first day of my retirement. At 4AM I was filming a video for family and both dog howled and charged off into the darkness. It was coyotes. Two hours later Sparky with a bad gash on his leg returned. He hid in the RV for days! Several friend help search for Meko, I posted rewards with the dirt bikers, worked with city animal control and several groomers but not a single sign. Sparky was not the same after that.
UPDATE: Nov 5 2014 I stopped at the city pound in an on going search for a buddy for Sparky. I saw the saddest dog ever. Starved, total skin and bones with a serious gut infection rejected by rescues (to sick) and families (to big) and on day 19 of 21 was a dog to sad for the ASPCA ads After about $300 and two vets later we have KEKO.
He has a pedigree look about him and is the most affectionate dog I have ever had. It’s like he’s thanking me for saving him but forgot that when he ate both couches (living room and RV) but he went to far eating the back seat of the truck. Drove him back to the pound and when he heard the barking and smelled the stink he hid on the floor…he knew! After that he sticks to chew toys. Now Sparky has a drooling, flop-ear, 85 lb puppy stupid Padawan! Oh and Sparky is a hard Elmer…ruling with big teeth!
Here’s to rubbing elbows with you in the next contest or pile up.
73 de KI6VC, Sparky & Keko
1084267 Last modified: 2014-07-07 22:53:13, 13716 bytes
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