Please, IF YOU WANT A QSL CARD THEN INCLUDE AN SASE (SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE) or for overseas a couple of green stamps ($) would be appreciated. I'm no longer going to use the bureau(s)...see below.
Today I figure I shipped my last bunch of QSL cards out via the bureau...PERIOD! It has got too expensive and the only cards I really care about are new countries...P5 North Korea is the last one I need to have worked them all. Anyone sending cards direct will need to include 'green stamps' to cover the postage. The Bureau will no longer be used by me after having just spent $100+ to ship this last batch to the ARRL Overseas QSL Bureau. Not to mention the hours spent checking the incoming cards against my log(s) and LoTW. Just about me least enjoyable task. I'm sorry guys and gals but it has gotten too expensive to keep up and the filling out of QSL cards just takes me away from the fun of making contacts. I am still working on getting that last few contacts confirmed for 80 meter DXCC to get my 5BDXCC. That is where my interest in QSL cards will lie. Sorry if this disappoint anyone but it's what I feel is what I must do. 7/25/2016
Been missing 'my Shaddow' puddy cat so I put his picture back up on the page.
We should all be greatful to the DXpedition creators, operators and sponsors for our DXCC rare contacts. I was lucky enough this year (2016 since January) to work three new countries, VP8STI South Sandwich, VP8SGI South Georgia and FT4JA Juan de Nova. You don't get many years beginning like that when you are as high up on the DXCC totals as yours truely. One more to go and I will have them all till something brand new comes along. If all goes well maybe that last one will come later this year if rumors bear out. (4/10/2016)
Happy to say my DXCC count has reached 336/344. Just got DXCC for 10/12/15/17/20/40 (10m 135; 12m 122; 15m 194/197; 17m 142; 20m 246/248; 40m 111/112; 80m 83/84 ; 160m 19). My log shows 154/157 on 40 meters and 122/124 on 80 meters. The old story of working them only half the problem. Getting countries confirmed can be a job in itself. Just got my 40 meter DXCC from the ARRL (5/17/2016). Going back through me old paper logs and using my electronic log to track down some old contacts on 40 and especially 80 meters as well. Hard to believe how time consuming and confusing it can get. By the way just to show how you work so many more than you get confirmed here are the totals from my electronic log as of today (5/02/2016). In the last week or so I'm received several 'new ones' on 80 and even 20 and 17 meters (multiple band contacts). My thanks to the amateurs who responded to my emails and qsl's.
6m 5 10m 210/213 12m 185/187 15m 294/299 17m 240/242 20m 330/334 40m 154/157 80m 122/124 160m 24/25
I've come to realize if you don't get the new countries on each band confirmed quickly, you might never get them at all. Several of my 80 meters contacts are SK's I've recently noted. And I will never forget how it took me nearly 17 years to get Marion Island ZS8MI confirmed after several letters with green stamps and QSL's, SAE's. Thanks to the SARL and NCDXF that one finally showed up. But my point is just look at the descrepancy between what is worked and what got confirmed! I'll get to that 5BDXCC and maybe work that last one (P5) someday but the confirmed totals I doubt will ever reflect the true amount of effort.
Your DXCC is worth what you choose to make it. Not accepting a relayed report or a 'friends' working someone you couldn't hear for you is not my way. I know I've stepped on people sometimes in the pileups and I regret that but also know it is hard to avoid sometimes. Pileups are by there very nature invatations to caos especially when the DX station is hard to hear. Like so many others I get competative when trying to bust pileups but I do try to observe the DX etiquet guide lines. And I never want to spoil the enjoyment of other in our wonderful hobby. 39 years of chasing DX and counting. And avoiding being a 'traffic cop' in the pileup's.
As an experienced DX'er once said, you can't make propagation, only use it when it happens!
6/24/2015 Just got a MDS RC1-Y Rotor Controller to replace my Yaesu G-1000DXA controller that was giving me fits with incorrect direction readings. Can't tell you how pleased I am with the new controller. I definately recommend one to anyone having Yaesu or CDE/Hygian rotor direction indicator problems. Only thing it don't have are presets but it is designed to be used with computer programs like HRD or others that can control a rotor.
02/10/2015 Been trying real hard to not lose my log again. And guess what, today it came up as a new log. But after leaving it for awhile to do other things and 'cool down' I worked on it. Was able to reload the log from my stand alone F: drive and got it back. Another scare of losing my log but this time it worked out well. I now have my log setup to download everytime I shut the log down to my F: drive and that seems to be working out. I had just worked Navassa Is. on 80 meters SSB and that made 10/15/17/20/40 meters SSB and now 80 so it was good to get that secured. I have just uploaded to LoTW a day or two ago but I will do it again to make sure I get all the Navassa contacts in.
(2/2/2015) Happy Days! I got busy and tracked down the interfering QRM! Turns out my neighbor had installed a couple of grow lights and they were causing a very strong 59+20/30dB buzz/whine/howl on all the bands. Was difficult to get a good bearing even though the source wasn't that far away. Took my tahoe with my TS-50S and a hamstick installed and went around the area. Found 59+10 in my driveway and dropping as I got farther way except for the neighbors driveway which I got 59+20 signal. Ah hah! Then took a portable AM radio tuned to the top of the band away from stations and pulled out the antenna horizontal and walked around getting into the general area. After discussing this with my neighbor he got to checking things out and sure enough, he had installed a couple of new hydrogen (I think) grow lights back about the first week of November. Big bright lights about a foot long or more. As soon as he unplugged them my noise went down to 55 or less. Bingo! He now has installed different lights and I have no more problems with QRM, about S-4 or less every direction. At least, it was till other noise started showing up.
Oh, I sent my Elecraft K3 in to the factory to get the second xcvr in as well as some upgrades. Had the 2.8Kc 8 pole filter substitued for the 2.7Kc 5 pole. Been using split with 'sub' to RX on one frequency and TX on another AND listing on both. Also had the software brought up to todays standards as well as some later mods and improvements. I am a definate Elecraft K3 admirer!
Take a look at W7YRV's site on qrz.com! It really made me think about putting up towers. I talked to a ham who knows of W7YRV and sounds like he doesn't believe in engineering standards or something. Check out his site. You'll be amazed.
DO NOT REQUEST ME TO ACKNOWLEDGE A QSO IN THE QRZ LOGGING SYSTEM or EQSL, ONE LOG IS MORE THAN ENOUGH! ALL REQUEST WILL BE ELLIMINATED! I WON'T USE THESE NEW SYSTEMS. I USE LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD. ALSO, IF SOMEONE SENDS A CARD WITH SASE/GREEN STAMPS ($) I WILL QSL. Or by the bureau (slow).
(2012) I've put the steppir back up on the new crankup tower and it sure is nice not to fight SWR issues and to have an antenna that I know works well. I have resolved the winch problems. The new Ramsey RE8000 worm gear winch works well. It did require a custom mount but it is a beast of power and I just got to remember not run it too long. Take short up and down runs about 20 seconds or less and make sure the winch doesn't get too hot (low duty cycle). No hand winch could be used to raise this heavy of tower the way I have it setup. Even with the 40:1 ratio worm gear hand winch it took about 80 or more pounds of force to crank it and that was just an inch or so per revolution. And adding a second pulley in a doubled line setup didn't help. 900 plus pounds of tower and antenna requires a winch like the 8000 pound Ramsey RE8000 worm gear 12 volt winch. A bonus would be to parallel two marine batteries for more current capability but I haven't had to do that yet. Leasons learned the hard way!
Above I have an older picture of the 3 element steppir with the GP6 above it, then the Ramsey RE8000 worm gear winch (only one I trust for my 950 pound tower). Also, latest picture of the modified steppir with additional boom length and two 6 meter directors.
The two pictures below are of the Steppir at 70' (about 21.5 meters) high. I can still go up another 10' or so and may do that come contest season.
Below: You can see the second pulley up on the tower to devide the load in half between the two winch lines. Also the 'X' frame I use to strengthen the tower when I lay it over. If you look close you can also see the problems I would sometimes have with the RG8X (mini-8) wraping around the pulley line or the guyed wires. Had to work on that and finally decided to get rid of the mini-8. Setup 1/4 wavelength 80 meter slopers and 3/4 wavelength 40 meter slopers off the tower at 72 feet or so. That is the trouble with a guyed tower trying to run multiple antennas when the tower raises and lowers like mine. The wires alway are a pain!
Might have to do some straining of the neck to get this picture of the new modified steppir to fit but at least it gives you some idea of how high the setup is. At this time the steppir is about 75-76 feet above the ground. (7/25/2015)
Below is the 5 band 20-10 meter, 30' boom quad array I used to have. 14-15 square foot that I changed out for the Steppir 3 element 20-6 meter in 2006. If anyone wants the dementions I developed on NECWIRES 2.0 for the big quad array I can send a file over email to them. I worked several months on my old computer developing the quad dementions for each band and it seemed to work out well. My latest quad design of 4 elements on 20/17/15, 7 elements on 12/10, and a 2 element folded yagi for 40 meters proved to have major issues with 12, 15 and 40. I'm sorry to say it but Necwires 2.0 failed me (or I failed it). I'm sure it was due to the combining of all the bands together....maybe LBCebik was right about complications with multiband quads. I have seen such issues with 10 and 12 before and did manage to resolve it on the older 30' boom quad you see below. If I try building another quad array it may start out as a single band (20 mtrs) and after that works I will add a band at a time ...maybe. That is a hard process to do since I have to rotate the spider/spreaders to string on the elements for each band. Also hard process with overhead trussing that has to be disconnected during each rotation of the spider processes. Building a big quad array is an indept process and there are always pros and cons to doing it this way or that. I still love quads!
I've had a picture up in my shack for years of a 1965 red El Camino that I've always wanted but never thought I would be able to afford it. Well you might say a miracle happened and I got my 'Dream Car', a red 1965 El Camino with 350 cu. in, automatic, black interior bench seat, and loud pipes. It really came like a bolt out of the blue, completely unexpected, but I did have that picture up in my shack for years... Maybe I should put a picture of a big multi-element quad on a 100' tower up in my shack, ya' think?
Lately I've been looking at GTO's from 1964-1967. I'm going to put a picture of one up in my radio shack. Who knows what might happen....Also maybe a 1964 Impala. Hummmmmm? Well, I went another direction here. Looking at impala's I got to looking at the newer ones and ended up buying a 2006 Impala SS. Figured since I'm not the greatest mechanic and don't really enjoy working on cars a whole lot I'd be better off getting a late model one. Do enjoy watching the shows like overhauling, wheeler dealers, etc. but that's there bag, not mine. I'll just watch and fiddle with my El Camino every once in a while.
And there is a picture of the 2006 Impala. I always wanted an Impala and now I got a good one. Black on Black.
Below are some pictures from my messy shack. Actually, to look at my shack now you would call this clean. (3/16/2016) Things have changed a bit in the shack. I have got rid of a few boatanchors. The R-390 is gone, also the 75A-4 and the Johnson Ranger 1 along with a Hallicrafters SX-110. Recently I sold the 51J-4 and the R-390A as well. I'm spoiled by the K3 and the other solid state jobs. And of course, I'm not getting younger but these boatanchors seem to be getting heavier every year.
51J-4 Collins RCVR above the R-390 Now gone to a new home as well as the R-390A.
Lineup on antennas as of 4/07/2014
1. 3 element 20-6 meter Steppir at 81-82' now (25.23 meters) with a 16' boom. After having a major issue with water in the coax I brought down the tower, replaced the bad coax. The highest beam antenna I ever had of my own. Now added 12 feet of boom with 2 more 6 meter directors making it 6 element on 50Mhz.
1A. Cushcraft A148-20T at 85'.
2. Hygain hytower removed now. (6/23/2016)
3. 40 meter slopers being removed. (6/23/2016)
5. 135' of wire inverted 'L' 160 meters removed. (6/23/2016)
6. K9AY antenna system removed. (6/23/2016)
7. Have put up a 160/80 meter dual receive loop removed. (6/23/2016)
9. Replaced the home brew 8 element 2 meter quad with a Cushcraft A148-20T (10 elements horizontal and 10 elements vertical polarized switchable). Now to get the SWR looking better if posible. The instruction booklet didn't mention using a wood or fiberglass pole for mounting but that may be how it ends up. (5/14/2016)
10. 80 meter inverted 'V' at 85-90 feet removed. (6/23/2016)
PROBLEM: Changed out the driven element EHU because of intermittent connection problems. Suspect the SO-239 'prongs' becoming loose. I have lost the chip driving the driven element in the controller once (on the Friday of CQWWPH). Now I have a second controller just in case. Also fixed a high SWR on 10 meters apparently caused by my not soldering the sheild onto the SO-259 connectors on the LMR-400 50 ohm coax. Only showed up on 10 meters.
Equipment: Elecraft K3 with P3,Yaesu FT-1000MP with SP-8, FT-1000D with SP-5; Icom R-7000 VHF/UHF/SHF receiver; a Command Tech 160-10 amp; Dentron DTL-2000L 160-10 (my basket case amp); Henry Radio 2K-Classic 80-10 mtr amp; Drake MN-2700 antenna tuner. Various boatanchor receivers like Hallicrafters SX-28, National HRO-60, Collins 51J-3. Recently picked up a couple of Icom IC-271A and IC-271H 2 meter transceivers so I can work the VHF contests and various repeaters.
United States Army Security Agency 4/69 to 4/72. Stationed at Ft.Ord (basic), Ft.Devens, MA; 7th RRFS Udorn Thailand; Vint Hill Farms, VA. 05D20/30. Now days no one even knows about the old ASA it seems. Getting old, huh!
19 years at Tektronix and 7 years at Xerox, first as an Electronic Technician, then in telecommunications (Ethernet routers, hubs and switches).
Umpqua Valley Amateur Radio Club founding member along with WB7OTR,AE7Q,W7LNE,WB7OTM,KA7DCL,KA7ADI and others back about 1977 or 78.
Elmer: AE7Q, Dave Lee (SK) 'best technician I ever knew'. I miss him ever day for his technical advice and his humor.
CQ Zone 03 and ITU Zone 06
51J-3 Collins RCVR with my dream 64' GTO and WWII jeep 1:18 scale models. I consider the 51J-3 a better receiver than the 51J-4 due to apparent AVC/AGC issues. Backing off the RF gain helps. I think back to when I was first getting into SWL'ing and broadcast band DX'ing and this is what a dream receiver is. You can even tell what your frequency is!
Above is an older picture of my messy shack (a messy shack is a happy shack). FT-1000mp, FT-1000D, etc. You might also note the 1965 El Camino picture on the monitor that's been up for several years.
An older picture of the old man playing radio from a couple of years back. Below I added a picture of the failed quad project from last summer (2013). Several reasons for that...don't use 3 inch irragation pipe for a long boom, it's too light. While more work could have resolved the 12/10 meter conflict by putting 12 behind the 10 meter antenna using 10 as directors for 12 and 12 as reflector(s) for 10. Taking on a project like a big quad array can wear you out and that is kind of what happened. Especially when I was also combining it with the 'new' tower project. Going back to the steppir solved alot of issues but of course I still think about having another big quad (Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this!...Don't do that!) if you know what I mean.
I should be happy with the 3 element steppir. Pound per pound, dollar per dollar I have come to believe the steppir is the best antenna value in ham radio! One monobander by it's self adjustable for multiple bands. They aren't cheap but look what you get for your money. And SWR issues get solved. (but I still want a big quad)
Having just one big tower I've always tried to add secondary antennas to get the most 'bang for the buck'. It always seemed like a waste to only have the beam or quad on the tower and little else. Only thing is it's always a problem raising and lowering the tower to adjust the SWR on the slopers or whatever secondary antenna I have. And I'm a guy if there is a nail, branch or anything to catch a wire within a couple hundred feet, I'll find it! Funny how it always works out that way. Does anyone else believe in gremlins?
That's the old man with Patrick 'fat cat' who weighs about 25 pounds and has claws (oh, did I do something wrong?). I'm sorry to report we lost Patrick this fall. He was getting pretty rank and did not seem to be doing well although he had gained alot of weight again. I'd guess he was up to near 30 pounds but could not keep himself clean. Found him one morning DOA. Right now I'm holding off getting another cat.(12/30/2015)
Below is my dream car come true...1965 El Camino. I added a couple more pictures of the El Camino. It's the time of the year when I keep it covered up and set a heater in it to make sure it does not get too cold. 'She's real fine my 350'... Just had some more work done on the El Camino and she is running very good, got a new speedometer and mileage gauge that works, a new gas cap that doesn't take a key (that might get lost) to open, and one or two other things. I could say alot of things but basically a classic car can cost a bit like other hobbies we know of.
I really like this picture below showing the tower and steppir with the dramatic sky in the background. At this time (summer/fall 2013) the steppir was at 70 ft. with a 40 meter inverted V' on the pulley system.
Another picture of my modified steppir. Also on top insted of the GP6 I placed my home brew 8 element 2 meter quad. I built it years back thumping the repeaters in the area to adjust for best forward gain. Just got an Icom IC-271A for the 2 meter setup but found the SWR needs worked on. The quad is steup for horizontal prolarization so that may give me some bad effect for the repeaters. We'll see. I calculate it's height is about 83-84 feet above ground so it should work well. So many antennas, so little time! (now the quad has been replaced with a cushcraft A148-20T, 10 elements horizontal and 10 element vertical polarized.
Winter time in Oregon, Febuary 7, 2014 saw 2-3 inches of snow (as of 21:28Zulu) today. And I was telling people how it looked like we would not get any snow this year! Wrong! The following morning I went out and measured 9" and still falling. Three days of snow in Oregon isn't usual! It usually melts by that time in the valley. (3/2016, I've been avoiding making coments on the posibility of snow this year)
Below is my new K3 with P3 panadaper. Really love the K3 and would recomend it to anyone. Very capable, handles QRM well, can install multiple filters (I have 6KC,2.7KC,2.1KC,1.8KC and 200Hz on the primary board and 2.8KC8pole on the second board now. Gets great audio reports which is a must for me, handles contesting on SSB very well, can deal with QRM better than my Yaesu FT-1000mp ever could. (12/2014)
(2/2015) When anyone works me now this is the setup with the K3, P3 panadapter and HF-2500 Command Tech amp. Along with the Steppir 3 element at 82 ft it makes for a potent combination.
A couple of pictures showing my 'new' Elecraft K3 and Panadapter P3 that I put in place of my FT-1000mp. It was really stressful deciding to pull the Yaesu FT-1000mp out of line and put the K3/P3 in it's place. The Yaesu has given me nothing but solid, reliable service since 1996. But the K3 is suppose to have better capabilities for handling QRM and a generation or two newer receiver technology. I have been feeling the FT-1000mp has been having some problem dealing with the QRM in SSB contest so I made the move. As you can see the Yaesu FT-1000D is still in it's place. The -1000D is still my favorite radio to operate just because of it's fine audio, 200 watts output and ease of use. For working split frequency I don't think it can be beat, definately better than the FT-1000mp. The FT-1000D is realitively easy to adjust between the main receiver and the second receiver's audio levels. How many times have I heard former owners of 1000D's say 'I wish I had it back'?
Now that I've got the second receiver board in the K3, I should be able to listen on two frequencies at the same time but have learn to operate split better. More reading in the manual and playing around but it isn't straight forward like on the FT-1000D. The old problem of listening to some DX working split frequency and finding the station he is working to give a call is still a little challenging. Always one vfo is stronger than the other. The FT-1000D handles this the best I know.
Hoping for great things out of the Elecraft K3 in coming up contests and DX chassing. I just have to learn how to use it better as far as the noise blanking and DSP noise reduction settings. I have not tried to adjust the audio pass band (equilizer) yet but am getting good reports with everything set flat with my Heil HM-10 (H-5 and H-4 cartriges). The switching between the 2.7Khz, 2.1Khz, 1.8Khz and 200 Hz filters is easy and straight forward. Got a 6Khz filter to add for AM/General Coverage operation as well. Next thing will probably be the second receiver but learning to use the K3 it may prove not to be necessary when using the split option. So far the split operation is the only thing I did not like due to unlike using the RIT/XIT function that causes the transmit frequency to display when you hit PTT, split does not change the display frequency. It stays on the receive frequency. You have to watch the B receiver frequency and the TX LED. Seems like it would be easy to transmit out of band thinking you were using XIT but being on split. I just wish the main display frequency would follow the TX to keep me aware of where I am on the band(s). How may times on 40 meters have you worked people down below the American phone band on split? Getting confused with the Split vs. RIT/XIT could prove embarrasing.
I have just gone through the CQWWPH 160 meter contest and the K3 did very well. That ability to adjust the roofing filter from 6Khz, 2.7Khz, 2.1Khz, 1.8Khz all the way down to 200Hz is really sweet and cuts down the qrm. I noted one group who started a qso on top of me on the low side. I was able to move 1914.5 to 1915.0 and reduce the passband down to 2200Hz and remove the interfering signals. It really helps cut the qrm out. The FT-1000mp could never have done as well.(2014)
Below is a picture from this last summer when I was working on the new crank up tower arrangement. Can you find my wife's dog Hanna in the picture? (Where's Waldo!)
This picture is from last year when I was rebuilding the tower and a new quad. The tower worked out but the quad was a failure and I put back up the steppir. There is alot to be said for a proven antenna with great SWR curves! Quads have always facinated me more than yagi's but as time goes by I appreciate the steppir's feature more and more. Except of course when something breaks which has happened. I think it was back in 2010 on the Friday that CQWWPHN was about to start, the IC driving the driven element went out in the controller! Talk about upset, I was upset. I now have a second controller just in case from Steppir.
Knowing how I am, I will always go through stages of trying different antennas to improve my setup. Every year I get to figuring out something to try and improve the reception or put out a bigger signal (or just wouldn't that be cool). It's just the way I am.
7466326 Last modified: 2016-07-25 22:38:33, 29933 bytes
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Book Totals: 1329 qso's 1327 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM