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KK5R -- Former calls: WB4DPG, WB5QGI

OMISS # 6452

NOTE: For QSL mailings please use PO Box only as follows:

PO BOX 606

General Background:

Started studying electronics in 1955
Mayo State Vocational and Technical School (Radio & TV)
Lexington Technical Institute (part of the University of KY)
University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY
Central Texas College in Killeen, TX
FCC Licensed Broadcast Engineer (First Class Radiotelephone,
now General Radiotelephone:PG1023110 date converted 03/04/1987)

Grew up in Brazil and Peru (son of a missionary on the Amazon) and also lived in Panama for about six months. Attended three Morse code schools in Brazil and one in Peru. Returned to USA in December, 1961 and joined US Army in 1962 as an ASA Morse Intercept Operator, attaining 28WPM at the school in Ft. Devens, MA. However, was soon transferred to a language pool to be a Portuguese and Spanish translator/interpreter for remaining time of 3-year Army tour. Still fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and can get lost and found again in French.

Retired from the US Government after 31 years of service. Last duty was as a Telecommunications Specialist for the Television-Audio Support Activity (T-ASA) in Sacramento but that organization later relocated to Southern California.

Returned from China in 2007 after living there for over four years. Was an English teacher at a large university for two years and at a private school for remainder of time in China. Plan to return someday.

Some Places Worked:

IBM Engineering Development Laboratory, Office Products Division

University of KY Physics Department Electronics Shop

US Government as electronic technician, equipment specialist, telecommunications specialist and telecommunications engineer. Worked in systems and production engineering, engineering prototyping and design, five years CAD experience, procuring and setting up computer systems for other government organizations, programming satellite transponders and installing English Language Laboratories in other countries through US Embassies. Duties took me to over 53 countries.

After retirement, I went to China to teach English for four years and returned to Kentucky in 2007. Will be here at least for a while. Still have hopes of either going back to China to teach or moving to Texas, if that doesn't come about.

Hobbies (including Ham Radio):

Hobbies include photography, flying, writing books and magazine articles and some other hobbies but Amateur Radio remains the most-liked. Antenna experimentation is the main adventure, HF is the name of the game. The present goal is to establish regular skeds with son (N5DIM) in Sacramento. This is why more antenna work is in the forecast.

What's happening today:

Station consists of a Yaesu FT-450AT and an MFJ 948 antenna tuner which is seldom used to tune an antenna since I have a B&W TTFD antenna that requires no tuning. Being in a hole sorta puts the crimp on VHF activity so do not do it. However, plan to get a 2M rig to monitor 52S for anyone needing assistance in the area. Being below average terrain here puts my 2M antenna barely above the neighborhood road level even though it’s still up on a 50-ft telescoping pole mounted on a light pole. Have to find a way to give my homebrew 2M J-Pole more elevation.

I also have an Icom IC-718 and like it for the simplicity and the automatic tracking notch filter. Use the FT-450 mostly but plan to take the IC-718 on the road and set it up temporarily on some hill or in a park. Also soon getting back into CW. I think the challenge will be good for me and my “rusty” CW ability.

For when I really, really need it, there's also a Dentron Clipperton L sitting on the operating table. Used it only a few times on 75M and 40M so far. Great amp for when more muscle is needed, which is rarely. Good receivers and antennas are the key to good communication, in most cases.

Permanent antennas are a GAP Titan and a B&W folded dipole (TTFD) antenna at 35-ft. The B&W is the most-used as it gives full coverage on all bands from 80M thru 10M resulting in no tune-up when changing bands/frequencies; 160M and 6M are near 3:1 SWR and are worked with the 450AT’s internal matcher. The B&W antenna usually does not show pronounced directivity on HF and has much better signal-to-noise reception. If I can hear them, the DX can usually hear me unless my meager signal is covered up by "legal" powered hams or those with monster antennas sticking up in the air about a half mile.

I’m also building some open air baluns: 4:1 and 9:1. The 4:1 is for a 40M Delta Loop, which was up for a while and plan to put it back up again soon. The 9:1 baluns are for end-fed antennas. One is up now with 53-ft of wire and a 16-ft counterpoise. It works on all bands (even on 6M) with no tuner needed. However, for some reason it does not work on 15M unless I use the LDG tuner. Maybe I need to parallel the counterpoise with a wire of some other length. More experimentation is in order.

Just put up a WA2NAN full sized G5RV antenna and am happy with it. Excellent workmanship. Also had the G5RV Jr. made by him but sent it to my son in Sacramento. For 40M and up, the Junior seemed to work better but the full-sized antenna's ends are snugged up into the trees at the end so I'm sure this is a big factor for it not working as I hoped it would. May try bending the last ten feet or letting them just hang down as an experiment.

Antennas here are low, mainly because the location is down in a low place, plus space is limited. Also, a high tension line is in front and a utility feeder is on the side street. Not a very good scenario but it still seems to work pretty well, all things considered. At least there isn’t very much electrical noise.

The house is only a few feet above the river bottom water level and it used to flood every spring. Had one flood a few years ago but not like it used to flood, at least. Only good thing is that the ground system is theoretically great due to the ground being so water-saturated. Not enough area for a decent set of ground radials for verticals (thus the reason for the GAP Titan) but maybe the waterlogged bottoms will do it for me... Gotta check it out.

Anyone who likes to hang antennas in trees must get a spud gun. I made one and like it much better than slingshots, fishing rods and the bow and arrow method. Rarely do I need to "fire" a line more than once to put the line where I want it. The 40-lgs of air used does the trick of sending the "potato" up to 150-ft and from that point, it’s used to pull up an intermediate pull cord for the antenna super line hanger rope.

Having a ball but too much DX has already slipped by! Have to get back to the mike and, hopefully soon, back to the key with equal determination. Not too much later, either.

6838954 Last modified: 2015-11-07 23:39:33, 7465 bytes

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