Thanks for the contact! (Yes, it's a vanity "CW" call sign! Ex k5hkr - lost the "hk", bracketed a couple "r"s.
Join one of our CW QRS nets, sponsored by NAQCC:
PNW40: 7123.5 Monday @ 20h00 PT; NCS JB kr5rr
MWN: 7123.5 Monday @ 21h00 PT; NCS Steve wb0qqt
PNW80: 3574 Thursday @ 19h00 PT; NCS Stewart ke7lkw
STATION: FT-857D and FT-817ND. (Don't use the SoftRock RXTX pictured above very often.)
ANTENNAS: Simple wire antennas. Thanks primarily to W4RNL/L. B. Cebik (SK), I've re-discovered twin lead and balanced wire tuners. So, by abandoning single band coax fed dipoles, the current antenna count is down to four 300 Ohm Twin Lead fed doublets for multiband operation:
- Two 44 foot flat top doublets, one N/S 35 feet high, one E/W 25' high
- 67 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 33 feet high
- 132 foot, flat top doublet, runningN/S, 25 to 30 feet high
Use a MFJ-974HB Balanced Line Tuner (I prefer “impedance matcher” but that's not what it says on the front panel) - these four cover 80m-6m, and sorta does 160m. And a 2m vertical dipole, fed with 50' of very lossy RG58. All are up 30' to 35' on lumber yard masts (2x6, 2x4, 2x3, 2x2).
CONFESSION: I enjoy the hunt and challenge of "making" QRP contacts, however, there's a significant difference between "making" and "sustaining" a contact! Much of the "skill" is really the op on the other end's ability to copy a weak signal. So, to sustain a ragchew, I'll happily turn up the volume, but note that going from 5 watts to 20 watts is only one S-unit (5 watts to 80 watts is two S-units.)
OPERATION: Mostly CW (still struggling around 15-18 wpm) and several digital modes with SignaLink/fldigi on 10m - 160m; most of the rest is FM, on 2m/70cm with a little bit of SSB in Contests. Perfer FM to SSB for phone.
#8118 SKCC - Straight Key Century Club (original J-38 from my novice days, of course!)
#5604 NAQCC - North American QRP CW Club (NCS for 40m QRS net)
#2855 FPQC - Flying Pigs QRP Club
History (if you're interested):
Heath HR-10, VF-1; Hallicrafters HT-40; Globe 200 watt amp; J-38 key; Eagle Scout;
Started with a Boy Scout Radio Merit badge then Novice, & General. While in college earned a 1st Class Radio Telephone and 2nd Class Radio Telegraph. Fresh out of college, landed my dream job as a Field Engineer for Collins Radio Company. However working on really big radios (>500kw) with really long antennas (35,000' vertical and/or 7 mile long horizontal loops), controlled by really expensive computers, kinda burned me out on radios (check TACAMO on Wikipedia). Turned my hobby into my vocation - ruined my hobby. Plus Rockwell bought Collins. Bummer! I went QRT from '71 to 2010.
Funny thing, ocean kayaking and VHF marine radios got me back into ham radio! Back on the ham bands in early 2010, first VHF/UHF with a VX-7 HT, then HF with the 1 watt SDR RXTX SoftRocks (30/20/17 tri-bander pictured above). Had a lot of successwith the 1 watt QRPp rig on 17m and 30m with dipoles, working 37 states and 17 countries on CW and PSK31. Got the FT817 (49 states & 113 countries), and after a year of QRP, built a 20 watt amp. Jan-2013 was "re-gifted" with a 100 watt SSB/AM amp (ex-CB illegal) from "Santa Claus" Art/AB6HB/(VE2AQV). Just before Field Day 2013 got the FT-857. Power does corrupt! HI!
When I turned 15 and got my drivers license, had to choose between buying a car, or a Hallicrafters SX-117 receiver: ham radio won - and I've never regretted it.
Hallicrafters HT-40, Heath VF-1 VFO, Hallicrafters SX-117
73 de JB email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: A big THANK YOU to many of the people that helped get me restarted: Longtime friend and neighbor Dick/K2GMY/ex-DA1CW; Tony/KB9YIG (www.kb9yig.com) Softrocks; Robby/WB5RVZ (www.wb5rvz.com) Softrock build instructions; Alan/G4ZFQ (http://homepages.wightcable.net/~g4zfq/) and the whole Softrocks forum team; Alex/VE3NEA (www.dxatlas.com) Rocky s/w; Dave/W1HKJ (http://www.w1hkj.com/Fldigi.html) fldigi; Doug/KI6DS (www.qrpkits.com) BLT Z-Match, vari caps; Diz/ W8DIZ (www.kitsandparts.com) swr meter, amp, toroids; Rex/W1REX (www.qrpme.com) QRP "Tunas" and T/R switch; Art/AB6HB, the repeater world on VHF/UHF; and the wealth information on QRZ.com, eHam.net and the web. (And since I attended Mississippi State University in Starkville [W5YD], I have a fair amount of MFJ Enterprises stuff.)
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