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Ham Member Lookups: 1900

Thanks for the contact! (Yes, it's a "CW" call sign! Ex k5hkr.)

California QSO Party - KR5RR/6 CW only - 10/04 16h00 UTC to 10/05 22h00 UTC

(Please consider joining our NAQCC FarnsWord CW skills building "social" net, Monday's at 20h00 PDT on 7122. We use Farnsworth Method at ~20 WPM, with extra space between words.)

STATIONS:

   FT-857D, MFJ-974B & twin lead fed doublets, 5 - 100 watts;

   FT-817ND, ZM-2, portable doublets & verticals, 5 watts (CW, Digital & FM);

   3 SoftRock RXTXs, 1.0 watt on 80/40, or 30/20/17, or 15/12/10, w/BLT & dipoles (CW & PSK31 only).

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:

- 44 foot flat top doublet running N/S 35 feet high

- 67 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 33 feet high

- 135 foot, flat top doublet, running N/S, 25 to 30 feet high

- 58 foot, flat top doublet, running WNW/ESE, 35 feet high

Use a MFJ-974HB Balanced Line Tuner - 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).

Been trying portable ops while camping - antenna are everything. Finally, some success. Labor Day weekend, camping outside of Ft. Bragg in NorCal, used a 32' vertical (4 - 8'x2x2 + whip on top) with two 25' on-the-ground radials. Worked great on 17m, 15m, so-so on 30m & 20m. Disappointed with 40m but it was late night ops - seemed no one was on(?).

CONFESSION: I enjoy the hunt and challenge of "making" QRP contacts, especially QRP sprint contests. 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: Almost all CW (still struggling around 18-20 wpm) with some digital modes using SignaLink/fldigi on 10m - 160m when I'm too lazy for CW; 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 FRN 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;

General station 1959

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 VLF 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 ~1971 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 success with the 1 watt QRPp rig on 17m and 30m with dipoles, working 37 states and 17 countries on CW and PSK31 - did 6,000 miles/per watt many times to Eastern Europe & Asia Pacific. Got the FT817 (49 states & 113 countries), and after a year of QRP, built a 20 watt amp. 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, J-38 key

Hallicrafters HT-40, VF1, SX-117

 

73 de JB

jb.kr5rr@gmail.com or kr5rr@arrl.net

---------------------------------------------------------------

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 went to Mississippi State University in Starkville [W5YD], I have a fair amount of MFJ Enterprises stuff.)

 

1291396 Last modified: 2014-09-24 16:31:52, 11422 bytes

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