Thanks for the contact! (Yes, it's a vanity "CW" call sign! Ex k5hkr.) And the "handle" is JB not Jim.
(Pictured: SoftRock RXTX for 30/20/17 - 1 watt SDR QRPp that got me back on HF in 2010 and several 6,000 miles per watt contacts.)
Please consider joining one of our NAQCC QRS nets, http://www.naqcc.info/cw_nets.html
or our "FRN" FarnsWord CW skills building "social" net,
Sunday at 19h00 PST on 3,574
Monday at 19h00 PST on 7,123.5
The FarnsWord net, however is not QRS - it is a ~20 WPM Farnsworth Method - base speed 20wpm with extra space between words rather than between the letters.
KR5RR/M (Mobile) – Starting to get into this /Mobile thing with either FT-817 or FT-857 and hamsticks. Took about six months to get to where I can consistently and confidently make contact, RF image 'ground' is the key. Mostly operating CW as /SM (Stationary Mobile), very tentatively trying CW while driving. Now had several SSB QSO on 40/20/17 meters while actually driving. (2015-02-15) Recent double braid grounding of the hamstick rack mount to the roof of the SUV has yielded some great signal reports on 20m. Thanks to all for the excellent QSOs! PS: I believe hamsticks have gotten a bad rap - work great for me.
FT-857D, mostly mobile except for contest weekends and net NCS, then with balanced line doublet antennas
FT-817ND, most any time, anywhere, all flavors of antennas, mostly /M recently
VX-7R, marine mobile (kayak), pedestrain mobile, and auto mobile with mag mounts
3 SoftRock RXTXs, 1.0 watt on 80/40, or 30/20/17, or 15/12/10, w/ZM-2 & dipoles (PSK31 only).
ANTENNAS: Simple wire antennas. Thanks primarily to W4RNL, L. B. Cebik (SK), I've re-discovered twin lead (reliving the 60's!) and balanced wire tuners. So, by abandoning single band coax fed dipoles, the current antenna count is down to three 300 Ohm Twin Lead fed doublets for multiband operation:
- 44 foot flat top doublet running NW/SE, 30 feet high
- 67 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 33 feet high
- 135 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 35 feet high
- 135 foot, inverted "L", 35' vertical, 100' going up into a 60' high Eucalyptus tree, mostly for 160m
Use a MFJ-974HB Balanced Line Tuner with 300 ohm twin lead that goes SWR nuts when it rains. And a 2m vertical dipole, fed with 50' of very lossy RG58. All are up on lumber yard masts (2x6, 2x4, 2x3, 2x2). When QRP, use a ZM-2 Z-match tuner - seems to be very little it can't match.
Been trying portable ops while camping - antenna are everything. Finally, some success useing a 32' vertical (4 - 8'x2"x2" + 8' whip on top) with four 20' on-the-ground radials. Works great on 17m, 15m, so-so on 30m & 20m. However, actually having far more success recently just working /SM from the SUV with mobile antennas.
OPERATION: Almost all CW [but starting to do some mobile SSB] 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. Not into certificates or awards, but happy to hard copy QSL if you want one - no return postage needed. (Don't do eQSL or LOTW.) Get a kick out of the SKCC, NAQCC, Flying Pigs and other two hour sprints.
#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
If you're interested in Ancient history:
HeathKit HR-10; VF-1 VFO & Hallicrafters HT-40 with Globe 200 watt amp; J-38 key; Eagle Scout;
Started with a Boy Scout Radio Merit badge then Novice (~1957? or 58?), & General. Earned a 2nd Class Radio Telegraph to work with my Merchant Marine Captain uncle, but that only lasted one cruise. While in college earned a 1st Class Radio Telephone with Radar. Fresh out of college, landed my dream job as a Field Engineer for Collins Radio Company, Dallas, TX. However working on really big VLF transmitters (>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. 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.
When I turned 15 and got my driver's 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 with HeathKit VF-1 VFO, Hallicrafters SX-117, J-38 key
73 de JB
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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.)
1710945 Last modified: 2015-02-19 05:58:03, 12792 bytes
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