Thanks for the contact! And the "handle" is JB. (ex K5HKR, KR5RR)
( 5 Land QTH is Long Cove Court, Madison, MS, or deep in the DeSota National Forest, 30 miles due North of Biloxi, MS.)
NR5NN Origin: The most common letter combinations heard when working DX or a contest are CQ and “5NN” for 599 RST. When working a contest requiring a number or a SKCC’er, “NR?” or just “NR” is very common. So I combined two of the three into a new call sign, NR 5NN.
(Pictured: SoftRock RXTX for 30/20/17 -- 1 watt SDR QRPp that got me back on HF in 2010 and logged several 6,000 miles per watt contacts - Croatia, Serbia, New Calidonia, Australia, New Zealand to name a few.)
FT-817ND, S/N 1H920218 STOLEN! Wednesday 9/23/2015 in Vallejo, CA
CW: Please consider joining one of our NAQCC QRS nets, http://www.naqcc.info/cw_nets.html
or our "FRN" FarnsWord CW "social" net,
Friday at 19h30 PDT on 7,056 (02h30z Saturday)
The FarnsWord net, however is not QRS - it is a ~20 WPM base speed with extra space between words rather than between the letters, with the goal of improving CW copy/sending skills.
Nothing special about mobile setup in Subaru - also use same general setup in Expedition but don't have to shift gears. The MH 59A8J remote mic makes the FT-857 an awesome mobile rig. The double lever key is DCP from American Morse, and the single lever is the Mini. The "helper" 7AH batteries are under the seat or on the seat. This is a whole bunch different than the HeathKit HW-12 75m SSB rig with 12' Texas Bug Catcher antenna I used in/on my 1967 VW bug when working for Collins Radio in Texas in the late '60s.
Mobile: FT-857D with Hamsticks;
Shack: TS-480 SAT with doublets at 35' (new/used 06/2015)
3 SoftRock RXTXs, QRPp 1.0 watt on 80/40, or 30/20/17, or 15/12/10, w/ZM-2 & dipoles (PSK31 & CW only).
Garage based shack is not very impressive. TS480 is the new shack rig. FT-857 is now semi-permanently mobile, bouncing between two cars, or protable with 7AH batteries.
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 W/E, 30 feet high and bent on one end
- 67 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 33 feet high
- 135 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 35 feet high
Use a (big box) MFJ-974HB Balanced Line Tuner with 300 ohm twin lead that goes SWR nuts when it rains. Boy does the FT-817 look funny on top of that! And a 2m vertical dipole, fed with 30' of RG6. All are up on lumber yard masts (2x6, 2x4, 2x3, 2x2). Sometimes when QRP, use a ZM-2 Z-match tuner - seems to be very little it can't match.
Portable ops while camping - antenna are everything. What is working best on 40/30/20/17/15m, is hamsticks on the SUV. Not quite "tent" or "picnic bench" stuff, but it works for me. Previously used FT817/ZM-2 combo with different antennas but the FT857/Hamsticks work much better.
OPERATION: Almost all CW with some digital modes using SignaLink/fldigi when I'm on digital nets. Most of the rest is FM, on 2m/70cm with a little bit of SSB on Coffee Mug Net Saturday morning.
#5604 NAQCC - North American QRP CW Club (NCS for 40m FRN net)
#8118 SKCC - Straight Key Century Club (original J-38 from my novice days, of course!)
#2855 FPQC - Flying Pigs QRP Club
Not a "contester" but I do get a kick out of two hour sprints, mainly NAQCC, SKCC, & QSO Parties, especially California. Not into certificates or awards, but happy to hard copy QSL any QSO and especially Solano County, or CM88 Grid Square, if you want one - no return postage needed. (Don't do eQSL or LOTW.)
If you're still reading and 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 my Dad's interest in SWL'ing and the two of us hunting stations on an old Philco radio with a couple of MW/SW bands. I have a life long appreciation of his support, encouragement and facilitation of my hobby transitioning into a career. A Boy Scout Radio Merit badge, then Novice, and General. Earned a 2nd Class Radio Telegraph to work for my (ex)uncle, a Merchant Marine ship Captain (Lykes Steamship Lines) but that didn't last long (divorce). While in college earned a 1st Class Radio Telephone and was a part time, late night, associate UHF TV station engineer (back when only six people were watching). Fresh out of college, landed my dream job as a Field Engineer for Collins Radio Company, Dallas, TX. However, as time passed, working on really big VLF transmitters (>500kw) with really long antennas (255,000' vertical hanging out the back of a KC-130, and/or a five mile long horizontal loop in MI & AUS, controlled by really expensive computers, kinda burned me out on radios (check TACAMO on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACAMO ). Turned my avocation into my vocation - ruined my hobby. And, I met a girl, got married, life happened. 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-7R 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 [what's up with Delaware?] & 113 countries), and after a year of QRP, built a 30 watt amp. Just before Field Day 2013 got the FT-857. Oh, and finally got Delaware, QRP CW and digital. Field Day 2015, acquired a TS-480. Hummm, seems there's something about Field Day........
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. However I do regret that the whole rig was stolen from my apartment during my Senior year - they also took the Vibroplex bug but left the J-38 key, that I still have and use.
Hallicrafters HT-40 with HeathKit VF-1 VFO, Hallicrafters SX-117, J-38 key
73 de JB
PS: The Hobby I gave up to get back into Amatuer Radio - don't regret this decision either:
- - - RIP, Audrey Sutherland, 1921-2015 - - -
Thanks Audrey, for the inspiration and motivation leading to my Red Barge and many happy hours on the water. The need for, and then using, a VHF marine radio while ocean kayaking and paddling in marine shipping channels in and around San Francisco and the Delta, is what got me re-interested in, and then into amatuer radio, after a 40 year QRT.
(07/2015 Lake Tahoe pix)
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