3DA0MF update: 2014-10-10: QRZ.COM promptly removed the "hack" showing KR5RR as the "page manager" for 3DA0MF, Jen-Louis ?, in Manzioi, Swaziland. I do not know how the "hack" happened. Like many of you I worked 3DA0MF on 20m PSK31 and actually had a 10 - 12 minute QSO with him, not just a macro exchange. QSL cards I have received (in error) from some of you, lead me to believe 3DA0MF may still be active in Swaziland. Any currency or postage included with your card has been return mailed. Obviously, I cannot send confirmation QSL cards for 3DA0MF contacts.
Thanks for the contact! (Yes, it's a "CW" call sign! Ex k5hkr.)
(Please consider joining our NAQCC "FRN" FarnsWord CW skills building "social" net, Monday's at 20h00 PDT on 7122. We encourage a modified ~20-25 WPM Farnsworth Method, with extra space between words rather than between the letters. QRP not required - NCS [me] usually runs 33 watts.)
FT-857D, 5 - 100 watts; (mostly mobile these days)
FT-817ND, 5 watts (CW, Digital & FM); (plus 33w amp when needed)
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 NW/SE 30 feet high
- 67 foot flat top doublet, running N/S, 33 feet high
- 135 foot, slight "Vee" doublet, running N/S, 35 to 24 feet high
- 58 foot, flat top doublet, running WNW/ESE, 25 feet high
Use a MFJ-974HB Balanced Line Tuner with 300 ohm twin lead - these four wires cover 80m-6m. And a 2m vertical dipole, fed with 50' of very lossy RG58. All are up 25' to 35' 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! Labor Day weekend, camping outside of Ft. Bragg in NorCal, used a 32' vertical (4 - 8'x2"x2" + 8' whip on top) with four 20' 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 db, 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 (struggling around 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;
Started with a Boy Scout Radio Merit badge then Novice (~1958?), & 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. 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
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 went to Mississippi State University in Starkville [W5YD], I have a fair amount of MFJ Enterprises stuff.)
1366401 Last modified: 2014-10-21 04:39:28, 12464 bytes
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