Thanks for the contact! (Yes, it's a vanity "CW" call sign! Ex k5hkr.) And the "handle" is JB not Jim.
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 PDT on 3,527.5 &
Monday at 19h00 PDT on 3,527.5
The FarnsWord net, however is not QRS - it is a modified ~20 WPM Farnsworth Method - base speed 20wpm with extra space between words rather than between the letters.
KR5RR/M (Mobile) – or more accurately /SM (Stationary Mobile). Occasionaly taking 20 minute afternoon work breaks around 15h00 PST and operating QRP/SM from my workplace parking lot with the FT817 and a 20m or 17m ham stick. Have been very successful, often getting a QSO with just one or two CQs between 14,050 & 060. Thanks to all of you (especially SKCC'ers) around the country for understanding the relatively short but rewarding chats. And special thanks to Dale/WC7S and the NAQCC RMRc Tuesday/Thursday 20m net for the great signal reports (14,062.5 @ 15h00 PST).
FT-857D, 5 - 100 watts, often 20 watts /P battery powered, balanced line doublets antenna
FT-817ND, 5 watts, mostly "/SM" with hamsticks
3 SoftRock RXTXs, 1.0 watt on 80/40, or 30/20/17, or 15/12/10, w/ZM-2 & 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 flat top doublet, running N/S, 35 to 25 feet high
- 58 foot, flat top doublet, running W/E, 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 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. Disappointed with 40m but still giving it a try.
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, (if I'm on the FT857) 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. Not into certificates or awards, or QSL cards, but happy to hard copy QSL if you want one - no return postage needed.
#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 VFO; 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
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.)
1477565 Last modified: 2014-11-27 23:28:18, 13055 bytes
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