I am the ARRL Contest Branch Manager. Thanks for stopping by!
Basic Stuff About KX9X
My main interests are HF & VHF contesting, DX'ing and QRP backpacking. I simply enjoy being on the air, whether it's running stations during a DX contest, working sporadic-E, aurora or tropo while on a VHF Grid DXpedition, chasing grids on the amateur radio satellites, or operating QRP CW into a simple wire antenna from a New England mountaintop.
First licensed in 1982, as KA9NGH. Since then, I've been N9HXG, KF9PL, and finally KX9X as of 1996.
Member of: ARRL, Society of Midwest Contesters, A1 Operators Club, CWops (#683), QRP-ARCI (#14,064). Flying Pigs QRP (#2,010), and SKCC (#9,986).
Ham Radio From An Apartment
Apartment living has made me re-think my fundamental approach to radio. I have an off-center fed dipole about 20 feet off the ground out the window of my 2nd- story apartment and do work DX with it (mostly CW and digital modes), but I also have increased my mobile, portable and QRP backpacking activities, much to my delight.
How successful is a simple wire antenna from an apartment? I made 670 QSOs in the 2011 CQ Worldwide CW contest as a Single Operator, All Band, QRP entrant and was 5th in the US, 6th in North America. I also made 340 QSOs in the 2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest in the QRP, CW Only category and won the Connecticut section, placing 17th out of 191 entrants in the category worldwide. Most recently, I entered the 2012 CQ WW CW contest in the Single Operator, 10m QRP category, and made almost 600 QSOs and DXCC for a claimed first place US in the category. You CAN work stations with modest gear, low power and simple antennas, AND you can have fun doing it. Don't let your housing circumstances keep you from being QRV from home!
Atop Pinnacle Rock in Plainville, CT for the "Flight of the Bumblebees" QRP Contest, July 2011
Outside of amateur radio, I play drums in a jazz quartet and also sit in with a couple of rock bands from time to time, follow Major League Baseball religiously, and enjoy making divots at my local golf course.
Working Me On The Satellites
I've been active on FM satellites since 2011 and started using the FO-29 and VO-52 SSB/CW satellites in September 2012 I use a 5w dual-band HT for the FM birds and a combo of a Yaesu 817ND and Icom 706MkII for the analog satellites. An Arrow handheld beam is my antenna for all satellite work. It just goes to show there's always something new to try in Amateur Radio.
The FM satellites are low-earth-orbit, which means they move across the sky very quickly. A very good pass will only yield about a 12 to 15-minute opening. If we have made a QSO on the FM satellites and we have exchanged QSLs (either paper QSL or LOTW), I kindly request that you do not call me again unless the pass doesn't have a lot of users. I would love to enjoy a nice chat with you, but with a very short window of opportunity and many, many hams trying to make QSOs on the satellites, I would rather maximize my efficiency during the short openings and pursue QSOs with new grids or hams new to satellite QSOs. Remember, a QSO with a station you've worked several times deprives all users during that pass of a chance to have a QSO with a new station or grid. Many thanks for your consideration.
Operating analog satellites as KX9X/6 from CM86xx, Santa Cruz, CA - October 2012
The Other Side Of The Pileup - Where The FUN Is!
One of my biggest pleasures in Amateur Radio is to "be the DX." This pursuit of being the sought-after station has allowed me to learn the definition of DX depends entirely on your circumstances. It can mean operating from a rare country for a DX contest on HF, setting up shop in a barren grid square for VHF/UHF, or a rare county in a State QSO Party. Some of the lesser-known awards programs, such as Summits On The Air and US Islands, offer a great deal of fun and adventure for those interested in operating portable from a rare location. If you want to combine portable operating with the Great Outdoors, look into SOTA or USi; you'll be glad you did!
Operated as 6Y7M in the 1994 CQ WPX CW Contest, V26NA in the 1997 ARRL DX CW Contest and as NP4DX (with Ward N0AX) in the 2011 ARRL CW Sweepstakes. I started operating weak-signal VHF/UHF in 1994, and love a good 6-meter opening. Meteor scatter on 2m is quite fun as well.
I love going on Grid DXpeditions, and have operated 6 and 2 meters from the following grid squares: DM77, EM56, EN57, DN95, EN20, EM45, FN45, FN33 and FN34. In July 2012 I returned home to Illinois and activated EN50/EN60/EM59/EM69 on the FM satellites, and I also operated the analog sats from CM86 in October 2012.
September 2010 was my first US Islands operation. I was the first to operate amateur radio from Eastman Pond Island in Grantham, New Hampshire .The island was given the US Islands designator NH-018.
Ocober 2010 was my first SOTA activation, operating from Mt Cardigan in New Hampshire (SOTA ID # W1/HA-012).
April 2012 found me atop West Peak in Meriden, CT (SOTA # W1/HH-004).
In October 2012, during my trip to Pacificon, I was active from California as KX9X/6, with Mike Corey KI1U. We were in the semi-rare grid CM86 near Santa Cruz on 6 meters as well as the FO-29 and VO-52 satellites. 6 meters was a bust, but the satellites were great fun.
February 2013 found me in South Carolina for the ARRL State Convention. While there, I operated from Dewees Island, which counts as SC042 in the US Islands program. It was the first time the island had been on the air. I made 53 QSOs with 8 countries in 5 hours with a mere 5 watts as KX9X/4. I also operated the NA CW Sprint contest as a QRP'er on Feb 3 from my third-floor hotel room in Charleston with a wire thrown off my balcony and into a nearby tree, managing 46 QSOs in 3 hours.
The first weekend in May is the New England QSO Party. For 2013, I was a rover, operating from 7 counties in Connecticut and Rhode Island. I made just under 400 QSOs and drove about 200 miles in about 12 hours op time, using only 100w and hamsticks mag-mounted to the roof. Lots of DX was worked, including 9H1XT in Malta.
Latest activity goals are to achieve Worked All States with my MFJ 40m Cub and a wire antenna. I've also decided to build a 5w tube transmitter modeled after the Ameco AC-1. There's always something new in amateur radio to keep you occupied.
Need An Op?
If you're planning a DXpedition to a rare grid and need an experienced 6m/2m op, or if there's a grid you want activated in the New England area, let me know. Activating rare grids is a big part of my enjoyment in ham radio, and I'm always up for an adventure.
If you would like a QSL from me, I would appreciate a self-addressed stamped envelope along with your QSL.
I keep all of my logs from every operation I've done. My logbooks never close. So, if you need a card from me for a QSO we had 15 years ago, I can still confirm it. I also upload to Logbook of The World regularly; you should, too!
Remebmer: Ham radio is vast. If you're not having fun with amateur radio, try something new.
As I always say in my presentations: "Life is short: Do more radio."
73, happy contesting, and good DX!
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