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Hi! I'm the ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager. Thanks for stopping by.

I operate QRP portable a lot. Here's what I've been up to lately:

Last portable operation: Satellite grid trip August 15-23, 2015. Activated EN50, EN60, EM69, EN80, EN92, FN01, FN02, FN03, FN11, and FN13 on SO50, FO-29 and AO73. Will upload logs to LOTW shortly.

Next portable operation: Nothing confirmed; will announce here when plans solidify.


Basic Stuff About KX9X

My main interests are HF & VHF contesting, DX'ing, satellites and QRP backpacking. Portable operating is where I get most of my kicks these days. 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). AMSAT, Flying Pigs QRP (#2,010), and SKCC (#9,986).

I am a Committee Advisor to the US Islands awards program.

I am also the drummer for the Spurious Emissions Band, a group of ham radio contesters/musicians. Every year at Dayton, we play a set at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, taking popular tunes and changing the words to be about ham radio. Other members include Ward N0AX, Scott W4PA, Kirk K4RO, along with occasional guest band members Becky W1BXY, Katie WY7YL and Dwayne WY7FD. Watch our 2015 performance at Dayton here. Turn on closed captioning to see the lyrics.

Outside of amateur radio, I play drums with a couple of rock bands from time to time, follow Major League Baseball religiously, and enjoy making high-quality pizza and artisan breads.

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.


Atop Pinnacle Rock in Plainville, CT for the "Flight of the Bumblebees" QRP Contest, July 2011

Logging KX9X on Portable Operations

If you work me on one of my many portable operations, always log me and upload our QSO to Logbook of The World using the call I sent on the air. I will always sign /p with the appropriate call area number (KX9X/1, KX9X/4, etc) if I'm not operating from the Hartford, CT area.


Working Me On The Satellites

I've been active on FM satellites since 2011 and started using the SSB/CW satellite in September 2012. I use a 5w dual-band HT and an Arrow handheld dual-band yagi for the FM birds. I can often be found using the analog satellite station at W1HQ,  the ARRL employee club station. Currently assembling a portable station for analog satellite expeditions with my Yaesu 817ND and Icom 706MkIIg and Arrow yagi. Thanks to Clayton W5PFG, Patrick WD9EWK and Dave KG5CCI for their knowledge and assistance with this project. I'm looking forward to the launch of more FM satellites in 2015 thanks to AMSAT's FOX project.

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


Recent Operations:

December 2014 found me in the Florida Keys as KX9X/4.I worked about 300 stations, including 80 QSOs on the SO-50 FM Satellite, handing out the semi-rare grid EL94. I also activated Pigeon Key for the US Islands program (designator FL-437S).I was there as a high school student in the summer of 1984 and fell in love with the Keys because of my week on this island thirty years ago. Pigeon Key has a lot of history to it; the four-acre island housed some of the workers that built the Florida East Coast Railway connection from south Florida to Key West between 1908-1912, and has eight buildings on the National Historic Register. Today it is a marine science research facility for students aged 9-17. They are operated by a private foundation and do great work; learn more at www.pigeonkey.net.


Several US Island operations, SOTA operations and lots of field QRP work have convinced me that the Other Side of the Pileup is where I have the most fun. Try it; I think you'll agree.

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!

Sean KX9X

6665876 Last modified: 2015-08-25 13:06:17, 9311 bytes

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