I received a QSL card for my ATNO #336, 39 years after I had the QSO - with KZ5VV, Canal Zone. What a year - its my 40th year in ham radio, and I made Honor Roll on January 1 (working SV2ASP/A not only once - but twice - on 40M SSB and 17M CW), and now this oldie but goodie.
Back in the 70's:
One of my mentors was a true legend - Bob Morris, W2LV:
Who was 2CQZ and who put the first tower and antenna system on the Empire State Building. He lived in Sparta, and I lived in Newton. He was a very nice man and was encouraging to me - a 13 year old at that time.
I have been a ham since 1973 (WN2QHN), went inactive from 1977 - 2001, and became active again (this time as a DX-er) in July, 2001. I made DXCC Honor Roll in 11 1/2 years, between the peaks of sunspot cycle 23 and 24. It was very challenging from my very hilly East Bay QTH:
Here is the affect that these hills have had on my DXCC "experience":
To meet the challenge, I learned EZNec and HFTA and designed and built my own antennas to get my signal out of the "bowl" I live in. I am sure I would still be stuck at 325 entities if it hadn't been for Dean Straw, N6BV's help solving the biggest "blocker" to making Honor Roll - which was my terrain. I have been a huge fan of all of Dean's work on the ARRL Antenna Handbook and software - HFTA, Propagation Tables, and YW. The picture above shows Dean "presenting" me with my Honor Roll Plaque at the 64th Annual International DX Convention in Visalia. Notice the snazzy "TEAM HFTA" hats!
At the same convention, my good friend Bob Schmieder, KK6EK, presented me with a book on his DXA logging system - which was a huge hit during the TX5K DX-pedition, which I provided support for. I am very honored to have one of my "info - graphics" on the cover of the book and also to have had Bob chronicle the use of the TX5K Blog so prominently in the book. Bob is one of the most interesting DX-pedition leaders as far as I am concerned, because he includes more than just ham radio on his expeditions. As he said about Clipperton Reef - "Its all about the island".
I have given many presentations that I call "The Little Pistol Adventure" series, and the latest one is called "DXCC Honor Roll in One Solar Cycle: A Little Pistol Adventure". I presented this at the 2013 Visalia International DX Convention - in the DX Academy program, and will again later this year at Pacificon 2013 - in the Friday Antenna Forum.
I now have my sights set on Honor Roll #1, and need FT/Z, FT/T, FT/G, E3, 3Y/B, KP1, VP8/S, VK0/H and KH5K. I am (finally) getting serious about 160M and the 9th band endorsement for 9BDXCC. I am almost at 1900 in the DXCC Challenge.
As far as antennas go, everything is home brewed. I have a 20/15M Nested Moxon up 55' on an AB-952 Military Tower:
On 160 and 80M I have a Cushcraft MA160V mounted on top of a 30' push up mast - for a total of 60':
and the feed is a 1:1 current choke followed by a 40 - 500 pf variable capacitor:
It has 76 buried radials, and for RX - I use the K9AY Loops. This works very well on 80M, and is "good enough" to get me to DXCC on 160M.
Because 40M CW is my absolute all time favorite DX-ing band - especially winter grey line, I put up two hatted 24' verticals and phased them with a StackMatch II switch using the Christman method:
There are 44 buried radials, and as a bonus - the verticals work quite well on 30M and 17M.
And now for the shack:
I have the full Elecraft K-Line - and its the best rig I've ever had. I also have the Elecraft KX-3 with the Begali "Traveller" key. QRP has never been more fun! Here is a screen snapshot of the KX3 with HDSDR showing a morning session of the "AA" contest:
And the "secret weapon of CW fun":
I have a blog about ham radio and art at http://ky6r.wordpress.com and a blog about the history of the entities in the ARRL's DXCC program http://dxccsleuth.wordpress.com and photos at http://www.flickr.com/ky6r
Some of my past presentations are posted on the East Bay Amateur Radio Club's web site:
I graduated from University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, moved to California and became Oracle's 127th employee - Gupta Technologies (SQLBase and SQLWindows) employee #30 and PeopleSoft's 400-something employee. I currently work as the Director of Customer Solutions at Splice Machine (a Big Data / SQL on Hadoop database company and product) in San Francisco. I've been a Database Developer, DBA and Data Architect for 32 years.
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