I started out in 1971 building my first Heathkit Shortwave receiver when I was 11 years old, got my WN2QHN novice call when I was 13 in 1973. I was a rag chewer and NTS Traffic Man back then - all CW, and went inactive from 1977 until 2001, although I had one attempt at getting back into the hobby by building QRP kits in the 90's, but that only lasted a year or so. I got back into ham radio seriously in 2001 and started DX-ing. Made Honor Roll in 11 1/2 years, and am now at 335 / 340 towards working them all - 14 years later. I made it to 300 with wires and 200 watts max, and ran the gamut on wire antennas. I earned 8BDXCC in 3 years and am at 2000 in the Challenge - but have stopped bothering with that "DX Hog" pursuit. After the wire antennas I started designing and building aluminum yagi's and phased vertical arrays. I exhausted all I wanted to do with aluminum so finally bought something just beyond my design abilities - and for my all time favorite bands - 20 and 40M.
My antenna system is an N6BT DXU-32 - 3 elements on 20 and 2 on 40M on a 28 foot boom. Amazing antenna. I have a 30M Extended Double Zepp that also works as a hatted "Tee Vertical" on 160M and a doublet on 30, 15, 12 and 10M.
This is my "Tee / EDZ / Doublet" remote switching arrangement:
Here is the circuit:
It is resonant on 30M in the doublet (EDZ configuration) and in the "Tee" configuration, resonant on 160M with this "FCP" (K2AV Folded Counter Poise):
With the ACOM 1500's built in tuner that can match an SWR of 3:1 or lower, this means I have resonant antennas on 160, 40, 30, 20, 15, 12 and 10M. Before VK0EK - I will put up a temporary 17M Moxon - to be used specifically for VK0EK and VP8STI - which are the next "ATNO's" scheduled later this year - and early next. Who knows - maybe Bouvet will make a super surprise showing too? I need all three. . . .
I am so lucky to have mentors like Tom, N6BT, Bob, KK6EK, Dean, N6BV, Wayne, N7NG and Stu, K6TU. Between designing and building my own antennas, learning about DX-peditions, learning and using HFTA and various propagation tools - my ham radio avocation has been a highlight in my life. After designing and building my own antennas for years - I finally decided to purchase an antenna from The Master - N6BT - hi hi.
I am helping with the Heard Island DX-pedition - for news and information, please visit:
This is a very expensive DX-pedition, along the lines of FT5ZM - please consider making a donation. Thanks!
I was stuck at 325 entities for a while, so sought out Dean Straw, N6BV's HFTA program. HFTA most definately got me over the hump because it told me why I seemed to miss the ATNO's that I needed for Honor Roll. Here is the affect that these hills have had on my DXCC experience. You can see why anything in the NE direction would end up being ESP - for any DX that required a low take off angle:
The graph was produced by running my HFTA data files through Stu, K6TU's program that then visualizes that data in a 360 degree azimuthal plain. A huge thanks to Stu for all his help! The entities listed on the graph show the ones I still need to make DXCC Honor Roll #1 - which is my main goal. A secondary goal - but very casually, is DXCC on 160M and 9BDXCC.
Here is the shack:
The K3, ACOM 1500 and AT2K make up the core station, and the Array Solutions Ratpack switch handles the antenna switching chores. I use Astron Linear power supplies. I plan of taking the Ten Tec 238 and turning it into a remote auto-tuner, using wireless and Arduino boards. At least that's the plan . . .
My backup rig is the Ten Tec Eagle:
And I am having more fun than I have in years with the Ten Tec Patriot:
And playing with Arduino - making circuits and programming in C and Python:
This will be what leads me away from DXCC awards chasing and towards something that keeps the "tinkering" going here at "Chez KY6R" . . . and even when I am DX-ing - its to test something that I have built or tinkered with. I've always been "hands on" with ham radio.
Music. Uncle Tupelo - my idea of nirvana - even more than Nirvana (which I love also):
I have a blog about ham radio, cycling and art at http://ky6r.wordpress.com I have presented at Pacificon for more than 10 years - and some of my past presentations are posted on the East Bay Amateur Radio Club's web site:
You can see that designing, building and playing with antennas and propagation modeling using HFTA consumes even more time than being on the air. Building at least some of my own stuff is still really important to me - call me old school.
My photography and assemblage art is posted on Flickr:
I ride my bike 100 miles a week - to and from work - in attempt to lose all the weight I put on sitting in the DX Chair (yes - DX-ing can be bad for your health!). Yes - this is a totally "hacked" road bike that has been turned into an AWESOME commute bike. I can't even think about driving to work anymore - (cars are coffins):
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 in San Ramon at GE's Software Center of Excellence as a Senior Big Data Architect in the Transportation sector - specializing in Locomotive Fault Tolerance, Oil and Gas Pipeline Fault Tolerance and Predictive Analytics analyzing sensor data in Apache Spark and using Scala, Python and C to process graph data in GraphX. GE is at the forefront of the "Internet of Things" and "The Industrial Internet", and the company was started by one of my all time heroes - Thomas Alva Edison - a one time telegrapher! I've been a Database Developer, DBA and Data Architect for 34 years. My LinkedIn profile is here:
I'm a proud member of L.O.A.D - the "League Of Armchair DX-ers". I like to work DX from my shack and with home brewed antennas in my own back yard. ALL HAIL TO THE LEAGUE OF ARMCHAIR DX-ers! - because we are the people who donate and otherwise sponsor DX-peditions, thus making it possible for the teams who do go.
1936152 Last modified: 2015-05-04 03:37:37, 8622 bytes
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