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. I have 337 entities of which 332 are current. It was very challenging from my hilly East Bay QTH:
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 entities listed on the graph show the ones I still need to make DXCC Honor Roll #1. The only other award I care to chase is DXCC on 160M - which will give me 9BDXCC, but I'm getting tired of awards chasing. I still love building antennas though - and even rag chewing - hi hi.
I recently designed and built a 3 element 20M yagi with full sized elements on a 16' boom:
This yagi - up 45' on a very sturdy AB-577 military tower has solved my "NE problem". I can now work into the ME and AF zones on the short path with no problems. Here is the AB-577 with the yagi just above the trellis on my deck:
On 160 and 80M I have a Cushcraft MA160V mounted on top of a 30' push up mast - for a total of 63':
and the feed is a 1:1 current choke followed by a 40 - 500 pf variable capacitor:
It has 76 buried radials, and has far exceeded my expectations - on TX and RX. For 160/80M RX - I sometimes use a 40' N6RK Loop:
I use the controller and remote boxes documented on Rick, N6RK's web site:
and I have been able to drop the noise by -30 dBm, which in almost every case drops the noise from S9+ to S5 max, while preserving the signal. I worked FT5ZM on 160M, which is more than 12K miles away - and is my favorite DX QSO of all time.
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. I also have one for 30M with 36 buried radials per element:
Both antennas exhibit the 4 dB gain and 18 - 20 dB front to back - end fire, and 3 dB gain broadside. I have done exceptionally well on the low bands into difficult AF and ME zones via the Long Path in the mornings - especially during the winter months.
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!
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 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 Technical Support 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 33 years.
Last modified: 2014-04-16 03:17:57, 5035 bytes
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