SWL reports are always welcome! I find them to be very informative about my station's performance!
Some notes on QSL's:
JT65/JT9: So sorry, but I will not QSL "hit and run" JT65/9. A "hit and run" is when I call CQ, you respond to my CQ with just your call and gridsquare, I send you a report, and then you fall off the face of the planet. I require a "sent" and a "received" report for my log. If you send me a QSL request for a "hit and run" you will get a "NIL" response from me. Also, if you respond to my CQ and I send you a report, you send something back, and I send you a report again, that means I didn't get your report for some reason (generally QRM or sometimes QSB). Please don't just send a "RR" or a "73" and then disappear. This will also result in a "NIL." I have gotten some very nasty e-mails from Ops who can't believe that I'd "dare to reject their eQSL" in that situation. I will generally send your report or free form text ("MY REPORT?") 3 times and if I don't get a response, I will go back to calling CQ and I won't log what I consider an attempted contact.
The same "NIL" policy goes for those who try to "bust in" on a JT65/9 contact already in progress. If I call CQ and then send a report to someone else, please wait your turn.
Regarding paper QSL's: I love paper QSL's but I realize that there are a number of ops who don't (and that is totally ok). If you send me a paper QSL request, I will be happy to reply in kind. US stations do not need to send a SASE (though it is certainly appreciated and will get my response that much faster since my local Post Office has odd hours). DX stations that QSL directly but don't send postage for a return QSL card will be replied to via the Bureau or else I'd go broke very quickly! Please, do not send IRC's... My post office has no clue what to do with them. If you send me a card via the Bureau, I will also be happy to reply in kind though I wait until I have a fairly high number of cards before I send them to the outgoing Bureau, generally a 6-7 inch stack of outgoing cards. In addition, I use eQSL (AG) and LoTW as electronic QSL methods (I can upload directly from HRD's logbook application quickly and easily). I no longer use QRZ's logbook to verify contacts. I used to be happy to check a box to confirm a QSO for those who used the QRZ logbook, but having to either manually enter a QSO or upload from my logbook takes too much time. The only time I use QRZ's logbook now is when I am operating portable and there is no pen and paper handy.
eQSL/LoTW: I upload to eQSL either after every contact or at the end of each day. I upload to LoTW generally 1-2 times per week or at the end of each day if I think about it. I still love paper cards, however!
On to my "bio"...
Hopefully, you are looking me up because you heard me on the air!
My parents were heavily into Amateur Radio going on 25+ years ago (dad and mom were KB2GUA and KB2GUB respectively).... I absorbed a lot of it at the time since they brought me to their license classes while they were working on getting their tickets at the local MARS station; unfortunately, I didn't follow in their footsteps of getting licensed at the time (they both went through Novice and then Tech and later Tech Plus).
After a while, they sort of got out of it and the equipment sat unused for years.
Dad has since become a Silent Key (10 years as of 2011 and I still miss him every day). I convinced my mom to renew her ticket after watching her work so hard all those years ago - she was going to let it lapse; fortunately, I was able to convince her to not let that happen.
A few months shy of the end of 2011, I came across dad's radio equipment and it re-ignited my interest in Amateur Raio. So, I threw together a homemade dipole for the HF rig as well as a couple of ground-plane antennas for the VHF/UHF rig (apparently, I DID pay SOME attention in those classes) and listened in for a few weeks. Shortly after, I picked up the ARRL licensing manual and studied up for my Technician Class license which I passed and officially joined the world of Amateur Radio. Then (as of 2/8/2012) I passed the General exam. I'm studying for Extra now but every time I start studying, I end up getting on the air instead and having too much fun... I'll get there!
I figure it's a good way to honor dad's memory, using his old radio equipment to get on the air. I hope he'd be proud.
My first setup consisted of dad's 20+ year old Kenwood TS-440S(AT) (my dad's HF rig) for HF and a Kenwood TM721A Dual-Band mobile (used as a home rig) for 2 meter/440 opperation. I later added a TS480SAT along with a TM-D710A that I was able to obtain as a tech special and bring back to life. In early 2013, I moved to an Elecraft K3 and continue to be pleased and amazed by what that little black box can do. What a fantastic rig it has been thus far! Beside the K3 is a P3 panadapter. The TS480 now serves on mobile duty and I still fire up the TS440 quite often. I have also enjoyed working a mid-2013 acquisition: a Yaesu FT101E. This rig has been my go-to for phone operation because it is just plain fun to operate and I also enjoy using it on CW! I have also done some traveling and made QSO's using my FT817 which is another fantastic rig (though I would love a KX3 someday).
I have found that I enjoy CW and digital modes (PSK, JT65, etc) though I am not much of a RTTY fan. Occasionally, I can be found in the phone portions of the band (generally when I'm mobile).
I thoroughly enjoy the JT modes though I do try to dispel the "myth" that "too much power causes dirty signals." That's just not necessarily true. I have seen many a misguided rant in message forums and social media sites about some "jerk running too much power" and "messing up" their waterfall. The fact is, unless you ask, you have no idea how much power the other station is running. You can have a clean signal at 1 watt or 100 watts (that usually sends the "low power" folks into a complete tizzy). If you see a station "messing up" your waterfall, your first stop should be to check your receive chain. Most issues are on the receive end! Turn off AGC if you can. Ride the RF gain control (contrary to popular belief, digital modes are not "set and forget" modes... To get the most out of the digital modes requires some skill and the ability to read the band, adapt, and alter your settings appropriately based on conditions). Here's a good test: if you see a station "messing up" your waterfall or with "side lobes" or "echos", place a notch filter over the main signal... If the problem goes away, the issue is on your end or it's propagation. This goes for any digital mode. As always, you should always use the least amount of power required to make the desired communication, however, that "least amount of power" may be 75, 80, 100 watts, etc. depending on band conditions. I've run 100 watts with JT65 when band conditions were poor and gotten -24dB reports. "Weak signal" does not always equal "low power" (just ask some of the EME folks how much power they run for their "weak signal" work!). On the opposite side of the spectrum, when conditions are favorable, I've gotten +19dB reports while running just 1/10 of a watt with JT9. One final thing: you cannot tell if a signal is "clean" based solely on what you see on the waterfall of your program of choice. Let me say that again: you can't use the waterfall in whatever program you are using as your sole indicator of a signal's cleanliness. These programs are "plugged in" at the AF side. There are way too many variables in the AF chain for the waterfall to be an accurate measure of signal purity.
I have discovered that I like working on antenna projects - so far, I've been able to get an old 102" steel mobile CB whip to work on 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 (with a loading coil), and even 80 meters (again with a loading coil). It's probably not the most efficient, but it gets me on the air. I get a lot of, "You're using a WHAT??" when I'm asked what kind of antenna I'm running!
My main HF antenna is a Hustler 6BTV with the add-ons for 12 and 17 meters. This antenna is mounted on the ground with an ever-increasing radial system (I add a couple more when I have time and motivation). I was able to hide it in the trees to keep everyone around me happy.
In June of 2012, I changed my call sign from KD2BIP to N2ADV. There are a couple reasons for this: first, I ride my 2003 Suzuki SV650S on ADVenture Rides to totally inappropriate places for such a motorcycle, generally locations involving dirt, mud, and rocks. Also, after constantly having to repeat my call both in the phone and CW worlds ("Say again?" "Kilo Delta Two Bravo India Papa", "Kilo Delta Two, again?" etc etc...Or dah dit dah, dah dit dit, dit dit dah dah dah, dah dit dit dit, dit dit, dit dah dah dit over, and over, and over), I realized that I had probably the MOST awkward call on the air. After much thought, I came up with N2ADV because I like taking my "street" motorcycle off the road or on adventure rides. It is also much easier to say on the air (November Two Alpha Delta Victor has a much better ring to it though I still get people mistaking the "Delta" for "Echo"... oh well, back to the drawing board) and send via CW (dah dit, dit dit dah dah dah, dit dah, dah dit dit, dit dit dit dah sounds much better, don't you think?).
Other misc. stuff about me:
I am a 2nd Degree Black Belt in American Karate (and a "retired" instructor). I am also an avid snowmobiler and very much enjoy the winter months.
Hope to run into you out on the air.
N2ADV (Previously KD2BIP)
1246682 Last modified: 2014-09-08 02:14:54, 11617 bytes
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