- ABOUT ME -
Bellringers #43 Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) #12377T QRP ARCI #10005 Ten Ten Int'l #58286
Radio interests: HF operation, lots of QRP, primarily CW, some operation on digital modes (RTTY, PSK, JT65 and JT9)
... and chasin'
Past radio interests: Analog and digital satellites, building and running fully automated PACSAT satellite links to a terrestrial internet gateway, HEO satellite DX (DXCC Satellite), EME, HF contesting, VHF/UHF repeater construction and maintenance, mobile operation on HF/VHF/UHF, APRS, DX packet cluster linking, high speed meteor scatter, fox hunting, SSTV, FSTV, building antennas, homebrewing and general tinkering.
Other interests: Current: RV camping, travel, photography, RC airplanes and helicoptors, dogs (dachshunds), firearms ...
Past: Motorcycles, boating, watersports, aviation ...
Employer: AT&T Labs - Senior Member of Technical Staff - circuit switched systems, packet switched systems, AC/DC power systems, broadband ATM and IP transport, VoIP, IP firewalls
(RETIRED on 3/31/2015 from at&t with 38 years service) https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennisdease
- HF EQUIPMENT -
In February, 2003 I put my first Elecraft QRP rig (Elecraft K1) on the air. I upgraded to an Elecraft KX3 on 12/06/2014. This was a much bigger upgrade than I expected. I have enjoyed getting back into ham radio, especially with the intergration of computers into HF operation that the KX3 allows. The KX3 is a great radio, and it now is the focus of both my home and portable ham radio stations.
On 7/30/2015 I added an Elecraft KXPA100 100 watt amplifier with the built-in KXAT100 ATU to my station. I like the way it seamlessly integrates with the KX3. I wish the Elecraft KPA500 amplifier and KAT500 ATU would do that.
- ANTENNAS -
Until October 10, 2015, my only HF antenna at my home in Pelham, Alabama was an all band 88' long doublet up 50', fed with 450 ohm balanced window transmission line. That antenna is also commonly referred to as a 20 Meter Extended Double Zepp (EDZ). It provides bidirectional 3dB gain broadside on 20 meters and loads well on 80 thru 10 meters.
I recently purchased a 20 thru 6 meters hexagonal beam antenna from NA4RR (http://www.k4hex.com/). I painted the spreaders flat black and installed an old Yaesu satellite azimuth antenna rotor on my 53' Rohn 25G tower. On October 10, 2015 I erected the hex beam with the help of 3 of my friends. It is a very good antenna that exceedes my expectations.
In November 2015 I lengthened my 88' 20 Meter EDZ to a 120' long doublet, still up 50'.
Also in November I erected two 240' long beverage antennas, one pointing NE and one pointing NW. The beverages are 6.5 to 7 feet above ground. I am now able to clearly copy weak signals on 30 thru 160 Meters unlike ever before.
- PORTABLE OPERATION -
If I'm operating portable from my RV I am usually barefoot with the KX3 and the antenna is a usually a W3EDP style end fed 84' long zepp that runs to the top of a 28' fiberglass flagpole and then off to the nearest tree. If no trees are around, the end of the zepp runs at an angle from the flagpole down to a ground anchor (as in the photo below, that nearby short pine tree was too close). Sometimes I use a hamstick mobile antenna mounted atop the aluminum ladder on the back of the RV. The 33' long steel chassis and aluminum frame of our 5th wheel RV provides a pretty good HF counterpoise.
In May 2016 I replaced my flagpole with one that now gives me a support at 40' above ground. I still run my W3EDP to the top of that 40' tall support when desired. I also added a 80M doublet fed with 300 ohm window ladder line to my portable antenna arsenal. I mount the center of the doublet atop the pole at 40' and then either run the ends down in an inverted vee fashion or extend the ends to available trees for a flat-top.
If you worked me while I was camping, then this is probably the station I was using in our 5th wheel RV ... The photo below was taken on 12/24/2014 while camping near Kings Bay, Ga.
Elecraft KX3 powered by a 9 Ah battery plus a Palm Mini Paddle and a W3EDP style end-fed Zepp antenna.
The Palm Mini Paddle is mounted sideways for use as a straight key (SKCC) in this photo. I rotate it 90 degrees for iambic paddle operation with the KX3's built-in keyer (by far my most frequent operating style).
- LOGS -
I did not start keeping a detailed HF log until March, 2013. All but a few of the QSOs in the log below thru Sept 2015 were made with either the barefoot Elecraft K1 or the barefoot Elecraft KX3 using wire antennas or a mobile antenna.
In Oct/Nov 2015 I added 100W and a 6 band hexbeam to the home station.
My last 10 logged QSOs are below. You can also search my log for your call. All of my HF QSOs are sent to CLUB LOG and to LOTW.
If I'm operating portable (which I do a lot), this log may not update until I get home and upload my log. Sometimes I can upload the log from camp when time and internet access allow.
- SATELLITE OPERATION -
DXCC SATELLITE # 118 - Molniya orbit satellite operation was my main radio interest from 1987-1995. I operated primarily on AO-10, AO-13 and AO-40 (P3D) ... modes B, J and S, SSB and CW
I'm currently (5/1/2016) ranked #71 worldwide in SATELLITE DXCC with 151 countries confirmed via satellite.
That's me in the blue shirt on the cover of the ARRL's "Low Power Communication". I was operating Field Day from a black sand beach on the big island of Hawaii ... running a homebrew, dry cell battery powered 20 meter CW QRP rig and a 20 meter dipole hanging between two tall coconut palm trees.
I added this flag counter on 6/14/2014 to see where the page hits come from.
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