Thanks for looking up my call letters.
I've been licenced since 1958. For many years I was K6MQG and spent most of my time DXing on 20 meters. In 1967, I married Elaine WB6KVG and moved away from my monoband Yagi. Over the years, we put up little tribanders in various QTHs and kept chasing DX. In the early 1990s, I took down my last HF Yagi, went virtually inactive on HF and just used 450 MHz on the Cactus Intertie System.
In 2008 I had some spare time on a business trip to Rome, so I put a wire out my hotel window and listened to the CQ WW 160 CW contest on a little shortwave radio. That made the juices start to flow again. Soon after that, two Cactus Intertie friends landed on Ducie Island with a big DXpedition team (VP6DX). I pulled my radio out of the closet, threw up a little inverted Vee eight feet above the roof and worked them on 10 through 80 CW and SSB.
I have been very active, but only had a vertical on 10 through 80 at the Southern California house. When I went off the DX hunt, I only needed one country (ZA). When I got back on, I needed 17 "entities" and now that number is three. If you count deleted countries, my current DXCC total is 370 and DXCC Challenge is 2326 (none deleted - goodbye Kingman Reef). I hope to get some good openings on 6 and 160 meters to get that Challenge number higher. I finally put up an IAC "Double Bazooka" Inverted L on 160 and my first QSO with it was K1N in Navassa (Challenge #2000) at sunset dusk on February 9, 2015. The Inv L seems to hear and transmit quite well. I was able to work VR2XAN with it at sunrise right after I put it up and have worked several Europeans at their sunrise (74 countries on 160m in just over a year). I plan to put up a 4-square RX antenna for 160 in time for the 2016-2017 winter season.
Until January 2015, the setup here in Prescott, AZ has been a K3, Tokyo Hy-Power HL-1.5KFX and a 5 element LFA 6 meter Yagi at 6 feet over the roof. The LFA was replaced by a DX-70 tower and a SteppIR DB-36 on January 24, 2015. It rocks, what a difference after suffering with various verticals for a couple of decades. The new antenna here in Prescott is shown below. The Tokyo Hy-Power amp was replaced with an SPE Expert 2K in July 2015. Wow, what an awesome amplifier. The built-in antenna tuner doesn't do anything for me on 80 through 6 meters, where the SteppIR DB-36 always gives me an SWR of 1:1, but it takes my 160 meter Inverted L down to 1:1 and allows me to run full legal power there. The Tokyo Hy-Power safety circuits would kick the amp off at less than 400 Watts when the SWR got over 1.5:1.
The picture immediately below shows the shot we had from Southern California to the Pacific as well as long path into Europe and the Middle East. The SteppIR BigIR vertical there was effectively 725 feet up in that direction as well as to the north. I had a lot of fun DXing from there, but I have moved the radios to Prescott, AZ. What a pleasure it is to have enough property to put in full size 160 meter radials in all directions, to have no power line noise and to have NO PLASMA TVs in the area.
Elaine and I are both retired now. We are both Electrical Engineers who worked in the Southern California aerospace business. Elaine and I worked at Collins Radio in Newport Beach in the late 60s and then moved on to Hughes Aircraft. Elaine's primary role at Hughes was managing secure communications system development. Her division of Hughes was eventually acquired by Raytheon and she eventually retired from Raytheon as the manager of the Advanced Technology Support Program. At Collins Radio, my main task was being part of the voice crypto design team (e.g. KY-75). Nine of my years at Hughes were spent developing satellite command and telemetry link units, which included embedded cryptos. The other 34 years were primarily spent leading the development and marketing of secure communications systems for military airborne platforms (mainly P-3s, P-8s and special ops C-130s). One last comment - Elaine and I first met in the 1966 YL/OM CW contest. We have been married 48 years so far.
7254973 Last modified: 2016-04-20 14:44:09, 4716 bytes
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