Greetings from Eugene, home of the Oregon Ducks.
(In the above photo, taken at club station OH3AC in Lahti, Finland, I am second from left)
I was originally licensed in 1984 at age 15. I started with CB and SWLing at age 10. I earned my extra a month before I turned 18. I started as a VE a month after my 18th birthday, and VE'd hundreds of testing sessions before the age of 30. I have been licensed for 31+ years and have gone through alternating periods of activity and inactivity. I have greatly preferred the "activity" periods.
Become a member of a local club!
I am an active member of the Valley Radio Club (W7PXL, http://valleyradioclub.org/) here in Eugene. I can frequently be found on the W7PXL repeater (146.72 MHz, -600 kHz offset, pl 100.0). This repeater is located on Prairie Peak, about 3,000' above the Willamette Valley, about 25 miles from downtown Eugene, and providing coverage for a 5 watt HT for large swaths of the southern end of the valley.
I am a firm believer in the power of local radio clubs. It is important to get to know your local hams, as these are the people you'll be working with in case of emergency. It also provides the opportunity to network, as well as Elmer and be Elmered (none of us is beyond the need to learn more). Local clubs can also provide hams the opportunity to operate from collectively-built stations that are far more potent than many can or are willing to build.
If you can't (or don't want to) spend $thousands on a station, but you want the opportunity to operate as a big gun, join a club.
Ham Radio as Education
I am a frequent volunteer operator at the Science Factory museum ham radio station here in Eugene. Children can learn a lot from ham radio - physics, astronomy, earth science, geography, electronics, self-confidence, and more - and develop an understanding of the technology they use every day but pay any mind (smart phone, computer, wifi, microwave oven, etc.).
As those who "know," I believe it's our job to teach.
The Shack & Operating
I still enjoy CW most of all. I do however own a microphone and a laptop with SignalLink, and am not afraid to use them, especially during contests and for trying to finish up 80m WAS.
I live on a hill, 500 feet above the valley floor, with a nice downward slope to the west, giving me great access to DX entities throughout the Pacific rim.
I have two ladder line-fed dipoles:
(1) 100 feet long, inverted-L configuration, broadside east-west, feedpoint at 25 feet
Antenna #1 is great for working the pacific. Antenna #2 is better in almost every way, especially for EU/SA, and Asia via LP. I've been told that if I added a yagi to the station, I would be able to work anything...but with two kids, a wife, and a full-time engineering job, I have no time/desire to do maintenance.
I almost never run more than 30 watts of RF output power. I have never owned an amplifier. I believe in skill and perseverance over power, although I know I'd be at DXCC Honor Roll a LOT faster with a bigger station. I am presently at about 225 countries.
If I am operating in a contest, I'm usually QRP (including SSB). I usually turn off the preamp so I can estimate whether others can hear me. Thanks for digging me out!
I use a few different rigs - nothing too elaborate - Icom 706, Yaesu FT-817, Elecraft KX-1.
Below is the latest incarnation of my portable station - laptop, SignaLink USB, Yaesu FT-817, micro paddles. If you work me and I'm somewhere other than home, this is probably what I am running...
with this 6' center-loaded MP-1 whip antenna...or a quick-and-dirty dipole.
This portable station, at last tally, has logged over 50,000 miles by airplane, and thousands more by car.
Since 2011, I have operated as OH/N7JI, N7JI/4, N7JI/VE5, CE5/N7JI, VP5/N7JI, N7JI/VE6, and OE/N7JI. I am a semi-serious contester, and avid DXer. If I need to nab a new one, I will sometimes crank the rig up to 25 or 30 watts. I have two kids and a full-time engineering job, which means I don't have much time for any of the above pursuits.
Miscellaneous other stuff
I am also an avid scrabble and words w/friends player (at www.isc.ro and EA games @ Facebook).
I enjoy hiking and cycling when I'm not recovering from injuries suffered trying to enjoy them.
Se habla español? Espero que hablar contigo. Soy solo novicio, pero estoy aprendiendo.
I QSL via direct, bureau, LOTW, and eQSL.
Sadly, I don't know what happened to the OH/N7JI log. Other logs from all other operating are on LOTW and eQSL.
73 and good DX!
7071344 Last modified: 2016-02-08 08:35:33, 5603 bytes
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