If you managed to work me, congratulations on your operating prowess, as you didn't get a lot of help from my station. I reside in an antenna restricted area and for the last 18 years have been forced to use my raingutter/downspout as a mf-hf-6-meter antenna, when I operate from home. It amounts to a sideways "L" about 20 feet vertical and 30 feet horizontal with very large conductors. I have sometimes been surprised by its performance, but mostly have been frustrated because at one time I had a pretty good station.
Update on the antenna situation (12/01/2012): I have a six foot vinyl privacy fence around the back yard that totals about 166 feet in length. I stretched a wire around most of it and have been using it for receiving. It works better than the rain gutter most of the time, mainly because of reduced noise. Apparently the house and its contents are pretty good at generating QRM/QRN. This was particularly true of a track light in the kitchen that used a switching power supply with little or no suppression of its crud. I finally reinstalled a regular fixture and am looking for someting else to replace it that doesn't generate QRN.
I have also experimented with mobile whips mounted on the wooden railing of the pool deck. I have a set of modified Hustler mobile antennas that were not being used. Most had been stretched out to use a full four (or in a couple of cases, more) foot whip with a minimum of loading coil. I ran a copper strap from the ground side to the frame of the above ground pool and found the mobile whips worked reasonably well on cw. However, on constant carrier modes like JT65 or RTTY, the coils heat up and the resonance changes, even running less than 100 watts. This is especially true of the 80 and 40 meter resonators, which started out as the low power versions of the Hustlers. I rewound the 40 meter resonator with #12 wire and found it was only marginally better. Also, if the number of turns hadn't been reduced to accomodate a longer whip, it would not have been possible to get enough wire on the coil form to hit 40 meters. I was able to borrow a 75 meter high power resonator and found it was worse! Since it is much bigger in diameter, I suspect there is a larger change as it gets warm.
My current rig is a Yaesu FT2000, which I acquired after a very bad experiece with two Ten Tec Omni VIIs. Prior to the Omnis I had an FT-950, which I liked, except for having to access a menu for almost every little adjustment. The 2000 is very similar in performance and ergonomics but actually has knobs for almost everything.
I work almost no phone. Lately I have been doing about a 50/50 mix of cw and digital, mostly JT65-HF. That would seem to be an ideal mode for a pipsqueak station, but it does not allow for much actual information exchange and is painfully slow.
I retired from almost 40 years of radio technicianing with the Illinois State Police December 31, 2010. The last twelve years of that I was a field technician, which meant I traveled to remote sites and districts to do whatever needed to be done, from sweeping the floor to keeping the 6 GHz microwave links up. The resultant 400,000 miles of windshield time, almost all of it in the southern third of the state, meant I had some time for mobile operating. I used several radios, from two IC-706s to a TS-2000 to an IC-746 to the FT-950, with modified Hustler whips. I had full size service vans mostly, so had room for mostly full sized radios. The big vans also provided a better than average capacitance to ground for the hf antenna. I worked about 200 countries mobile, most of it during the very lowest points of the Cycle 23/24 transition. This, too, was almost all cw and the majority while in motion. The last couple of months, I did a little mobile digital work, definately not while in motion.
Previous call signs were: WN9HHH (1963-64), WA9HHH (1964-74), and for the three years I was with ARRL, WA1NFS (1968-71).
QSLs: I prefer LOTW; I no longer use EQSL; paper cards are a bit of a problem. I do not stock paper cards. I make them as I need them and it sometimes can take a while. SAE appreciated; lack of one will probably slow the response more as I do not enjoy paper work.
Last modified: 2013-02-19 00:03:28, 5361 bytes
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