These came in the mail over the past few months. I don't often win radio contest plaques and certificates, so it's a big deal when I get one (much less four)!
The 7QP was a combination of Time in Chair and poor propagation to the East Coast, which definitely helped me. As far as SS, I guess everyone else was doing something else those weekends - I didn't even get to put the full effort in for either CW or Phone, but had a great time in any case. I can't explain the 160 Meter Contest placing, other than to assume everyone else was on vacation. Not bad for an OCF dipole at 30'.
Field Day 2016
This year, I ran on emergency power (Class 1E; AGM battery) from the home QTH for the first five or six hours of Field Day, and my daughter, Ashley, made about 10 QSOs. That's why the "cheat sheet" on the unused amplifier. I then headed up to Valley Center, CA for an overnight shift at the Palomar ARC (W6NWG; Class 3A) FD site - I made about 340 QSOs on 20, 40 and 80 Meter CW. Other than almost freezing at 4:30 AM because I only had a light jacket, it was a lot of fun. Next year, I plan to try to run the 1E station for quite a bit longer, and have picked up a Champion 7 kW generator for the rare power outages that we get here. It doesn't often happen that the mains go down, but when they do, it's really nice to have an alternate power source. Our home solar isn't set up to run indepently, and the cost to do that didn't seem worth it for the few times power does go out here.
The photos show the upgraded SO2R-capable station with Microham u2R interface (very cool once I figured out how to set it up properly), Filter Max 4 bandpass filters (also very cool once I got them working properly), and what seems like a few hundred connecting cables. I am still trying to neaten up the shack, but this is actually as organized as I've had it in a long time. The amount of heat given off by two radios, two amps, several PCs and all the ancillary gear keeps my office around 80 degrees no matter how low I turn the air conditioning in the house. Now that I've gotten the SO2R setup working, my next project is to get the newly-acquired Larcan 1 kW amplifier for 6 Meters on the air. That should also bring the room air temperature up another few degrees!
I'm very proud of and excited about my first "real" antenna setup - US Tower HDX-555 (55' crankup and tilt-over tower) and SteppIR DB36 with 80M dipole option. I've put up quite a few wire, vertical and directional antennas on push-up masts and roof tripods over the last 39 years, but this is my 1st tower and first time having an antenna more than 35' off the ground. Getting the tower installed (especially getting a two-wheel drive forklift stuck in the dirt a half-dozen times) and then putting this monster of an antenna (200+ lbs with TiltPlate option spread across a 36' boom) on the mast with three trees and a large trellis in the way was a major undertaking. I hope I get a lot of years out of this setup because I don't ever want to do it again! Quite a few of my fellow Poway and San Diego-area ham friends helped, and I absolutely could not have done it without them. The performance of the antenna and tower definitely make all the money, effort and grief worth it, and during emergencies, it will be reassuring to have the coverage that this setup affords. Our area is very hilly (bordering on mountainous), so communications aren't always easy.
I was first licensed in January 1977 when I was 13 years old. I lived in Huntington Station, NY and had the call WB2KIH. Interestingly, I got my Advanced class license on July 13, 1977 and failed the Extra exam by one question! Exactly 25 years later, on July 13, 2002, I passed the Extra exam and obtained my current call - NC6K.
I am active on HF and VHF, and am trying to gather enough contacts for 5BDXCC and 10BWAS (I need about 15 states on 6 meters - no easy task from DM13). I enjoy operating almost all modes, although CW is still my favorite. Lately, I've been working JT65 on HF and 6M, and it's pretty neat.
ou can find me on the Mt. Woodson repeater (145.180-, PL 107.2) when I'm not on HF or 6M. As of 3/27/16, I finally have a "real" antenna and tower (SteppIR DB36 on US Tower HDX-555) - the installation was something (see the photo gallery for pictures).
My current setup is now SO2R-capable, which was a bit of a challenge to get working properly, especially for high power:
XCVRs: Yaesu FTdx5000mp / FlexRadio 6300 (SO2R), FT-857D (VHF/UHF FM mostly, and emergency power backup)
AMPs: Alpha 9500 & Acom 1000.
I picked up a repurposed Larcan 6 Meter Amplifier that was retired from TV service, and now have it working. It is a solid state amplifier that puts out a kW with about 6.5 W drive (22 dB gain).
ANTENNA: SteppIR DB36 at 60' (80 - 6 Meters) & OCF Dipole at 55'. 2 M/440 vertical at 60' for VHF/UHF.
RX ANTENNA: DX Engineering DXE-ARAV3-2P Dual Active Verticals and DXE-NCC-1 Receive Antenna Variable Phasing Controller (oriented SW to NE).
SO2R: Microham u2R 2-Radio Interface with Winkeyer. Filter Max 4 Bandpass Filters, Rigblaster Advantage (for Yaesu voice keying and digital modes), and a lot of cables connecting everything.
EMERGENCY POWER: Champion 7 kW generator that runs on gasoline, propane and natural gas. AGM battery with automatic power switching. We don't often have power outages here, but when we do, it's usually a few days before service is restored, so it's nice to know I now have backup for the house and the shack.
I am happy to QSL Direct, Via the Buro, eQSL and especially using LOTW. I still enjoying receiving and collecting paper QSL cards, so don't be surprised if you get a request from me. I promise 100% response to received cards, but be patient as work and family sometimes delay me a few weeks on the replies. If you haven't gotten a card back (for direct requests) in about a month, feel free to email me to remind me. I am a firm believer in the courtesy of returning all cards.
73 and hope to CU on the bands!
7718001 Last modified: 2016-11-24 19:36:46, 18695 bytes
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