Greetings from ND0C - a QRP station in southwestern Minnesota!
Please call me Randy - more friendly, less formal!
I was first licensed in 1968 as a Novice (WN0VBW) when I was 14 years old living in western Iowa. Since 1980 I have operated exclusively QRP from my home station using either an old Ten Tec Argonaut 509 (3 watts) or a Yaesu FT-897D (running 5 watts). I still occasionally use the Argonaut, but the Yaesu gives me a lot more flexibility: WARC bands, 160 and 6 meters and split frequency operation. I run it only at 5 watts.
My primary interests are contesting and DXing using QRP. So far, I've been able to work and confirm 315 DXCC entities with 5 watts or less - thanks to the skills of the DX operators on the other end and of course the whims of the propagation gods! My HF antennas include an old Wilson SY-3 three element triband Yagi at 48 feet (15 meters) and an inverted vee dipole with the apex at about 45 feet (14 meters) fed with ladder-line. The inverted vee has proven to be pretty decent on the WARC bands, but it is tough to compete with beams. I've worked 127 countries on 40 and 72 countries on 80. Maybe 5BDXCC is possible! I even play around a little on 160, primarily using it to pick up contest multipliers, loading the inverted vee. 160 is definitely rough going for 5 watts and a very mediocre antenna!
I've been fortunate enough to win the following major contest awards:
2011 CQ WW SSB - AB QRP - 1st in World
2012 CQ WPX SSB - AB QRP - 1st in USA, 2nd in NA, 5th in World
2011 CQ WPX SSB - AB QRP - 1st in USA, 2nd in NA, 2nd in World
2010 CQ WPX SSB - AB QRP - 1st in USA
2011 CQP - QRP - 1st Non-CA (new record)
2009 CQ DX Marathon - Formula Class - 10w or less
In the summer of 2008 I started playing around on 6 meters loading up the tribander (which actually worked!) and quickly fell in love with "the magic band". In 2009 I put up an M2 6M5X 5 element Yagi at 55 feet (17 meters) and have been amazed by what I can do with just 5 watts! So far I have worked 348 grids in 48 states and a total of 18 countries - but no Europeans yet.
In 2006 my wife, Amy, and I traveled to the US Virgin Islands for a few days. I took the FT897 and made a little mini-DXpedition out of it as NP2/ND0C. It was really fun to be on "the other end" (see my motel room station below left). For that operation, as well as a couple special event station operations to commemorate a local wind-surfing competion as W0W (below right), I ran 100 watts since I was portable with compromised antennas (low dipoles) and wanted to be able to hold a frequency and "run" consistently. Next time I get a chance to be DX I plan to stay with QRP.
In August of 2010 I discovered a new facet of the hobby: Summits on the Air (SOTA). So far I've primarily "chased" summits, but in the summer of 2012 I activated three summits on a vacation trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone (see pictures below), plus two summits in the Black Hills during a business trip.
My SOTA summit station consists of a Yaesu FT 817ND running 5 watts to an inverted vee, supported by a 20' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast, fed with ladderline. I use both SSB and CW. It was a blast being able to hand out the summits to other chasers, several of whom have activated many summits themselves. I just wish I lived closer to some mountains! For more information on SOTA, check out http://www.sota.org.uk/
Professionally I work as a technical services veterinarian for a company that manufactures vaccines for livestock. Amy and I have 3 children: David and Becky - both grown up, out of college and on their own,and a kindergartener: Kylee. We are also grandparents: Becky and her husband Ben have a little boy, Landon. We enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains (usually Colorado) and boating. My other hobbies include collecting antique maps, wooden radios (broadcast receivers from the '20s and 30's) and antique non-fiction books
I enjoy collecting QSLs and will typically QSL direct (with SAE and postage) to confirm new band-countries, or grids. All other DX QSLs are sent through the bureau. Although I confirm all contacts through the Logbook of the World, I still love getting the old-fashioned paper cards! I do not use eQSL. I also have custom-made picture QSLs for my SOTA activations and will be very glad to send them to confirm those contacts from my summit operations on request.
I will gladly respond to all QSLs received - no SASE necessary. I believe that a QSL is the final courtesy of a QSO.
Last modified: 2013-01-28 02:39:44, 5998 bytes cached
This user has no active logs
Does this page contain inappropriate content? If so, Report this page...