If you are overseas or in the USA and send me your QSL direct it will be returned the very same way usually the very next day! No return postage is necessary.
My station consists of an Elecraft K3 which I assembled from a kit. The microphone is a Heil Proset using the Icom cartdridge. I have a US Tower model TX-455. It is a 55 (17 meters) foot crankup and foldover tower. Atop the tower is a Bencher Skyhawk. The Skyhawk is basically 3 monobanders on a 24 foot boom (7.3 meters). There are 3 full sized elements on 20 meters, 3 on 15 and 4 elements on 10 meters. I basically stick to those three bands as the back yard is not large enough for a full sized 80 meter dipole. When the sunspot cycle starts declining substantially and 10 and 15 meters are closed I will try and get a 2 element 40 meter beam up. I occasionally use 12 and 17 meters but since the beam is not resonant for those bands I only use them them to work new countries. I have a Palstar AT5K Transmatch which is built like a tank and made in the good old USA but it is seldom used. I added the Elecraft P3 Panadapter and it's very helpful on a band like 10 meters which may be quiet one day and open worldwide the next day.
My amplifier is an Alpha 8410 which will easily putout the legal limit power of 1,500 Watts PEP. The amplifier uses 2 4CX1000A tubes, or valves for you guys in the UK, VK/ZL land. It really is a beautiful piece of worksmanship. The first time I took the cover off to install the transformer it was easy to see why it was so expensive as there really is no comparison in quality beween the Alpha and my Heatkit SB-1000 which I built as a new ham back in late 1988. I've recently used the Heathkit SB-1000 and it still works fine after all these years so for a $650 investment I've received my investment back many times.
For CW I use a Begali Sculpture. The Begali paddles look more like a work of art than a device to send Mose code. A lot of skill and some very expensive machinery had to have been used to create such a precise instrument. If you want the best of the best when it comes to CW, I'd reccommend anything made by Pietro Begali (I2RTF).
At about age 12 I bought a Lafayette shotwave receiver and I strung up about 100 feet of copper wire as high up as I could climb the trees in the backyard. The first station I heard was the religous broadcaster, HCJB, which is located high in the Andes mountains of South America. I used to listen to it frequently since it had a weekly DX show called the "DX Party Line" with gave reports on station times and frequencies. The next station I tuned in to was RSA from South Africa. Each new country I picked up was exciting and I'd look them up in an atlas. I was picking up several new countries a day for about the first month but as to be expected new countries became harder and harder to log after I found all the very strong stations beaming to the US. I joined the American Short Wave Listeners Club and I received a montly pamphlet which reported the loggings of members. Technology sure has changed in the last 40 years!
Listening to the propaganda from Radio Moscow, Radio Peking, Radio Tirana, The Voice of Vietnam (the war was winding down), etc. was fascinating for somebody interested in foreign countries, geography, world news, and the Cold War. I also enjoyed the BBC and VOA when I wanted to know what was really going on in the world. Those were very dangerous times, but very interesting times. I used to get quite a laugh listening to Vlad Posner and Joe Adamov from Radio Mocow trying to appeal to Americans with their perfect colloquial English but I doubt they converted many Americans to their cause. I still recall Radio Moscow interrupting their regular programming with Classical music when Leonid Breshnev died. If I recall correctly, the change in radio format was a signal that the Soviet Union would soon be announcing the death of an important leader.
I also recall tuning in to Radio Peking when Chairman Mao died and China was about as exotic as it got for me. I have no doubt the hobby helped me out quite a bit at school. Shortwave listening was a Geography, History, Current Events, and Technology class all rolled into one little ball. I did not have any friends interested in the hobby so I taught myself things by reading books and magazines. I was fortunate to have a wonderful uncle who was an Electrical Engineer. When my grandmother was alive the extended family would meet at her place each Sunday for a big Italian meal and I got to ask him many questions, and after she passed away he was just a phone call away. He was a big help when I took a correspondence course in AC/DC, TV, and Digital Electronics because it was much easier to call him than to call the company for explanations.
Around the beginning of April until the World Series is finished around the end of October I am much more apt to be watching my favorite baseball team (Boston Red Sox) on TV, or some other game, than fooling with the radio gear and the timing usually works out good as radio conditions normally get much better during my fall and winter months.
My mom was as big a Red Sox fan as I and I'm very happy she was able to watch the Red Sox win their first Championship in 86 years in 2004 since she passed away about 2 years later. My mother helped drive my bother's and my teammates to our games and she and my father attended all our games. My father is still working everyday as a lawyer after 50 years in the profession and my two younger brothers work in the law firm he created. I was more interested in the stock market as a kid so I didn't follow the rest of the family and get a law degree. My degree is in Accounting and Finance. I've owned several divergent businesses over the years and I am a Financial Planner.
I am a DXer at heart with 320 current countries worked and 7 deleted for a total of 327.
Thanks for reading and if you hear me on the air please give me a call!
Last modified: 2013-11-17 00:51:32, 7982 bytes cached