This is my number one hobby. I received my first license at the age of 12 in 1979. I was happy to find a DIA photo taken back then - quite amazing picture quality after 30+ years. Here I am right out of sauna with my first radio (Yaesu FT-7B) a straight key and a self made paddle. The antenna was a 40m dipole.
I have been quite active working different contests and chasing DX all these years. Not so serious about contesting any more, but rather enjoyng the activity on the bands. All my more succesfull CQWW contest efforts were in multiop categories like EA8AGD (world #1 M/S '88), OH2U (three time EU #1 multi/multi '97,'99, '00) and EA8ZS (world #1 multi/multi '02). I have also had the fun of being part of some DX/contest peditions like C56B, 4J1FM, OJ0/OH8AA and OH0Z. As my kids are growing up and moving out I may find myself doing more of such activities again. Anyway I have found out that CW is the mode I enjoy operating the most and short QSOs are my cup of tea there.
You might be able to spot the tip of the 40m Yagi element in the picture above. My house happens to be on top of a small ridge so I was not able to fit the tower in the same picture. The self supporting tower is 16 meters high and the surrounding terrain is about 18 meters below providing an effective height for the setup. Below is a better shot of the antennas:
The latest addition to my setup is a remote station @OH2U with Elecraft K3 twin, OM2500A and remoterig RRC-1258MkII. I have managed to improve my DXCC count on 160/80 thanks to the low noise conditions there. At home I am currently running with the following equipment: Elecraft K3 , ACOM1000 Amp, 3-el SteppIr, 2-el for 40m (JP7-2 Shorty by Finnish Antenna Ltd.) and OCF Dipole for 80/160m. The tower used to be loaded as vertical for 80 meters using a half sloper mounted at 22 feet to get 50 ohm resistance. I have replaced that setup with a 40m long Inverted L antenna that I can run on multiple bands - most often on 160, 80 and 30 meters.
Station automation is realised with microHAM's StationMaster (it is really a gem!). I am also using the LP-PAN adapter to have a band scope alongside with the K3. After having one (I had a IC-756Pro3) it is very hard to live without - I like to see what is going on on the bands. CW skimmer adds even more fun to the setup and with WinTelnetX it is easy to combine skimmer and DXtelnet spots into one stream.
My favourite softwares are Win-test for contesting, DX4WIN for LoTW updates and DXing, DX Atlas for Grayline, ViewProp (beta) to monitor band conditions and VOACAP online to make propagation predictions.
Good DX and fun contests to you all!
73 de Kari, OH2XX
1153615 Last modified: 2014-08-05 07:37:55, 3415 bytes
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