January 17, 2015
In April, 2013 my family vacationed on the beautiful island of St. John, USVI (NA-106) where I operated QRP portable as KP2/W1HFG on 40 meters CW using an MFJ Cub transceiver and a dipole antenna. My thanks go out to all of you who heard my tiny signal and replied. With limited time to operate, no spotting, only 3 watts, and a dipole up 4 meters I was able to work 18 stations in 10 countries, many in Russia and Eastern Europe.
View from our rented QTH in Coral Bay, St. John, USVI (NA-106). Island of Tortola (BVI) in distance.
My portable QRP station includes a 40 meter MFJ Cub transceiver, a 2 amp power supply, J-38 key, and headphones
Welcome to my QRZ page.
Thanks to those of you with whom I have been in contact on the air since reactivating my station back in 2011. My thanks are also extended to two local hams, Ron, K1WYF, and Bob, AB1MN, both of whom were helpful in my getting my station back on the air.
I was originally licensed at age 16 back in 1962 as a novice. My call sign was KN1VQN. My rig consisted of a Heathkit AR-3 receiver and a Heathkit DX-20 crystal-controlled CW transmitter, both of which I constructed as kits. After my novice license expired, I upgraded to technician class, operating on 2 and 6 meter AM. Unfortunately I let my license expire while I was serving in the army. In 1977, with interest in ham radio rekindled, I took the general class license test and was issued my current call sign. I was active on and off during the 80’s and 90’s but went inactive again until 2011 when my then 10 year old son started asking me about the ham radio gear he had been told was stored in a closet in the house. He encouraged me to drag it out. The next I knew, I had a station set up on the kitchen counter and a 20 meter dipole strung in the living room. With the assistance of K1WYF who lent his skills as an archer, I soon had a G5RV antenna strung up between two tall trees in the back yard and my operating equipment moved to a more suitable space. I learned how to use Bob, AB1MN’s antenna analyzer, and figured out how to use an antenna tuner. I was up and running and haven’t stopped since.
The next I knew I was working on WAS, DXCC, and WAC, all achieved in fairly short order. I quickly got on LOTW, in spite of the formidable application process, and am now up to 143 entities confirmed on LOTW. I continue to work on WAS on various bands and modes, my operating limited by choice to HF SSB and CW. For those of you who are not on LOTW, I find it to be a wonderful tool for QSL’ing and keeping track of the stations I’ve worked. The benefits are well worth the challenges of joining, and I strongly encourage you to get on LOTW.
During 2014 I was very active in the ARRL Centennial activities, working as many W1AW/X stations as I could (891) and accumulating points in the Centennial Points Challenge (30,480). Doing this with only 100 watts and a simple wire antenna was gratifying. Working the Amsterdam Island DXpedition was also a real thrill. What a shame that QRM'ers tried to derail the operation.
My main accomplishment for the past year was passing the examination for Extra Class. Deciding to prepare for the exam was a last-minute decision, prompted by my frustration with the W1AW/X stations who set up operations in the Extra portion of the band where I was unable to operate. That frustration, accompanied by encouragement from Lee, K2HAT, got me started studying for the exam in mid-December, 2014. I passed the test (aced it) on January 10, 2015, one week ago today. My thanks to Ward Silver, W0AX and his ARRL Extra License Manual, the folks at HamTestOnline, and the Extra class flashcards (FlashandPass.com). I found all to be helpful in my preparations.
This year’s project will be to increase my ability to copy CW. I expect I will be listening regularly to the W1AW bulletins. Wish me luck.
My station consists of an old mid-eighties vintage Icom 751, a G5RV antenna up about 50’ at the ends and 35’ or so in the center (Would this be called an "inverted inverted V" or simply a "V?"), and an MFJ 949E manual antenna tuner (Thanks MFJ for making so many useful ham gadgets). I use an old Junkers straight key and have a J-38 as a back-up. Three QRP rigs include a Heathkit HW-8, an Oak Hills Explorer II 20 meter transceiver, and a 40 meter MFJ Cub. I have just put up a 160 meter inverted L and look forward to trying it out.
A bit of my personal history: I graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, NY in 1968 and went directly into the Army, serving for three years as a band musician, one year spent with the 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Duties involved flying around in helicopters and riding in the back of trucks to present band performances. When not performing, the band members were put to work as perimeter guards on the sprawling base camp. After my discharge from the Army I taught instrumental music in the Boston Public Schools for 10 years, then spent two years as administrator of a small non-profit organization. In 1984 I decided to become a yacht broker which I have been doing ever since. The job is much like that of a real estate broker, helping buyers and sellers buy or sell their personal yachts. An average boat that I might handle would typically be in the mid-30’ to 50’ range. In the summer of 2013, after my colleague of 29 years retired, I started up my own yacht brokerage firm.
In my free time when I’m not working or hamming, I play the euphonium (a small tuba) with the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, a 75 piece symphonic band, and the New England Brass Band, a 31 piece British-style brass band. Both bands are non-profit organizations that perform public concerts around New England. My family skis when we can in the winter and loves boating in the summer. We recently sold our 32’ sailboat we had owned for 20 years and now have a 17’ Boston Whaler power boat.
For those whom I’ve worked on CW, thanks for forgiving my rusty fist and copying skills. I’m still awkward in front of a mike, so please have patience with me.
Thanks to all,
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