I originally earned my Novice license at 14 (1981) as KA7NNB in Arizona but became inactive very soon after (girls and computers if I remember correctly) and did not renew my license. My interest was rekindled upon relocating to New Jersey. I earned my General class ticket in November 2000 as KC2HDB, changed my call to W2RDS and then upgraded to Extra a month later. I am interested in all aspects of the hobby but my main focus is on chasing paper (have earned WAC, WAS, DXCC on multiple bands, and WAZ), contesting, and DXing. I enjoy QSLing and I QSL 100% all cards received direct or via the buro so please send me a card if we worked and I will get one right back to you.
I started contesting the first day I was back on HF (never had enough success as a Novice to give contesting a try). My KC2HDB call was issued a couple of days before the start of the 2000 ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB contest. My TS-520 (my dream radio back in my Novice days), MFJ antenna tuner, and dummy load arrived that same week (all via ebay). My 20m Dipole and coax arrived Friday and I spent Saturday morning getting the dipole up in my garage (in a sort of 'L' shape). I made 7 Q's before the contest started and I then managed to make about 150 contacts in the contest on 20m. I have been hooked ever since. I operate both SSB and CW contests but my code speed is lacking to be competetive in that mode.
Currently the station consists of a TS-950SD, an IC-7600, a TenTec Centaur 600W Amplifier (with brand new 811H tubes in it), an Alpha 76A legal limit amp (needs new tubes), a Heathkit HA-10 "Warrior" amp (on loan from K2SMD and not yet operational), a Butternut HF6V vertical and usually there is an A3S Tribander, or a VHF/UHF array up on a AB-577 military tower (see picture below). On VHF/UHF I have a FT-736R (6m/2m/1.25m/70cm) with a 2m/70cm vertical, a 5 element 2m beam and a 6m dipole in the attic (additional VHF antennas hang from the basement rafters ready to be called to action at any time). Backup radios include the TS-520, a TS-570D, and an FT-221 2m all mode. For mobile/portable HF/VHF operating I have an IC-706MkIIG with a turbo tuner and a L'il Tarheel antenna.
I am active on APRS, running UI-View32/WinAPRS at home, and a Kenwood D700 in the car, along with a TH-D7G/eTrex for portable operation.
73 and I hope to see you on the air.
Rick - W2RDS
1862114 Last modified: 2015-04-10 17:08:44, 3770 bytes
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