PRIMARY ANTENNA DOWN (24 May)
My "Inverted U" has failed due to wire fatigue and pine tree sap. I am in a restricted area and have kept my antennas stealthy. This was an end fed, up-over-and-down wire stretched over and through 20 year old pines. Putting a new wire will require an attempt to retrieve the old rope and wire, and then launching a new one with the help of my fellow hams.
I still have limited capability on 10 and 40 and VHF/UHF, buf the J-Pole needs new guywires.
"BOB" (that's me)
I use LoTW (if you want a QSO posted to eQSL or QRZ, please email me.)
(Note about QSLing. As of 3/20/2015 I am current on QRZ and LoTW, but behind on eQSL. I really enjoy the instant response of LoTW. In fact I typically upload within an hour or so unless it is a contest QSO. I upload to QRZ and eQSL when asked.)
I just applied for and received the QRZ Grid Square and Continent Awards. Thanks QRZ Team.
The following have been Confirmed via LoTW
Ten Meter Phone: 118 entities confirmed with 30 more pending
Mixed Bands and Modes: 50 States, 141 Entities, All Continents.
18 Jul 2014: Just noticed that I have 35 CQ Zones confirmed.
MANY Thanks to all the stations with confirmations.
Please email me if you hear me doing something in violation of the code, and I will do my best to correct it.
Equipment and Activity:
The rigs are Yaesu FT-450 with various wires (usually an inverted "U") and a Yaesu FT-2900 on a J-Pole for 2 meters.
Logbook of the World is my preferred method of confirmations. I have over 130 entities confirmed (mixed) and over 100 on 10 Meter Phone. LoTW was not as easy as it could have been if I had read the instructions before jumping into the installation. With help from N4BFR and others, LoTW is running. I use the Amateur Contact Log from N3FJP for normal logging and some contests.
ANTENNAs: I have used a number of different antennas, mostly wires: Ten Meter Horizontal Square, under the deck - wonderful. Ten Meter dipole at fifteen feet - good antenna for DX, not so hot locally. Ten meter vertical, better for local, not so hot for DX, not in use at the moment. Fifteen Meter dipole is currently out of service. Forty Meter MFJ dipole. Some of the other wires: The "Red Inverted U" - 20 foot up, 30 E - W, then 20 feet down - best of the wires; the high "Black" 20 feet verticle, 15 feet angled up to 30 feet E-W, then 70 feet N - S; the low "Black" running at various heights along a wooden fence. Two Meter J-Pole at 20 feet up in the pines. Actually, they are all imbedded in the 20 year old pines.
I have joined the Georgia Contest Group and have starte to operate more during contests to generally have fun.
Objectives for now are to build my EmComm knowledge, support the Atlanta and National Red Cross, and to learn as much as I can from the rest of you out there. I can now operate on emergency power from the shack or can take the go-kits (160 thru 440) on the road.
Back in the 1960s I was licensed as KN4NMU (Novice) and K4NMU (Technician). I did the usual Novice CW and some Technician phone as allowed during those times. I joined Army MARS in February, 1962 and got experience with Military protocols and a source of interesting and usable gear. I allowed my license to lapse while I was in college and the military. (This was in the 1970's.)
In March of 2010 I became involved with the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross in the Disaster Services Technology activity. I realized that Amateur Radio could be a valuable part of the learning experience. So I studied and passed the Technician and General exams in June, 2010 (took the Extra too, but wasn't ready for it). My assigned callsign was KJ4VKH - which I found difficult to say and remember ("Old Man" is not a gratuitous handle in my case). My wife calls me her "Buddy" from time to time, so I decided on W4YBB as my vanity callsign, therefore I am "Your Buddy Bob". (You may offer, "Whiskey Fo(u)r Your Buddy Bob.")
Since I was not satisfied with passing the tests that are equivalent to the ones I passed in the 60's, I moved on to the Extra Exam and passed it in November, 2010. It was a much tougher exam for me, and I learned a lot during my studies. I still don't know very much. Lots to learn going forward.
I am an ARRL Volunteer Examiner and participate in exam sessions on a regular basis.
With the American Red Cross, I have completed training in Disaster Assessment, CPR/First Aid, and other basic courses. In my specialty of Disaster Services Technology I have taken the "DST101" classes, the "Hands On" classes, and the Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV) course. (Sadly, the ECRV now has been retired -- away our immediate communications response capability.)
I was deployed for the first time in April, 2011 for the early April tornados in Alabama (DR491-11). I came back to Georgia immediately after the April 27 storms and worked in the Atlanta headquarters for the Georgia tornado response (DR507-11). My more recent deployments were to Pennsylvania for the Irene and Lee floods (DR813-12)and New York for Sandy(DR145-13).
Working with the Red Cross has introduced me to an entire new world of learning and serving. Amateur Radio is a growing facet of that experience. I am trustee for the club station at the Metro Atlanta Chapter. Listen for KG4ARC during drills and special events but, hopefully, never in a disaster.
Hope to meet you on the air.
P.S. I am a subscriber to QRZ.com (October, 2011) and N3FJP (ACL).
(Photo January 2012)
The Hammarlund HQ110 and the Knight T-60 were gifts from a non-ham friend and are not functional at this time.
Earlier Remarks (Sometimes edited after the fact):
September 21, 2013 Not much new at the home QTH, but I have spent a lot of time working on the stations for the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross. We have a call sign, KG4ARC, and some hardware (Kenwoods and Icoms), and some progress on space in the Chapter Building. Antenna installation is going to take a while in order to comply with building restrictions.
August 3, 2012 --The long, low Wire is working on 6, 12, 17, 20, and maybe 40, but the other two, higher wires are pulling in almost nothing by WSB 750 AM - all across the dial. (Update: July 2013 - the "7" wire will load 160 - 6 except for 7 Mhz without complaint. On 40 meters the radio issues an SWR warning, but I have made contacts on 40.)
February, 2012 W4YBB is now on LOTW. Thanks to all who have already posted our mutual QSOs. This gives me 40 confirmed entities (out of 80 entities contacted). Thanks to Jim, N4FBR and the Atlanta Radio Club "Second Sunday Tech Sessions" for the help in getting LOTW up and running.
March 5, 2012 Enjoyed the ARRL SSB DX contest, After deleting the obviously wrong entry for "NORTH KOREA" I have about 6400 points. Not too bad for a casual contester. Will upload my contacts to LoTW as soon as I review them one more time.
April 23, 2012: Lot's of antenna projects in progress -- A note to every one, DON"T expect to enjoy dragging ropes and wires through Southern Pine trees. The scaley bark grabs everything and knots it up. Have several "long" wires going up. One will be an inverted L with the horizontal run facing North and South. Another will be a very low and convoluted wire threaded along the top of the wood fench and will be horizontal for most of the way. The final wire will be up in those pesky pines at about 30 feet. All of these will be fed from the FC-40 tuner with strong clips to connect to the tuner. There will be only one radial system. A fifteen meter dipole is also under construction with an "ugly" homebrew balun. If it works, I will add a balun to the ten meter dipole.
May 16, 2012 --May 16, 2012 -- a new antenna is on the air. It is a 15 meter dipole at about fifteen feet. I must say I am rather pleased with myself because I made a contact with PY2DXA with just one call. Please note that this was my first fifteen meter DX contact and my first 15 M anywhere in about 50 years. The antenna still needs some work, but the FT-450 is able to tune the entire band.
June 16 2012 -- There has been considerable progress on the "wire farm" -- a set of longish wires at different heights and orientations that should allow operation on some additional bands. I have laid out three radials so far and have at least four more that will be added. The final wire in the array will get pulled through the trees in a few days.
Over the weekend the 2 meter J-Pole migrated a few feet East and a few feet higher. I may add another mast section or two if I can rig guying to something other than my pine trees.
August 3, 20121 --The long, low Wire is working on 6, 12, 17, 20, and maybe 40, but the other two, higher wires are pulling in almost nothing except for good old WSB 750 AM 50KW day and night clear channel after sunset - all across the dial.
December 2012 -- Logged my 100th entity on 10M SSB. Not all confirmed of course, but the total is climbing.
January 2013 -- Ran some tests on the wire that looks North and South and found that I can tune it to the HF bands + 6M EXCEPT for 40. The FC-40 tuner keeps the SWR to the rig in a decent range. Hope this isn't just a rainy day thing.
March 11, 2013 -- Have logging capability for eQSL and QRZ (not uploading regularly).
July 8, 2013 -- I now have 107 entities confirmed via LoTW, mixed band, phone, (140+ total contacted). I am stuck at 83 entities confirmed on 10 meters (105 contacted) and feeling like the sunspot cycle is letting us down.
Current Certificates and Licenses:
FEMA IS-100b 12-15-2010
American Red Cross First Aid / CPR / AED 04-24-2014 through 04-23-2016
W4YBB - Extra Class/Vanity Call through 07-03-2020
1987901 Last modified: 2015-05-24 14:21:45, 13979 bytes
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