Greetings from the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona, USA. I suppose we worked on hf recently on 6m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m, 40m, 80m, or 160m.
LotW preferred, since 17 Oct. 2011, but I still desire CARDS, via Bureau or Direct, pse.
QSL received Buro => Buro; QSL received LotW => LotW; QSL received Direct with SAE and with "2 USD" or 1 IRC => Direct; QSL received Direct without SAE and with 2 USD/IRC => Buro; QSL received Direct with SAE and without 2 USD/IRC => Buro. NEW TYPE IRC ONLY. (On Jan 22 2012, DX Postage has increased in USA to more than 1 USD).
My station is located in the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona USA. My first license was the Technician's license, as KF7FIU, granted mid-October, 2009. I am currently an Amateur Extra class license holder since March 4, 2010.
I started as an SWL in the state of New Jersey in 1965, using a Hallicrafters S-120 receiver, which still works well, after several changes of the electrolytic caps in the power supply. In those days as an SWL, I often heard "Jim", W4DXW, on 40m AM from his QTH in Florence, SC. I was impressed with his fine operating during the 4 years I listened regularly. When I became licensed, I decided to honor Jim as a mentor and Elmer, though I never met Jim, nor talked with him. Modeling my call after Jim's "W4DXW", I am W7DXW; Jim Parson's old call has since been re-assigned. Jim was a devoted 40m AM-er, and has long since (1977?) become an SK. There is information about Jim online, under threads such as "[AMRadio] 40 Meter AM Ops from the Past". I am not the only one who remembers him with fond regard and admiration.
I enjoy listening for beacons on 10m. I don't yet send or receive CW, and have yet to learn Morse Code thoroughly. It's a challenge and fine exercise to copy the 10m beacon I.D.s. Fortunately for me, beacons repeat their pattern incessantly! This gives me a chance to write out the beacon call sign. I refer several times every day to WJ5O, IARU's Beacon Coordinator, Bill Hays's extraordinarily excellent "10 Meter Beacon List", to help me spot beacons to my favorite cluster site which has a section devoted to beacon spots. Among other benefits, spotting beacons helps to "densify" the propagation map so that the positions of the e-clouds are better known. Bill updates his large and thorough list several times per week. Little by little, I am developing an ear for CW this way, and this is helping me to learn the code. I'm not in a great hurry; I look forward to my first CW QSO's. I use no beam yet, but employ a 10-m 1/2-wave vertical with four 1/8-wave airborne ground-plane radials (Solarcon A99) on a 33-foot mast. I have pruned the tip element for best performance near the middle of the SSB portion of the band, at the 28.400 MHz SSB calling frequency (I removed 8.5 inches from the tip, plus some sawdust, in increments, while monitoring with the MFJ antenna analyzer). Also, see about the G5RV, below.
I recently re-designed a Sirio SY27-4, 4-element Yagi beam for 10-m, using "YW", a program supplied with the ARRL ANTENNA HANDBOOK cdrom, and have re-sized and re-spaced the elements. The now rebuilt antenna is on a 15-foot testing mast in my yard, but it is too low to operate well as to gain, pattern, and take-off angle. I have obtained a good 40-foot push-up mast, and shall install the new mono-band re-designed 10-m beam correctly. I will place the rotator AT THE BOTTOM, and will use thrust bearings at several heights on the mast beneath the guy-rings to enable free rotation of the entire mast.
Added a 102 foot G5RV wire antenna at 40 ft on 2011 Feb 24, for 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m, and 15m. The wire runs exactly N-S, radiates on the lower bands almost like a dipole to E-W, and covers most of USA, Europe, and Pacific. On the higher bands, the G5RV develops other lobes of various orientations and gains. The G5RV has an interesting radiation pattern on 10m, but I usually prefer the performance of the Solarcon A-99 on 10m to the wire.
On Nov. 13, 2013, added a homebrew 160m spiral-wound vertical, a 25 foot high design patterned after the one popularized by John Miller, K6MM. The vertical is three sections of telescoping plastic PVC pipe connected together. There are 256 feet of insulated no. 16 wire wrapped in spiral fashion around it at about one-half-inch pitch. I have installed 12 ground radials: eight 1/8-wave radials and four 1/4-wave radials (my house-lot in town is small: I am limited to short radial lengths). I will probably add many more radials, even if they are as short as 0.1 wavelength, 16 meters, long, or 50-some feet. The antenna is quite narrow-band, and I have cut it to the SSB portion of the band, centered -- for now -- near 1.930 MHz. I may add some wire windings near the base of the antenna and install some taps so I can use short jumpers with alligator clips at the ends to tune the antenna to different portions of the band. The tuner helps in going lower or higher, but I cannot run much power outside the ideal freq. This antenna is my start on 160m, and I made my first QSO with it on Nov. 13, 2013, running 50 W, to a distance of 152 miles, at 7:01 AM local time (MST), in daytime. I hope to do better at night. As of 23 Nov. 2013, my most distant QSO is to Arkansas, at a distance of 1078 miles. Better performance will depend on my adding many more radials.
Ten meters fascinates me. Someday, I'd like to understand all the modes of propagation that apply to 10m. It's a mysterious band -- so quiet at times and completely closed -- and, at other times, open to all the world. When 10 meters is well open, it serves as a fine "Geography Lesson", as so many wonderful and "rare" call signs can be heard and contacted. I began to participate in PropNet PSK31 monitoring and sending, as a way of informing myself about propagation behavior, and to help the amateur radio community. The PropNet software is great, written by Jeff, N7YG, of Tucson. I obtained a 6m-capable rig in Oct, 2010, the Yaesu FT-450, and am working this new band, with the Cushcraft AR-6 "Ringo" vertical at 30 feet. Will build a 5/8-wave 6-m vertical and see if it is superior to the Ringo for DX. On 6m, I have half the US states and some DX confirmed as of Nov., 2013.
Conferred on 2009 Dec 4, my 10-10 International membership number is 75647.
On 2010 July 21, I was granted OMISS membership #7082. OMISS is a Worked All States and Awards net. Great operators and Net Controllers.
My vanity call request for W7DXW was granted by the FCC on 2010 Jan 16 (original sequential call was KF7FIU).
Upgraded to Amateur Extra class license in Tucson on 2010 March 4.
Took 3rd place in 7-Call district in the 10-10 International Winter Phone QSO Party contest in 2010. Took 1st place in 7-Call district in the 10-10 International Summer Phone QSO Party contest in 2010. Took 3rd place in 7-Call district in the 10-10-10 Sprint event in 2010. Took 7th place in World in the 10-10 International Winter QSO Party in Feb., 2011, and 1st place in 7-call District. Took 5th place in 7-Call District in the 10-10 International 10-10-10 Sprint event in 2011. Took 9th place in World in the 10-10 International Winter QSO Party in Feb., 2012, and 1st place in 7-call District. Took 3rd place in 7-Call district in the 10-10 International Summer Phone QSO Party contest in 2012. Took 3rd place in 7-Call district in the 10-10 International Winter Phone QSO Party contest in 2013.
Received CQ WPX Award, for working 300 unique prefixes, all confirmed solely via LotW confirmations, certificate no. 3294, dated March 28, 2013. Received ARRL W.A.S. Award certificate solely via LotW confirmations, Basic, "Mixed", "Phone" no. 55797, dated Nov. 18, 2011. Received ARRL DX Century Club Award certificate solely via LotW confirmations, "Mixed", no. 46153, dated March 25, 2012. Received ARRL DX Century Club Award certificate solely via LotW confirmations, "Phone", no. 40625, dated March 25, 2012. Received ARRL DX Century Club Award certificate solely via LotW confirmations, "10-Meters", no. 34088, dated May 4, 2012. Various W.A.S. and other awards from OMISS Net. Various W.A.S. and DX awards from eQSL.
Professionally, I am a scientist: an Astronomer, currently retired Planetary Astronomer, and an amateur astronomer since age 5, the year of Sputnik's launch. I have made ever-larger telescope mirrors beginning at age 13, and other optics and mechanical, electrical, and electronic parts for my amateur telescopes. Remarkably, by hand, and by eye, you can make a mirror with a surface accurate to a millionth of an inch. I had a career as a Radio-Astronomer working 115 GHz (2.6 mm wavelength) from 1978 -1985 at Columbia University in New York City and at Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory in Chile, South America, working on the Milky-Way structure problem, and made the first-ever mappings in Carbon Monoxide at 2.6 mm wavelength of the Magellanic Clouds. Then, did airborne and ground-based Site-Testing of mountain-tops in Arizona for deployment of a new generation of very large optical telescopes. Then, was an Infrared Astronomer from 1992-1995 in Arizona and at the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), a Lockheed C-141 NASA aircraft platform carrying a 36-inch IR telescope (succeeded now by a Boeing 747-SP platform carrying a 2.5m telescope) based at Moffett Field in California, in the NASA Suborbital Program. Then, became (and have remained until recently) an optical-wavelength Planetary Astronomer with the Spacewatch Project in Arizona, discovering asteroids and comets that could be hazardous to the earth by colliding, or which could be useful for mining of metals and minerals in space. I've undertaken many changes of working-wavelength, in Astronomy. I have literally been working my way through the Spectrum. I love applying the beautiful and classical instruments and technic of Observational Astronomy to the very practical task of keeping the Earth safe from cosmic hazards. It's a way of "paying the Earth 'back'." Spacewatch also keeps track of asteroids and comets after discovery to determine accurate orbits for them so we can run the orbits forward in time to see if an object may approach the earth dangerously closely in the future. This is a way of Planetary Protection. An impact of a large asteroid would otherwise be one of the worst ecological disasters imaginable.
Thus far I've been fortunate to discover hundreds of asteroids, and privileged to have formally and officially named about 30 of them, including a main-belt asteroid that I named for our national amateur radio organization, the ARRL. The asteroid is: (31531) ARRL (see ARRL line below).
Below is a link to a list of Asteroids I've discovered with the Spacewatch 0.9-m telescope in Arizona, and which I have had the privilege of officially naming: Click for list of named Asteroids. I'm also grateful to have discovered four Comets. Link to a brief video is below:
I'm responsible for Optics at our two telescopes on Kitt Peak: the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and Spacewatch 1.8m telescope. The latter is the largest telescope in the world entirely devoted to Solar System studies: Million-dollar fragile glass, but no stress. Astronomy is a beautiful field, and I recommend it to all, both as an avocation and as a profession. Working as an observational Astronomer is a little like dx-ing. Amateur radio now seems a wide-open expanse in front of me, and I feel I have a chance to learn things and do things that I have been impressed with since my days of SWL listening in childhood (and, nowadays, there's much more to do on the bands than ever). It's great to be "aboard!" 73, all fellow and sister hams! --Joe
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