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AB4KJ USA flag USA

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QSL: LOTW, EQSL, OR POSTAL

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First introduced to amateur radio by my uncle AB4KH. With his help and encouragement, I built a Heathkit rig and was off and running on 15, 20, 40, and 80 meters using dipoles strung up in the back yard. I really enjoyed CW and still do. Amateur radio developed an interest in me for radio electronics. I went to school for electronics and quickly began work at Motorola installing and repairing SMR and trunked radio systems. At one time I was also employed by one of the nation's largest paging carriers, a wireless cellular provider, and today work for one of the largest regional cellular/PCS service providers in the United States. Because of amateur radio, I was also able to acquire my commercial telephony license with RADAR endorsement.

I love the hobby and and am active on several bands, both phone and CW. Looking forward to connecting with you.

Youtube video of my antenna farm such as it is: 

Video of my messy station:


Mike, AB4KJ

SKCC 8904

NAQCC 6294

FPQRP 3004

FELD HELL 3791

FISTS 16081


P.S. I'm also really into paintball, both scenario and speed ball. I usually play the game with my youngest son. Pics of the "shack", my vertical, and two OCF dipoles; one is a full length 160m and the other is a full length 80m oriented opposite to the 160m.

Update as of December 2010:

Pics showing new AMP, K2, and shelf. I also installed a Delta loop for 40 and 80. It is a vertically oriented delta loop with apex down. The base is up about 45 to 50 feet strung between to tall trees. I was also able to add another 20 radials to my vertical bringing the total to 40.

Update as of February 15:

Installed two reversible DXE Beverages (4 total Beverages). The Beverages make a significant and noticable difference in receive S/N. Orientation is North/South and East/West. Each is roughly 400 feet in length. Pics soon.

Update as of December 15, 2011:

New equipment: running two RF Space SDRs -one runs SpectraVue and the other runs CW skimmer both pieces of software are set up to control either K3 or Orion. I can now click tune with either SpectaVue, Skimmer, or, when running the K3/P3, the P3.

Added a SignaLink and run either Fldigi, MixW, MultiPSK for digital modes. To date have QSO'd via RTTY, PSK31, Olivia 16/500,32/1000, 8/250, and MFSK-16. Will be experimenting with JT56A soon. The digital modes are really fun.

Update as of January 1st, 2012:

I have successfully operationalized my station for JT65A using JT65-HF, WSJT, and MultiPSK. I have made a number of successful QSOs using this mode. Lots of fun.

My latest project is setting up my station for remote operation. I have downloaded Skype and LogMeIn. I believe I have everything for remote SSB, Digimodes, and CW keyboard operation.

 

Update as of 2/8/2014:

Have been successfully operating on the SSTV and now D-SSTV DRM modes. Also, received my mixed mode ARRL DXCC (45,866) and CW DXCC (12,913), WAS awards, eQSL DX 70 (130470) PFX 300 (142591), and eWAS (143233) awards. Received DXCC 40M and DXCC 20M. WAS digital mode. CQ WPX award with several endorsements, and eDX100. I'm short ND, SD, and WY to finish off a few more WAS awards, including 160M WAS.

My experiments with remote operation using Skype and LogMeIn were not satisfactory. While I could monitor and transmit the digital modes, the performance in terms of latency of screen updates was very dependent on the quality of the Internet connectivity.

 

Update as of 11/7/2012

Purchased a KX3. Awesome little radio but full featured. Starting to experiment with QRP and operations in the field using a Buddipole and a homebrew vertical.

update 12/6/2012

My XYL helped me put up an inverted L for the 160 meter contest. It seems to be working great. Vertical section 45. I have installed about 20 radials. Worked a number countries since installed.

Made my first JT9 QSO on 160 meter.

Update 12/23/2012:

Installed the DX engineering four square RX array. Was a little harder than I thought, of course working in 23F temperatures didn't help. That said, after some troubleshooting some bad F connectors, happy to say the system works really well. I went with a configuration optimized for 160 and 80 meters (100x100). It does seem to work better than my Beverages and definitely smaller footprint.

Update 1/10/2013:

Given you can never have too many antennnas, I purchased a K9AY loop system from Array Solutions. Installed in 20 degree weather. Was rough. Installation was pretty straightforward. Still learning about the antenna characteristics. That said, seems to work pretty good. Not as good as the four square, and about on par with my Beverages. All in all a very good antenna for the price and space it requires.

Update 1/25/2013:

Broke down and bought an SPE Expert 2K-FA amplifier. The amp works great. Got it set up for auto tune and band change driven by the CAT interface on Commander. I also use the remote usb option so I can see the amp's power and other parameters from my computer screen. The amp easily pumps out 1500W. Build quality is fantastic. It is a very quiet amplifier too.

Update 2/8/2013:

I added a DX engineering NCC-1 phasing box. I am phasing the K9AY with the DX engineering RX four square. I have been able to get very nice reduction in noise in all four directions.


 

 

New pics:

Delta loop (1 wave length on 80 and bi-square on 40)

Reversible beverage system (4 total beverages covering north, south, east, and west)

 

Overhead picture showing layout of antenna farm

 

 

Picture of the 20 meter magnetic loop I made for use with the KX3. I also made one for 40 meter. Both work great. I used coax for the capacitors.

2/82014 update

Purchased and installed (12 degree weather I might add) a Pixel Pro loop. I mounted it on a rotor. I must say, the loop does perform well for such a small antenna. I also got a MFJ superloop for the KX3. Works really well but is larger in size than I thought. I got a bunch of front end protection stuff from KD9SV. Great build quality. Waiting on a K9AY switch matrix. Gary Breed is adding some special protection stuff more me. Lastly, got tired I not being heard on 160M. So I added an MFJ 998RT remote tuner to the base of my inverted L so I do not lose any power in the coax. Seems to work better. Definitely very low SWR on the coax from shack to the antenna.

Upcoming projects: install another DXE reversible beverage and going to try 2 penant antennas. I bought the balun and stuff from KD9SV.

 

New pictures below via flickr. Shack and radio stuff mixed in with pictures of my russian blue cat and my motorcycles, my other passion.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75487558@N08/12391538643/

Update 12/06/2014:

 

I have been spending time between QSOs SWLing with a variety of receivers. The main one I use while in the shack is the winradio g33ddc. It is very powerful and loaded with features. I really like the built in record function. I have been using it to catpure and record pirate radio stations and DX radio stations. The Ten Tec Orion sub receiver and the KX3 make decent general coverage SWL tools, although they do not have the built in record function the winradio does. I have also been using several different portables-Tecsun 880, 660, Sangean 909X, and Grundig satellite. They work ok, but are not as sensitive or selective has the winradio. 

 

update 11/21/2015:

back on the air after being off the air since april. my 4 square is not working and the k9ay was damaged by insects. too much snow on the ground to repair so right now I'm relying on the beverages for low band work.

update 12/19/2015:

I was finally able to resolve the failed 4 square array mystery. The lawn guy shredded one of the r6 runs from one of the antenna units and didn't say anything. The R6 was shorted pretty much killing the unit. I replaced pretty much everything. When that didn't work, I started digging up cable. The last cable run (figures) was the one that was shredded.

update 3/05/2016

still winter here in midwest. I have been spending most of my free time shortwave listening and BCB Dxing. My current set up is:

Elad SDR using the Quantum phasor, Quantum loop antenna, and two different wire antennas. The two different wire antennas are:

Misek steerable wave antenna, the micro version

FET activated BOGS.

January 26th, 2017:

Since my last update, I have been very busy. As the winter of 2016 started, I committed to repair and fortify all my antennas before the really bad stuff rolled in. I repaired all my beverage feed and termination boxes, which have been in the elements for several years. Despite sealing them, condensation was causing some minor corrosion. I cleaned all this up and the beverages are working fine. Moreover, I installed 4 more beverages. Actually two more physical beverages but they are reversible and 500 feet long. They work well. I repaired the K9AY again, which was damaged by deer. I also installed a DHDL loop, a D-KAZ, and converted the D-KAZ to big delta loops (30x130'), only to convert them to big pennants. I use these for 160 but also for SWL on mediumwave. Unfortunately, all these will have to be taken down when spring comes so the lawn guy can do his thing. The Pixel loop was elevated to 18 feet and got a thorough cleaning and it is performing well. This is the RX receive line up. 

For transmit, I installed the KIO hexbeam on a proper mast with a rotor up about 35 feet. Works great. I added all the warc band kits to my 6btv antenna. I don't use it anymore for 40, 20, 15, or 10. The hex beam covers 20, 15, 10 and 6. 40 is taken care of by my military push up mast, which also serves as the support for my 160m T loaded vertical wire and my 80m T loaded vertical wire. All antennas no use the remote tuner to minimize coax loss. Wasn't easy to get it working with all the interaction from closely spaced wire.

The delta TX superloop is still up but not in use. Same goes for the OCF 80meter dipole. Good antennas but not for dx given how low they are to the ground. 

My next project is to split the DHDL into two more pennants and to build the lz1aq active receive antenna. This is for use when I travel, so I can get in some quality SWL. With all this work, I have gotten comfortable working in the dark and 3am checking the antenna farm and making adjustments using my trusty headlamp.

 

 

 

7857865 Last modified: 2017-01-26 20:12:45, 12589 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - AB4KJ
Latest Contacts for AB4KJ at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
KX4WB 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EM55al United States William O Brooks JR
KU5J 2018-01-22 80m FT8 DM72TU00 United States BOB D PERKINS
W1PTS 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EM85TM25 United States CLYDE T SIMPSON SR
KM4JNR 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EM86TH00 United States Chad R Bruckman
K3DQB 2018-01-22 80m FT8 FM19pt United States Walter Bilous
W9FL 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EN52tw United States THOMAS C BROCKDORF
W0PM 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EM37hd United States JOHN F RAYFIELD JR
NT8Z 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EN80ld United States SCOTT GORDON
KO4XJ 2018-01-22 80m FT8 EM57ra United States JOHN D HUDSON
W8RDZ 2018-01-21 80m FT8 EM79XT55 United States Rodger Zink
KI0EB 2018-01-21 80m FT8 EM88BM47 United States KEVIN A FONTES
N6RH 2018-01-21 80m FT8 EM21qo United States Ralph A Hollingshead
WB2REM 2018-01-21 80m FT8 EL97ui United States JAMES I MILLNER
N2OKA 2018-01-21 80m FT8 FN33bf United States CANDICE DUELL
WD4CVK 2018-01-21 80m FT8 EM74XU53 United States JAMES F GORMAN

Book Totals: 9547 qso's   5769 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


c
United States Counties Award#4996
Granted: 2016-10-19 12:24:02   (AB4KJ)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties CW
  • 100 Counties CW
  • 250 Counties CW
  • 500 Counties CW
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Phone
DX World Award#574
Granted: 2015-01-30 03:53:00   (AB4KJ)

Endorsements:
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters CW
  • 40 Meters CW
Grid Squared Award#200
Granted: 2015-01-15 00:41:38   (AB4KJ)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 10 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    160 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
    80 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    160 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • 80 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • Mixed Phone
United States Award#25
Granted: 2015-01-15 00:41:23   (AB4KJ)

Endorsements:
  • 160 Meters CW
  • Mixed CW
  • 160 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • Mixed Digital
World Continents Award#199
Granted: 2015-01-15 00:41:10   (AB4KJ)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 10 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    160 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
    80 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    160 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Phone
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