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QSL: LoTW; Direct; eQSL; QRZ; HRDLog; Bureau

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QSL Info:

I QSL via LoTW or Direct for needed band/countries, and I upload my log frequently to eQSL, QRZ, ClubLog and HRDLog. I prefer to have a confirmation via LoTW, for easy tracking of DXCC and WAS. I will QSL direct if you send a SASE for Domestic postage, or a SAE plus $2 USD for International. If you don't receive a prompt confirmation from LoTW, or if you don't see your QSO in eQSL, please email me, and I will upload the QSO.

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I would like to extend a special thanks to those DX operators who make an effort to call for "CQ West Coast USA" or "CQ W6". The west coast USA, sometimes referred to in amateur radio circles as "The Forgotten Coast", or the "Suffering Sixes", has a big propagation disadvantage to most of the more rare DX locations, compared to the Central US and US East Coast. Calling "CQ NA" doesn't always work well for the West Coast. This consideration is very much appreciated!

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I came into the hobby in 1973, after being an avid SWL for quite some time. I remember listening to all the hams operating on HF SSB and CW, and it really sparked my interest.

I was first licensed as a Novice, WN1PGZ, in 1973, while living in my home state of Connecticut. My first rig was a Heathkit DX-60B TX, which I built myself, and a general purpose Radio Shack RX. The antenna was an 80m dipole, together with a 40m inverted-vee, which I also loaded up on 15m. I had a blast working CW with as many crystals as I could get my hands on. Novices were "rock bound" in those days, so we were limited to only use crystal controlled transmitters. After I got my General class license, I added the Heathkit VFO to my setup.

The Novice license was a 2 year non-renewable "upgrade or lose it" back then. I loved the hobby, and wanted to keep going, so I upgraded to General as WA1RDC around 1974, while I was attending college at the Univ of Connecticut. I was majoring in Electrical Engineering. My ham radio experience was a major factor in my decision to pursue a degree in EE. I maintained the station at home, and added SSB capability. I joined the UConn amateur radio club, and we had a wonderful station setup on the top floor of the highest point on campus, which included a KW amp and a tri-bander yagi! After graduating college in 1978, I went to work and relocated to Enfield, CT. Work and career commitments took precedence, so I was QRT for a number of years. Unfortunately, I also let my license lapse.

I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area of CA in 1980. In 1989, I got the itch to get back into ham radio. I took the General class exam and passed. The examiner asked if I wanted to take the Advanced class exam while I was there, which I did, and to my surprise, I passed! I was then licensed as KK6AK.  I was back on the air, operating mostly CW, from an apartment QTH, with a mobile vertical antenna on the patio. I quickly learned that the call KK6AK was particularly troublesome when operating CW. Too many K's, and the final K was often mistaken for the "invitation to transmit" K! I solved that problem in 1994 by upgrading to Extra, and I received the call AC6BW. My interest at this time was mainly working CW DX, with focus on DXCC and all the endorsements. I did very well pursuing that goal with a modest setup in the apartment. The outstanding conditions of Solar Cycle 22 certainly helped!! I eventually upgraded the antenna to a MFJ-1796 40m-6m half-wave vertical, added an old SB-200 amplifier, and continued my DX pursuits. I ended up working over 200 DXCC countries with this setup.

I was QRT again in 2000, due to family, career and personal commitments. But, this time, I didn't let my license lapse! As of 2014, I'm back on the air, and with a new HF rig and antenna. I'm having a great time and enjoy being back in the hobby! My interests still include DX'ng, but now I have branched out into other modes like SSB, FM, and the HF digital modes. I'm active now on local VHF/UHF FM repeaters, and on EchoLink. I recently became active on the HF digital modes of PSK31, JT65/9 and RTTY, and I am having lots of fun with those modes. I think that PSK31 and JT65/9, especially, will prove to be very valuable modes if the next couple of solar cycles turn out to be as feeble as predicted. I'm also having a lot of fun on the new FT8 didgital mode. I recently picked up WAS on FT8.

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My current equipment:

Yaesu FT-450D HF + 6m Transceiver

Yaesu MD-100 Desktop Microphone

N6BT Q52 2-element Relay Switched Yagi at 35 ft; Covers 20,17,15,12,10m bands.

Yaesu G-450A Rotator; Hy-Gain YRC-1 automatic controller, controlled by HRD

MFJ-1796 40m-6m Vertical Dipole, base at 25 ft

Ameritron AL-811H Amplifier: 600W CW, 800W PEP

West Mountain Radio RigBlaster Advantage USB interface, for HF digital modes

West Mountain Radio CLRdsp Noise Reducing DSP (works amazingly well at reducing QRN!)

MFJ-1026 Noise Canceling Unit

MFJ-422B Bencher Paddle/Curtis Keyer Combo

MFJ-949D 300W Tuner

MFJ-962C 1.5KW Tuner

MFJ-931 Artificial Ground

Radiosport RS20S Headset (great headphones!)

Ham Radio Deluxe for Logging, Rig control, and Digital Modes

PstRotatorAz for Rotator control and antenna band switching.

JT65-HF HB9HQX Edition, for JT-65 digital mode.

Alinco DJ-500T HT 2m, 70 cm

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Awards:

DXCC Mixed # 60,025 [293 Worked/ 291 Confirmed]

DXCC CW # 6,619 [283 Worked/ 279 Confirmed]

DXCC Phone # 43,463 [184 Worked/ 177 Confirmed]

DXCC Digital # 4,663 [155 Worked/ 151 Confirmed]

DXCC 40m # 1,759 [150 Endorsement]

DXCC 20m [250 Endorsement]

DXCC 17m [150 Endorsement]

DXCC 15m [150 Endorsement]

DXCC 10m # 35,395

WAS Mixed & CW # 48,500 [20m Endorsement]

WAS Digital [JT-65; FT8; 20m Endorsements]

WAC CW; Phone; Digital

CQ WPX Mixed # 3,057; [Endorsements: 600; Honor Roll; North America]

CQ WPX CW # 3,735

IOTA 100 Mixed # 3,971

CQ WAZ CW # 837

CQ WAZ Mixed # 9382

I am proud to point out that all of the above DXCC credits and awards were achieved from my home stations, all located within Santa Clara County, CA. No unethical practices (i.e., cheating) were involved, such as claiming DXCC credit from a West Coast QTH, when working Mt Athos using an internet connected remote station located 3000 miles away on the East Coast. I'm not trying to get political, but this remote ops and DXCC credit is an issue that I feel very strongly about, and is a matter of personal integrity and pride for me. In my opinion, it is cheating to claim DXCC credit for any QSO where a remote station is distant enough from the control location such as to provide a propagation advantage. And I'm disappointed that the ARRL took such a lame-ass stance on the issue. And, as for the technological advancements that have made remote operations possible: Just because it "can" be done, doesn't mean that it "should" be done. Your opinion may be different, and I totally respect that.

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Memberships:

Northern California DX Foundation

Quarter Century Wireless Association

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Below is a picture of my MFJ-1796 40m-6m vertical dipole antenna. It is a center fed half-wavelength, end loaded vertical dipole. The end loading consists of coils and capacitance hats. It can handle up to 1250W CW on 20m-10m, and 700W CW on 40m. The base of the antenna is at about 25 feet above ground, on a telescoping mast which is bolted to the eave of the house. The antenna is about 12 feet tall. It is a modest antenna, but has worked amazingly well for me for many years, and has allowed me to work DXCC more than twice over. I have developed a special affinity for this antenna over the years, and it still amazes me how well it can work on 40m.

 

The N6BT Q52 2 element Yagi, mounted on a 35' push up mast. It covers 20m-10m, including the WARC bands. And, the WARC bands are not dipoles, they use the reflector. The antenna uses relay switched hairpin matching coils, controlled by a switch box in the shack. The reflector can be open circuited, allowing the antenna to be operated as a rotatable dipole. The Q52 has an 8 ft boom, and weighs only 15 lbs. It handles 700W CW, 1000W PEP, but I usually back off the drive, for 500W output. This yagi offers a huge improvement in performance compared to my vertical, and has definitely helped increase my DXCC totals! It's a great solution where restricted space won't allow for a large yagi.

 

My current station setup. The small size of the FT-450D fits nicely into the limited space that I have.

 

MFJ-422B Curtis keyer & Bencher paddle combo, from the late 80's, and it still works great! MFJ-962C 1.5KW Tuner, and Ameritron AL-811H amp. This tuner is also from the late 80's, and is built like a tank!

 

The more wallpaper, the better!

 

My mobile setup on the 2011 Camaro! Just a simple 1/4 wave 2m/70cm magnetic mount antenna, but it works pretty well for hitting the repeaters, and some simplex work on 146.520 MHz.

 

My "Other" hobby is motorcycling.

I ride my 2002 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce FXSTDI as often as I can in the beautiful hills around the South Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. I try to get out for longer trips when I have the time.

Thanks for visiting. 73, and see you on the bands!

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I support the DX Code Of Conduct, which are some very good rules for the DXer to live by, and can make DX'ng more enjoyable for everyone. I think we could all benefit from reviewing these from time to time. More information can be found by clicking on the image below.

DX Code Of Conduct

(various languages inside)
  • I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
  • I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.
  • I will not trust the DX cluster and will be sure of the DX station's call sign before calling.
  • I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
  • I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.
  • I will always send my full call sign.
  • I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX station requests geographic areas other than mine.
  • When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
  • I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.
  • I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect. 

 

8469575 Last modified: 2017-11-23 03:12:52, 18664 bytes

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United States Award#2742
Granted: 2016-12-31 05:16:02   (AC6BW)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Digital
  • 20 Meters Mixed
United States Counties Award#334
Granted: 2016-07-19 02:50:03   (AC6BW)

Endorsements:
  • 100 Counties CW
  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
DX World Award#1346
Granted: 2015-03-09 13:05:02   (AC6BW)

Endorsements:
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 17 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters CW
  • Mixed CW
  • Mixed Digital
  • Mixed Phone
Grid Squared Award#1537
Granted: 2015-01-27 19:29:00   (AC6BW)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters CW
  • 20 Meters CW
  • 40 Meters CW
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Phone
World Continents Award#1012
Granted: 2015-01-20 01:09:13   (AC6BW)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 10 Meters CW
    12 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    17 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    12 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • Mixed Phone
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