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                             #76815                                                                                 #18413

AE7BT quick facts:

  • Unless we’ve worked before, I always try to QSL (either electronically or via mailed QSL card).
  • I give honest signal reports (except during contests & pile-ups when --I give up-- you're all "59" *ahem!*).  
  • Got the DX bug. 
  • Teaching myself CW, soldering skills, and aspiring to be more than just an "appliance operator" someday.
  • Licensed since April 2013


Going Old School. No Facebook. No Twitter. Just the "Aether-net"

Amateur radio was, for a long time, one of those things I thought interesting but never got around to doing. Other pursuits such as SCUBA diving, sailing, fly-fishing, flying lessons, horses, motorcycles, some other hobby du jour, or just life in general, would capture me instead. Sad, I know. Then, in 2013, I was given a little Baofeng UV-5r as a gift. I turned it on and I was hooked. Wanting to do more than just listen, I studied for and took my Technician's exam. I received my license on April 18, 2013. A month later I passed my General exam, and then my Extra exam two months after that. 

My first HF contacts were at Field Day 2013 on top of Oregon's Kelly Butte in company with the Portland Amateur Radio Club.Within a year of getting licensed I had made contact with 105 different countries, or "entities" as the ARRL so un-poetically puts it. Some of these were confirmed only on Logbook of the World, most were confirmed by QSL cards, and a few were confirmed both ways. 

Getting on the air is my way to "unplug" by going old-school analog. Therefore I, for the most part, banish anything digital from the main ham shack and rely on paper logs, manual VFOs, and glowing tubes to get out on the aether. There is a computer in my upstairs secondary shack, but not in the downstairs retro-shack which I keep digital free. Spotting networks are rarely used. Does this make it harder to make QSOs, much less try to take part in contests? You bet! But some of us LIKE doing it the hard way. Why fish with bait when you can fish with flies that you tie yourself?  Why have a car with fuel injection and everything microchipped when you can have a classic car with a cranky carburetor that you can fix yourself (maybe)? You either "get" this, or you don't. Viva la difference!

Now, I am beginning to combine amateur radio with other interests. For instance, I save the international stamps affixed to the envelopes of incoming QSL cards, and add them to the stamp collection I had started as a child and had long forgotten about. Also, every QSL card I send is filled out using one of the old fountain pens I've collected. Sometimes, if I fear that my handwriting can't be deciphered by some far-off postal clerk, I will use one of the old manual typewriters that are sitting around itching for an excuse to go "clickety-clack" once more. 


Operating Position #1: The Basement Vintage Retro Shack

I enjoy collecting, restoring, and using vintage gear. In an attempt to recapture the Golden Age of amateur radio that I missed out on, this station (with a few exceptions... can you spot them?) has gear that was all made pre-1980.  Talking to Timbuktu with tubes...   Gee whiz, ain't it swell?

Top shelf, left to right: Hammurlund HQ-170, Yaesu FL-2000B amplifier, CDE HAM IV rotator control,  Alpha Delta 4 position switch, Kenwood TS-60s 6 meter transceiver, Yaesu FT-221R 2 meter transceiver, Hallicrafters HA-2 and HA-6 transverters.

Bottom shelf, left to right: Swan 500C transceiver, Realistic DX-302 receiver, Kenwood TS-520SE transceiver, Kenwood HC-10 station clock, Drake TR-4cw transceiver, Uniden President HR-2600 (the exciter for the Hallicrafters transverters). 


Operating Position #2: The Sunny Secondary Shack 

When the weather is mild I will often operate from the above location overlooking the backyard. The "Go Box" can be quickly disconnected and deployed for field portable operations and emergency communications. Behind the "shack in a box" is a Optima 55Ah marine deep cycle battery which will automatically be used if there is a power cut, otherwise mains power is fed through the Furman M-8LX pwer strip (with handy pull-out lights). A generator is kept nearby. The 6U Gator Case contains an ICOM IC-7100 connected to a LDG AT-100 ProII autotuner and an ICOM speaker. There is also a Kenwood TM-D710G for 2 meter/70cm FM hooked up to a Diamond SX-400 SWR/Power meter and a Kenwood speaker. A Signalink USB is available for digital modes. Anderson powerpoles are used throughout, and are fed via a West Mountain Radio PG40s power gate and a RigRunner 4005. The CDE rotator control is hooked up to a HAM IV rotator and a Mosley MP-33 triband yagi.


Operating Position #3: The Great Outdoors

The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of peaks from which you can work the world. 

Sunset as seen from LARCH MOUNTAIN, Oregon.  Elevation 4000 feet.  I often operate field portable from here. 

BALD PEAK in rural Yamhill County, Oregon. Elevation 1,629 feet.  Downward sloping terrain in all directions. At left is my Buddipole. 




Hallicrafters box circa 1960 once held the HA-6 transverter, now holds connectors and other odds and ends. 


     HF Transceivers

#1) ICOM IC-7100

I purchased this small rig to put it in a Gator Case to use for Field Day, ARES Emcomm, DXing while camping, and for other field portable uses. It also gives me the WARC bands, D-Star, and built-in RTTY decoding. I like this versatile little radio and I've pulled in more than a little  DX with it.  

#2) Drake TR-4Cw (with MS-4 speaker/power supply, MN-4 matching network, and an Astatic D-104 microphone for AM or a Shure 450 series II for SSB. 

The Drake TR-4Cw was the last tube tranceiver made by an American company in America. My Drake was made at the factory in Miamisburg, Ohio in 1978 (serial #43070). I now mostly use it for (apropriately enough) CW. 


#3) Kenwood TS-520SE (with VFO-520S, AT-200 antenna tuner, SM-220 station monitor, SP-520 speaker, and MC-50 mic)

My Kenwood TS-520SE was also made in 1978 (it's forever the 1970's here, I just need a Lava Lamp for an antenna analyzer and a Pet Rock for a dummy load). This built-like-a-tank boatanchor is a "hybrid" with solid state innards and 6146 tube finals, which is a great setup, I think. After getting my General license, and getting on HF, I worked the world with this rig and talked to over 100 countries with just its barefoot 100 watts and its surprisingly hot receiver. An excellent beginner's HF rig,  being forgiving and famously rugged, I've done unspeakable things to this radio when first starting out, but it continued on unfazed. 


#4) Swan 500C

The Swan is just about as no-frills and simple as is possible to construct commercially. This makes it very easy to work on oneself --easier to work on than even the Drake-- which is why I have it. Unfortunately, the sweep tubes are very easy to damage if you are careless or don't know what you're doing. Fortunately this has not happened to me yet...


#5) Uniden President HR-2600 10-meter band, all modes (AM.FM,SSB,CW)   



     VHF Transceivers


#1) Yaesu FT-221R     2-meter band, all modes (AM,FM,SSB,CW) hooked to a 125 watt amplifier homebrewed by N7ROD.


#2) Kenwood TM-D710G   2 meter/70cm FM dual band with APRS & GPS


#3) Kenwood TS-60s  6-meter band, 110 watts, all modes (AM,FM,SSB,CW)


#4) Kenwood TM-281A 2-meter FM mobile, 65 watts (in the car)




The Yaesu FL-2000B 600 watt HF amplifier for 10,15,20,40 & 80 Mhz is hooked up to the Kenwood TS-520SE


The Ameritron AL-811 600 watt amplifier is connected to the ICOM IC-7100.




Hallicrafters HA-2 transverter for 2-meters

Hallicrafters HA-6 transverter for 6-meters




Hammarlund HQ-170

Realistic DX-302


  Antennas and Feedlines


#1) Mosley MP-33-N Three Element Tig-Array triband antenna for 10, 15, and 20 meters @40 feet with LMR-400 feedline. Currently down and disassembled. 


#2) Zerofive 33' vertical antenna with 120 ground radials for 40 meters (primary), and also tunes nicely to 30,20,17,15 meters.      Fed with 75 feet of LMR-400 feedline. 


#3) Cushcraft A50-3s 3-element yagi for 6 meters @25 feet AGL with LMR-400 feedline


#4) InnovAntennas 7-element LFA Yagi for 2 meters @40 feet AGL with LMR-400 feedline.


#6) Buddipole deluxe long-version (18 feet high) for field portable use, all bands.






8707778 Last modified: 2018-03-11 16:46:05, 11594 bytes

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United States Counties Award#264
Granted: 2016-07-19 01:25:05   (AE7BT)

  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
DX World Award#3391
Granted: 2016-03-08 04:55:02   (AE7BT)

  • Mixed Phone
United States Award#1238
Granted: 2015-06-05 11:50:02   (AE7BT)

  • Mixed Phone
Grid Squared Award#1790
Granted: 2015-02-02 00:44:12   (AE7BT)

  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
World Continents Award#1971
Granted: 2015-02-02 00:43:56   (AE7BT)

  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
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