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If you received an eQSL card/notification from "AI6LY/7", saw grid DM09ag noted on a digital TX, or heard me operating "portable 7" or "/W7", I was operating in region 7 (Incline Village, Lake Tahoe Nevada). Please see www.qrz.com/db/AI6LY/7.


From May 23 - 28, 2016 I operated as E51XYZ from Rarotonga, South Cook Islands. In between touring the island and relaxing, I had the good fortune to meet up with several hams, make over 190 QSOs, work 17 countries (19 if you count Alaska and Hawaii separately) on 5 bands on digital and on SSB phone. Photos and commentary at www.qrz.com/db/E51XYZ.


I was fascinated by tin cans on a string at age 4 or 5 and followed a trajectory familiar to may hams.  There were crystal radios connected to a long wire on the roof.  A CB radio at age 11 with my brother (now N6REK), experiencing skip in the mid 60's.  Learning and promptly forgetting CW at age 16.  Then college, family and career (related to optical propagation instead of RF!) occupied me for a long time. I was initially licensed as KK6PLG when I finally picked up radio again in 2014, and I didn't waste much time getting to Extra class.

I work SSB Phone, some digital (mostly JT-65 or FT-8) and occasionally 2M/440, especially FM satellites.  Home QTH equipment includes HF and dual band transceivers, 1kW HF amp, EX-14 tri-band yagi at 40 feet, a 2 element yagi for 40M at 50 feet, a home-brew inverted-V trap dipole for 17 and 80M and a trapped half-sloper for 160M hanging from the tower. Many thanks to K6GHA and KJ6OOV for helping to raise the 40M antenna.

In addition, there are a UHF/VHF vertical and a magnetic loop receiving antenna on the roof. For satellite work, I use my HT and a KLM 435-18C yagi that I converted to dual band, with 6 elements on 2m and 9 elements on 70cm, on a MacGuyvered polar mount.

Mobile equipment includes dual band HT, and 100W HF rig using a home-brew mag mounted vertical that covers 80-10M for stationary portable ops only. Sometimes I stick the ALS-500 in the car...

My tower and EX-14 tribander was a restoration project, completed after a year's effort in engineering (thanks to K6OK), lawyering (thanks AE6Y), permitting, planning, and sweating. Photos below are: the proverbial smoking hole in the ground (aka, moneypit); one stick of Rohn HW (Rohn "35") plumb atop a nicely welded hinged base plate from Norm's Fab (W8TTH); yours truly, amateur steel monkey; and the finished product. My son and I succeeded in pushing up 30 feet of tower on the hinge, and then hoisted the last section and the antenna using a gin pole (thanks AF6BO).

For several years I used a 70m end-fed random wire around the property.   The wire antenna was a skewed U-shaped layout up 30 feet with an RF choke at the feedpoint along with a 9:1 unun and 1/4 wave counterpoises cut for each band.  The map below shows contacts made on that antenna in the 4 months after I got my Extra class license. (And we thought propagation was poor at the end of 2015?)

The mercator projection is interesting, but I find the Google Earth rendition more illuminating...

Work has taken me through various tech startups and corporate M&A (including a 2013 stint at a millimeter-wave radio company which stimulated some dormant neurons). If you are really interested, see my LinkedIn profile here.

Until just recently, for fun when not on the radio I played keyboards in silicon valley's most entertaining blues band, Legally Blue (www.facebook.com/legallyblueband).

My vintage Hammond organ and Leslie cabinet are the music biz equivalent of ham radio boat anchors...they are really heavy, lots of parts glow, they have point-to-point wiring, and when you aren't playing them, you can tinker with them.

The flip side of the shack doubles as the music room when there's no RF flying about...

The shop is separate from the shack.

Below, same model as my first two-way radio. Can you believe I put one in the family car too? And I have fond memories of being shocked by the hot chassis of my Edu-Kit radios...


Local wildlife enjoys ham radio too.



8510763 Last modified: 2017-12-13 17:00:30, 6276 bytes

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United States Counties Award#269
Granted: 2016-07-19 01:30:04   (AI6LY)

  • 100 Counties Mixed
World Continents Award#12435
Granted: 2016-04-01 14:09:42   (AI6LY)

  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
Grid Squared Award#11129
Granted: 2016-04-01 14:09:40   (KK6PLG)

  • 40 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Mixed
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