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Here are the last 10 stations worked on HF with low power (100W or less)

K1HTV - Rich Zwirko - Continuously active since 1958 running 100 Watts or less on the HF bands with all DXCC entities confirmed except No. Korea.  Over 200 DXCC countries has been worked on 9 bands between 160 and 10 meters and over 300 countries confirmed on all 7 bands between 40 and 10 meters.

1958 At age 16, passed Novice exam, received callsign KN1HTV. Began chasing DX as a novice with 50W from a Heathkit DX20 and a dipole in New Haven, CT. Heard the first Russian Sputnik satellite on 20 MHz and got the satellite bug!

1958 - KN1HTV bedroom shack




















Replaced the ARC5 and Ocean Hopper regenerative receivers with a Hammarlund HQ110. Added a VFO to the DX20 transmitter and I was on my way to becoming a serious DXer. With my new General Class license I could operate phone on HF for the first time. A crystal microphone fed the audio section of a broadcast receiver which was used to screen modulate my DX20. I was lucky to get 10 Watts output to feed the 8 ft vertical that my dad had installed on the roof. Back then we had lots of sunspots and great propagation on 10 Meters. I managed to work all continents but Asia on 10 Meter AM with that setup. It sure was fun back then. Here is what the 1959 shack looked like.

1959 K1HTV shack






















1960- Passed FCC 1st Class Radio telephone license exam.

1960 - At age 18, started 48 year career in broadcasting at WELI (5 kw) in New Haven, CT as a broadcast engineer.

1961 - Passed Amateur Extra license exam while at the New England ARRL convention at Swampscott,MA.

1963 - Married (and still married to) Phyllis, KN1WSN (now K1WSN).

1963 - Started working at 50 KW station WTIC-AM-FM-TV3 in Hartford as broadcast Engineer, working at 'TIC until 1980.

1964 - Son Andy born (ex-WB1ALW, ex-KA1GD, now K1RA, married to KZ1AMY and father of Anna, K1AEZ)

1964 - Nominated as A-1 Operator

1965 - Daughter Christina born (ex-N3JMR, now KR1SSZ).

1965 - Purchased first house in Thompsonville, CT. Worked 36 states on 144 MHz, many of them via meteor scatter.

1960's & '70's - Was a member of CWA (Connecticut Wireless Association). It was great associating with the likes of many old timers like W1BDI, W1TX, W1BIH, W1FTX, W1NJM, W1EOB (N4XR), W1JYH (W1AX) as well as newbies (at the time) like W1BGD (W1RM), W1DGL (W1XX), W1ECH and W1WEF. Have lots of memories participating in the ARRL Field Day events with the CWA gang and guest ops K1ANV (W3ZZ), W1FJJ (W1FJ) and W1NJL (K1VR).

1972 - Moved to Meriden, CT. Tried 2 Meter moonbounce (EME) with an 80 el. collinear antenna and 500 Watts. Ran skeds with K6MYC, VK3ATN & Sam Harris (W1FZJ/KP4). Signals were heard both ways, but never completed any 2-way EME contacts with them. A few years later, I worked WA6LET on 144 MHz via the moon using a single yagi. In the 70's was a control operator for AMSAT-OSCAR-5 satellite at the Talcott Mountain Science Center in Avon, CT. Worked 36 states (again) on 144 MHz from the new Meriden QTH.

1974-1984 - AMSAT Vice President of Operations and member of the AMSAT board of directors.

1980 - Moved from Connecticut to Maryland to work at the Voice of America in Washington,DC, retiring in 2008.

1982 - Involved in Beta test of the TAPR Packet Radio TNC. With W3IWI (now K3IO), made one of the first Packet radio repeater contacts with other Packet Radio pioneers in the Washington, DC area.. In 1985, was instrumental in persuading the west coast inventors of NETROM packet node software to allow for it's installation in the first East Coast node (UMD) at the University of MD, with a KU-band wormhole Packet Radio link to California. In the 1980's was sysop for numerous NETROM packet nodes in the Mid-Atlantic states. Created and distributed maps of the radio packet node network links throughout the USA. Started chasing HF DX seriously again in the 1990's, always with 100W or less.

1994 - Joined the PVRC (Potomac Valley Radio Club) and have won multiple Atlantic Division and Maryland/DC section awards running low power in the annual ARRL Sweepstakes as well as section awards in a number of other ARRL & CQ 160 Meter contests. I've been in the 6 Meter chair at multi-op K8GP June and Sept. VHF contests since '94. For almost 20 years, operated at the 160M position at multi-multi superstation W3LPL in ARRL & CQ DX contests.

2008 - In December, I retired from the Voice of America as senior VOA Technical Support Telecommunications Manager. Wife Phyllis (K1WSN) and I moved from our old Glenn Dale, MD QTH to our new home in Amissville, VA to be closer to son Andy (K1RA) his wife Amy (KZ1AMY) and granddaughter Anna, (K1AEZ).

2009 - Received a fully loaded Elecraft K3 tranceiver from XYL Phyllis (K1WSN). I'm really enjoying retirement with this great radio.

2017 - After 8+ years at the new VA QTH I have worked over 320 DXCC countries, all with 100 Watts or less, the first 265 of them with only wire antennas. I'm now using a small 3 elment triband yagi at 77 ft for 10, 15 & 20 Meters.

K1HTV Ham Radio Firsts

1st USA to FP8 (St. Pierre I.) on 144 MHz - July 6,1971


1st USA to YU (Yugoslavia) via satellite via AMSAT-OSCAR 6

2nd ever satellite QSO between U.S.A and Africa (CN8). W1NU was first by a few minutes.

1st New England station to earn Satellite WAS (Worked all States) award

1st New England station to earn Satellite WAC (Worked all Continents) award. Used transponders in the low earth orbiting AMSAT-OSCARs 6 & 7 and the Russian 'RS satellites to do so.

1st U.S.A. to VP9 (Bermuda) on 144 MHz - Sept. 1976, W1NU/VP9 via tropo.


1st 144 MHz Packet Radio meteor scatter QSO - August 1984 with W0RPK.

1st U.S.A. to ZC4 (Cyprus) on 50 MHz - Nov 26, 1989.

1st U.S.A. to EA9 (Ceuta) on 50 MHz - July 18, 1993


K1HTV DXCC  (DX Century Club Award) - All HF QSOs made running low power (100 Watts)

Confirmed 338 of the 339 current DXCC entities (Still need North Korea)

10 Band DXCC - Have confirmed contacts with more than 100 countries on all bands from 160 Meters through 6 Meters

Worked/Confirmed  - Running 100 Watts or less (includes deleted entities)

Mixed DXCC - 362/362  

SSB - 355/355

CW - 349/349

Digital - 318/313  (Running 80 Watts on RTTY and 50-75W on PSK31, JT65 and now FT8)

160M = 232/231

80M = 277/276

40M = 318/316

30M = 308/308

20M = 359/359

17M = 334/328

15M = 347/347

12M = 320/319

10M = 340/338

6M = 157/157 (first 154 worked with 200 Watts or less. Now running a solid state KW & 7el LFA yagi on 50 MHz.

Running low power on HF, have confirmed 362 DXCC entities (includes deleted), the latest one was ST0R in South Sudan on CW, SSB & RTTY. The only DXCC entity not yet worked is P5 (No. Korea). The closest I got to working North Korea was a contact made with P5RS7. The QSO was made while running only QRP 5 Watts on 15M SSB. It turned out to be a bogus operation by Romeo Stepanenko 3W3RR, operating outside the No. Korean border. Around 4 years after receiving the QSL card for my contact with P5RS7, the ARRL disqualified Romeo from the DXCC program under the ethics clause. QSL cards for his supposed operation from North Korea were never approved.

160 Meters - (100 Watts) - Presently using a 75 ft shunt fed, house bracketed tower or Inverted-L antennas.

232 countries & 33 CQ Zones.

Some of the latest 160M DXCC countries worked include :

#221=ZL8X (Kermadec Island), #222=VP8ORK (So. Orkney), #223=HK0NA(Malpelo CW&SSB), #224=A45XR, #225=K5P (Palmyra Island), #226=VP8STI (So. Sandwich Island),  #227=VP8STG (So. Georgia Island),  #228=E51Q (So. Cook Isl.), #229=7Z1SJ (Saudi Arabia),  #230=TU7C (Ivory Coast),  #231=E51WL (N. Cook I.).  160M country #232=3C0L (Annobon Island.) 

Confirming 30 of the 40 worldwide zones are required for the 160 Meter WAZ award. I received 160 Meter WAZ award # 356 for working 32 of the 40 CQ zones. Guam was K1HTV zone #33 on the Topband with 100 Watts.

K1JTV 160 Meter WAZ Award

















160 Meters - QRP (5 Watts or less)

86 countries on all 6 continents have been worked on 160M while runing QRP.

Here are pictures of QSL cards confirming K1HTV 160 Meter QRP contacts with all 6 continents.

North America (Alaska)

NA - KL7Y (QSL front)

















South America (Shetland Islands)

HF0POL (QSL front)













Europe (Russia)

RW6BQ (QSL front)













Africa (Namibia)

Asia (Israel)

Oceania (Australia)

VK6HD (QSL front)

















5 Watt QRP DX country #84 was TX3D operating from the Austral Islands and #85 was PJ2/K8ND on Curacao, #86 was PJ4C on Bonaire . My best 160M QRP DX to the south (and first ever QRP DX QSO) was with HF0POL on the South Shetland islands in the Antarctic. Best to the west was VK6HD in western Australia (worked twice). Best QRP DX to east was 4X4NJ in Israel, twice with 5 Watts and once with 1 Watt and V5/ZS6YG in Namibia, worked with 5 Watts.

IOTA (Islands on the Air)

1034 IOTAs worked, 1026 islands confirmed.

Here are QSLs for the K1HTV 6 Meter WAC (Worked All Continents) Award:

No. America


















So. America







































































6 Meters

157 countries worked and confirmed on 50 MHz. The latest DXCC entities worked on 6M are FK8CP (New Caledonia), TK5MH (Corsica) and SV9CVY (Crete).

6 Meter WAS (Worked All States) Award #1003, received in 1992 from my old FM18ox Maryland QTH. Still need KH6 & KL from the Amissville, Virginia retirement QTH in FM18ap.

Received 50 MHz WAZ award #99 with 29 CQ zones confirmed (25 needed for 6M WAZ).
















50 MHz VUCC Award

Received 50 MHz VUCC Award #1734 from the ARRL. My 6 Meter total now stands at over 950 grids worked, 931 confirmed.

On 6 Meters I now use the Elecraft K3 transceiver to drive a solid state KW amplifier. The 6M antenna has been upgraded to a 7 element LFA yagi on a 32 foot boom at a height of 77 feet. The old temporary six element yagi which had been on the back porch at 20 feet for 3 years has been removed and will eventually be put on the tower fixed on Europe for E-skip season.

My latest venture in Ham Radio has been with the weak signal digital mode software developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation".  Joe applied his knowledge to create software used to detect the very weak pulsar emissions. Now with others on his team, WSJT-X software has been created, improved, and is now being used by thousands of Hams around the world to propagate and detect radio signals via the ionosphere as well as via EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) without the need for high power and huge antennas. WSJT-X includes a number of digital modes including FT8, JT4, JT9, JT65, QRA64, ISCAT, MSK144 and WSPR.

Since the FT8 digital mode became available in mid 2017,  running between 50 and 75 Watts, 200DXCC  entities have been worked with 178 confirmed.

I'm still having lots of fun in HamRadio after more than 59 years of operating.

73, Rich - K1HTV

Free counters!

8612702 Last modified: 2018-01-29 03:39:55, 21090 bytes

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