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K2GAV USA flag USA

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QSL: DIRECT [see biography for details, LOTW, BUREAU, eQSL

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XML Subscriber Lookups: 123948


Note on QSL response: I will respond directly to USA QSL sent directly, I request an SAE (no SASE).
However, any international direct QSL will require one green stamp (US$1) and an SAE, or I will respond via the Bureau.
 
 
Below is my newly reconfigured ham shack, located in a workshop behind my house
 
The ten foot long main desk was originally facing the wall with the map and window. I had been dissatified with the mess of cabling behind it.  Also, accessing the rear of the equipment was almost impossible.  Now everything is easily accessed by flipping up the curtain wall.  The rack for the curtain was fabricated from 3/4" schedule 40 PVC pipe, and the curtain is held up by a 1/2" piece of EMT conduit.  Wiring is laid into either the lower AC power/grounding tray, or the upper signal/control/DC wire basket tray.  Not a single cable is laying on the floor now.  When I have a wiring or rewiring task I roll over a small office chair and sit comfortably behind the equipment while I work.  I chose to simply lay the cables in the trays rather than cable tie them neatly to the basket tray to facilitate future changes and to reduce crosstalk.  By the way, there are a considerable number of cables needed due to having a PC in the shack.  I have about a dozen USB devices in the shack!  The old TS-940S is even wired for AFSK, APSK and JT-9/65!

I've been enjoying my Kenwood TS-990S since March, 2013.  The TS-990S now has logged over 22,000 QSOs. The adjacent TS-940S has made over 4,600 contacts since returning to the air in November 2011.  It was my Dad's rig and now it's my standby rig.  The KX3 in the distance was purchased new in September 2012 and I also have an Icom 7000, now installed in my pickup truck.  Closeups of the equipment can be seen further below.

 

The four photos above respectively show: The back side of the curtain divider with the roll around tool chests in their normal place.  They are rolled away and the curtain is flipped up to access the rear of the equipment, as shown in the second photo.  The third photo shows the inital wiring of AC power and grounding.  The fourth photo shows the #10 AWG THHN ground wires terminating at the station ground copper bar.  A ten foot copper clad ground rod is just outside the wall and bonded to the bar.

 


My Tower and Antenna Project - May, 2015

This is a 3 element SteppIR with the 30m/40m trombone and 6m passive fourth element options.  Here, it's at 60 feet on a US Tower MA-770MDP tower that goes to 71 feet.
 The rotator is a Yaesu G-800DXA.  While the rotating portion of the tower weighs over 900 pounds, its rotational momentum is small due to the small diameter, so the G-800 has no trouble rotating the tower and antenna.   Before the antenna was installed I could rotate the tower by pressing my index finger against the mast and pushing tangentially!  Other antenna options include the trombone truss kit, junction box and high wind kit.  Antenna height at full tower extension is 1,042 feet ASL.  The third picture shows the tower in its service position, cranked down to 25 feet and tilted over.  Note the 2 ton automotive safety stand (just to the left of the step ladder) that I use for additional support while working on the antenna.

                 

 

These four photos illustrate the work put into proper cabling and grounding.  A twelve foot long rough cut cedar post from a local sawmill was used to support the lightning protection and remote coax switch.  The post was coated with Australian Timber Oil (several coats) and then wrapped with 6 mil plastic sheeting.  A backhoe was used to dig the trench and deeper hole for the post.  The soil here is a gravely hardpan mix that's difficult to dig by hand.  I used L-Com coax lightning arrestors in a weatherproof box, mounted to a solid copper ground bar.  There is an 8 foot long ground rod driven into the ground and a piece of AWG 6 solid copper wire connects it to the ground bar.  The DX Engineering switch is an 8x1 controlled from the shack.  A 2" PVC electrical conduit was run.  Note the slip joint (thanks to K1YXP for the donation) used at the connection to the shack.  This compensates for frost heaving.  There is another ground rod driven into the soil just outside the shack and this is connected with a piece of AWG 6 bare copper to a ground bar inside the shack for grounding the equipment.  Finally, note the four ground wires on the tower base where four 8 foot ground rods are protecting the tower itself.  One of the last tasks was to pack Type S grout under the tower base.  As of September 28, the job is totally completed.

 

And now with 11 elements on 2 meters and 15 elements on 440!

 

 


 

Below is my home in the Autumn of 2015 - You can see the new SteppIR on the 71' tower behind the house.  See some older photos, below.

 

 


 

Below is my workshop, located to the north of my house.

The winter photo was taken in 2008, a few years before I returned to the hobby in 2011.  The summer photo was from 2013 after I had installed several vertical antennas and inverted Vees.  Many of the trees behind the shop were removed to make room for the new tower and SteppIR antenna.  
 
 
The location of the shack is here in my
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
As a young boy in the 1950's, I spent time with my Dad at field days and sitting on his lap as he called CQ DX with his call sign K2GAV, which he received in 1953. So, in 2017 we celebrate the 64th anniversary of having K2GAV in our family. Dad enjoyed operating 2 meter AM back in those days. Here are some photos of my Dad, the original K2GAV,one on Field Day 1958 and another (c. 1950) working on a customer's radio and TV in his shop at Capitol Radio & TV Service.
 
Field Day 1958 in Albany, New York, USACapitol Radio & TV Service shop in the early 1950's.
 
When I was a sophomore in high school in 1967 I studied for my novice license and earned the call sign WN2EHZ for myself. I built a home brew, crystal controlled transmitter for CW on the novice bands. My first receiver was a Hallicrafters S20R. I later upgraded to a Hallicrafters SX-71. I also used my Dad's Heathkit DX-35 as a transmitter. I earned my General class license about a year later and became WB2EHZ. I finished high school and entered college with this call sign. Of course, the hobby suffered as my attention was drawn to other things in college. I earned my Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1975, met my wife to be, and we got married in 1977.  She's put up with me since then! She tolerates this hobby and I tolerate her quilting.  My first full-time job was with a television broadcast equipment manufacturer in California.  We moved there in 1977. My call changed to WD6CWY due to that relocation, back in the days that you had to do that. I was unable to setup a ham shack in our apartment, so I used the rig of a work colleague and had QSO's with my Dad from California.

Here's a picture of my Dad's TS-940s as it is today. I've added a MC-60A mike and a SP-940 speaker. Today I use a Yamaha CM-500 Headset/Mic with the 940.

We were transferred to Long Island, NY in 1979 and I became KC2IP. I got back into ham radio with our first home there, and I used my Dad's converted CB radio on 10m and made several contacts in Europe with that little 5 watt rig. I also purchased a Trio (Kenwood) TS-820s from a work colleague, which he purchased new in Japan while on a business trip. I used that rig for many years. Two and a half years later we were transferred again to Connecticut, and I became KB1BR. We've been in the same home in Connecticut for over 35 years now. I had QSO'd with my Dad from here on both HF and on 2m back in the 1980's. My older daughter used to sit on my lap as her Dad and Grandad would talk on the radio. So, the legend continues. My older daughter is now an electrical engineer like her Dad, and she works for Northrop-Grumman in Maryland keeping our troops safe. She works on projects involving programmable antenna arrays!  Her younger sister is a successful graphic designer living now in North Carolina.

Thanksgiving holiday in 2011 is when I returned to the hobby after a 20 year hiatus. My younger daughter was listening as I checked out the newly installed 40m dipole and she convinced me to contact a CW operator (my microphone was dead). I was shocked that I could still copy and send Morse code! My younger daughter has a BFA in Graphic Design, and she designed my QSL card, shown at the top of this page.  She now lives in North Carolina working as a Graphic Designer for a national firm.

Here's the linear my Dad built. I installed a new 3-500ZG because the 25 year-old original tube in it was gassy. I also did some rewiring and cleanup, replaced the band switch, added the labels for 17 and 10m and the maximum ratings label. I found that the tank coil was not installed correctly, causing it to work poorly on 40/80/160m. A stretch and remounting of the coil and replacement of the buss bars to the band switch with longer ones fixed that problem! New white LED illumination of the meters and a soft start mod completed the restoration.  Shown here, is a modification I designed to add a tricolor LED for the Transmit light.  It now indicates the state of the OPR/STBY switch when not transmitting.  It's  GREEN  in standby,  BLUE  when armed by the OPR switch, and  RED  when amplifying.

Fully restored SB-1000, makes a full KW on all bands, including 17m!

My Dad passed away in 1992 and I took advantage of the then new option from the FCC to obtain a close relative's call sign. I've been K2GAV ever since, now about 25 years. However, when my Dad went silent, pretty much so did I on ham radio. When he passed away, my Mom told me to take all of his old ham equipment, including taking down the 40 foot tower and antennas. It had all pretty much sat in storage here for 20 years.

I have been on 2m a little bit over the years, but it was a current work colleague (W1GHP) who got me reinterested in ham radio as he was doing the same himself. I sold my TS-820s to George and worked on restoring my Dad's TS-940s for myself. Next it was time to upgrade the Advanced class license I've held for decades and earn an Extra Class license, as George had recently done himself. I studied and passed the exam on December 17, 2011, so I'm an Amateur Extra Class licensee now! I also was granted certification as a Volunteer Examiner by the ARRL in January, 2012.

I was the first, and now a past president of the Worldwide Amateur Radio Club at ESPN, Inc., where I worked for nearly 24 years. I am now retired, but still a club member.  Check out our site here on QRZ.com. Our call is WE1SPN. Also, see our website at http://we1spn.org  Mike, WJ1X, is now our president.

And, here is my very first new HF rig ever, the unique Elecraft KX3, which I received in early September 2012.  When in the shack, or sometimes even in the field I use the pictured Cambridge Soundworks Oontz Angle speaker with the KX3.  This speaker is marketed as a bluetooth speaker/mic, battery operated, with a long battery life.  It also has a line input, which I use with a short, 3.5mm stereo cord.  Besides sounding great and being able to get really loud, it has a nice feature to turn off automatically after 15 minutes if the audio input is quiet, further extending battery life.  It charges from the micro USB input, so you can charge it up virtually anywhere, even in my mobile using a cigar lighter to USB charger.  Oh, and it costs only about $28!  Finally, the styling coordinates with the KX3 nicely!

 

 

 

Here are some photos of me at ESPN.  I worked there from 1991 and I retired in 2015 after 24 years.
I'm using the KX3 and the Buddipole portable antenna system.
I'm atop the ESPN Cafeteria, where there is a rooftop patio.
It was a beautiful late summer day in September, 2012.

 

 

Here is my mobile setup, an Icom 7000 in a 2013 Ford F-150. I fabricated the teak wood block to fit into a recess in the console made for an iPhone.

 

My other passion, my two 1976 Mercury Capri II classic cars

8263393 Last modified: 2017-08-09 15:43:52, 25598 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - K2GAV
Latest Contacts for K2GAV at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
AA1XP 2017-11-16 80m LSB FN31kw United States Mark Buslewicz
KJ3P 2017-11-16 80m LSB FN20gg United States JAMES R PERRY
WA3MIX 2017-11-16 80m LSB FN11lg United States LOUIS J KOLB
AA3M 2017-11-16 80m LSB FN10qw United States JOHN A MATTESINI, JR
N8JIW 2017-11-14 40m LSB EN91fl United States DONALD E HOWARD
VY2WW 2017-11-14 40m LSB EM97vi Canada John MITCHELL
KC3IVN 2017-11-14 40m LSB FM19mt United States JOHN A ANDREWS
KD8PZK 2017-11-14 80m LSB EN73dd United States William C Hayes
W4FUN 2017-11-14 80m LSB EL96vc United States DENNIS A TALLYN
K2IV 2017-11-14 80m LSB FN13ua United States KEVIN M WALSH
VE3PCP 2017-11-14 80m LSB EN94fg Canada Rob Noakes
K1YXP 2017-11-13 80m LSB FN32su United States Matthew W Kowalski
NP2GG 2017-11-13 80m LSB EM19fa United States Douglas A Gerard
N1PYX 2017-11-13 80m LSB FN31qp United States James J De Bacco
KB1AL 2017-11-13 80m LSB FN31jk United States Albert E Urkawich

Book Totals: 28451 qso's   7254 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


c
United States Counties Award#4437
Granted: 2016-09-03 13:58:02   (K2GAV)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
United States Award#1698
Granted: 2015-12-30 18:35:02   (K2GAV)

DX World Award#2939
Granted: 2015-12-01 18:55:01   (K2GAV)

Endorsements:
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • 40 Meters Phone
Grid Squared Award#914
Granted: 2015-01-19 20:06:44   (K2GAV)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Phone
World Continents Award#982
Granted: 2015-01-19 19:59:39   (K2GAV)

Endorsements:
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Digital
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