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Hello! I've been around a while but didn't become a Ham until late 2012. HF phone is currently my main area of interest, but learning CW is a future goal. Earned General class privileges in August 2013.

Changed call in 2013 to K6MTS (K6=California, MTS=Mountains) as I have a lifelong love for the mountains, especially the Sierra Nevada range. As a native Californian, I was drawn to, and used to do a lot of backpacking in the Sierra, but as the years go by I feel fortunate to get out just once or twice a year. We heat our home with a woodstove insert, so I at least get out a bit into the front country to aquire lodgepole and oak. While it would be great to live at a higher elevation, due to our careers/commute my wife and I currently reside on five very nice acres here in the Sierra foothills at approx 1200 feet above sea level, and about 90 kilometers south of Yosemite National Park.

I used to be into 11m SSB back in the mid-late 1980's and really enjoyed it. After about 25 years I unboxed and set up the old gear and was quickly reminded of all the silliness out there. However there are still a few good operators on 11m SSB and I also found some good guys into old tube CB radios every Sat night a 8:00 pm Pacific on 27.085 AM and streamed at http://oldtuberadio.net/.

While most Hams are great operators, to my surprise I have found numerous rude and selfish operators WHO DO NOT LISTEN  before TXing, do not check to see if the DX station is working SPLIT, repeat their call (full or partial) over and over 2 to 5 times in a row, give their call when there is still a QSO going on, etc, creating an environment oddly similar to some of the silly 11m antics. If these yahoos weren't so focused on themselves and practiced some basic ediquette, everyone could make a QSO a lot quicker. It's really not difficult to give your call Once, Shut up, and listen!  What the hell is wrong with you guys? Can't leave out the F bomb droppers, potty mouths, and jammers. Sheesh!

There are those quick to assign blame for this poor behavior on the influx of so-called “No-code CBers", but I have found it almost always originating from Extra and Advanced operators who have been licensed for decades. Sanctimonious Ham-guy and his elder gas-bag brethren may want to check the mirror before casting stones at 11m. 

With that said, this only makes me appreciate the pleasant operators and the good aspects of both Ham and 11m even more. As I heard somewhere, "It's all radio, enjoy it and have fun!" And I would add: "Try not to be a jackass." OK, off the soapbox.

September 2016 I made a major HF upgrade. Sold a lot of equipment (ProIII, IC735, R75, AL811H, KX3, etc.), to help fund the purchase of the Elecraft K-Line (K3s, P3, KPA-500, KAT-500, SP3). I have a lot to learn, but the integrated package is really a pleasure to operate, and it's just beautiful to look at. Made in CA, USA! Run the Elecraft line with a Heil PR 40 mic, into a NA4RR Hexbeam for 6-20m and a 40/75m OCFD. Astron VS-70M power supply. Also have a nice Icom IC740 with SM20 mic. For 2m/440 run a Kenwood TM-V71A, and an old Kenwood TM-721A in the sub-shack (garage).

Got into QRP a couple of years ago beginning with a little X1M Pro, sold it, purchased an Elecraft KX3 and powered it with LiPo batteries. The KX3 is a terrific rig, but when the KX2 came out, it fit my needs (Smaller, lighter) even better. I received the KX2 in July 2016, and its an awesome little rig! Soon after sold the KX3. 

Mobile is an Icom IC-7000 with HF sticks and a dual band Tram, and an Alinco DR 138t (2m Commercial). Have a backup IC-7000, sometimes used in the sub-shack. HT is an Alinco DJ500-TB (Commercial). Also have a bunch of Baofeng HTs: 2 UV-5RA's, 2 UV-82C's (Commercial), UV-82X (2m/220), BF-F8HP, UV-3R+, and 2 UV-3R's,  just...because.

Recently got into 220MHz. Put up a Comet CX 333 tri band antenna on the roof, and run it with an Anytone 50w AT 588. Have a tri band Nagoya antenna in one mobile with HT's. The other mobile has a 5/8 wave 220MHz antenna paired with a Bridgecom BM 220 rig. 

I always enjoy a brief contact or a longer QSO and glad to put another contact pin into the world map as I really have fun on HF. I log HF contacts here on QRZ and as of 7/6/14 upload QRZ log to LOTW.

Even though my schedule allows me minmal club activity, I do support and am a member of  4 local clubs: Fresno Amateur Radio Club, Central Valley Radio Club, Madera County Amateur Radio Club, and the Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers. Also an ARRL member, QRZ subscriber, and GMRS license holder WQVS310.

Thanks for visiting and hope to meet you on the air! 73 

Mark / K6MTS

Below: New Elecraft set up in Sept 2016: Elecraft K3s, P3 Panadapter, KPA-500 Amp, KAT-500 Auto Tuner, and SP3 speaker, Heil PR-40 mic. Kenwood TM-V71 2m/440 Rig, Also have a classic IC740 with SM20 mic.

Below: Hex Beam Good!

Below: Summer 2014 put up NA4RR Hexbeam. 6m-20m, 44 feet above ground (to feed point), no tuner needed, what a great antenna! Took down the HyGain LJ-103BA 3 element 10m yagi. Using Mastrant synthetic guys for Hex mast. But using guy wire and insulators on Max mast due to its proximity to chimney.

Below: NA4RR Hexbeam 6-20m, Max 2000 vertical (about 35' above ground to feed point) for 10-17m. MFJ-2014 40/75m OCFD that runs from one mast to tree on property. Jetstream JTB3 vertical for 2m/440. Diamond D-130J multi band Discone can TX 50-1300MHz and RX 25-1300MHz. Comet CX 333 2m/220/440 vert. MFJ 1754 2m/440 ground plane, homebrew 220 1/4w groundplane, and an Antennacraft ST2 scanner antenna (RX 30-1300MHz) for the sub-shack (garage).

Below: Did some portable work on 2m/220/440 (and 6m w/hamstick) during June 2017 ARRL VHF contest. Fun stuff!

 

Below: Elecraft KX2 arrived July 2016, and soon after sold the KX3. The KX2 is smaller, lighter, and easier for backpacking with a few less features than the KX3. I already love this little rig. Took in on a 7 day QRP backpacking trip in the summer of 2016 and it was awesome!

Pretty funny QRP short video: https://youtu.be/kiuO0ddcJFQ

Below: Images from a backpacking trip a number of years ago, Sierra Nevada High Country (North Palisade 14,248 ft). I really love backpacking in the Sierra Nevada, truly God's country, wish I could do it more often.

Below: Kayak Camping a few years back at Edison Lake with XYL, and Pup #1 (RIP).

Below: Dec 2014 Backcountry Ski trip with XYL, and Pup #2 (RIP). We have 2 new Pups again.

Below: Feb 2016 day-ski trip, calling CQ on 146.520 with new pup #2 

Below: Summer 2014, 5day Sierra trip in the John Muir Wilderness, also made a few 2m FM simplex contacts: High Country suitcase (My old, heavy, Dana Alpine pack) / Lake Italy towards Bear Creek Spire 13,713 ft. 

 

Below: Summer 2015, 5day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip with KX3 in the John  Muir Wilderness, Desolation Lake (11,375 ft elev) looking south towards the Glacier Divide.

Below: Summer 2016, 7day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip with KX2 in the John Muir Wilderness. Looking SW the accross the main Royce Lake (11,725'), with Royce Peak (13,253') on the left and Feather Peak (13,242' elev) on the right.

Below: Summer 2016, 7day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip in the John Muir Wilderness. Operating KX2 w/lighter HT mic, at lower Royce Lake (11,656' elev). (Pine Creek Pass, French Canyon area). 1st trip with ULA Catalyst, great pack!

Below: Summer 2017, 8day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip in the John Muir Wilderness. Camp in Granite Park (11,650' elev), east of Italy Pass.

Below: Summer 2017, 8day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip in the John Muir Wilderness.  Operating from French Lake (11,265' elev). 

Below: Summer 2017, 8day Sierra Backpacking & QRP trip in the John Muir Wilderness. View looking east from Italy Pass (12,410' elev). Four Gables (12,760' elev) is the prominent peak in the background.  

Below: Oak, Lodgepole, and some Cedar, fuel for our winter heat.  

Below: Stove insert, this is our sole heat source (by choice) for the winter.

Below: 8kw Stand by Gen w/Auto Transfer Switch I put in a few years ago. If/when the power goes out it kicks in automatically (tied to main propane supply) so we maintain some critical circuits including well pumps, freezer, internet, SHACK, etc.

 

 

 

8377952 Last modified: 2017-10-09 04:51:50, 12054 bytes

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World Continents Award#9697
Granted: 2015-07-10 05:05:02   (K6MTS)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 17 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 17 Meters Phone
Grid Squared Award#8282
Granted: 2015-07-10 05:00:02   (K6MTS)

Endorsements:
  • Mixed Phone
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