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I was first licensed in June 1958 as KN2UMU at age 11. In April 1959 I passed my general and became K2UMU. I upgraded to extra class in 1970, then moved to California in 1973. My call sign was changed to NS6V in 1982, and to K6RB in 1997. I am primarily a CW operator spending about half my time rag chewing, and the other half, contesting with a modest SO2R station and single-tower mix of yagis, rotary dipole and wires. I am a member of CWops, the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC), and FOC.

My current station consists of a modern SO2R set up...

... and a vintage one.

The SO2R station has a pair of K3/P3 combinations, each is teamed with an Alpha 87A amp, and the right-side K3 also can be switched to a KPA-500. The vintage station is a Globe King 500 on bottom (circa 1954) and a Collins 75A-4 (circa 1955). Above the Globe King is a completely redesigned Globe 755 VFO that has a DDS vfo driving its 6CB6 buffer. It is rock stable and allows me to work 10 meter CW with zero drift. To the right of the 75A-4 is an Eico 717 tube-type keyer. I use it and its reed relay to key the cathode keyed Globe King. Operation is PTT and I have 10K resistor on the 75A-4 muting line so during TX the receiver is monitoring the actual signal (not a sidetone). During RX, the 10K resistor is shunted by the T/R relay.

On the SO2R station, contest switching is done with Windows 7 shack computer and DX Doubler. Band changes are as easy as hitting a button on either K3. That will trigger the band decoder to update the band-pass filter and antenna switch using ShackLAN. The Eight-Pak antenna switch will prevent both K3s from connecting to the same antenna. The rotator is a Yaesu 2800 and a Green Heron control box.

There are eight feedlines from the various antennas (see photo). The 5 BA at 75 feet has three feedlines (20, 17/15 and 10/12); the EF230/240 at 82 feet has two feedlines (30 and 40); the A50-S3 for 6 meters at 87 feet has one; the Sigma 180X at 90 feet has one (80) and the Double L wire antenna tethered to the tower has one (160). So, the single-tower installation covers 160, 80, 75, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 and 6meters. All antennas are resonant but the 80 meter rotary dipole has an auto tuner switched in to deal with transitions up the band for RTTY and/or SSB operations. The 80 meter antenna is resonant at 3.525, so the tuner is usually bypassed when operating CW.

Giving Back...

These days in addition to the usual activities, I help hams acquire and/or improve their CW skills. The CW Operators club (CWops) sponsors a three-time-per-year CW training program. I volunteer as an advisor to a group of students each of the three semesters. The program has become very popular. Information is available at www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html .


8267577 Last modified: 2017-08-11 23:20:30, 3216 bytes

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