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I retired in August 2013 and have moved to Skokie, IL (just north of Chicago). This is where the XYL's family lives and I knew she'd never go for moving back to Arizona or the Southwest...being the good husband I am I followed the food chain. We got a great deal on the house. My interest in radio has been waning for years. It's now May 2015. I now have the 20 meter delta loop and a 40 meter dipole on a 32' mast strapped to the chimney on the roof. It works very well. I always believed mono-band dipoles work much better than the multi-band ones. I'm using just the TS-590s barefoot, as I sold the FT5000D. The bedroom just isn't big enough for a complete station.  I thought the large power lines at both ends of the house would be a problem but there's nothing from them except on 40 meters. Have worked some good DX during the contests even on 40 meters. 73 for now, Don K7CS


First licensed in June1961 as KN5KVK (Texas) and upgraded from conditional to Extra Class in 1976 when was assigned W7LLA. I received my initial call K7CS in 1977. I worked for the Army and Air Force in Germany from 1972-76. I was assigned DA1DS, and also operated as DA1DS/LX, HB0XAA, and SV0WY, the US Air Force club station in Athens. I enjoy primarily working DX and dreaming of big antennas. Current DXCC is 305/297. For 5BDXCC I just need to mail in the cards.The shack contains a TS-440SAT, IC-756PROII and Ameritron AL-80B. Antennas are an R8, Butternut HF2V/160, 20 meter delta loop at 50' hanging on a tree branch, and a 40 dipole in a tree. My only goals on 160 Meters is an occasional 160 M contest just for fun. It's great to now be able to work DX on 80 meter CW.

Moved to northern Virginia Jan. 7, 2003 from the Denver, CO area where I lived for 23 years. Before that I lived in Arizona/Germany. I work for Time Warner Cable as an FCC Compliance Engineer where I take care of all FCC mobile radio, microwave and earth station licenses. PLus any other "stuff" for the company. I started using the digital modes in 2004. After a few months on RTTY, I tried BPSK31, and a lot of QRP operators. It lives up to its legend of around the world on low power. I now work very little SSB instead doing any ragchewing on digital modes. My primary operation these days is the occasional CW contest. My favorite is the WPX CW as there are so many multipliers. Then the ARRL 160 meter CW test. The picture was taken Easter 1969 by my mother. That rig was a Hallicrafters SX-111, HT-32, Johnson Matchbox (small one - 275 watts) and a homebrew amp about 400 watts I bought for $40 (pair of 811s).

I took my HF2V/160 apart and using the bottom 4' section plus the 160 meter coil, I added 65' of wire over a tall tree and now have a quarter wave 80 meter vertical. It performs much better on 80 M and loads excellent on 160 M. I also recently procured the Yaesu FTdx5000D. Awesome receiver, but the grandkids are NOT going to college now. Very impressed with its low signal level audio performance. The ability to hear and copy weak signals is very impressive, better than my 756Pro2. With 200 watts I don't have to turn the amp on as often. Am now really enjoying chasing 80 meter DX. Also now have the 80/160 meter receive loop built by KC2TX, but don't have a rotor under it yet.

I now also have a Hammarlund HQ-110 receiver and JohnsonViking Ranger transmitter(that needs lot of work to function again). The HQ-110 was my Novice days dream receiver and now finally have it. Must admit my other receivers are much better but it's still fun to play with and works well. I did have the Ranger in high school and always ran about 50 watts input (about 35 watts output). I didn't know I was operating low power as never had a problem making contacts.

Here is the current station in Virgina (less the Yaesu). My shack is a corner of the basement so must be shared with storage. This picture was taken while playing with my cell phone so not of good quality. Still no big antennas in back yard.

I noticed a very curious thing in February, 2013. As you know we must have an FCC registration number, aka FRN, to do business with the FCC. I got mine in 2007 when I last renewed my license. After almost 6 years I finally looked at my FRN more closely... it is: 0003 - 88 73 -46. I was born in 1946. now what are the odds of getting all 3 sets of numbers????

In Illinois since October 2013. Got a new roof recently and took down my 40 m dipole and 20 m delta loop. Wasn't happy with the loop as it seemed to be very bi-directional and was tough to work in South America. So as of yesterday I have on a 14' pole against the side of the house a Hy-gain 12AVQ. It seems to work fine but a little noisier. Can't do anything about that as I'm in town. Now I have better coverage and better results on 10 meters. Life continues on... I finally took the TS-590S back to the basement and installed my old IC-756pro2. What a difference in noise performance. At least now I can hear signals through the noise level with no problem. The 590S seemed to have a high sensitivity to any band noise and it would distort the CW signal until I could barely copy it. I don't remember having that problem in VA, but it's history now and am again enjoying listening to the bands with ease.  I recently got a new G5RV from AES before they closed their doors, but haven't put it on the roof mast yet. Maybe when the weather cools down a bit more.

As of Jan. 1, 2013 I no longer accept QSL cards via the bureau. If you need a card from Virginia or Illinois please email me (doncsambol@gmail.com) and I'll send you one direct. After 53 years of collecting cards, I've finally reached my limit !!!
Skokie, Illinois, weather forecast
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