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I go by Rick, although my legal name is Fredrick.  I'm proud to have worked amateur radio from 1.8 Mhz through 5.8 GHz. I'm in Las Vegas, NV and was first licensed as a Technician in May, 2014.  KG7LKI was my original call; my K7FYI vanity call showed up in the database on 8-2-16.  

After starting with a Baofeng (crack) radio and working 2m/440, I upgraded to a Yaesu FT-8800 that I used in my truck (replaced by an FTM-400).  I first started using APRS with a Mobilinkd TNC and an Alinco mobile radio given to me by KG7MNU.  Life was good; I didn't know what I didn't know about the rest of ham radio, and then....

I attended my first Field Day and was bit by the HF bug!  I upgraded to General on 7-12-2014, picked up a gently used Kenwood TS-140S from a local shop (W9MPD - SK - "Radio World Dave".  What a great guy!) and started operating the same day under KG7LKI/AG.  I still have that radio, but after realizing I'd like to occasionally operate portable / mobile, I bought a new Yaesu FT-857D with a LDG YT-100 tuner.  I love the compably rich sound of the TS-140S, but really enjoy the portability of the FT-857D.  It's nice to be able to pack it in my suitcase, throw a wire over the hotel balcony and get on the air, but now it's mounted full-time in my truck.

At home, I've graduated from my original 20m 1/2 wave center fed dipole and an 80-10m G5RV Lite to a Cushcraft R-8 vertical (6, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, and 40 meters) mounted about 20' AGL. I also have a low (7') 40 meter dipole that works great for NVIS (NV / AZ / UT / CA) during the day, and amazingly well (all things considered) for DX at night.  Other antennas include a 124' end fed with a 9:1 unun and a dedicated 30 meter double bazooka given to me by NM7J.  The 124' end fed zig-zags through my yard, and its highest point is only 30' up (average height is about 12').  Amazingly, I've worked 46 states on 80 meters and 17 states on 160 meters (as of 4/17).  On my second Field Day, I added a Yaesu FT-991 to the shack. That gives me a modern base rig for the shack, and that freed up the FT-857D for use in the truck.

I added an Ameritron AL-811H amplifier to the shack, and used it first with the FT-991, and now with a Flex 6300.  After running 100 watts on SSB, it almost feels like cutting in line when you get through a pile-up on the first or second call.  This is a good "learner" amp, and it's my first piece of tube gear.  

My newest radio is a FlexRadio 6300.  I absolutely love it - it suits my operating style perfectly!  I love that I can see everything that is happening, and do it on two bands at once.  The audio quality and filtering is amazing...  the interface of SmartSDR is intuitive and easy to navigate.  And, it's easy to remote (...which I love as I travel pretty frequently).  Whether I'm remoted back to the shack to run digital modes, or using the the Flex iPad / iPhone app, I can enjoy radio from about anywhere.

I work a lot of digital; JT65 and JT9 in particular.  With my modest setup & limited time, I've reached 133 countries - Europe & South Africa to Singapore, and Antarctica to Asiatic Russia.  JT65 / JT9 are a bit like watching paint dry, but 1) they're good weak signal modes and 2) I can be doing other things on the computer and keep an eye out / run QSO's.  

In early 2015, I started researching mesh networking, and that led me to create my own nodes, initially from Linksys WRT54G routers aquired from friends and the Goodwill Store. I get great advice, help and mentorship from KF7PSM, who led me to a Ubiquity Bullet M2, and a 19 dBi dish that currently resides on a 30' mast.  From that antenna, I'm linked on 2.4 GHz 20 miles across the Las Vegas valley to K7RSW.  That link brought "the mesh" into the southwest part of Las Vegas for the first time (see the graphic below).  We've since linked in NM7J and KE6BXT on 2.4 GHz.  I added a 5.8 GHz link pointing east across the valley and it's connected full time to K7THB (on KD7LVX's tower - a 16 mile link).  

I've started to enjoy 2 meter SSB, using a 4 element yagi given to me by KF7PSM.  I have it on a short portable mast with a rotor just outside my shack, and have been able to talk into Southern California and Southern Utah with this basic little setup.  At 2017 NVCon, I bought an RF Concepts 2-117, 170 watt 2 meter amp from N6RJM.  I've talked to him, N6EQ and a station in Lake Havasu, AZ with it on SSB.

I also enjoy working 6 meters, and love chasing the openings.  I started off using my R-8 vertical (worked OK somtimes), then built and used a 6 meter wire moxon that I put on my rotor.  It worked better, but I now use a "swiss beam" (Diamond A502HB) that works even better.  With my postage stamp sized lot, even the 9' element on this antenna overhangs my lot a bit, partly because of where I have to mount it.  

After adding rigs to the shack,  I went mobile with HF via my FT-857D.  I started with a HamStick antenna (10, 20 or 40 meters - $5 from the local swap meet) or a Kenwood MA-5 (6, 15 or 40 meters - from NM7J), I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to reach out on 10, 15, 20 and 40 meters.  During the 2015 JIDX Phone Contest, I made contact after contact with JA stations while mobile.  I expected problems on 40 meters, but have even had success there, making mostly regional contacts.  Those hamstick style antennas were replaced by Yaesu ATAS-120A, which was convenient - but nowhere as effective as the hamstick type antennas.  Recently, I upgraded to a Tarheel 100A-HP that stands tall in the rear corner of my pickup bed.  

I've also come to appreciate QRP and the pleasure of building kits, thanks to NM7J!  He steered me towards the QRP Labs Ultimate 3S kit, which was a fantastic learning experience.  Hans puts out a great kit, with great instructions.  I'm loving seeing where my 200mW signal goes on WSPR.  Next... QRSS.

Las Vegas Mesh - as of 4-4-2016 

 

 

 


    

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8463436 Last modified: 2017-11-20 01:12:52, 8353 bytes

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United States Counties Award#3152
Granted: 2016-07-23 17:50:02   (KG7LKI)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
Grid Squared Award#6539
Granted: 2015-04-02 12:40:03   (KG7LKI)

Endorsements:
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#7790
Granted: 2015-04-02 12:40:03   (KG7LKI)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
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