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K9ATX USA flag USA

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Ham Member Lookups: 1606

 

 

Grid: EN53UC   ITU-8   CQ Zone 4  Waukesha County, WI

10-10 Net # 77511

I reply to all QSL cards.  Hard copy preferred.  Can do QRZ or eQSL too.

 

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Shack Photos

 

I changed my call sign on June 18, 2016 from W9AJM to K9ATX due to the many repeats needed when operating on SSB.  Using my new call seems to have considerably improved the situation.  I chose K9ATX after reading the Ham Radio mystery novels written by Walker Tompkins, K6ATX, SK, with his Tommy Rockford series of books such as "SOS at Midnight" and "DX Brings Danger".  The books are still available on such places as Amazon and Ebay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got my first start in radio back in the early 1950's when my dad and I built a Allied Radio Knight Kit crystal radio. After a few years, we upgraded to a the Knight Kit "Ocean Hopper" super regen. Received alot of broadcast stations around the world with a 100' long wire and have a number of QSL cards from them. Thru Popular Electronics Magazine in May of 1960, I received the SWL listener "call" of WPE9BLR.

After a number of years, I upgraded to a Philmore CR5-AC superhet short wave radio kit. Later a Heathkit Q-Multiplier was added. Did alot of DXing with this unit and it worked very well. At least I didn't have to doodle with the regen control.

I have been employed as a two-way radio technician for the past 55 years and hold a First Class ( General ) phone license w/Radar endorsement. I have serviced a number of our area 911 centers along with numerous fire, police and business radio systems. I also sold alot of Aerotron two-way radios that were made in Raleigh, NC. During this time I have authored numerous articles that appeared in Radio-Electronics, Popular Electronics and Fire Command magazines.  I have also constructed and operated 2m, 6m and GMRS homebrew repeaters.

Back in 1969, the National Electronics Association started a defacto electronic apprentiship program for various aspects of the electronic industry.  Myself and my Milwaukee Area Technical College instructor, W9CHD, were the first people to take the test for Radio/Television in Wisconsin and were given the Wisconsin Registration numbers 1 and 2.

While semi-retired now, I still manage to keep busy servicing some equipment as my time allows. I first cut my teeth with the Motorola units that had dynamotors in them ( 80Ds ) and went by the pound! In those days, you could modify units for all sorts of things and actually replace components ( including ham modifications ) but not anymore.

I was first licensed back in the1971 as WB9GAC. Mostly operated on 6m, 2m and 440 until recently when Technicians with code became Generals. Have been operating on HF for several years with a Yaesu FT-450D mostly on 40m, 20m, 10m and 6m.

Unfortunately, I'm antennically challenged as I'm in a urban area with a small lot on top of a gravel hill with lots of large rocks. Don't have enough distance to put up a large HF dipole or trap antenna or even install a good ground rod. When we hit a dry spell of a few days, I have to water the base of the antenna to maintain a good SWR!  I recently bought a Yaesu FTM-400D digital radio.  It was a bit of a challenge to get a proper antenna system working for both 2m and 440 originally. After trying and being disappointed by a number of name brand multiband base station antennas which gave me not so good SWR results, I finally put of two separate antennas and used a diplexer to connect the radio to both antennas. This seems to be working well with little loss and great SWR.   I use a DV Dongle for Dstar operation.  DMR is the next mode I'm looking at.  I am also on 40m and 20m PSK/RTTY bands as well as voice.  I'm on the FT8 learning curve right now.

 

HyGain AV18VS base loaded antenna

I've been making quite a number of contacts during recent HF DX contests. It was very surprising to get as far as Africa on 10M with this antenna!

Due to the heavy snows we had over the winter of 2013/2014, I had to go out and remove the snow from the base of my vertical antenna at times. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAkRXRmDvc

 

 

My VHF and UHF antenna system mounted on my clothes line.

VHF antenna is a MaxRad 3db gain mobile on a ground plane base.

UHF antenna is a MaxRad 5db gain no-ground mobile on just a mounting base

After Christmas 2015, I became a proud owner of a Kenwood TS-990S HF radio to replace my FT-450D Yaesu which I have for backup.  I also upgraded my amplifier to an Acom 1000+6.  Also a Palstar AT2K tuner replacing the Dentron MT-3000 and upgraded my HP computer to Windows 10 for use with PSK and RTTY.  Works 1000% better than the PSK/RTTY offering in the radio.

I have recently added a High Power 20 meter dipole antenna by Radio Wavz along with a 10m "standard" one.  It tuned up very nicely using the MFJ analyzer.  I needed to reduce the length of each element by about 13" to get it resonating on the low end of 20m.  I'm not using any inline RF chokes as they doen't seem to be needed.

 

With all these HF antennas, I installed an 4 port Ameritron remote antenna switch out by the vertical antenna to keep the number of coax cables to a minimum.  For 6m operation, a Cushcraft AR-6 is temporarly installed as band conditions dictate.

 

Hope to hear you on the bands.

73  Andy

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8441611 Last modified: 2017-11-09 03:23:01, 7737 bytes

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