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My interests include technology, entrepreneurship, contesting, dxing, cw, vhf, and being very active on the HF bands. DXpeditions really excite me! I'm a past president and current board member of the Society of Midwest Contesters (SMC) - W9SMC. Former "Contesting on a Budget" column editor for the NCJ.  I have earned 9BDXCC and Challenge 2400.

I've been involved in SMC Fests since the beginning. The first two were cookouts on my deck.  Then we had a couple at the shop.  In 2015 it was held at the Marriott Hotel in Normal, Illinois. In 2016 & 2017 it was held at the Hyatt Hotel in Normal, Illinois. Over 70 people attended this.

I retired in June 2016 after working in the computer systems department of a large insurance company as a Technical IT Architect and Project Coordinator. This involved designing large software applications which worked in a complex technical environment and produced hundreds of thousands of customer communications a day.  Our family has a landscaping business [www.bellaslandscaping.com] run by my sons and wife.  I also retired from teaching marketing at Illinois State University. I spent a lot of time at school and have an MS Computer Science 2001, MBA 1989, MS Geography 1976.

K9ZO (Stanford, IL 2016 - present)

In April 2016 we moved to a rural location about 6 miles west of my former place.  I now have plenty of room for antennas, but have to adjust to all the extra work of living in the country.  We are very fortunate to have our children and grandkids in the area.

I have started to build a new station for DXing and contests which will have a rotating tower and gain antennas on all bands. There will be stacks on 10/15/20 and 4 squares on the low bands.  I have been busy organizing my stash of ham hardware and figuring out a design for the new station. The shack is exactly on the dividing line between EN50JK and EN50KK.


I spent most of the first summer fixing things around the house and starting the tower permit process.   Concrete for the first tower was poured on November 14, 2016 and the anchors were covered just before the first frost.  It was a mild winter and N7MB and I managed to get up 34feet of tower.    I also put up a 65 foot vertical wire hanging from a tree and a 900 foot beverage. Throughout the winter I continued to work on the house, shack heat & hot water, amplifier outlets, a tray for cables, and coax entrance panel.  Tower and antenna work will start soon!

This shows the rural area where we live.  The shed is in the foreground.  Towers will be off to the left. That area is currently planted in rye and oats until I am ready to sprout another tower.

Since much of the house was in good shape I spent a lot of time in the summer of 2017 getting ready to put up a tower.  With the help of the Tower Works crew, Tower #1 was raised to 84 feet on August 8.  By August 9 the tower was plumbed with the guys tensioned, mast, rotor, 18e, 6M7,  inverted vee installed,12 ground rods, CAD welding, 3 hardlines, and cables run.

CJ stopped by and took a drone picture looking towards Europe

K9ZO (Bloomington, IL 1978 - 2016)

After 38 years the K9ZO station in Bloomington was taken down. It was quite modest with three towers, wires, a SteppIR 18e, 6M7JHV, K3, P3, KPA 500, AL1200, and Flex 6500.  

The picture below shows the 18e and the 6M7 on 80 feet of Rohn 45.  There was a sloping vertical wire for 80 meters.  To the left is a 40 foot tower which held a tribander.  The tower in the background was 70 feet of Rohn 25.  It held a 204BA, DB10/15 and a 1/4 wave sloper for 160.

I used K9C and K9K from this location.


We had a windy icy day on December 28, 2015, but the SteppIR survived.



















I was honored to be on the cover of CQ magazine a couple times.


Contest teams: KB1H, K1ZZ, K4VX, K3LR, KH7R, K4JA, K9SD, ZL6QH, K9CT

Sorry, I am quite behind on paper QSL cards, and am slowly working on them. Please email and I will get you a quick LOTW confirmation.

Former calls: WN9CGL (1969), WB9CGL, AB9CGL (1976), G5ATU (1971), GM5ATU (1971), ON8WF (1971), XE2/K9ZO, KH7/K9ZO, K9K, K9ZO/HC8, YV7/K9ZO, M0/K9ZO, S5/K9ZO, S566Z with K7BV, YL/K9ZO (2002), LY/K9ZO (2002), ZK1ZOO (2003 - QSL to WA4WTG), K9C, V31RA (2005), K9ZO/ZL2 (2006), K9ZO/VP9 (2008), YN2Z (2008), PJ7/K9ZO (2010)

DXpedition teams:

K9W (Wake Island - 2013)

The Wake Island team consisted of AA4NN, K6MM, K9CT, K9NW, N2TU, N9TK, NA6M, W3OA, W8GEX, W8HC, WB9Z, and me.  We travelled by military plane from Hawaii in November and stayed for about 10 days.  We were awarded "DXpedition of the Year" for our efforts.  Statistics include 53,757 CW, 38,717 SSB, and 7,557 RTTY contacts for a total of 100,031.  My efforts were mainly on 160 and we had over 2,000 contacts there.

VP8ORK (South Orkney Islands - 2011)

View from Signy Island.


Our camp.

This was an exciting trip aboard the Braveheart to the British Antarctic Territory by the MicroLite Penguins.  We operated from January 27- February 8. The surface of the island was nearly solid rock making it difficult to anchor antennas.  Conditions were spotty and openings were often short.  At one point all our stations were calling CW without getting answers.  We were awarded "DXpedition of the Year" for our work.  The team consisted of ND2T, 9V1YC, K0IR, N1DG, W3WL, K6AW, N6MZ, N4GRN, WB9Z, W7EW, VE3EJ, EY8MM, and me.

PJ7E (St. Maarten Independence  - 10/10/2010)

On October 10, 2010 St. Maarten became independent from the Netherlands and we were there to provide the first operation from a new country.  We had two locations one for SSB and one for CW.  A hurricane delayed the arrival of our equipment and we started the CW operation with a mobile antenna on the roof.  The team included W8GEX, K9CT, AA4NN, DJ9ZB, I8NHJ, K0RK, K4SV, K6MM, N2WB, N6JRL, NF4A, W6KF, W6OSP, and me.  We had 74, 435 QSOs.


YN2Z (Granada, Nicaragua - 2008)

In  November I went to stay with Octavio, YN2N, in his home outside of Granada and operated the CQWWCW contest.  My route started with a car ride from Bloomington, then a bus from Normal, Illinois to Chicago, then plane to Miami, then plane to Managua, van to the countryside, and finally a pickup truck.   The most fun was getting picked up at the airport and riding in the dark countryside to meet Octavio.  I operated the radio most of the time I was there and Martha made meals using local produce.  The rig was an FT950 and a triband antenna.

K9ZO/VP9 (Bermuda - 2008)

My wife and I visited Bermuda for a short vacation at the rental QTH of VP9GE.  We were there during hurricane Bertha.  It posed no problems since the island is built on porous coral.  I enjoyed a few short 6 meter openings.


ZL8R (Kermadec Islands - 2006)

In October 2006 the MicroLite Penguins took the Braveheart from Tauranga, New Zealand to Raoul Island.  We had dipoles high in the trees.  Team members included 9V1YC, HB9ASZ, VK6DXI, EI6FR, W7EW, N6MZ, N0TT, and me.  This is one of the most remote and beautiful places I have been. I recall Jacques Costeau had signed the guest book prior to our visit.  

After the trip I traveled south to Wellington on the North Island of New Zealand and joined the crew at ZL6QH for the CQWW contest and got to operate there for a few days as ZL/K9ZO.


5J1W (Cartegena, Columbia - November 2005)

Dave, NN1N, Mark, AG9A and I participated in the CQWWCW contest.  We had 6670 contacts and 632 multipliers for a score of 12,466,200.  The equipment was a TS930S and Alpha 78.  Antennas were a TH6 at 220 feet, 2 el on 40 at 230 feet, 80 meter dipole at 210 feet, and an inverted L on 160 located on top of an apartment building.  Forty meters produced over 2000 contacts alone!  Pedro, HK1XX, was our local contact.  

After the contest we realized that we had not made any SSB contacts. I convinced the guys that we should make 1000 contacts before shutting down and leaving the next morning.  I made about 900 contacts in one sitting before we went for dinner.  We finished off the final 100 afterwards and went QRT.

V31RA (San Ignacio, Belize - 2005)

I visited LZ1MS while he was working at the university in Belize.  I operated during the day while he worked, then we went to dinner in the evenings.  There were some interesting 6 meter openings to the States and I used an FT100D.  I made side trips to Tikal, Guatemala,  and Actun Tunichil Muknal, ATM in Belize.  I enjoyed riding the bus across the country to return to the airport.  I remember it was so hot and humid during my stay.  The callsign had been issued to someone else prior to my stay.  I was only active during May and June 2005.

ZK1ZOO (South Cook Islands - 2003)

I operated with AG9A and K2KW.  I learned about local edible plants and survival on an island.  Our visit to the local church was the highlight of the trip. We stayed at the Kiki Motel.

YL/K9ZO (2002)

I operated from YL prior to the WRTC in Helsinki, Finland where I was a referee.

LY/K9ZO (2002)

I operated from LY prior to the WRTC in Finland.  After WRTC I visited the Aaland Islands.

S566Z (WRTC Slovenia - 2000)

I operated with K7BV as a USA team in the WRTC from Slovenia. 

4M7X (Coche Island, Venezuela - 1999)

I operated with Team Vertical from Coche Island, Venezuela for the CQWWCW.  Our team included K2KW, N6BT, NT1N, N6BV, W4SO, AG9A, KE7X, N6TV, WA5VGI, AD6E, and me.  We were assisted by YV7QP and YV5EED.

K2KW and NT1N (now NN1N) prepare control lines.


We had 43 verticals in salt water.  Hurricane Lenny left lots of water and the rough seas made it difficult to keep the antennas up.

Here is the group.  We stayed at the Coche Speed Paradise Resort Hotel and operated from El Oasis Restaurant. The hotel was not finished when we arrived - no doors, water, food, windows, or electricity!  K2KW located a generator on a nearby island, so we had power.  There were plenty of obstacles, but the team was super.  At the end we had 16,085 QSOs, 205 zones, and 722 countries for a score of 44 million.


HC8N (Galapagos Islands - 1999)

This was a contest DXpedition.  Our team included HC8GR, N5KO, K6AW, N0JK, KM3T, K1EA, N6TV, and me. In Quito our host was Pedro, HC1OT.   We stayed at the Hotel Savoy Inn which is the same hotel where Iris and Lloyd had stayed as a jumping off point during some of their DXpeditions. 

My assignment was to bring an AL1200 amplifier and 500 feet of guy wire to be used for the station.  I had a bag made at our local awning shop for the amplifier which had a side pocket for the guy wire.  It was kind of an odd piece of luggage, but I had no trouble bringing it.  I brought the transformer as carry-on luggage in a backpack and recall putting it in the overhead bin in the seat in front of me.  I barely could carry and drag everything through the airport terminals.

We still hold the world record for in the multi-multi class for the CQWPXCW contest with 12,640 contacts and 1293 multipliers for a score of 57 million.  Ten meters was unbelievable with 3,091QSOs; fifteen had 4362 QSOs; twenty had 2961, forty had 1560, 80 had 530, and 160 had 136.


KH7/K9ZO (Hawaii - 1997)

I operated CQWWCW in November as a guest of KH7R, Ken.  We were multi-multi and had 8765 contacts and 653 multipliers. for a score of 15.7 million.  Those were the days of good sunspots with 2400 contacts on 15 meters alone!  Ops were  K9NW, WE9V, K9PG, KH6ND, KH7U, K1ER, NH6XO, AH6OY, AH6OZ, and me.  Before and after the contest we used our personal calls and I was KH7/K9ZO.


XE7X (Ensenada, Mexico - 1993)

I flew to San Diego and met up with Fred, K9VV.  He drove his red pickup from San Diego, picked up our Mexican friend, XE2MX, in Tijuana, and we went to a cell site outside of Ensenada at Punta Banda overlooking the Pacific Ocean.   We operated the CQWPXCW contest and had 2193 contacts with 655 prefixes for a score of 4,543,080.  It was chilly and windy and we stayed outside all night sitting at a card table.  It was hard to see the screen during daylight!  


XE2/K9ZO (Nogales, Mexico - 1992)

In November, after a visit with my sister in Tucson, AZ I walked across the border towing a suitcase cart and walked to the licensing office, then to the hotel.  I put a vertical on the roof and operated the CQWWCW contest from my hotel room. I had 1874 contacts, low power with 192 multipliers for a score of 770,688.  One of the highlights was having my sister deliver a pizza in the middle of the night.


G5ATU/A (London, England - 1971)

Between high school and college I lived in London for 9 months and started my contest activity with the G4ALE group.  I did not have a station at our flat, so signed /A for an alternate location.  Almost every weekend we did a contest or camping activity. G3UFY was my mentor and G3SJX provided technical expertise for the group.    I recall they fed 220V down a coax to power a soldering iron to fix an antenna in the garden since they lacked an extension cord.  This experience with guys who were enthralled with radio is the reason why I love DXing and contests.

ON8WF (Waterloo, Belgium - 1971)

My uncle lived in Belgium so we visited his place while we lived in London.  I operated from the ON4PB club station which was associated with a technical school and located in a windmill on a farm outside of Waterloo. They had a 4 element quad at 60 feet which was wonderful.  This was my first chance to really run pileups.


GM5ATU/P ( Scotland - 1971)

This was a weekend trip when the G4ALE group went camping in Scotland and operated a number of simultaneous contests.


8399567 Last modified: 2017-10-20 14:12:06, 17251 bytes

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