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N2ADV USA flag USA

alias for: KD2BIP


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QSL: LOTW, EQSL, DIR (US NO SASE NEEDED, DX PSE PROVIDE POSTAGE,BURO

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Premium Subscriber Lookups: 71359


FT8 users - if you see me Calling CQ on 6 meters during a VHF contest, please be sure you have “VHF Contest Mode” enabled in WSJT-X

*****

ECARS #: 20875          SKCC #: 13469          100WAAW #: 107          OMISS #: 8950

FT8 users!  Come join us on Facebook and say hi!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ft8.digital.mode

*****

Whether you found me by plugging my call into the search box after seeing/hearing me on the air or whether you found me by clicking on the "random" function, welcome!

A few housekeeping items first:

SWL reports are always welcome! I find them to be very informative about my station's performance

JT65/JT9/FT8 Ops: please be aware that I do most of my operating remotely using a remote desktop client and my iPad.  Depending on my Internet speed, this means that I may not be able to compensate if you send me something out of sequence.  For example, if I am calling CQ and you respond to me with "R-##" instead of your gridsquare or a report without the R, double clicking to respond to you would result in my program auto-generating "RRR" instead of a report back to you.  As you'll see further below, I require both a sent and a recevied report to log our contact.  Since my remote operation may not allow me the time to click on your response and then quickly jump to the next correct part of the sequence, if you respond to my CQ with "R-##" chances are pretty good that I will not respond to you.  Remember that "R-##" means "I received your report and here's your report back."  

 

Even if we have worked before, if you hear me, feel free to drop by again... I'm not one of those "we worked before so go away" ops that seem to be so prevelant in the digital modes, especially the JT modes.

*****

My humble station in the current layout.  

Pictured (from left to right): Heathkit SB-301/SB-401/SB-600, Heathkit SB-200/SB-630, Kenwood TM-D700, Kenwood R599a, Elecraft K3/P3.  

*****

QSL Policy:

Regarding paper QSL's: I love paper QSL's but I realize that there are a number of ops who don't (and that is totally ok). If you send me a paper QSL request, I will be happy to reply in kind. US stations do not need to send a SASE (though it is certainly appreciated and will get my response that much faster since my local Post Office has odd hours). DX stations that QSL directly but don't send postage for a return QSL card will be replied to via the Bureau or else I'd go broke very quickly!  Please, do not send IRC's... My post office has no clue what to do with them.  If you send me a card via the Bureau, I will also be happy to reply in kind though I wait until I have a fairly high number of cards before I send them to the outgoing Bureau, generally a 6-7 inch stack of outgoing cards.  In addition, I use eQSL (AG) and LoTW as electronic QSL methods (I can upload directly from HRD's logbook application quickly and easily).  I do occasionally upload my log to QRZ's logbook, however, I do not really have a set schedule for that... I get to it when I get to it  :)  

eQSL/LoTW:  I know I stated it earlier but here it is again anyway :) : I upload to eQSL either after every contact or at the end of each day.  I upload to LoTW generally 1-2 times per week or at the end of each day if I think about it. I still love paper cards, however!

Some notes on QSL's: 

JT65/JT9
I am very sorry, but I will not QSL "hit and run" JT65/9.  A "hit and run" is when I call CQ, you respond to my CQ with just your call and gridsquare, I send you a report, and then you purposely fall off the face of the planet or the band drops out from under our QSO.  I require a "sent" and a "received" report for my log (I don't even need an "RR" or anything, just a report :) ).  If you send me a QSL request for a "hit and run," I am sorry but it will be NIL. Also, if you respond to my CQ and I send you a report, you send something back, and I send you a report again, that means I didn't get your report for some reason (generally QRM or sometimes QSB).  Please don't just send a "RR" or a "73" and then disappear.  This will also result in a "NIL." 

Note:  JT65/9 has a specific data sequence.  Signal reports must be exchanged in order for a JT65/JT9 QSO to make it into my log.   The following is an example from the WSJT-X user guide of a QSO in correct format for JT65/9 modes:

CQ K1ABC FN42        K1ABC calls CQ
K1ABC G0XYZ IO91     G0XYZ answers
G0XYZ K1ABC –19      K1ABC sends report
K1ABC G0XYZ R–22     G0XYZ sends R+report
K1ABC G0XYZ 73       G0XYZ sends 73, may also be a free text 73

While I typically don't worry about Grid Square data on HF, I require at least a report sent and acknowledged by both parties in a QSO for the QSO to be logged and considered valid.  Note that in the user guide, an "RRR" is optional and I typically skip that step as it is not required based on the user guidelines outlined by the creator of the JT modes as the "RRR" on HF is unnecessary as the "73" or the "RRR" may be used to acknowledge receipt of the "R-##" from the other station.  On VHF and higher, the "RRR" is still used but you may notice the ops will skip the "73" and just send the "RRR" and return to calling CQ.

This is not a "hot item" with me, nor is it a rant, and I don't particularly care either way... I put this on my page because I have gotten some very nasty (and even threatening) e-mails from Ops who can't believe that I'd "dare to reject their eQSL" (the fact that some ops have resorted to sending threats around something like a rejected eQSL completely amazes me).  I will generally send your report or free form text ("MY REPORT?") 2-3 times and if I don't get a response, I will go back to calling CQ and I won't log what I consider an attempted contact.  

The same "NIL" policy goes for those who try to "bust in" on a JT65/9 contact already in progress.  If I call CQ and then send a report to someone else, please wait your turn.  I'm more than happy to work everyone, even if we have worked before.  :) 

In addition, if I am calling CQ, you respond to my CQ, I answer, and we complete the contact and then you start CQ'ing where you just answered me, don't even bother logging the contact because I will be striking our contact from my log.  I don't condone poor operating practices such as this.  

 

********************

On to my "bio"...

Some background:

My time in the world of Amateur Radio has been somewhat roundabout and lengthy.  My parents were heavily into Amateur Radio in the early to mid 1980's; dad and mom were KB2GUA and KB2GUB respectively.... I absorbed a lot the material at the time since they brought me to their license classes while they were working on getting their tickets at the local MARS station of what was then Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY.  Unfortunately, I didn't follow in their footsteps of getting licensed at the time though they both went through Novice and then Tech and later Tech Plus.  At one point, my dad was the president of one of the local radio clubs.  

After a while, they sort of got out of Amateur Radio and the equipment sat unused for years.  There were a number of reasons for this which I won't get into here but suffice it to say, they had had enough of some of the goings on.  

I spent my time as an SWL for the most part and I was content to simply listen and had no real desire to transmit.  Funny enough, over the next few decades, I heard a lot of the "stuff" the more "seasoned" hams today insist didn't happen in the "good old days when there was a code test" - things like DQRM (deliberate interference) with DX and DXPeditions, turf wars on 20, 40, and 75 meters, the "frequency owners" on 40 phone and 75 meters with VFO's that have rusted in one spot, failure to properly identify, playing music over QSO's in progress, etc.  It hasn't changed as much as those wearing rose-colored glasses would like to think (sorry if you're one of those folks).  

Dad has since become a Silent Key (2001) and I still miss him every day. I convinced my mom to renew her ticket after watching her work so hard all those years ago - she was going to let it lapse; fortunately, I was able to convince her to not let that happen.

A few months shy of the end of 2011, I came across dad's radio equipment and it re-ignited my interest in Amateur Raio. So, I threw together a homemade dipole for the HF rig as well as a couple of ground-plane antennas for the VHF/UHF rig (apparently, I DID pay SOME attention in those classes) and listened in for a few weeks. Shortly after, I picked up the ARRL licensing manual and studied up for my Technician Class license which I passed and officially joined the world of Amateur Radio.  I put together a station using a home-brewed vertical antenna, my dad's TS-440S, and a straight key and dove right in, working enough stations using the CW Tech priveleges available; during one memorable QSO, my third or fourth after getting my ticket, I responded to the CQ of an operator in the Tech/General portion of 80 meters (CW) and after a few moments of exchanging info, the station on the other end abruptly stopped sending.  After attempting to raise the other station several times, I gave up and spun the VFO knob thinking that the op on the other end had run into a technical issue of one kind or another. Several hours later, however, I received a scathing e-mail from the Amateur Extra class op to whom I'd responded who was extremely upset that I, a mere Tech, would dare to transmit in the "General and higher portion of 80 meters" (his words) and threatening to turn me in to the FCC.  I patiently responded to the operator in question that Techs have CW priveleges on 80 meters between 3.525 MHz and 3.600 MHz and attached a recent copy of the ARRL band plan chart along with a link to the appropriate area of Part 97 outlining operating priveleges.  I never heard back from the individual.  The wording of the e-mail honestly made me almost put the radio away and focs on other hobbies but I hung on.  

On 2/8/2012, I passed the General exam. I'm studying for Extra now but every time I start studying, I end up getting on the air instead and having too much fun... I'll get there!

I figure it's a good way to honor dad's memory, using his old radio equipment to get on the air. I hope he'd be proud.

*****

Equipment:

My first setup consisted of dad's Kenwood TS-440S(AT) for HF and a Kenwood TM721A Dual-Band mobile (used as a home rig) for 2 meter/440 opperation.  Both of these radios were bought brand new by my dad and I was there to see both of them come out of their boxes.  

I later added a TS480SAT along with a TM-D710A that I was able to obtain as a tech special and bring back to life. In early 2013, I moved to an Elecraft K3 and continue to be pleased and amazed by what that little black box can do. What a fantastic rig it has been thus far! Beside the K3 is a P3 panadapter.  The TS480 now serves on mobile duty and I still fire up the TS440 quite often. I have also enjoyed working on/with some older equipment:

  • A Yaesu FT101E. The rig is just plain fun to operate and I also enjoy using it on both Phone and CW!
  • Yaesu FT101ZD (Mk 0): another fun radio to use, this one uses 6146 finals instead of the increasingly rare 6JS6C sweep tubes used in earlier FT-101 iterations.
  • Kenwood T599/R599a twins: just a solid set of radios with a heafty metal VFO knob and warm audio.

Rounding out the above collection is a set of Heathkit SB-301/SB-401 twins.  I've spent many hours bringing this beautiful set back to life.  Inside the rigs were about an inch or so of cigarette tar and ash (the odor was just horrible).  I've cleaned and replaced several components in both the 301 and the 401 and I'm happy to say that they are singing again after having sat unusued for decades.  

I also have a SB-102 that I swap in when I want a similar station with a smaller footprint (sort of):

For portable/QRP opearation, I enjoy the use of two great rigs: 

  • Yaesu FT-817 (non-ZD): A nice solid rig that I use portable or mobile.  
  • Elecraft KX3 for indoor antenna experiments so if I am calling you again even if we have already worked, I am either working portable or running an antenna experiment.  I would appreciate it if you don't send "WRKD B4 73" but instead, help out with what I consider to be a very important aspect of Amateur Radio: experimentation!

*****

Modes:

I have found that I enjoy CW and digital modes (PSK, JT65, etc) though I am not much of a RTTY fan. Occasionally, I can be found in the phone portions of the band.

I thoroughly enjoy the JT modes though I do try to dispel the "myth" that "too much power causes dirty signals."  That's just not necessarily true.  I have seen many a misguided rant in message forums and social media sites about some "jerk running too much power" and "messing up" their waterfall.  

The fact is, unless you ask, you have no idea how much power the other station is running.

You can have a clean signal at 1 watt or 100 watts (that usually sends the "low power" folks into a complete tizzy).  If you see a station "messing up" your waterfall, your first stop should be to check your receive chain.  Most issues are on the receive end!  Turn off AGC if you can. Ride the RF gain control (contrary to popular belief, digital modes are not "set and forget" modes... To get the most out of the digital modes requires some skill and the ability to read the band, adapt, and alter your settings appropriately based on conditions).  Here's a good test:  if you see a station "messing up" your waterfall or with "side lobes" or "echos", place a notch filter over the main signal... If the problem goes away, the issue is on your end or it's propagation. 

This goes for any digital mode. As always, you should always use the least amount of power required to make the desired communication, however, that "least amount of power" may be 75, 80, 100 watts, etc. depending on band conditions. I've run 100 watts with JT65 when band conditions were poor and gotten -24dB reports. "Weak signal" does not always equal "low power" (just ask some of the EME folks how much power they run for their "weak signal" work!).  On the opposite side of the spectrum, when conditions are favorable, I've gotten +19dB reports while running just 1/10 of a watt with JT9.  This also brings up something about JT mode signal reports that bears repeating: signal reports are not absolute.  They are a measure of the received signal compared to the local noise on the receive side.  That means that if someone has a very high noise floor, incoming signals will be that much further beneath said noise floor and the RX op may give out -20dB, -21dB, -22dB, etc. signals out fairly often.  Conversely, if someone has a very low noise floor, they may give out -01dB signal reports like candy because it takes a super weak signal to get below the noise floor for that op.  I fall into the later category because I'm very fortunate to live in a place that has an extremely low noise floor on the HF bands.  

One final thing: you cannot tell if a signal is "clean" based solely on what you see on the waterfall of your digital mode program of choice. Let me say that again: you can't use the waterfall in whatever program you are using as your sole indicator of a signal's cleanliness.  These programs are "plugged in" at the AF side. There are way too many variables in the AF chain for the waterfall to be an accurate measure of signal purity.

*****

Antennas:

I have discovered that I like working on antenna projects - so far, I've been able to get an old 102" steel mobile CB whip to work on 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 (with a loading coil), and even 80 meters (again with a loading coil). It's probably not the most efficient, but it gets me on the air. I get a lot of, "You're using a WHAT??" when I'm asked what kind of antenna I'm running!

My main "commercial" HF antennas are:

A Hustler 6BTV with the add-ons for 12 and 17 meters. This antenna is mounted on the ground with an ever-increasing radial system (I add a couple more when I have time and motivation). I was able to hide it in the trees to keep everyone around me happy.  And:

A 6 band hex beam at about 30 feet (covers 6 through 20 meters).

*****

"Why ADV":

In June of 2012, I changed my call sign from KD2BIP to N2ADV. There are a couple reasons for this: first, I ride my 2003 Suzuki SV650S on ADVenture Rides to totally inappropriate places for such a motorcycle, generally locations involving dirt, mud, and rocks.  Also, after constantly having to repeat my call both in the phone and CW worlds ("Say again?" "Kilo Delta Two Bravo India Papa", "Kilo Delta Two, again?" etc etc...Or dah dit dah, dah dit dit, dit dit dah dah dah, dah dit dit dit, dit dit, dit dah dah dit over, and over, and over), I realized that I had probably the MOST awkward call on the air. After much thought, I came up with N2ADV because I like taking my "street" motorcycle off the road or on adventure rides. It is also much easier to say on the air (November Two Alpha Delta Victor has a much better ring to it though I still get people mistaking the "Delta" for "Echo"... oh well, back to the drawing board) and send via CW (dah dit, dit dit dah dah dah, dit dah, dah dit dit, dit dit dit dah sounds much better, don't you think?).

Other misc. stuff about me:

I am a 2nd Degree Black Belt in American Karate (and a "retired" instructor). I am also an avid snowmobiler and very much enjoy the winter months.

Hope to run into you out on the air.

73

N2ADV (Previously KD2BIP)
(James - AKA Jim)

 



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8593863 Last modified: 2018-01-20 19:58:09, 22460 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - N2ADV
Latest Contacts for N2ADV at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
KR6EN 2018-01-23 80m FT8 EM59ES United States JAMES W GRUBBS, III
N4KM 2018-01-23 80m FT8 EL98BU United States KEVIN N MILHORN
AJ5E 2018-01-23 30m FT8 FM02AU United States ROBERT L WILHITE
N4WI 2018-01-23 30m FT8 FM14 United States JOHN F MOHR, SR
KF4GA 2018-01-22 10m FT8 EM62 United States STEVE BAKER
W1EQ 2018-01-22 10m FT8 FN41 United States ROBERT C GARCEAU
KM4PFF 2018-01-22 10m FT8 EM93SX United States Terry Hasty, Sr
N1ADM 2018-01-22 10m FT8 EM83VK67 United States Allen D Marshall, Jr
KA4TLC 2018-01-22 10m FT8 FM04 United States RICHARD L MARTIN, SR
KE0KZ 2018-01-22 30m FT8 EM48NU United States LAWRENCE A SCANTLAN
6Y6J 2018-01-22 30m FT8 FK18 Jamaica JA3 DX Vacation Group
4O4A 2018-01-22 30m FT8 JN92NC Montenegro Dragan Djordjevic
KB9REV 2018-01-22 30m FT8 EN61 United States Lawrence R Schwab
AB4ER 2018-01-22 30m FT8 FM18HW United States JOSEPH I FIELD, JR
VE1NRJ 2018-01-22 10m FT8 FN85 Canada Clifford Hatfield

Book Totals: 23174 qso's   12507 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


c
United States Counties Award#2420
Granted: 2016-07-20 16:00:02   (N2ADV)

Endorsements:
  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 1000 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 500 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 1000 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Phone
DX World Award#3639
Granted: 2016-04-21 16:03:11   (N2ADV)

Endorsements:
  • Mixed Digital
Grid Squared Award#439
Granted: 2015-01-15 22:28:41   (N2ADV)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band Digital
  • 10 Meters Digital
    12 Meters Digital
    15 Meters Digital
    17 Meters Digital
    20 Meters Digital
    30 Meters Digital
    40 Meters Digital
    80 Meters Digital
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    12 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • Mixed Phone
  • Mixed CW
World Continents Award#380
Granted: 2015-01-15 17:54:24   (N2ADV)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 30 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    12 Meters CW
    10 Meters CW
    17 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Digital
  • 30 Meters Digital
    20 Meters Digital
    17 Meters Digital
    15 Meters Digital
    10 Meters Digital
    40 Meters Digital
    12 Meters Digital
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 30 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    10 Meters Mixed
    12 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • 17 Meters Phone
  • 15 Meters Phone
United States Award#54
Granted: 2015-01-15 17:54:10   (N2ADV)

Endorsements:
  • 17 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 30 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 30 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • Mixed Digital
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