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I was first licensed in 1964 as a novice WN6QLM. A borrowed 15 meter crystal yielded my first DX (a JA) and shortly after that I took a section award in the ARRL Novice Roundup. There was no going back. I quickly upgraded to General then Advanced as WB6QLM. My struggles with CW delayed my upgrade to Extra but in 1989 I change my call to KI6VC buckled down and upgraded.


For most of the ‘80s I operated “WLP” (Without Landlord’s Permission) from a condo with all indoor antennas. That was a real lesson in humility and a source of humor. I had contacted VK9NS (SK RIP) on 20. Jim commented that my signal was pretty weak and could I swing the beam around. I looked at the 20m wire turnstile above the bed and then came back to him “… is this better?” “Yes what did you do?” “I opened the window…” Then I was given a copy of “The Complete DXer” (this should be required reading) I learned some real DX Jujitsu.

Today, as a retired slug, I’m enjoying the hobby to the max. I’ve tried to setup a station with contesting in mind. I just upgraded the the main rig to the K Line with the KPA500 amp. An AL-1200 takes it to the limit. On the tower at 60 feet is a 4 element SteppIR covering 40 to 6. For 80 I've shunt loaded the tower and a sloper for 160It won’t set the world on fire and the big guns aren’t shaking in their boots…just yet, but now there are no excuses.

A small point of ham-pride...I was invited to operate as W1AW/6 as a Maxim Memorial Station for the ARRL 100 birthday.  Ran up 3000+  RTTY Qs.  Great Fun.

While I love just about every contest, CQP the California QSO Party is my favorite and the start of the contest season. Heck, everyone in the world wants "6 Land" Qs.  What's not to like. I'm part of the K6Z crew a group of hard-core full-contact contesters. We hit the field to WIN, take no prisoners leave no survivors. With a lot of work we have won the County Expedition category 4 years running breaking our own record twice. Next to CQP Field Day is favorite with our group KE6RN our CalCity club call.





K6Z SetUp on LonePine Creek






When I’m not hamming it up at home, I take it on the road in my RV with an IC 7000, an AH-4 tuner and a converted military vertical. I've had too much fun working on RV style HF antennes. If "louder" is needed there are a couple of 500 watt amps. RVing and ham radio (and homebrew beer) are a perfect fit. Camping with side of DX is the way to go. In a modern RV, field exercises are a real pleasure. For you purists out there, I checked the rules and there is no PAIN & SUFFERING bonus. Believe me after 5+ decades of some harsh outside ops, senior discounts bring a demand for some well deserved comfort. Some of you may have seen my setup at the Visalia International DX Convention. But now the IDXC has banned RVs






Last but not least are the guardians of the ManCave, the Contest Dogs of Doom, DangerDogs Inc. The DX Dogs ... the security team of Sparky and Keko -The Lads-.

Chief of Site Security is Spark (call sign "FatDog").Rescued at our 08 Field Day site we are not sure as breed. We think he's a mix of Border Collie and Terrier and jet turbine. The kid is fire pissing-pistol op'ing on RTTY duty cycle and a seventh level black fur Tae Kwon Dog master and bed hog. The boy trucks no mice or wabbits...Beware the Black Spark! As a pup he had his "come to Jesus" chewing up a pair of Heil head sets. Heil Hospital saved his hide.

Next up is Keko (call sign DaBeast). I was looking for a bud for Sparky and found the saddest dog ever.  Total skin and bones with a serious gut infection...rejected by rescues (way to sick) and to big for most families AND on day 19 of 21 a dog too sad for the ASPCA ads.  After $400+ (nothing like a FREE dog!!!)and two vets later we have KEKO!! He crossed the line not when he eat both couches (living room and RV) twice each...but the truck back seat almost spelled the end.  Back at the pound he figured it out.  With some talking some I'm sorry face licking and the warning...It's only 8 1/2 minutes to the pound. His life time punishment: Watch all those ASPCA ads!!!  Oh and he has two super powers...he is a nija escape artist and loves to run like he has a jet assist up his kister and this is why he ended up in jail!!! So now Sparky has a 98 lb drooling, flop eared padawan. 


Dogs have no shame!!  They even like CW ops!!!!!


I retired in Aug 2012 but the small employee owned contractor I work for ask if I would stay on part-time on call.  Just work a little when extra help is needed for test or a mission.  I'm glad to give up the travel to ranges so far in the boonies they have to ship in sunlite.  I had no problem since the work is as close to StarTrek Star Wars as you can get and not move to Roswell.  I don't have a clearance for the Light Sabers but did get ot play with the Phazsers...sort of.   40 years working on military aircraft from 14 different countries is FUN!!  As a tech we have access to the highest of high tech test equipment...as a ham I still drool.  BUT my K3 does RTTY HI.  Here is a taste of some of the work with the 412th Electronic Warfare Group at the Benefield Anechoic Facility the worlds largest anechoic test hanger.  And yes I have a ton more pics.....but I would have to kill you! HI...OMG that joke is OLD.  




Here’s to rubbing elbows with you in the next contest or pile up.

73 de KI6VC, Sparky & Keko 









8367166 Last modified: 2017-10-03 18:50:29, 13912 bytes

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