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KL7SB Alaska flag Alaska

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I was originally licensed as a Novice in 1976 as WN2IDP in Huntington, NY, and upgraded to General later that year as WB2IDP. I come from a whole family of hams, Dad WA2QAO (silent key 1980), brothers Michael (then WA2RAT, now W7RAT) and Bob (then WA2SLY, now KC7KNY). My main ham radio interest, then as now was CW. I was real active in NTS Traffic handling nets and was the manager of the New York City Long Island CW Traffic Net (NLI). My first real job, while I was in College was at a commercial Ship to Shore cw station, Amagansett Radio/WSL when I was 17 years old in 1981. If I live long enough, I figure I may have a chance at being the oldest living professional telegrapher. I left WSL shortly before it closed in 1985, and also worked for a short time at Galveston Radio/KLC.

After 1985, I got busy with regular life. I was one of the early computer hobbyists (the High School Computer Club and Radio Club were pretty much one and the same), and that eventually lead to my career as a software developer/consultant. I lived in apartments and condos and other than a bit of VHF, was pretty much QRT. I moved to Portland OR in 1989, eventually got the call W7NUT but wasn't active. I visited Alaska a couple of times on vacation, fell in love with it and out of the blue got a contract offer here in February 2001. I was up here about 3 weeks later, figured I'd stay a year or so, and well, I'm still here and not planning on leaving anytime soon. Once I got here, I found a local IRLP node, and also started operating a bit at the Elmendorf AFB Club Station KL7AIR, and found out I still enjoyed it. My career had gone from very low tech (CW op) to high tech (software engineer), but the Code still had that magic. When we bought a house in 2005, I made sure I'd be able to put up a tower finally GOT the tower up in 2007, and I've been having a blast since.

The station and my activities have been evolvng as time goes on here. Station is currently

HF: Main Transceiver is a Elecraft K-3 with a SPE Expert Amps 2K-FA Amplifier  and P3 Panadapter. Backup/secondary is a Kenwood TS590S.  Antennas are a Tennadyne 12 Element Log Period for 10-30, and various dipoles and inverted vees for 40-160 on a 70 foot guyed Rohn 25 tower. Future plans are for a Four Square vertical array for 40 and up and/or a loop.

VHF: Main all modes transceiver is an Icom IC910-H, with several FM Dual band backups for 2M and 70CM. Main antenna is a Cushcraft A6270-13S Triband (6M/2M/70CM) Yagi. I am the owner of IRLP Node #8919 and the antenna for that is a vertical mounted on the side of the tower.

Travel/Portable Station:  Elecraft K3, SPE Expert Amps 1.3-FA Amplifier, Microkeyer II

I'm a regular checkin to the Alaska Snipers Net (1800 local on 3.920).   I can sometimes be found on the IRLP Alaska Net Reflector (node 9109). I'm a member of SOWP, FISTS, and CWOPS and the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club. I like to travel and have operated as HB0/KL7SB,TF/KL7SB,J79SB, E51RAT, and 9H3AK.  I'm a member and Past President of the Anchorage Midtown Rotary Club, and have had the pleasure of operating the Special Events station at the 2013 International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal (CR6RI) and 2014 in Sydney, Australia (VI2R).  I was also one of the operators for W1AW/KL7 and W1AW/0 North Dakota, which was ..amazing!  I plan on yearly or so returns to J7 and E51.

A few years ago ..just after my tower went up, but before anything other than wire antennas were actually on it, a strange man knocked at my door. His name was Allen Brier and his call was N5XZ. At the time he was on a "2 on 2 off" schedule for one of the oil patch consulting companies and he was just curious who the owner of the tower was. We chatted a bit and operated a bit. Even thought it was only 100W and a dipole, I guess he could see I still had some cw chops. The Local Radio Club was desperate for a cw op for Field Day and he talked me into it. That was pretty much the stab in the heart to my finances and free time. I loved contesting as a kid, though I was never *that* serious about it, and it just all came back at that Field Day. Did a few more at the KL7AA Club Station, eventually got invitations from a couple of the big M/M contest stations and ...I'm hooked. Gee, thanks Allen :).  I was one of the ops at KL7RA ..definitely the best contest station in Alaska and one of the best in the country.  Sadly, Rich passed away in November 2015, so that is no more, but I will always have the memories and the honor of knowing one of best amateur op and just plain good person ever.  Rich RIP.

 I've also done a few contests with the San Diego Contest Club (NX6T) at  their "Nash-Ville" (named for the late W6HCD who owned the property) portable location, and have started doing some international travel for contests.  So far,  2014 CQWW WPX CW Contest as a single op from VK6NC ..the Northern Corridor Radio Group near Perth, IARU 2014 and CQWW CW 2015 from Rarotonga (South Cook Islands) as E51RAT, using the station of E51AND, CQWW CW 2015 as part of a M/2 op at the station of 9H1XT as 9H6A, and 2015 Trans Tasman with VK4ZD and VK4DI at their VK4HH contest station.  The last couple of years I've operated ARRL SS CW from the station of VE7SZ as VA7AAA and Allan is graciously allowing me to return there for IARU and SS CW this year.  2016 included WAE CW at VY2TT, CQ WPX CW at VP9GE, CQWW SSB at 9H6A and CQWW CW with the group at KH6LC.  Hurray for Frequent Flyer miles!

Please QSL via my manager Buzz NI5DX for all contacts from Alaska, J79SB, and E51RAT.  Please QSL directly for TF/KL7SB and HB0/KL7SB. Bureau will be answered but very very delayed. I am on LOTW and eQSL but sometimes take a while to upload.


Steve KL7SB

p.s.  2017 update.  I am in the process of buying the KL7RA contest station.  Rich's XYL Jyl, really wanted it to stay in the contest community and keep his legacy alive.  Wigi Tozzi KL0R, who contested with Rich for the last twenty five plus years will be running the contest operations.  I feel like we're Novices, walking in the ultimate Extra's shoes, but, we're going to try our best.  Keep an eye on www.kl7ra.com as we go.  


Other plans for 2017 are an already completed return to VP9 for NAQP SSB and CW, a trip to 4X land from late April until the end of May, back to KH6LC for IOTA and E51 for Oceania DX, and KD2RD for WAE CW (my first operation from the area where I grew up since 1985.  After that, I plan on cutting down the travel for awhile to concentrate on KL7RA (and earn a living!)


8062097 Last modified: 2017-04-29 05:20:00, 6800 bytes

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