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**** Guantanimo Bay DX Trip ****

Regretfully my 2017 October trip to Guantanimo has been delayed due to some unforseen health issues.  Please follow 

for updates on an upcoming trip.





Originally from Oxford PA, I was licensed as a Novice, WN3ZXX in 1975 under the tutlage of Wayne, K3SUK.  Wayne was the cover artist for many of the magazines of the 60's and 70's including 73, Ham Radio and Ham Radio Horizons. With the help of him and several others including Jack, WA3DQF(W3JR), Harvey K3PKK and Larry W3UIO I was able to get on the air with some old homebrew transmitters and a Heath AR-3 reciever.  One bump of the table and the contact was lost. Anyone remember the old Q-multipliers?  That geatly enhanced the performance of that receiver but when the BFO finally died we spent days scrambling for parts to get it going again..Somewhere in there (in the first 2 years I went to the FCC office in Philadelphia and passed my General exam and became WA3ZXX.

I progressed through a series of radios, the first of which was a Hallicrafters SX-110 reciever and an HT-40 crystal controlled transmitter.  Finally I got my first VFO and the whole world opened up it seemed. This station was followed by the Heath DX-60A and HR10 reciever with matching VFO and finally my first SSB rig which was the Heath SB 100 which I enjoyed immensley.  We toyed with some VHF stuff as well including a little 6 meter AM with the Lafayette HA-45s and of course everyone had a heath TWO-er at one point. I finally got on 2M FM with the Heath HW-202 and moved into the Heath HW-2036 and at some point I ended up with the Icom 251A 2M all mode which I still have to this day. During those early years I enjoyed being a member of the Chesapeake Bay Radio Club and was mentored by the likes of Glen WA3LSW, Dave K3UAV, Jim, WB3CYC to name a few.  Another memorable acquantance was Harry Davis W3FDY up in Parksburg PA.  What a guy and what a shack. He has long since passed as have many of the old timers but I  believe his station on the hill still remains. 

In 1982 I joined the Navy and things changed for me as I was off the air most of the time.  Fortunately there were opportunities including running the MARS station at NOB Norfolk which had some beautiful old Collins gear and you could get the key from the base Officer of the Deck and go up and hang out .. I think the call was W4NPT but would have to dig up the old logs to find out.  I assisted in setting up a MARS staton on my first ship, the USS Caloosahatchee with the Ten Tec Omni series.. probably the first of that line of equipment.

A brief tour in San Diego led me to a great group of guys at the El Cajon radio club and after working field day with them I was made an honorary member of their club.  My good friend Gary, WD5CSY and I had a hide out in the old MARS staton on the roof of one of the buildings at the old Recruit Training Center.  Here Gary introduced me to RTTY and with the Commodore VIC 20 and a home made TNC, I became hooked on digital communications.  Following San Diego I left for the University of Kansas and appartment dwelling  and of course Lawrence was the home of Kantronics.  Here I progressed through a series of TNCs and computers and finally ended up the KAM all mode HF/VHF TNC.

A visit to Guantanimo Bay Cuba gave me the opportunity to be on the other end of the DX pile up and I spent several days working under KG4AM and had a blast.  I was hooked and tried getting orders to GITMO but ended up in Roosavelt Roads Puerto Rico instead. Here I enjoyed working DX immensley and had quite a station set up with packet node to HF and VHF with the Kantronics KAM and the Kenwood TS-530SP complete line.  We had monobanders on 10-15 meters as well and a Butterfly beam on top of the whole mess.  It was quite a sight to see.  I was also fortunate to have my ham station available during Hurricane Hugo and received my first Navy Achievement medal for passing health and welfare traffic to hundreds of families stateside and relayed the same to residents of Puerto Rico with the assistance of my good friend, the late Sergio KP4GY.


Ceiba PR (circa 1991)               Newport Rhode Island (1988)     White House Press Room (2004) 

(Current 2016)

Returning from PR we went to Kings Bay (ST. Mary's GA) where I changed my call to KQ4LA around 1991.  I was very active during this period and traded the Kenwood gear in for the Yaesu FT-One which I still have to this day.  I also experimented with satellite operations and remained active while I was on sea duty on USS Canopus and shore duty at NAS Cecil Field FL.  My good friends Gary WD5CSY, David KC4EHI and Ken W4BWX all were instrumental in keeping me moving along technologically with the hobby.  David helped me get towers up including a tribander and another tower for Satellite gear. I also spent 2 years commuting back and forth to Charleston SC where I tried to get active again but ended up spending so much time underway on the USS Santa Barbara that ham radio seemed like something from the past.

Finally in 1998 we packed up shop and moved to Norfolk VA.  All of the gear stayed in boxes and the antennas all in a pile.  Sea duty for a number of years on USS Saipan LHA2 and Nashville LPD-13 kept me from getiting back on the air.

I retired from the Navy in 2007 and taught public school for 5 year prior to returnng to work for the Civil Service and the Department of the Navy.  

After at least 15 years I started back into the hobby only 2 months ago (Jan 2016).  I guess the shock of the passing of my Elmer played a part in getting myself back in gear.  I got all of the gear out and it has been a bit of a rude awakening in that so much has changed.  I no longer had a 2 meter rig that I could work repeaters on as everything requires CTCSS.  I had visited a field day sight and met some guys a few years back and kept that in the back of my head and I looked up the club and with he help of Facebook have established a new place with the Radio Amateur Society of Norfolk.  Back on the air I started having problems with the FT-One and began searching for a new radio to replace it. Finally I acquired a Yaesu FT-2000 from Jonathan W4HV (what a station in Richmond VA) which is leap years ahead of anything I owned technologically.  Now we are working on getting antennas going.  The old Tri-bander is in the process of being restored.  The 2M and 440 satellite antennas look good.  There is a 15 element 2 meter boomer and a Ringo Ranger waiting to go up. I put up dipoles on 80 and 40 meters and am in the process of putting up a Hygain AV-640 vertical.  Now to get on the digital modes again.  Computers and technology have changed so much that I am starting over in that respect as well. What is this sound card interface thing anyway?

More to follow!


Jeff KQ4LA

Update: 4/13/15

 The FT-2000 is doing great.  The Rohn 25 tower is cleaned up and painted and waiting to go up.  The AV-640 has been doing a bang up job.. 88 countries confirmed and 120 worked already (less than 3 months).  Installed an end-fed 9:1 Sloper on 160 and have been having good sucess with that.  Also have added the Tigertronics Signalink and have been active on RTTY, PSK31 and JT65 on all bands.  Trying to drum up activity on 6 meters but so far only 2 contacts.  The tribander is cleaned up and ready to go as well.

Anxious to get on QRP on the sailboat.  Recently acquired a Yaesu FT-817 with the LDG Z11 AT for that project.


6 Meters and 160 have been the recent highlights of my activity.  Having a blast when either one of them is open.  Finished DXCC mixed and am working on closing out the individual CW, SSB and Digital certifcates.  Acquired an AL-811H but haven't turned it on yet.  The tower is up 23 feet and has been that way for 2 months with 2 sections on the ground waiting to go up.  Antennas are all set to go with the tribander, 4 element 6 meter yagi and 13 element 2 meter beam for 2M SSB.  Nevada is eluding me for Worked All States with several contacts but no confirmations.  Also having a great time working the National Parks on the Air stations.


Continuing to work on the tower and antennas.. the tower has been up for a couple of months but the heat has kept me on the ground with the antennas.  Finally got a break and have made a little progress with putting up the 2M Diamond X50 this week.


Antenna project progress.  Long way to go.  Beams are next.

Now we are getting somewhere... 6M 4 element and 2M 15 element and rotor installed 11/28/16.  Slowly but surely thanks on this one to Daryl KB2EMC working on the tower.


Finally with the TH3MK3 .. just a few issues to work out!!


Sailing Vessel Joint Effort KQ4LA/MM (with the Misses)

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8363683 Last modified: 2017-10-01 23:28:43, 13076 bytes

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United States Counties Award#914
Granted: 2016-07-19 17:20:03   (KQ4LA)

  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
United States Award#2283
Granted: 2016-07-02 12:30:03   (KQ4LA)

  • Mixed Digital
World Continents Award#12819
Granted: 2016-05-13 13:15:03   (KQ4LA)

  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • 40 Meters Phone
  • 5 Band CW
  • 17 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    30 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
    80 Meters CW
  • 17 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 30 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
Grid Squared Award#11528
Granted: 2016-05-13 13:15:03   (KQ4LA)

  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Phone
  • Mixed CW
  • Mixed Digital
DX World Award#3734
Granted: 2016-05-13 13:15:02   (KQ4LA)

  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 30 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • Mixed CW
  • Mixed Phone
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