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CLICK THE CQ DX IMAGE ABOVE TO VISIT THE DX HEAT SPOTTING CLUSTER PAGE!

*Last Page Update: February 18, 2018

I'm still needing North Dakota confirmed to complete my WAS CW Award here on QRZ Logbook. I've worked ND several times, but never a station that uses QRZ Logbook so if you can help me out I'd certainly appreciate it! Please drop me an email at the address listed here on my QRZ page to set up a CW schedule with me. "Thanks in advance & very 73 de Cliff KU4GW"

*NOTE: I go by my middle name 'Cliff'  instead of Floyd because my Dad was always called Floyd.

Maidenhead Grid Square Locator: EM95iv

*BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE LATEST POST TO MY BLOG AT:

https://ku4gw.blogspot.com/

 

Click the Image Below to Visit My Facebook Page!

 

       

 

Check out the CW Operators Facebook Community Page by Clicking the Photo Below!

ABOUT ME: First of all, I go by my middle name "Cliff" because my Dad was Floyd.I am age 56 and have been a ham since October 16th, 1996, Extra Class with CW since April 19, 1997. I am also an all American born Conservative Christian member of the human race. I enjoy many facets of the amateur radio hobby, CW being my most favorite mode, but also operate some HF phone and digital modes as well. My favorite digital modes for ragchew QSOs are Feld Hell also called Hellschreiber and PSK31 is another fun digital mode for ragchew QSOs. 

Station Information:My station is located on the NE slope of Bald Knob Mountain (SOTA Reference W4C/WP-005) in Alexander County at 1,434 feet (437 meters) above sea level. My station equipment consists of a Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V and a Yaesu FT-897D for my backup rig for HF and I use a 260 feet (79 meters) doublet antenna up about 30 feet (9.14 meters) fed with 450 ohm ladder line which is connected to a homebrew balun and a short piece of coax coming on into the shack that I use on the 15 through 160 meter bands.  I also just recently installed a coaxial 75 meter double bazooka antenna for use on the 75/80 meter band and it works fantastic! I have up a Solarcon A-99 vertical antenna better known as a Antron 99 that I use on the 10, 12, 15, and 17 meter bands that is on a telescoping pole at 30 feet (9.14 meters) high. Other antennas I have are a Cushcraft A13B2 13 element yagi, a Cushcraft A-50-3S 3 element yagi for 6 meters, a Hustler 5BTV ground-mounted vertical. Several of these antennas I just received recently and hope to get them up soon. I own one RF amplifier, an Ameritron AL-80B that I use mostly on 75 meter phone or when I'm trying to bust a huge DX pileup on other bands. I use a Palstar AT1500CV antenna tuner and I just retubed the AL-80B amplifier (see photos down this page). I use a West Mountain Radio Rigblaster M8 digital interface for HF digital modes. I also use a Yaesu FP-29 power supply for the Mark V and have the SP-8 Yaesu external speaker, a Yaesu MD100A8X desk top microphone, and a Daiwa CN-801H SWR/Power Meter. I frequently use a Heil Proset Plus headset to hear those weaker CW signals as my hearing has suffered slightly from working in a 90 dB noise environment for 30 years although I did almost always wear hearing protection (ear plugs). I also have a Pyramid PS-36KX 35 amp power supply and a Icom PS-55 20 amp power supply. I especially like the Pyramid PS-36KX power supply because it has separate meters for volts and amps. For VHF I sometimes also use a Radio Shack HTX-242 mobile rig (my very first VHF rig) running 48 watts into a Cushcraft A148-10S 10 element yagi vertically mounted on a roof tripod.  I power the 2 meter rig from the Icom PS-55 power supply. 

QRP in the Field equipment:I have both a Ten-Tec R4020 2 band (20 and 40 meters) CW mode only QRP rig and a Hendricks PFR-3A 3 band (20,30, and 40 meters) CW mode only QRP transceiver with attached W5JH BBW (Baby Black Widow) CW paddle and I also purchased a Flying Pig Rig kit and a Ten-Tec TPC-19 enclosure for the rig that I have not yet assembled. For my portable operation antennas I use either a 44 feet (13.4 meters) long dipole fed with 450 ohm ladder line or a 42 feet end-fed wire vertical antenna and a Emtech ZM-2 antenna tuner I built from a kit. When using the Hendricks it has it's own manual antenna tuner built right into the rig.

CW Keys: My favorite and most used straight key is a J.H. Bunnell CJB26003A Navy Flameproof I bought from new old stock from the J.H. Bunnell Company in Kings Park, New York. It is mounted on a 1/2" thick steel base custom made for me by W4CUX Bill Worley SK. I had a Begali Camelback straight key, but sold it on a Ebay auction after mounting the Navy Flameproof on the 1/2" thick steel base. The Navy key was like a completely different key after mounting it on the steel base, so much so that I began liking it better than the Begali Camelback key so I never used the Begali Camelback anymore and decided to sell it.  I use a Vibroplex Deluxe Chrome Vibrokeyer single lever paddle key that was willed to me by W4CUX Bill. Bill also willed me the Hendricks PFR-3A QRP rig I speak of above, a W5JH BBW (Baby Black Widow) iambic paddle that attaches to the front of the PFR-3A, and a QRP Kits 10 watt 50 ohm SMT resistive dummy load. W4CUX Bill constructed the PFR-3A from a kit. I have photos of all my equipment on down this page. I seldom work faster than 17-18 words per minute in a ragchew QSO with the paddle, but do go faster, up to around 28 to 30 words per minute, in a DX exchange QSO.

Clubs and Membership Numbers:SKCC # 652C, FISTS # 16001, NAQCC # 1491, Flying Pigs QRP International # 1183, QRP ARCI #15877, Great Outdoors Radio Club=GORC # 399, 4SQRP # 536, Club72 # 46, CWRagchewers # 30, 7240 Club # 1303, Feld Hell Club # 62, Southcars # 1967, Grit # 171, Zombie # 867, Ambassadors for Christ # 1184, Digital Modes Club (DMC) # 6362, 30 Meter Digital Group (30MDG) # 865, and SOC # 952.

I installed another antenna for the 75/80 meter band back on March 21st, 2017, a Double Bazooka coaxial dipole that KT4FW Sid made for me and I am well pleased with it's performance! It works well on 75/80 meter band, but does not perform as well as the 260 feet doublet as reported by other operators in the 75 meter phone group I used to hang out with. I mounted the antenna at 40 feet high at the apex with the ends a few feet off the ground in a inverted-V configuration. It sometimes out performs my 260 feet doublet under certain band conditions by 2 to 3 S units on received signals and transmitted signals, but it really depends upon the band conditions. One thing I've noticed is that it receives less noise than the doublet antenna does. It's a fantastic antenna for talking all the way to the west coast! I thought it was supposed to be more of a NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) antenna, but it works well close in and far away too also dependent upon the band conditions=radio wave propagation and the other station's location. It is put up running almost east to west while the doublet runs NE to SW. I was hearing a station in New Mexico a few months ago on 75 meter phone at an S-2 signal on the 260 feet doublet and when I switched to the double bazooka his signal increased to an S-8 signal (36 dBs)! What a huge difference! I'm tickled it works so well! Thanks Sid! You're the man!  

**NEW STATION ACCESSORY: HDSDR Pan Adaptor on the FT-1000MP Mark V with no IF tap required!  I now have a pan adaptor working thanks to the help of NC4WS Wayne (SK as of July 19, 2017) of Pikeville, NC. Wayne built me the small box pictured below that uses a Z10050A 3-DB Hybrid Splitter/Combiner and has input and output RCA phono plugs that run audio cables to the input and output RCA phono jacks on the RX antenna connectors on the back of the FT-1000MP Mark V transceiver and it uses HDSDR software for the display program along with a DVB-T+DAB+FM DV3 dongle and the ExtIO_RTL-2832.dll and Zadig_2.2 files to run the dongle and HDSDR. By using the RX antenna to get the received signal to the dongle I did not have to do a internal IF tap on the FT-1000MP Mark V's circuit board. The box Wayne made me also has it's own DC wall wart to power it so I don't need to power it from the Dell 17R (N7010) laptop PC I run it on.

 

 

Screenshot of the HDSDR Pan Adapter display. 

Look at how busy the band was when this was made on the 75 meter phone band!  

         

Below is a pan adaptor screenshot of the 40 meter band made at 2235 UTC on February 17, 2018 of the ARRL International DX Contest on CW. Wow! Signals galore! The wider orange colored area at the right side is where the FT8 digital mode operators gather. 

 

 

 

 A-1 Operator Club member since April 11, 2012.

 

 

I finally got around to submitting my log and received the certificate above for my Centurion Award with SKCC, the Straight Key Century Club, on March 7, 2017. I'll be working towards my Tribune Award next. I'm glad I was able to finally do this because it helps other SKCC members to earn additional points during the club's monthly sprint contests.

Click the certificate above to visit the SKCC website.

 

CLICK THE MAP BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION AMATEUR RADIO PREFIX LIST

 

 

The Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide

 

My Last 10 QSOs in ClubLog

*NOTE: MANUALLY UPDATED ON THE FIRST DAY OF EACH MONTH

My Last 30 QSOs in HRD Logbook

 

"Click the Changing Logo Above to Read the DX Code of Conduct"

 

I upload all contacts to ARRL LOTW, eQSL.cc, QRZCQ.com, and to ClubLog!

and to

and to

and to

 

 

and to a few other amateur radio websites as well!

 

 GEAR UPDATE - May 23, 2016 

I had installed a new 3-500ZG-RFP Vacuum Tube in my Ameritron AL-80B amplifer back on January 16, 2016, but on April 15th the tube suddenly starting messing up. I was in a QSO with W4JCW when my SWR meter on my Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V suddenly pegged out the SWR scale on the radio and I immediately unkeyed and after doing so the tube began glowing a much brighter orange than normal while at the same time was pulling 100 mA of plate current although the amplifier was unkeyed! I switched to a 1500 watt dummy load (cantenna) and repeaked the amp to make sure it was still properly tuned and it was, but after I unkeyed it did the same thing again! I posted about the issue on the Ameritron amplifier Yahoo Group  and W8JI Tom Raunch, the engineer that designed the AL-80B amplifier, replied and said I had a intermittant grid filament short. I contacted RF Parts where I purchased the new tube and shipped it back. After they received the tube they could not get it to ever act up on them like it had with me. In the meantime I reinstalled my weak tube and ran it with no issues. RF Parts said that although they couldn't get the tube to mess up that they were still shipping me a new tube per the 3 year warranty. I had less than 500 hours of total operation on the tube I shipped back and less than 400 or even less on actual transmitting time on it. I received the new replacement tube on May 23, 2016 and installed it that evening. Also I installed the Hyper Plate Cap high efficiency plate cap on the tube that I had on the previous one. See the video below to see what a difference the new plate cap makes in tube heating. My old tube that I bought the tube from RP Parts to replace had gotten so I could only get 500 watts output with 100 watts drive from the exciter, but the newest replacement one peaks at 1100 watts with 100 watts drive. I can get 750 watts with only 60 watts of drive from the exciter and that's where I'll be running it most of the time. I never use my amp anywhere but on the 75 meter phone band unless I'm trying to bust a huge DXpedition pile up on another band. I work mostly CW so I don't usually need over the 200 watts my Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V is capable of, but on 75 meter phone, especially in the summertime when static levels are so high, a amp is about a must have piece of equipment if you want to be heard over the QRN on the lower bands like 75/80 and 160 meters. Anyway, I'm glad that RF Parts sent a new tube with no scrupples about doing so. I highly recommend them as good as their customer service did with me on this issue. My new tube is performing like a champ! I hope that it will be the last tube I ever have to purchase! W8JI Tom Raunch, Jr., the engineer who designed Ameritron's vacuum tube amplifiers, says that although the Ameritron AL-80B is advertised as a 1 kilowatt desktop amplifier, that if you run it at 1 kilowatt all the time the 3-500ZG tube will not last. I wish I had read that a couple years ago and I probably wouldn't have had to purchase a new tube to begin with. W8JI Tom says that if you will only drive the 3-500Z to 800 watts that it will last a lifetime so that's where I'll be running mine from now on, at 800 watts output maximum output or less, after peaking the tube with 100 watts of drive. 

A Few Pics of the new tube & plate cap installation

I highly recommend these plate caps made by 73cnc.com because now I can tune my amplifier with little worry about overheating the tube when I do. They work fantastic!

* NOTE: I did have to take a small allen wrench and remove the aluminum sleeve on top of the tube that the standard plate cap tightens down on in order to get the Hyper Plate Cap to fit on the anode of the tube. Very simple & easy to do!

 

A Few Photos of My Station, etc

MY DOUBLET ANTENNA

 

"Yours truly in the hamshack"

 

A close-up of the Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V

 

If you're into CW operating I would like to extend an invitation to you

to check out my Facebook Community Page, the "CW Operators Group" 

located at https://www.facebook.com/CW.Operators/

 

The photo below was taken at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention with the cast of the Hamnation Podcast that is on Twit.tv each week and 2 of the members of the AmateurLogic.TV webcast. The only Hamnation cast member not in the photo is K9EID Bob Heil. Bob was there at the time, but he was busy manning the Heil Sound LTD booths 102-106 inside the Audio Arena building.

 

 

 This banner hangs over the doorway to my hamshack!

 

 

Ameritron AL-80B 1 KW Amp & Daiwa CN-801H Meter

 

 

 

My Paper QSL Card by UX5UO Printers (I need to buy some letter C stickers to put on the front of my cards beside of my SKCC number now that I have my Centurion endorsement).

 

My current eQSL Card design. I am pictured with the cast of the Hamnation and AmateurLogic.tv amateur radio podcasts in a photo taken at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention.

 

My HF rig control software, Ham Radio Deluxe version 5.24.0.36

 
 
A TRIBUTE TO MY ELMER - KF4LLF
 

KF4LLF Seth in Machu Pichu, Peru 

This is to show my appreciation to the person that finally got me involved in the world's greatest hobby of amateur radio. At age 35 I had spent the past 20 years operating on 11 meter single sideband with a local group of friends until KF4LLF Seth came on the air one day and announced to the group that he had gotten his Technician Class amateur radio license. All of the guys in our sideband group had discussed ham radio, but that's about as far as we ever went with it. Single sideband operation on 11 meters was just about exactly the same as 75 meter phone with the exception that we didn't have to ID every ten minutes. We did go by our first names and not a handle. Way back then we had sideband radio clubs of which I was a member of the Brushy Moutain SSB Club using Brushy Moutain 19 as my membership number. Another much larger club I was in using the number 12 America 016 was the 12 American SSB Club (#12 because NC was the 12th state to join the Union) and at one time we had over 600 members. We had a yearly get together/dinner at Elk Shoals Methodist Campground along the New River in West Jefferson, NC. I used to publish a monthly newsletter for the group and type it on stencil paper on a old manual typewriter and then a friend named David Hatten in Iredell County, now also a ham using the callsign N4WHL, would print them on a old crank handle memograph machine. Club members always donated a little money to cover printing and postage costs. Well, when Seth announced that he had gotten his ham ticket my first thought was he's only 16 years old and if he can do it I can too! I had purchased the "Now Your Talking" book at the local Radio Shack store, but it had only laid on my bookshelf gathering dust until then and I credit Seth as being my elmer because him getting his license is what finally made me take down the book, blow off the dust, and start studying. Seth came 3 weeks later and took me to a V.E. Test Session in Yadkinville, NC where I earned my first amateur radio license. I was on cloud 9 when I left there that day! I literally felt high as if I'd drank a couple of beers really fast! Over the next 6 months I kept studying and in only 6 more months I passed the written exams for General, Advanced, and Extra Class as well as the 5, 13, and 20 words per minute Morse Code examinations. I had reached the pinnacle of amateur radio from non-ham to Amateur Extra in only 9 months total! Thank you KF4LLF Seth for your encouragement and great friendship for all these years! I am forever grateful!
 
 
The certificate below is to me, my most outstanding achievement in amateur radio!

 

 
 

History of the A-1 Operator Club

First organized in May 1933, the ARRL A-1 Operator Club has a proud history and occupies an important place in Amateur Radio tradition. Communications Manager Ed Handy, W1BDI, announced its formation with these words in July 1933 QST

Are you an A-1 Operator? Excellence in stations has often been emphasized. Yet, station performance, equipment, adjustment, etc., are but part of the story. The operation of the equipment, knowledge of procedure, and general communications technique are of very great importance in determining the results of any station. To bring attention to good operating as a paramount issue, and to give it something of the importance it deserves we are this month announcing in these columns the launching of a club for A-1 operators. 

By early 1934, the roster of recognized A-1 operators swelled to more than 400; by the end of 1938, to 1,000 and as of October 25, 2017 there are 6,263 members of this special club! Then, as now, nominations were not made lightly. Through the years, recognition as an A-1 Operator represented an unsolicited acknowledgment of one's high standing among one's peers.

Much is said about the handful of radio amateurs whose operating practices do not quite measure up. Not enough is said about those who, by contrast, lead by example - who set the standard for others to follow. Let us correct that now. Let us honor them as A-1 Operators and in so doing, honor the best in Amateur Radio. 

 
In Memorial of W4CUX William "Bill" Worley SK
This is in memory of my great friend Bill whom I had worked a weekly CW schedule with on 80 meters for 3 years and 3 months until his recent death on December 29th, 2012 from pancreatic cancer. Bill was only diagnosed with the cancer a few weeks before his death. Below are pictured some items that Bill willed to me. I was contacted by W4CJV Wayne shortly after Bill's death and Wayne told me that Bill had asked him to send these things to me. I will treasure them for as long as I live and will think of Bill with fond memories each time I use them. Heaven is a better place with Bill's presence!
 
*Note: There is a story about this on Page 2 of the June 2013 issue of the SKCC Rag Chew Newsletter available for download at
 
 
 
 
 
                                                               
 
Vibroplex Chrome Vibrokeyer Deluxe wired as a Sideswiper/Cootie Key
This is my primary CW key now except I'm using it as a iambic paddle and not as a sideswiper key like W4CUX Bill had been. Other than that I'm usually using one of my two straight keys, either a J.H. Bunnell CJB26003A Navy Flameproof I purchased from NOS (New Old Stock) from the J.H. Bunnell Company in New York or the Czech Army key I bought from W4KRN Karen at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention.
 
 
 
Hendricks QRP Personal Field Radio Model PFR-3A Three Band CW Only Transmit on 20,30,& 40 meter bands. Receives SSB. Bill built this rig from a kit and also attached a Hendricks 10 watt 50 ohm SMT resistive dummy load and a W5JH BBW (Baby Black Widow) iambic paddle that attaches to the front of the rig.
 
 
"Yours truly holding the items that W4CUX Bill willed to me"
 
 
In Memorial of another great ham radio friend I lost to cancer,
K4KCS Paul "Slim" Copeland SK.
 
 
My other QRP transceiver, a Ten-Tec R4020 that was received as a gift from my friends on 3.895 Mhz.
 
QRP operating at the Hiddenite Family Campground in Hiddenite, NC
 
 
QRP Gear is Ten-Tec R4020 2 Band Transceiver (20 & 40 Meter Bands), homebrewed K7HB CW Paddle, Emtech ZM-2 QRP Antenna Tuner I built from a kit, HMDX Ampilified External Ipod Speaker (only $10.00 at Walmart!), and a Power Patrol 12V 7ah Battery (only $18.00 on Amazon!). I sometimes use my Hendricks PFR-3A 3 Band Transceiver (20, 30, & 40 Meter Bands) Which Has It's Own Antenna Tuner Built Right Inside The Rig. I Use Either A 66 Feet (20 Meters) Dipole Fed With 450 Ohm Ladder Line Or A 42 Feet (12.8 Meters) Wire Vertical With No Counterpoise Required.
 
 
MY OTHER QRP TO GO KIT
 
 
 
My Kit Building Projects
 
Emtech ZM-2 QRP Antenna Tuner completed Spring 2013
For Info on the ZM-2 or to order one click the image below!
 
 
I just completed this Thanksgiving week. It's the AA0ZZ EZKeyer II memory keyer I purchased from 4SQRP Kits. Click the photo to see where to purchase the kit.
 
 
This is my next project! Pig Rig serial # 83 that transmits on 7030.7 Khz.They have 3 different versions available at kitsandparts.com You can choose the one that transmits on 3561 Khz, 7030.7 Khz, or on 7122 Khz. Click the photo to open the website that has all the info, schematic diagram, photos, build instructions, and order form for them. This one was built by W8DIZ. WA0ITP will print and mail you a template for drilling the holes in the case and the panel labels as well upon request or he will email them to you to print yourself! He sent me one identical to this one with the exception that it has my callsign on it.
I ordered the case from Ten-Tec project box part # TPC-19. 
 
 
CW Stuff, Keys, Clubs, Etc
 
My favorite straight key! A J.H. Bunnell CJB26003A Navy Flameproof I purchased from the manufacturer, J.H. Bunnel & Co. Telegraph Apparatus in Kings Park, NY.
The base it is mounted on is a 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters) thick steel base custom made for me in his machine shop by W4CUX Bill Worley SK. Adding this key to the steel base completely changed the feel of the key for the better! I liked it so well that I sold my Begali Camelback straight key!
 
 
This is my newest straight key that I picked up at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention! It's a Czech Army key! I got to attend the Dayton Hamvention this year for the first time ever in all my years as a amateur radio operator!  I love using this key! They are great keys and very quiet due to the enclosed contacts. This also keeps the contacts clean so they never need cleaning.
To check out the website where they're available just click the photo below!
 
 
 
 
 
My Favorite Digital Mode is Feld Hell also called Hellschreiber. I like it best mainly because the duty cycle is much less than most other digital modes which means a lot less heating of the rig's finals. For info about the Feld Hell Club check out their website located at https://sites.google.com/site/feldhellclub
 
The photo below is of the W8H Feld Hell Club Special Event held at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention! Left to right are Yours Truly - KU4GW Cliff, W4KRN Karen, KJ8O Joe,
W8LEW Lou, VA3PC Paul, and N8VSI Scott.
 
 
 
 
Feld Hell Videos Courtesy of K7AGE Randy

 

 

"Mickey Mouse" the hamshack dog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4SQRP#536

 

 

#46

 

 

 

A Few of the Different CW Keys I Have Owned Along With the Kenwood TS-570D I ran for about 2 years until I purchased my first FT-1000MP Mark V. 

 

 

 

This page is a work in progress! More to come!

 

Thanks for visiting my QRZ profile and I hope to catch you "on the air!" 


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DX World Award#4860
Granted: 2016-12-20 03:44:02   (KU4GW)

United States Counties Award#950
Granted: 2016-07-19 17:35:05   (KU4GW)

Endorsements:
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
Grid Squared Award#2570
Granted: 2015-02-13 11:00:07   (KU4GW)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#2841
Granted: 2015-02-13 11:00:05   (KU4GW)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
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