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Greetings.

I'm from Harrisburg Pennsylvania and currently living in Duncannon (FN10kj).  I was QRT from the hobby for twenty years and came back to the hobby mid-2015.  Originally I came back to the hobby for the digital modes but quickly returned to my roots, CW.

Since April 2016 I've been 100% QRP and below (QRPp).  My rig consists of an Elecraft KX3 and a KX1.  I do have a 6BTV vertical with 50 ground radials, but after experimenting with a G5RV up 50 feet, I haven't had much use for it. 

CLUB MEMBERSHIP

 

SKCC NAQCC FISTS PODXS 070 HELL FELD
14758T 8274 18371 2134 5295

 

FIELD DAY 2017

This year I took field day to the backyard.  Here's a quick video of that experience running QRP

QRPp

I wrote an article for the NAQCC newsletter in the May 2017 issue, about a 200 mW contact to New York.   Below is the video I mentioned.

If I'm online and streaming, you can watch my LIVE YOUTUBE stream and maybe catch me having a QSO with you.

 

 

My Shack

My Keys

Ever wonder about the history of the Blue Racer? Or some interesting factoids about the J-38 straight key?  I quickly go through some of my keys and some of the history behind them.


J-38, Vibroplex and my Kent KT1

1944 Vibroplex Lightning Bug
Another bug I rebuilt.  Here are the before and after pictures.  This might just be my favorite key.  So far it is very very smooth.  It was in very bad shape until I took this bad boy apart and hand cleaned and polished every part.  Not shown in the pictures is a de-bouncer or dot stabilizer that I purchased from Jim W0EB.  I can't tell you what a difference the dot stabilizer has made for me.  It has eliminated the occasional pop or bounce that would cause extra dits.  Jim was very helpful and if you have a bug, I strongly suggest you contact him.

1917 Vibroplex No 4 a.k.a Blue Racer

I picked up this key on eBay and it wasn't in working order.  There was a spring missing from the right tension screw for the dashes, the contacts were corroded and for some reason, someone took this apart many many years ago and when reassembled, they put the paddles on wrong.  Both sides were screwed in on the right side instead of split.  The screw that held them together was difficult to get out after years of being put together wrong.  Here are the before and after pictures.  It runs very smooth for a key that's over 100 years old.

 

 

Elecraft KX3

Elecraft KX1

Besides running my KX3, I also like to use my KX1 for portable operations and occasionally will use my J-38 instead of the side-key.

Solar Project

My latest project is experimenting with solar power and seeing how long or efficiently I can run the IC-7200 on a battery.  The initial project was to use an 18 Ah battery and take it in the field with a solar power.  What grew from that was "Could I run this 24/7 or even just 8 hours straight on a battery?"  After extensive testing and research, I've ended up with a 150 Watt solar panel, 100 Ah SLA battery and a MPPT controller.  The manual from ICOM says the IC-7200 draws 22 amps on 100 watts. However, I've tested this and came to the conclusion they are rounding up a considerable amount.  For example, the IC-7200 is supposed to draw 2 amps on receive.  However, I've monitored it at 0.88 amps and as much as 1 amp.  At 25 watts it draws 7.43 amps and at 100 amps it draws 11.72.  This means I would need as little as a 30 Ah battery and at most a 55 Ah battery.

Using the formula ((Pr *Lr) + (Pt * Lt)) * Ho = Hah / 60% I was able to calculate a 100 Ah battery would be more than enough to run my shack nearly full time. Provided I had sunlight during the day. 

Knowing the rig has a + and - 15% give on power, I know I can't go below 11.7 volts. Since batteries start to degrade below 12.08v, that gives me only 40% of the battery to work from. Therefore I needed to add an additional 60% in my calculation of amp hours (Ah) needed.

 

 

Testing how much current is drawn while in transmit, I lowered the backlight to Low and tested each transmission while in tuning mode.  Two meters gave slightly two different results and these findings are the lowest of them all. In other words, these are best case scenario results.  I will say that at no time could I draw the amount of current the documentation would lead you to believe 

PR = Percentage of time in receive mode
LR = Amps drawn while in receive mode
PT = Percentage of time in transmit
LT = Amps drawn in transmit
Ho = Total hours in use
Hah = Amp Hours needed in battery

 

 

More detailed information on my findings can be found here on my blog.  There's also a YouTube presentation on the reasearch I took and data that I started collecting.  If you're interested in knowing if you can afford to do it? Then watch the presentation.

 

 

 

My Memories

If you're like me and remember the days before the internet and QRZ.COM, to send a QSL card you needed to invest in call books; which were massive.  I remember in 1982 when I got my ticket, I couldn't wait until the following year when in 1983 they printed my name.  Like Nathan Johnson from the movie "The Jerk", I was going to be somebody!  The above picture is from the actual archive in 1983.  KB9MWR has scanned copies of these call books dating back to 1938 I believe.  Use this link to look at the actual print from these wonderful archives at archives.org.

 

 

 

 

 

8490380 Last modified: 2017-12-03 18:18:17, 13182 bytes

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United States Award#2454
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United States Counties Award#3268
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