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I go by Ed.  I was originally licensed as WD4LJJ, sometime in the mid to late '70's. I'm unsure of the actual year but I believe it to have been either 1977 or 1978 (thanks to Jack, W4TJE, I now know it was mid-to-late '77). A long period of dormancy followed, over 30 years of inactivity before the bug bit again. For some strange reason I always kept renewing my novice license, as if I knew that I'd return to the hobby at some point.
 
In late 2008, I began reassembling and modernizing my station. At the same time I upgraded from my original novice license to technician, general, and finally extra, all within the space of a few months. I was hooked again.
 
I've enjoyed using an assortment of rigs since becoming active again. A vintage Kenwood TS-940SAT started the ball rolling and an Elecraft K2/100 soon followed. Then a Yaesu FT-1000MP was added along with a Kenwood TS-590S. After all of that, I've finally settled on an Elecraft K3/100. I later added the second receiver, P3 panadapter, and a KPA-500 amplifier.  I couldn't be happier.
 
The antennas are a 3-element SteppIR with the 30/40 add-on placed on a 45 foot free-standing tower and some wires in the trees for 80 meters. Unfortunately when my wife and I built our house, it wasn't with ham radio in mind and we live down in a gulley, just about the worst spot possible for ham radio for several miles around. Nevertheless, it hasn't seemed to stop me.  I'm really pleased with how well the 30/40 dipole option works.  Of course, while it has no front-back, it does exhibit surprising directivity.
 
Here's a picture of the top half of my tower, shot from my back deck.  I dug the foundation hole myself over the course of a couple of weekends and a good friend and I raised it with a small electric winch hooked to a deck support.  I'm not sure you'd call it a two-man job, but somehow we did it and lived to tell about it.  I learned a lot in the process and I'm thankful for all the folks who post hints and pictures of their tower-raisings on their websites.  You may wonder why the mast has an odd looking gray section in the middle - I cut it and then welded a piece of pipe to extend it so that I could locate the rotor further down in the tower.
 
 
My first 300+ entities were worked with 100 watts or less and a hexbeam and a vertical.  Boy, that was a lot of work.  I recently added a DXEngineering active receive antenna which has helped a lot on the lower bands, especially with the diversity receive of the K3.  Presently I only have one receive antenna installed but I hope to add another soon, which should provide some directivity.  Even the one unit makes a difference.  I don't have room for a beverage, although I'm contemplating a short BOG if I can fit it within the confines of my yard.
 
I'm slow at returning paper QSL's but if you send me one and indicate that you want mine, I'll get one back to you. Don't bother with postage, I'm happy to oblige. I do upload to LOTW quite frequently.
 

 

7459048 Last modified: 2017-03-22 18:42:42, 4283 bytes

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