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First update, December 2015

As a nine year old kid, I met an older cousin on our summer vacation in 1960. Out of one corner of his bedroom, he was “working the world” with a radio he had built. I was fascinated by Morse code, so he wrote the alphabet and numbers on a sheet of paper that I kept for many years. I had some brief exposure to Morse code a couple years later as a Boy Scout and thru a friend’s father, “Andy” Anderson (WB4ESR), but never got started in this great hobby. Fifty years would pass before I got my Technician, then General license in in 2013. If you want to become proficient in CW, this is not the path I would recommend.

So now, at 65, I continue to try to learn CW. Having learned the letters and not the sounds, it seems to be taking an awfully long time to be able to copy at a respectable speed. If you are here because we just met on the air, you are already aware of that. Still, the fascination with CW continues and I am determined that my ever-aging brain will get it sooner or later.

I am active in the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, where I receive regular education and encouragement. It is a very active club, with excellent, experienced leadership and a broad demographic mix. There is always some public event for which the club provides communication support, picnic, field exercise or get-together of some sort. Rich (N4ESS), Bob (K2EUH), Chet (AB4XK), Rip (AA4HT) and Fred (K1DU) are great Elmers and their CW skills are inspirational.  (One of these guys suggested that a more appropriate call sign for me would have been AS1QRS, which is CW for "Wait 1, Send Slower")

-----     Performing some indespensable task at LARC Field Day, 2014

Performing some indespensable task at LARC Field Day, 2014

-----     Getting some wire in the air for a LARC picnic at Lake Parker in 2015 (KK4FEM in background)

-----     Another "mission critical" assignment at LARC Field Day 2015

I enjoy operating outdoors, QRP and participating in SKCC events, although I mostly use paddle and keyer for day to day. The shack is humble, with an ICOM-718 and IT-100 auto-tuner. We live out in the country, so there are dipoles hanging from the oak limbs around my free-standing office/shack. (My lovely wife of 39 years is very tolerant.) Out and about, I use my Buddipole or a recently acquired Alex Loop. I have a Carolina Windom for 10-20-40 meters here at the QTH; 15, 17 & 30 meters have their own dipoles. The FT-817 ND spends its days in the truck, mostly on 17 and 20 meters. (The Vibroplex Code Warrior on the passenger seat is mostly for show.) Another Yaesu, a FT-2900R/E rounds out the arsenal, giving me access to the club’s repeater and lets me participate in the LARC weekly net. I have a home-brew 2 meter Moxon on the highest corner of the shack roof, aimed directly at the repeater tower, with an IC-T70A handheld as backup and for 70 cm access.



I regularly upload my log to eQSL, QRZ and LoTW and will return a paper QSL card for each one I receive; no charge, no postage, no SASE needed. If you’ve been patient enough to last through the entire QSO, you’ve earned at least a QSL card gratis. Someone has said that a CW QSO with me is a lot like going into labor: “You can never be sure how bad it will be or how long it will last..." 

Thanks for the contact and the look-up. CU on the air.

73, Mike Shreve


SKCC# - 13474      FISTS# - 16493       NAQCC# - 7098     FLYING PIGS# - 3795

LARC Website:  http://lakelandarc.org/

LARC Blog:  http://lakelandarc.blogspot.com/ 

Left is from the north coast of Puerto Rico, between Carolina and Loiza, in December of 2015. Right is a few days later from Fajardo on the NW corner of the island. I'm still getting accustomed to the Alex Loop.


Update, September 2016:

I now upload all contacts to eQSL and LoTW. Still practicing 99.9% CW. Apparently, the aquisition of additional keys does not improve one's ability to copy and send code.

Nothing says Central Florida Ham Radio quite like an antenna mounted on a hog trap on a utility trailer. This is a nifty Wolf River Silver Bullet 1000 coil with a whip I was practice-tuning before the Skeeter Hunt last month. This thing is amazing and tunes 10 - 20 - 40 meters with results similar to what you see here.


Update December, 2016:

Feeling that my life was somehow incomplete with only 10-40 meters, I have just added a EFHW-8010 End-Fed to the farm, giving me access to 80 meters now as well. Seems to be working well so far - low SWR (1.8 or less except for 30 mtrs) across the HF bands without tuner. The logbook will reveal how well is works over time.


Update January 2018:

More fun and games with a quickly deployable field expedient antenna. This is a simple wire End-Fed with a 9:1 UnUn based on the design from EARC Emergency Amateur Radio Club. Radiator is a little over 30' and works well on 20 and 40 meters. The business end is elevated by a 38' push-up mast from Max-Gain Systems and secured in the TN07 mast mount bolted to a 2" receiver hitch. This can be operational within 10-15 minutes of arrival (provided no one wants to help). The entire antenna and mast remain within the footprint of the vehicle. When this is not a requirement, a 70' Model MS135 SuperWire tunes 10-80 meters. 73 HPE CU AGN





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