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QSL: DIRECT, SASE required, LOTW, eQSL

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First off, I have started a blog about my experineces with The Fricking Flex, the Flex 6700 radio that I mistakenly thought I was upgrading to from the 5K I used to have.   If you are remotely considering a Flex Signature Radio I would suggest you follow along on this blog.   You can find it at http://nd0b.blogspot.com

NOTE 0 :  Updated QSL policy.   While LOTW has drastically cut down on the number of paper QSL requests I get the number that are showing up without SASE has become dispropotional.   As a consequence I will no longer reply to cards sent without an SASE.

NOTE 1: Deadbeat QSL policy. I am actively chasing the Fred Fish Memorial Award and have handed out the relatively rare grid I am in to hundereds of folks needing it. I get a card, you get one back. As a consequence I have very little patience for folks who ignore having received a card and SASE from me. If you are a deadbeat QSLer, ie someone who had had my card and SASE for over 6 months and I have not received a card back, you can expect that any contact I make with you during a contest will be deleted from my log before I submit it. HRD makes this easy to do and I keep accurate records. If you do not like the penalty points you get by all means send me an email complaining. I will be happy to tell you what I think in reply....

NOTE 2:  I decided K2NCC can kiss the north end of a south bound horse and that I am resuming making  JT65/JT9 contacts on HF.  While he is busy doing that be sure you do not skip the RRR message as if you do I will not log the contact and will not offer a second chance.  Clarification... You do not need to send RRR if I have already sent it, send 73 as the contact was finished when I sent RRR.  Only one of the stations needs to send RRR.  Bob2 convinced me the RR73 is OK so I recently started accepting that.

UPDATE TO NOTE 2:  The WSJTx powers that be have decided that RR73 is and acceptable combination of TX4 and TX5.   While I happen to disagree I will honor contacts that use RR73 in place of RRR and 73.    I will continue to not log and will not QSL contacts that jump straght to 73.    These comments apply only to HF, if you work me on VHF and skip the RRR I will not honor the contact.   

Future KH6 Plans:   My wife and myself recently purchased a wintertime retirement property on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We are in the SE corner of the island (Hawaiian Paradise Park for those of you familiar) about 15 minutes south of Hilo.  I have a good view of moonrise and a view of moonset down to about 7 degrees.  Currently the house is rented out long term but in 2018 or so we will be going there 4 to 6 months a year to be somewhere warmer in the winter.  My plans are to set up an AZ/EL system and activate different VHF/UHF bands on EME.  As I want to keep the operation somewhat modest I will concentrate on one band a year, currently I have plans for 6m, 2m, 222MHz and 432MHz. It will take a while to get things set up so operations will likely commence in 2019.  With the recent  uptick of JT weak signal modes on 6m will likely set up an LFA on that band and with the advent of FT8 will likely put a modest HF station in place.   

I am currently QRV on all bands 160m - 70cm.  I have transverters for 1.2GHz and 2.4GHz and an antenna up on 1.2GHz but need to do some work to get it all integrated. .

Became interested in the hobby at age 12 when I saw WA0TBR's station just down the road. This interest eventually lead to a degree in electronics engineering, a field I still pursue. Was first licensed in 1974 as WN0VHW. Upgraded from Novice to Advanced in 1984 then to Extra in 1997. Was active on HF, weak signal, satellite and working on the Superlink from 84 to 97. In 1997 an ice storm took down all of my antennas in the course of a few hours. Various personal commitments (work and raising a family) kept me mostly off the air until about 2005.

Since then have been rebuilding. My main rig is now a Flex Radio Systems 6700 (The Fricking Flex) and I have an ANAN 100D as a backup.  For amps I have an Acom 2000A on HF, Lunar Links on 6m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm. Antennas are a 4 element Steppir with two 30/40m loops, Innovantenna LFA-8 on 6m and M2 antennas for the rest of weak signal bands, a 160m dipole and a 160m cut G5RV. I tune the G5RV with either a Palstar AT-Auto or AT5K depending on the band / power I am running. There are a few other rigs / antennas around the shack but that is the main equipment.

More recently I have been experimenting with RTL dongles and SDR Console on receive for 6m.   The sensitivity and noise immunity of this combination is incredible and in many cases it out performs my Flex 6700.   My recent contact with W6JTI flat would not have been possible without this combination.  As a consequence I now refer to my main radio as The Fricking Flex or TFF to save typing time.    I would say it is an $8k transmitter but because of flaws in Flex's version of VAC (DAX) it is not even very good at that on the digital modes I tend to operate.   Bidding has been brisk to buy if from me with the last offer being $311.47 but alas the person is my friend and I do not beleive in taking advantage of my friends.

A past construction project fully automated all of the RF switching in the shack, I can now set a frequency on the Flex and the proper antenna, amp, tuner and antenna and auxiliary amplifier fans are all selected.  This system was recently upgraded with a Programmable Logic Controller at its heart.   Picture of the setup is below.  Thanks to Steve, K5FR for supporting my hairbrained projects over the years.

Current update plans are to replace the two Palstar tuners with an Alpha 4040 if they ever get into production (Riiiiggggghhhhhtttt LOL).  I am also working on a VLF eggbeater for lightning detection. In the near future I hope to get up a RPOL EME array for 2m and to get an orthagonally steered receiving loop going. In the long term future I hope to get the old 3.5m TVRO dish going on 1.2GHz EME and maybe even 10GHz.

Interests include 6m operation, meteor scatter, APRS weather, repeater linking (most recently with IRLP), station automation and SDR. I have had alot of success lately on 2m EME (That is unit The Fricking Flex got The Fricking Software Update) and have even made a couple of 6m EME contacts. My favorite was with Ken, G4IGO on 6m for his 50th state on 6m!

Maybe someday I will have time to operate LOL. You will find me on PingJockey quite a bit chasing the rocks and on the N5TM chat rooom swapping lies and insults with my friends.  When 6m is open you will find me there on SSB or FT8, if it is not you will find me there on meteor scatter using MSK144. You can also find me on 2m meteor scatter and EME as well as 1.25m  meteor scatter.

Current quests are FFMA (487 worked, 487 confirmed, none currently withdeadbeat status), 2m WAS (47 worked and confirmed) and 1.25m WAS (36 worked and confirmed).

Recent accomplishments include the current 222MHz meteor scatter distance record held with K1OR as well as the runner ups with N1RJX (now N2EME) and  W5UWB (RIP John, thank you!!) and the first 222 MHz Meteor Scatter 10k award. I really like 222MHz and wish more folks were on it.  I also have one 222 EME contact in the log with N9HF in Florida.

QSLing:

Being from ND and from a rare grid I end up doing over 1K QSLs a year.  Getting on LOTW helped alot and I would suggest that is the easiest way to get a confirmed contact.   The system has gotten much easier to get on and use in recent years so please check it out.

I update eQSL about once a month, LOTW about once a day when I am active or have been asked for a QSO. Paper QSL I answer the day I get them but please read on...

Stateside stations: If you want a card for my state, county, grid, etc a card from you is required and an SASE is not only greatly appreciated but required. If you do not send an SASE I will not send you a card back.

DX Stations: Unless I need your card I will not originate a card to you. I answer every card I get from the Bureau but usually wait until I have a hundred or so to do.. If you QSL direct please include an SAE and one IRC or one US Dollar to cover the cost of return postage. Alternately you can send some of your local paper currency equivelant to about one dollar, my wife likes collecting it. If your currency is very ornate you can even get away with sending way less than a dollar LOL!! If you send me a card without an IRC or a dollar the reply willl go out via the Bureau.

73 de Bill ND0B

 

Picture of me in the shack a while back. In the process of several changes to the equipment and the layout, new pic soon. I recently tore the shack down to bedrock and put it back together. It is amazing how many unmarked cables can accumulate in 30 years.  And it needs to be done again LOL.

 

Tower of power for V/U.   Lunar Link Amplifiers and DEMI transverters.

 

Four Element Steppir with dual 30/40 meter loops on HDX-555 tower that went up November of 2012. The Steppir was originally on my TX-455 tower whiich now has my week signal antennas. I was smart this time and mounted the Steppir on a TiltPlate, marvelous product.  Future 1.2G EME dish visible in the pic.

 

Weak signal antennas on TX-455 tower. From bottom to top

Innovantenna 6M LFA-8, M2 432-9WL. M2 2M12, M2 222-5WL:, M2 23CM35 all fed with LMR-600.

This tower went up November of 2010 and originally had the Steppir on it. Weak signal antennas were installed summer of 2012.  In June of 2015 a nasty early morning thunderstorm damaged this tower bowing one leg so it will not retract fully.   Insurance paid for a new tower but I have been looking for an HDX-555 since.   Finally found one fall of 2017 and after a really long drive to a supberb of Detroit and back it is sitting behind the shop ready to be installed.

Fathers day present a couple of years ago.... wonderful addition to the TX-455 tower!!

New as of December 2014 Station Control Setup.   Koyo Programmable Logic controller used to replace 4 amplifier keying boxes, a custom design relay control board, a keying signal relay box and several other control items all with upgraded functionality.  Thanks to Steve K5FR of DDUtil fame for fully supporting this project!!

 

Latest addition to the station control project.   This is a rack mount DJ Power Console that I added solid state relays to 7 of the 8 outlets with an RJ45 connector on the control side to ran over to the PLC shown above.   I am currently using this to control auxiliary fans on my amplifiers which are now turned on and off based on mode and usage.

 

Future KH6 digs located about 15 miles south of Hilo on the Big Island.    Looking forward to spending winters there.

 

 

 

Map

8451334 Last modified: 2017-11-13 19:48:39, 12467 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - ND0B
Latest Contacts for ND0B at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
EI4GZB 2017-12-16 20m FT8 IO63th Ireland Peter Taite
YO8SEP 2017-12-16 20m FT8 KN37sd Romania PETRONEL POSTOLACHE
DJ4BO 2017-12-16 20m FT8 JO43bn Germany Wolfgang Hofmann
HB9DCO 2017-12-16 20m FT8 JN37sm Switzerland Arthur Justin DOPPLER
DK8FG 2017-12-16 20m FT8 JO54ca Germany Peter Zahari
DK7TX 2017-12-14 20m FT8 JO31jg Germany Oliver Berg
K9SLQ 2017-12-14 2m MSK144 EN70JR78 United States DARRELL W GROVE
VA3FU 2017-12-14 6m MSK144 FN04de Canada Timothy Mark Pacan
K0OWG 2017-12-14 6m MSK144 EM47su United States JAMES R BARKER
W8BYA 2017-12-14 1.25m MSK144 EN70jt United States GEDAS C VYSNIAUSKAS
N5BCA 2017-12-14 6m MSK144 EM12OX93 United States MICHAEL T CALLAHAN
KR6EN 2017-12-14 60m FT8 EM59ES06 United States JAMES W GRUBBS, III
KG0YL 2017-12-14 60m FT8 EN17mt United States Nancy M Yoshida
K0AY 2017-12-14 60m FT8 FN20ha United States ARTHUR YORK
N5JS 2017-12-13 12m FT8 EM12rx United States JAMES M SZOT

Book Totals: 190 qso's   59 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


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