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Hello!  I'm MIKE!  (I know, first name is Thomas . . .  blame my mother for the confusion!)  


Welcome to my QRZ web page! I was licensed in December, 2010 and have enjoyed my time in the Amateur Radio Service very much.  While I am much less "technical" than I would like to be, I do enjoy experimenting with the various radios I have managed to pick up in the last few years and have had my fingers inside one or the other from time to time.


I am currently active with the following equipment:


Elecraft KX3 QRP transceiver with an RM Italy HLA305 amplifier.


The KX3 is an amazing piece of gear and I have had a ball traveling with it as well as using it at home. It has a fantastic receiver and transmits from less than a watt up to 12 watts out.  You can install 8 rechargeable AA batteries, add an antenna and you are good to go!


Adding the HLA305 amplifier really increases the effectiveness of the transmitter, allowing me to transmit up to 300 watts out if I need it. And lately I have needed a little extra punch to get out during the day running the ONTARS (the Ontario Amateur Radio Service) net.


Yaesu FT-857D


This was the first new HF transceiver (plus 2m and 70cm) I purchased after getting licensd. It is a fine general purpose rig which in summer (traveling season!) I use in my car along with the Hustler antenna system.  This setup works very well indeed. I've managed to check in with ONTARS from western Wisconsin early in the day, drive east towards Ontario and check in to the Sandbox net in the evening! 


While the KX3 has built in transmit and decode for CW, PSK31 and RTTY, I tend to run digital modes on my Yaesu FT-857D, when it is in the shack and is hooked up to the computer using the SignaLink USB interface.


Icom IC-7001


The Icom IC-7001 is my latest HF/VHF/UHF acquisition. I have become interested in D-Star, DMR and C4FM (Fusion) and as far as D-Star is concerned, this is a really nice rig for both HF and V/UHF purposes. There is much to be learned about setting this rig up and operating it to its full potential -- especial in D-Star mode. I have beenhaving a ball checking in with the D-Star HF net on the weekends. It's kind of amazing to hear such nice signals on the HF bands, even as the suspot cycle declines.


I also have an Icom ID-51A Plus D-Star and a TYT 380 DMR handhelds which have been fun to learn about --although there is still a lot to learn.


I like the other digital modes (including CW) a lot too.  There is something about the “instrumentality” of having a morse key or a keyboard between me and the other person, that makes making contacts a little bit easier for shy people like myself! As a result you will find me on PSK31 or CW a lot.  


My antenna farm is very modest.  My main antenna is an inverted-L that started life as a shortwave listening antenna.  I added a counterpoise underneath it and it functions fairly well on all bands.


I also have a G5RV running north and south which I use mostly for running ONTARS (the Ontario Amateur Radio Service Net), and in "radio season" (i.e. Sept-Jun) also the TransProvincial Net. It is quieter than the inverted-L and since I run the KX3/HLA305 with the G5RV, I manage to get out fairly well.


Back-up/Fun Rigs


I have to "fun" rigs online in my two shacks (basement and 2nd floor office) that I enjoy using just because they are classics and fun to operate. They both date from the 1970's. 


Yaesu FT-301D


In the basement shack is a Yaesu FT-301D, complete with power supply/speaker, external VFO, and monitor scope. I love the receive sound of this rig, and with the right mic, it puts out some nice audio on the air as well. I used to own the matching 2m all mode rig, but foolishly gave it away.



Kenwood Twins, T-599A and R-599A


After passing over them at several ham fests, I finally picked up a pair of Kenwood Twins, the T-599A and R-599A. After some initial issues, both on receive and transmit, I managed to sort out what was wrong (mostly just cleaning up contacts and pots) and the pair are working very nicely! Here is a picture of this classic station from the mid-1970s.
This station also sounds very good on transmit (as most Kenwoods do!) and the ability to completely control the rig from either the transmitter or the receiver is a great feature. However, this IS a hybrid radio, meaning that there are tube finals that need tuning! But that is part of the fun!


Other equipment.

I have a very nice Drake TR-3 and its accompanying RF-3 External VFO and power supply.  This rig punches through with a little extra power and communications quality audio which I enjoy using sometimes when I run the Ontario Amateur Radio Service Net on 3.755 MHz.

I also enjoy the challenges of running vintage SSB on a Hallicrafters HT-37 paired currently with a Hammarlund HQ-140-X receiver. And finally, I have been known to run AM phone on a vintage Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and a second HQ-140 (although in this picture a National NC-270 is shown paired with the Ranger).







Then there is my collection of old tube-style AM broadcast/shortwave receivers, including a collection of Zenith Trans-Oceanics, which I enjoy very much indeed!

Amateur Radio is a great hobby and I look forward to meeting you on the air soon!  73 --Mike













8170920 Last modified: 2017-06-20 17:46:31, 12779 bytes

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