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.
In the few short years I have be licensed, I have managed to collect a variety of (mostly older) equipment and I have enjoyed switching it out from time to time. But as my bones age and my muscles shrink, I have come to the conclusion I need to reduce my boat-anchor collection and reserve my operating to my more modern gear.
To that end I have acquired in the last two years an Elecraft KX3 QRP transceiver and more recently 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 250 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.
And 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, which is hooked up to the computer using the SignaLink USB interface.
I like digital modes (including CW) a lot. 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 recently acquired an HF JPole from Alpha Antennas and am slowly learning it’s advantages. While it is advertised as usable from 160-6m, I find that trying to use it on anything below 40m is iffy at best. On the other hand, since it is deployed in an almost vertical configuration, I find that it often works better than the inverted-L on the higher frequencies, depending on conditions.
LATEST ACQUISITION! I 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 the classic station from the mid-1970s.
My latest acquisition is an Elecraft KX3 Transceiver. This little beauty sports an amazing receiver, AM, FM, SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK31 send and receive, along with a built-in CW keyer and automatic antenna tuner. It decodes CW, PSK31 and RTTY signals directly on the display, and allows contacts in all three modes using the built-in CW paddles! I love it! The addition of eight internal AA batteries provides extreme portability, and I have made good use of this little rig when travelling. The picture shows me working DX on the banks of the Kaloosahatchie River near Ft. Myers, FL. The antenna is an AlphaLoop. It's amazing what you can work with this little setup!
From this station I operate mostly SSB and CW, but enjoy PSK31 very much as well using the KX3's unique encode/decode capabilities. And I have even made a couple of RTTY contacts as well!
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 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 run AM phone on a vintage Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and a National NC-183.
I own a number of other ancient rigs in varying states of repair as well as a 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
7082316 Last modified: 2016-02-12 05:26:03, 7582 bytes
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