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VK2BOB Australia flag Australia

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QSL: QSL by airmail, USD3 appreciated, no IRCs, no bureau

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Premium Subscriber Lookups: 22265

 

Postal address for QSL cards: PO Box 320, St Ives NSW 2075, Australia.

No cards via the bureau thanks, direct only. No IRCs. Three green stamps appreciated.

I obtained my ham licence way back in 1964 when I was just 19. The following year I started the Australian Radio DX Club for SWLs which is still functioning and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

I held the callsign VK2ZRZ for 50 years but hadn't been active since the early 1990s. Late 2014 I started the experiment of "semi-retirement" from my own company and one of my diversions from work and managing a couple of very large groups in my own work field on LinkedIn has been to get active again with ham radio. It was also time to change callsign for the next 50 years, and VK2BOB was available!

I started my latest HF adventures with a short wire antenna and an Alinco DX SR8 and soon tried a Windom (bought on e-bay) held up by a very flexible fibreglass squid pole and which was deaf on 20m. Fortunately one of my clients manufactures beautiful flagpoles so I erected an Inverted V for 40m and 20m, 12 metres high at centre, running NE to SW.

I soon graduated to a FLEX-1500 SDR running at about half power of 3 watts into a little Chinese-made linear, MX-P50M, bought on e-bay of course for about USD200 which pushed 20 watts into an RM Italy HLA300 Plus solid state linear for 250/300 watts PEP.

My current station is a wonderful Icom IC-7300 running into a solid-state linear SPE Expert 1.3K set at "low" as we are only allowed 400 watts here. I use a bhi NES10-2 Mk3 noise cancelling speaker driving Sennheiser headphones and my mike is the Icom SM-30 desk mike.

From starting on HF 1 January 2015 I decided to try for one hundred countries (not for DXCC but just my own satisfaction) and worked my 100th on 30 April 2015. On 10 February 2016 I worked my 150th country on my "wire in the sky" and up to 187 now.

I've used the Flex 1500 barefoot at 5 watts into Europe and USA on both 40M and 20M just for fun, even getting 5/9 reports!

My wife fortunately is very supportive, except initially when it came to installing a rotatable beam antenna, for a year quoting "over my dead body." I reminded her that I am the beneficiary of her life insurance and that would buy me a gold-plated tower and beam! But we keep it amicable because she is a good cook! Luckily for me she finally gave in (thank you, dear), and in early 2016 a self-supporting fold-over 10 metre mast, made by NBS in Melbourne, was installed. As of 6 March it is holding up a KIO hex beam with a Yaesu rotator, and I enjoy working 17, 15 and 10 metres more regularly now that I have a resonant antenna on these bands.

The photos below are of my backyard in St Ives, a northern suburb of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. Sydney is our largest city with a population of about 5 million.

I have installed a Yaesu FT857D into my Subaru Forester Turbo (lovely car) with a Diamond SD300 screwdriver antenna able to be quickly mounted on the bullbar. But having the antenna permanently mounted is a pain when entering shopping centre carparks as everyone strains to see what the cause of the "ping - ping - ping" noise is as I try hard not to wipe out the fluorescent tubes! So in due course I'll do some country trips and operate mobile but right now my grandkids and work take priority over both ham radio and trips.

My current QSL card, top photo, consists of a night shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and two night shots of the Sydney Opera House with artistic light patterns projected onto it during a festival in Sydney called "Vivid."

My second operators, Charlie my female labrador-retriever cross and Chester my male tabby cat appear below. Our two children have grown up and now bring our four young grandkids over for visits, so we refer to Charlie and Chester as our "fur-kids".

In September 2016 I had the very great pleasure of travelling to Samoa for one week and operating as 5W0BOB. You can see info about this operation on its QRZ page.

All being well I hope to get back to Samoa later in 2017 for another week of ham radio. I've had the wonderful opportunity in 2017 to travel to various destinations for conferences, so far Paris, Jakarta and Vienna (one 2 metre QSO as OE1/VK2BOB), with possibly Beijing and London to come.

 

Somewhere in the not-too-distant future I hope to convince my XYL that we sell our Sydney house and move to Cairns, Tropical North Queensland where our daughter lives, and then operate as VK4BOB (yes, I grabbed that one too).

Thanks for looking at this page and thanks for working me on the bands.

73s from VK2BOB

 

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8126994 Last modified: 2017-05-30 12:23:17, 7007 bytes

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Grid Squared Award#11893
Granted: 2016-05-18 11:05:03   (VK2BOB)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#13212
Granted: 2016-05-18 11:05:02   (VK2BOB)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
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