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                  CW - Contesting & Ragchewing                

On contesting....

I'm much more of a contester than DXer.

After getting 5B DXCC, my tolerance for working in a pileup, has dropped.

I contest from my home station, N0MA and N0NI.  Thanks so much for the contest QSOs!

You will typically find me in CQWW, WPX, ARRL DX, ARRL 10m, Sweepstakes, NAQP, WAE and mobile in the Iowa QSO party.  I also dabble in various other contests as my time allows.  I approach each contest with some goals.  Sometimes goals are related to scores and other times, I use contests to practice skills (e.g. enter a single band category). 

A note to the casual contester: Don't be afraid to jump right into the contest.  It's not well known but the "100 watts and a wire" guys provide a significant portion of a contest QSO and multiplier count.  Without you, it wouldn't be nearly as fun.  So, jump in and don't feel bad about asking for fills.   This is a fun part of the hobby and I'll do my part to make it fun for you.


On CW ragchewing...

"Nothing happens until someone calls CQ".  If you hear me, stop by and say hello.  I like CW and like to practice it.  It can be a quick signal report or a longer chat.  Please note that if I have a pileup going I will keep things moving along quickly, so please don't take offense.  If I'm sending too fast for you, call me anyway.  I'll slow down.


QST Article

I published an article in QST Aug 2016 about my solutions to air conditioner RFI problems.  Article can be seen here: https://goo.gl/m7tPoY


Thanks for stopping by my page! Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.


- Bob

QSL instructions


US stations: A SASE is helpful but not required.  

DX stations: SAE only.  $USD are not required. I will answer at my own expense.

Direct (use QRZ address above), LoTW or bureau....  I do NOT use eQSL.  Too much of a hassle to remove my county hunting QSOs

I upload log to LoTW and Clublog frequently.  Clublog search is farther down the page.

NOTE: If you have sent me a QSL card and I have not responded promptly or you were expecting a match in LoTW, please email me.  It may have been lost or I have an error in my log.  I typically respond within two weeks of receiving your card.  I will get things fixed right away!



US Stations: Send SASE to QSL manager N3SL

DX Stations: Send SAE and $2 USD to QSL manager N3SL

All QSOs have been uploaded to LoTW and Clublog.  If it has not confirmed via LoTW (and you expect it should), email me at the address above.




All QSOs have been uploaded to LoTW and Clublog.  If you don't see your QSO, email me, please.

It was a short operation, but quite fun.  Thanks for the QSOs.



Station layout - I upgraded my HF radio in Feb '14 after 21 years using a Kenwood TS-50s.  I considered a K3 but in the end opted for better ergonoimcs and better audio of the Yaesu FTdx-5000MP.  I added the matching amp: VL-1000 six months later.

Picture of me during a station maintenance work trip to PJ2T.  I've been invited back for a contest in the future.  If you worked me as PJ2/W0GXA, thank you for the QSO!  It was a fun trip.

I spent a couple days in Slovakia with Laci OM2VL and his family.  I managed to put in a few hundred QSOs at his contest station.  The QSL card is a skyline view of Bratislava.


Further station upgrades:

I ran the ARRL 10m contest on CW in 2012 and 2013 using my "junk box" 10m vertical (shown below). I spent $0 on the antenna. Note the sturdy 2x4 and plywood construction! I subsequently painted the base black to better blend with the roof (to apease my XYL). I worked 107/100 with that antenna.  After I achieve DXCC-10 and -15, I installed a TH6-DXX on an old windmill tower (after some extensive mods).  



My first 10m antenna :-)


This is the finished installation.  The lift made installation a snap. 

I'm on the left and Tom, W0WP is on the right.  My tower guy, Jason NR0X, is strapped to the mast, standing on the thurst bearing.


I recently got this baby - a Begali Pearl.  It far exceeds my expectations.  After using the Bencher key I bought in '77 for so long, I didn't know how hard it was to send well.  This thing is a dream.


Some history:

Licensed in 1976 when I was a sophomore in high school. I had a CB radio and after many long discussions with my high school guidance counselor (WB0GXA) about which radio service was better, I got my novice license: WN0UBL. After a few years I upgraded to General at one of the "every so often" FCC administered exam sessions in Cedar Rapids. I jumped straight to Extra shortly after the VE program was started up. W0SS, K0FLY and W0VX were the three examiners. I changed my call to W0GXA because I've always liked the rhythm of "GXA" on CW.

I operated in CW traffic nets through high school using a straight key until my speed was a solid 20wpm. Then....college got in the way. I'd run W0IO in the Univ of Iowa engineering building for relaxation some times, but mostly I studied and drank beer.

Graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in electrical engineering and later with a MBA. I've worked for the US Navy, LeFebure (banking equipment) and finally, for the past 28 years, Rockwell Collins. Currently I'm director of strategy development for our Commercial Systems division. My prior role was director over business jet avionics programs with customers in Wichita, KS, Brazil and various locations in Europe.

I operate exclusively with CW.  My favorite parts of the hobby are messing around with antennas, contesting and DXing... Last three years I've been mobile in the Iowa QSO party; it's a lot of fun.

I got back on HF in Dec '10 after a nearly 15 year absence. I finished up my WAS award and then set my sights  DXing. So far: Total of 278 countries worked.  5B DXCC was achieved (Feb '16) after 5 years back on the air.  DXing is easier but not necessarily more fun now that I have a more modern radio and amp. The new amp helps me work the countries on the low bands.  I learned a lot of useful skills with a barefoot radio and wire antennas.  5BWAS was completed during WPX CW 2016.  Special thanks to WA3I for helping me get DE on three bands and to WL7E for filling the last band slot (KL7 on 40m).

I have a homebrew 40m,80m and 160m antenna.  I feed two inverted L's from one coax - each element is 55' vertical and resonant 40m vertical.  Ground mounted with 32 radials at 100'.  

I also install beverages during the winter months in my neighbor's field.  

In my spare time, I ride my mountain bike, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and play guitar and write songs. I enjoy meeting people from different cultures and I've also learned German and Swedish...


73, Bob




A little plug for my three favorite bars from around the world:

Mort's - Wichita, KS � �http://www.mortswichita.com/

Bar Coronel - Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil � �http://www.barcoronel.com.br/coronel.htm

Joe's Place - Iowa City, IA     http://joesplace-ic.com/






  Eastern Iowa DX Association www.eidxa.org

  The Society of Midwest Contesters www.w9smc.com

CWops #1349 (Life Member)

SKCC #: 8737


Fight against LIDS....

The "meat ball" symbol from my employer... used in the distant past...

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