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            SKCC# 14105T  [Tx6]               CWOPS# 1695              NAQCC# 7845  ARCI# 16198

Hello welcome to my homepage W4ALF 

SOTA Summit Activation of Pine Mountain, KY:

To view info on my SOTA summit, portable and Pedestrian Mobile activities - please see:


My Name is: CHRIS (Christian).

QSL via: LOTW, Direct mail, Bureau - In order of preference.

All qsl cards will be replied if requested!

Direct QSL's:

From USA: include a SASE

From DX: all I need is an SAE (self-addressed envelope), I do NOT require green stamps or IRC at this time. Just send your Card with an SAE.













Typical/Normal operation: Power [Voice to 100w, CW 5W QRP to 100W], Antenna [Hustler 8BTV],  Cushcraft MA5B (2 element mini beam) Radio BASE:[Elecraft K3 and K3 Line P3/KPA 500W amp, KAT 500 tuner] - PORTABLE: QRO[ICOM 7000 for Mobile and 2M] - QRP[KX2 and a Mountain Topper MTR3B]

QTH: Independence, KY - USA

County: Kenton

CQ Zone: 4

ITU Zone: 8

Grid Location: EM78qw

CWOPS# 1695

SKCC# 14105T [Tx6]

NAQCC# 7845

Previous Callsign: KK4YMQ

I received my TECH license in Feb 2014 and my GNRL and EXTRA in March of 2014. Received my vanity callsign W4ALF [Child of the 80's] the following month.

I learned CW in 2015 and it is now my main operating mode along with the occasional digital binge. Love it! 

When I began learning the Code, I received practice and help from several members of the NAQCC and SKCC groups, great resource for those of you needing CW buddies or practice skeds. My local club was also a source for potential cw buddies.

When I reached a speed of  10-15 WPM, I discovered the CWops group. They have a very well put together CW program that is done online via Skype as a group. I personally have completed the Cwops academy Level 2 and 3. I am now a CWops member, #1695 and also a Cw Academy Advisor. 

I highly recommend this totally FREE online course (via skype with other students lead by a CWops member academy advisor).    http://www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html


I have compiled a totally FREE .pdf  eBook on the topic of Learning CW.

It is entitled "The Road to CW".  

During my learning process I found there was no one place that had most of the information I needed and decided to create my own "CW 101 Handbook".

It is a compilation of the best sources of info I was able to collect on each topic with my own experiences interjected. I also thought it was important to try to provide some sort of roadmap on how to tackle the whole learning process. I hope that aspiring students and current CW students will find it a helpful and an informative resource. The eBook describes my "road to CW" and I hope that it inspires you to create your own! Feel free to distribute and use as you wish.

Comments and Critiques are very welcome.

This is the "Second Edition" - 3rd ed. to be released very soon!

You can download for FREE here:


or directly via:




 I was recently invited to be a guest on a podcast to talk about CW:




 WAZ, WAS [Triple Play, QRP, CW, 40M] , DXCC [QRP, CW, 200 Mixed], WPX 500 [NA & EU endorse], WAC [4BAND still working on 80M for 5Band], ARCI MPW [ 54,100 miles per watt], Worked all Canadian Provinces [No award submitted for Worked all Canadian Provinces]

I worked diligently towards VUCC over the 2017- this spring and summer and now completed the ARRL VUCC award. Along the way I discovered MSK144 and FT8 modes on 50Mhz, along with JT65 on that band. I now have confirmed over 120 grids!

2018 Award Goals:

ARRL VUCC: 133 Grids worked, 121 confirmed [Completed 2017]

ARRL 5 Band DXCC [10M,15M,20M -Done - Still working on 40M @ 102 Worked  & 80M @ 59 Worked]

WAS CW 160M - 38 worked 34 confirmed of 50 states

DXCC & WAS QRP - [Completed 2017]

SKCC Senator Status - Currently a SKCC Tribune Tx6  

Other Goals for 2018:

Make first FM satellite QSO.

Winter Field Day - NVIS antenna testing with WSPRLite Devices on Buddipole NVIS setup.

Perform EZNEC antenna modeling and testing with my WSPRlite devices.

Build Hendricks PFR3-B QRP TXR Kit [Still in Box :( ] and QrpLabs QCX

Continue to be a CW advisor for CW Academy [CWops].

Get low band receive shielded loops up and going for 80m/160m. [80M built, testing phase now]


Favorite contacts:

My first Antarctica contact Amundsen-Scott base at geographic south pole with KC4AAA on 20m SSB in October 2014!

South Korea, China and The three tough Canadian provinces Nunavut/Northwest Territories/Yukon Territory [many thanks to North Country DX Association for the sked qso's].

My local Amateur Radio Club:

[www.K4CO.org ] located in Northern Kentucky, USA.

I joined the local amateur radio club (NKARC on facebook) which has helped me tremendously. Met a few folks who also helped me get started and assisted with antenna installs. special thanks to Dave K8WDA, Mark AI4BJ  and Bruce W9BWR for helping me along and assisting with antenna installs!

I am typically running  CW mode QRP to Barefoot 100W]. Qso'ing is on 10M-80M Weekdays. Mostly 40M/80M weekday evenings and 10M-40M days during weekends. 160M and 6M during contests and openings.

As of late I have been participating in the Cwops CWT one hour sprints Weds. afternoon or nights and I also really enjoy SKCC events (SKS and WES). I am on my SKCC Senator hunt.

Despite my list of accomplishments, I had a late start to the hobby [2014] so I am still learning alot and consider myself still a "newer ham"!

I welcome any fellow hobbyists to email me to say hi or ask questions, comment, critique, set up a QSO, etc!




BASE: Elecraft K3,P3,KPA 500 Amp (240V on its own circuit to circuit breaker), KAT500 tuner

Portable to 100W: ICOM 7000 - All modes  -  using a LDG AT200 proII Antenna Tuner

QRP Portable/Pedestrian Mobile: Elecraft KX2 and a Mountain Topper MTR-3B @ 2W.

Cw Keys: MAIN: Kent Iambic Paddle, Begali Magnetic Classic SIDESWIPER: Vibroplex vibrokeyer, Vibroplex Blue Racer 2000 bug, a restored J-38 Lionel Straight key,  PORTABLE: Palm Radio Mini-paddle and Pico paddle (for MTR3B and KX2)/American Morse mini Straight  Key KK1B .

2016 Project: Restored Lionel J-38 Straight Key:



KEYERS: begali cw machine, winkeyer USB.

Ham Radio Deluxe 6.0 software, does my logging - Digital Software: DM-780 and  WSJT-X for JT65/FT8/MSK144

Heil Gold Elite Mic

Antenna Analyzer: Rig Expert AA-170

Palstar external speaker SP30B

yaesu 450a rotor with yrc-1 digital controller by hy-gain. Interfaces with my hrd software.

Power supplied by a ASTRON 50AMP power supply.



Cushcraft MA5B: this is a 2 element mini-beam on 10m,15m,20m and a rotatable dipole on 12m, 17m. 12ft boom and longest element just under 18ft. It is mounted on a GlenMartin 4.5 foot tower on my roof, being driven by a Yaesu 450a rotor. The rotor controller is the hy-gain YRC-1 with a usb port to connect straight to your PC. I use HRD as a rotator control software. This 5 band beam antenna went up 11/20/2014. So far it is at least 12db to 18db  stronger on receive than the hustler, depending on band, definitely the case on 10M! Much quieter than the Hustler vertical. Transmit, on avg, if I get an S4 on the hustler, I will get back and S7-S9 on the beam, based on A/B testing.  And added benefit is I have quieter receive (lower noise floor) than the hustler on 40 and 80m. The antenna height above ground is about 34 feet.

Hustler 6BTV/8BTV: ground mounted vertical trap antenna 10M, 12M, 15M, 17M, 20M, 30M, 40M, 80M, stands about 24ft [7.3 meters] off the ground. It has 30 - 20ft radials off a DX engineering radial plate, with radial wires semi-buried couple inches below the ground. Connected to shack by a buried 25ft LMR400 coax feedline. The antenna is placed in between and amongst trees in my backyard. It is also spray painted with krylon camo flat paint (no negative effects having painted antenna, paint has no metallic components). I think most people would agree that this is not the ideal setup, but, let me tell you so far it is working excellent.! My first contact was with JAPAN! I modeled my antenna location after reading KS6PD's QRZ page and speaking with someone local who has a Hustler 5btv in a similar setup.

I wanted a stealthy and "simple" antenna, and this one did the trick. Tuned fairly easily using the rigexpert AA-170 (love this thing!!). 80M has a very narrow bandwith that is useable approx. 100khz for 3:1 swr.

I have since purchased the 12M and 17M add on (visible in second picture), and they are now installed with fairly low SWR's.

Add ons: 12m, 17m, rf choke at base, radial plate, tilt base.

Arrow j-pole 144/440: 2M/70cm antenna that is located 25ft [7.6 meters] off the ground in my attic. Fed with about 50 ft of LMR 400 coax cable. works great! I will soon test this with my BCT15X scanner and see how well it receives in the 800mhz range

20M dipole -  The home made antenna is strung up in my attic at about 25ft [7.6 meters]. North to South orientation. Fed with 70ft of LMR400 coax cable. Hears just about everything the Hustler does but not as strong (about S2/3 less strong but more quiet). This antenna suffers from somewhat of high swr's across the whole bandwidth. Most likely due to the antenna's location but, it may also be the antenna...or person who installed it, lol :)] . I also have a 1:1 balun/choke from www.Balundesigns.com. - It is placed near the antenna on the feedline.

I got this idea about the attic mounted fan dipole from VE3WDM's setup:


This pic below is of my DXEE fan dipole no longer in use, I am now using several home brew mono band dipoles :

Portable Antennas:


Also use a 41ft LNR MKII EndFed 10/20/40, SOTABeams Linked Dipoles 20/30/40, 66' Ladder Line Doublet, Pacific Antennas 20/40 Dipole wire antennas for ultra portable use, especially with the KX2 or MTR3B out in the park or hiking. I use a jackite 28' Pole or a my weaver throw bag and light weight throw line.

Buddipole System: 2M-80M - mounted up on push up mast when set up portable.

The Buddipole works fairly well, very sensitive SWR based on where it is located.. Can be tied down to a deck and mounted without guys up to 15mph wind [IMHO]. At the location in the pic below I was set up for 6m 3EL yagi, 20M vertical and 20M dipole. [Not my QTH in picture]. the buddipole can be configured as a yagi, dipole or vertical! I tend to use the Buddipole when I work portable that doesn't require me to backpack in my gear. I tend to get more gain and efficiency with this system for the Higher HF bands. Especially when configured with my small portable antenna rotator by http://www.portablerotation.com


Happy DX or Award hunting!

73 HPE CUAGN de W4ALF ...-.-


8557548 Last modified: 2018-01-04 05:00:09, 17371 bytes

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Public Logbook data is temporarily not available for this user
United States Counties Award#690
Granted: 2016-07-19 13:35:02   (W4ALF)

  • 100 Counties CW
  • 250 Counties CW
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
United States Award#1389
Granted: 2015-08-10 04:45:04   (W4ALF)

  • 40 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#10082
Granted: 2015-08-10 04:45:04   (W4ALF)

  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
DX World Award#2409
Granted: 2015-08-10 04:45:02   (W4ALF)

  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
Grid Squared Award#8445
Granted: 2015-07-29 04:55:02   (W4ALF)

  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    6 Meters Mixed
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