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Thanks for stopping by. I'm Steve. I arrived in North Alabama in the early 1950's. As far as I can tell, I had never been to Earth before. Moved to S Florida in 1973 after college at the University of Alabama. I went to work for WPTV Television. I found the Palm Beach Amateur Radio Club and studied for my Novice license. Passed the test and became WN4GOK in 1973. My Elmer was Henry Felton, WA4HXZ, a talented and generous fellow. Henry passed away in 1993. I kept my license active, but stopped operating by about 1978. Didn't know about Henry's passing, as I had moved away from South Florida several years prior.

I qualified for Advanced way back in the '70's, when this class of license was still available.

A few years ago,I changed my call from WA4GOK to W4GOK, just for the heck of it. I passed my Amateur Extra exam July 17, 2015. I figured, if I was going to get active again in Ham Radio, well, I should "go for the gold". And I'm glad that I did!

So, here's the info on my station...

I operate a Yaesu FTdx-1200. My antenna is a G5RV variant for 40 thru 10 meters. I also use a hex beam at about 45'. For Digi, I run about 40 watts. For sideband, I have an Ameritron AL-811H linear amp. Software is Ham Radio Deluxe.

I work SSB mostly... I like my 811H amplifier. With the sunspot cycle the way it is right now, I found it really hard to work sideband. with the linear, however, everything is changed. It took me a couple of years to equip my station. This stuff is expensive! However, it was worth it. with the antenna and the amplifier, I find that I can compete very well in pileups. It is the differentiating factor in this diminishing sunspot cycle. I would tell any Ham who asks, "what should I do to improve my station?", I would say, "Get yourself a linear amplifier." Sure, I would love to have an automatic tuning, full-legal-limit monster in my shack. But I can't afford one. The good news... 800 watts seems to be plenty of power. Makes all the difference in the world.

No, that's not me in the picture. That's Johnny Fever and/or Les Nessman, WKRP in Cincinnatti. Thanks for reading this far down the page.

UPDATE: So here's something I found that caught my attention. It's a design for a stealthy flagpole antenna.

https://dxengineering.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/building-a-flagpole-antenna-in-an-hoa/ 

I thought it was interesting and thought some of my HOA Friends might want to read it.

Please note that I primarily use LOTW. If there are any discrepancies in the QRZ log, they might not get corrected. However, I endeavor to keep LOTW up to date. Correcting entries in the QRZ.COM logbook is really time consuming, and not intuitive. So... This is a hobby, and until they make the process a bit more reasonable, I'll just use LOTW. Thanks!

You might care to check out our website: http://quadcitiesdaily.com/

Here are some pics of a simple method which I employ to quickly tune my linear amplifier, as I really don't want to spend some serious money on an auto tuning amp. It's just colored vinyl tape. I can switch bands in about 20 seconds! Works great, and (within limits) doesn't require fine tuning when switching bands. I just found a center frequency in each band. Tuned the amplifier, and put the colored tape in the appropriate spots.

The pic below shows my engineer, Weasel, acting as a heatsink for the linear.

Weasel was off today. This is Wally...

My radio station is pretty simple. Seems to get the job done...

The addition of HDSDR spectrum display is a gread mod to my station! A $20 dongle and some free software makes this possible  for my station. The dongle is an SDR reciever, connected to the IF stage of my FTdx-1200. (A bit of careful soldering required.) So, now I don't think I'm going to need to upgrade to a new transciever for quite some time. Works like a champ! I will add another monitor to the computer shortly.

 

View from my shack window...

But, not so beautiful in the Winter (January 17, 2018) ... That's about 4" of ice.

If you're interested in Colbert County, Alabama. Send me an email and I will try to help you out!

Hope to see you on air again soon!     -Steve

Here are several little videos that I made and think you might enjoy. Has nothing to do with Ham Radio whatsoever...

Now, for a rant... Today, I just had 3 QSO's with guys that think I must be a mind reader. Well, I am not. I don't know if a contact is handing the QSO back over to me unless I get some sort of a cue. "You are 59... (Dead Air for 15 seconds or so...) I ask,"Did you turn the QSO back over to me? (Their Call, My Call, Over)" "Yes." More blank air. It seems that a lot of Hams, new and old, do not understand that they should hand over the QSO to the other station by some audible means, and not through the use of mental telepathy. Preferably "Their call. Your Call. Back to you." Something like that. Maybe a simple, "Over". This way, I don't feel like an idiot when the other guy asks me if I'm "still there". Well, hell yeah, I'm still here! Try a proper handoff. You might like it. I am certain that I would.Although I am certain that these Hams are not, they certainly act like Lids. Don't know what a Lid is. Maybe that's part of the problem. (Sorry for the rant.)

So... Hi there! Thanks for visiting my page!

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

8586895 Last modified: 2018-01-17 14:30:44, 7988 bytes

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World Continents Award#14685
Granted: 2016-07-24 19:12:42   (W4GOK)

Endorsements:
  • 20M Mixed
Grid Squared Award#13287
Granted: 2016-07-24 19:12:40   (W4GOK)

Endorsements:
  • 20M Mixed
United States Counties Award#3288
Granted: 2016-07-24 19:12:37   (W4GOK)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
United States Award#2366
Granted: 2016-07-24 18:58:03   (W4GOK)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
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