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My QRZ logbook is woefully out of date... sad    But here are a few that I've taken the time to enter manually laugh

 


As of March 2016, all of the California home QTH and other equipment was packed away for the move to Arizona in June 2016.

I am operating mobile (mostly 40M SSB) at this time.  Below is a smattering of my OPs since the CA station was torn down.

From ~ March 2016... onward... to the present time. No new Arizona home QTH station is yet set-up.  Need to install some very tricky steathing :-)

 



(Below) Are a few pictures of Field Day, June 2017, 1E-AZ.

Friday before Field Day, my grandson Alex spent the day helping me prep for our backyard Field Day weekend.  First up was "doing the math" for a 40 meter Inverted Vee antenna that I wanted to build and raise the following morning.  First the math Friday afternoon, then we built it inside my house Friday night, then we layed it out and finally raised it Saturday morning.

 

 

(below) Are three 100 watt "Suitcase Solar Chargers" used to rotate and charge four 35 amp hour batteries throughout Field Day. 

 

Finally (below) some field day OPs Saturday afternoon, and then late into Saturday night:

 

This year (2017) was the 4th year of 100% Ememgency Power Backyard Field Day OPs for me. I'm lovin' it  :-)

 


(Below) March 12, 2017 at the Titan Missile Museum south of Tucson, Arizona.

So early this morning I drove about 2 1/2 hours south to the Titan Missile Base Museum that is south of Tucson, Arizona. Located there is a Cold-War-Era, "huge-mungous", HF resonant, wideband Discone antenna. Even better, after decommissioning the missile site, the gub'mint turned over use of this HF monster to the amateur radio community and the local Green Valley ARC has provided us all with easy, no charge access! I easily checked into the Jefferson Noontime Net (7.204) and my little 100 watt Icom 7000 peashooter got reasonable reports from around the western US of A in the middle of the day on 40 meters yes. Made me a happy ham laugh.

This antenna is open to any licensed amateur during museum hours. You need to sign in with the museum staff before using it, then sign out again when you leave. There are a few more (very reasonable) requests made by the local club like rolling up and stowing the coax when done, policing the area, etc... This is a wonderful gift to us all made available by your tax dollars and maintained / updated / upgraded by the Green Valley ARC. Many thanks to them!! http://gvarc.us/


(Below)   April 15, 2016 - Documenting the Mobile Install In Trunk Of 2011 Lincoln Towncar.

The 12VDC power distribution box is the West Mountain "RigRunner". The fancy one with the built in digital Volt & Amp meter.  Two different ones blew-up in the trunk, during the Arizona summer of 2016.  Same problem with the MFJ Battery Booster blowing up two times, at the SAME TIME, as the RigRunner. I think the MFJ booster blew up first (Too hot?) and back fed an EMP jolt into the unprotected output of the fancy RigRunner power distribution panel causing it to die at the same moment.  I trouble shot both of the RigRunners and found the voltage regulator chip let its smoke out in both of them.
 
When I removed both the 12VDC distribution panel and the 13.8VDC battery booster, the improvement in having a LOWER voltage drop with the devices removed allowed the Icom 7000 to successfully pull 23 amps for transmiting without EITHER of these expensive devices in-line with the 12VDC cables from the battery.  Now I only have one 30-amp inline fuse (Automotive type) for the Icom + two 50-amp fuses on each battery post under the hood. No transmitting drop out problems at all with this simpler (less expensive) wiring scheme. 

  


 

 


(Below) April 29, 2016 at Station AA6SC in Tehachapi, CA.  Stan gave me a tour of his beautiful station location in the hills above Tehachapi, CA.  We spent a wonderful afternoon together, checked in together to the daily "Jefferson Noontime Net (7.204)" and enjoyed a nice Tex-Mex lunch at Domingo's.  I was mobileing through Tehachapi coming back from a road-trip to and fro' Arizona.  Stan heard my mobile and invited me over.  Wonderful afternoon.  Thank you for the invite Stan :-)

 


(Below) April 8, 2016, my long-time high school friend, Paul took a "smileyRadio-Activesmiley" trip with me up Peavine Mountain, about 10 miles NW of Reno, NV.  There is reasonably good road to the top and the peak is festooned with TV, BCB and emergency antennas aplenty.  A great place from which to transmit at an elevation of ~8,269 feet.  We could see snow at the peak from the Reno valley floor, but it looked sparse enough that I thought my Towncar might make it to the top.

Well, we got darn close!

While up there, we checked into the Jefferson Noontime Net (7.204) and also made a couple of Nation Park contacts.

 


(Below) Are a few pictures of Field Day, June 2015, 1E-SJV.

Operating from Patterson, CA.  100% solar / battery station power & lighting (for night OPs).

 

 

 


(Below) Junk Box Keys      March 2011     smileyWhy do this smiley?

I am a member of SKCC (# 6053) and I occasionally participate in the monthly "Week End Sprint" (WES) contest. A couple of times a year the "THEME" of the contest seems to be JUNK BOX KEYS. Well I thought a junkbox key was a GREAT idea so I thought about how to make a REALLY junky junkbox key for a couple of days, then in March of 2011, I acted!

 

About one hour before the contest I quickly assembled the four raw items (Two nails, a hunk-a-wood, weather stripping, and a beer can) from the garbage and the garage. My 3-LB Singlejack-Sledge and some sandpaper were the only tools I used.

 

I beat the beer can into a flat metal strip, pounded a nail through it and the "Pop-Top", for electrical contact. I peeled back a sliver of wood from one edge and that became the fancy, very adjustable fulcrum! Then I sanded on the wood for a few minutes and in 20 minutes totaI, I was DONE! Viola! A work of junkbox art, if I do say so myself :-) Special thanks to the Coors brewing company for the special design of the pop-lid that allowed me to break it off, nail it through the can and then use it for a point of electrical contact.

 

Actually, the finished junk boxer worked so good, and has such a good feel laugh, that I kept it connected for a month or so. 13 FUN(!) contacts on this first junk boxer in the SKCC WES, back in March 2011, and a new state to boot (TNX to Ko1U in Massachusetts). I'm loving this somewhat informal, monthly WES contest!

 

 

 

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BELOW IS THE OLD QRZ "BIO" FOR ME WHEN STATION W7JZE WAS ACTIVE IN PATTERSON, CA... OCT 2009 - FEB 2016.


My HOME BoatAnchor QTH equipment consists of... (As of March 2016, all of the home equipment is packed away for move to AZ in June)

DRAKE: Old (refurbished) Drake TR-4 putting out over 200 watts out on 40M CW. Drake TR-4CRV-4 VFO, MN2000 Tuner and a couple of MS-4 Power supplies & speakers.

LUST: I also admit to having a lust in my heart for a nice Drake TR-4CwRIT (Damn, they go quick and they go expensive!).

SWAN: I also have a John Bruchey refurbished Swan 270 that I've put on the air a couple times as a portable in AZ and also at my weekday QTH. (see below paragraph)... A SWAN 500c also refurbished by John Bruchey. A 6M Swan 250, a Swan 350, a 500cx,a 700cx SS-16B Special and as of May '13 a Swan Mark II Amp fed by a fully permitted, professionally installed 240V main. All of them kept aligned and working by John Bruchey, master Swan guru in Tucson, AZ. Good man, there!

Other Rigs:

Icom:  IC-7000 mobile in Towncar, IC-7600 at commuter bedroom, Campbell, CA

(Below)   I change the station around from time to time... Here it is on March 16, 2013:

(Below)   And with Mark II amp on July 27, 2013 with and without W6ON custom dust covers:

 


Stealth ANTs at Patterson, CA HOME QTH... (As of March 2016, all of the home ANTs are down and I am Mobile only getting ready for move to AZ in June)

1) 150' Long wire / Random wire 5 ft high, strung around my backyard fence and it actually tunes 80 - 10M with any of my tuners. Don't laugh too hard, it gets out (really :-). Amazing. Has matching 150' counterpoise wire ~7" off of the ground strung on the same fence.

2) G5RV-JR strung under the eaves of the house, center is at the high peak of the roof. Not so much luck with this yet. The house chickenwire / stucco may be absorbing some (most?) of the G5RV signal. I've never made a "Q" with this ANT.

3) A TEMPORARY 40/15M dipole with balun, on halyards, up about 20 feet, is raised on the occasional weekend and for the monthly WES contest. This was restrung Jan 2012 with stronger / multiple masts, a 26 foot "Black Widow" fishing pole center support and four pulleys. A wind storm took the original out in the Autum of 2011.

4) July 2012 I purchased a KF4BWG" Horse Fence" dipole ANT for 40 Meters and I raise it ~25 feet on the same halyards mentioned above. The "Horse Fence" looks like multiple wires (18?) arranged in a plastic mesh tape that is about 2.0 or 2.5 inches wide. This physical tape width gives the "Horse Fence" a nice wide RF bandwidth allowing me to tune 40 Meters, end to end and never be > 1.6:1. No tuner needed :-) Radiation orientation is ~NE-SW.  July 2013 I added a 20M version of the "Horse Fence" raised on a separate set of halyards up ~20 feet.  Radiation orientation is N-S

5) I also have a 10M and a 40M Ham-Stick dipoles from HRO that I can raise on a homebrew, wobbly, tilt-up PVC mast, up ~ 17 feet. Works OK, but narrow frequency range that only allows <3.0 SWR without a tuner. I can work the whole 40M band with a tuner.

Mobile ICOM 7000 Rig in Towncar...

Oct 24, 2012: I purchased a Heavy Duty trunk lip mount, a Hustler quick disconnect and a Tarheel II screwdriver ANT. Mechanically, I got the whole thing installed in less than an hour (THAT was a nice surprise). Jon at HRO Sunnyvale spent some time with me in the store when I bought it and he gave me some practical knowledge on how the installation would go. That helped me a lot, Elmer-less as I am over here in Silicon Valley during the week.

                                                                                             

2014... Updated Pix with both Lil' Tarheel II and Diamond VHF / UHF antennas installed on Towncar trunk.

 


Later. . .This mobile project started because earlier in Oct 2012, here on QRZ, I saw that Leif (KT7DAD) in NV started the annual thread about the QRZ Turkey Day net and I figured if I was ever going to add phone-work to my amateur radio hobby, Turkey Day Net would be the perfect place to start! The following weekend a local auto-elect shop cut the firewall holes for the Tarheel wiring, ran the necessary ground strap (Trunk Lip Mount to car body), coax and all of the control and power wiring and up/down switches needed. A very professional job. All wires are very well hidden (HOW do they DO that?)! The following weekend the power wiring was run for my old Swan 40A monobander, but it only received well, no output. SOoooo... the following work-week I went to HRO, grit my teeth, closed my eyes, and whipped out a Visa card and voilà! An Icom-7000 magically appeared.

So now, first weekend of Nov 2012 and the Icom is installed in the Towncar and I drove to an Interstate-5 "vistapoint" hill and gave a listen. I heard lots of 40 Meter CW and SSB QSOs and I'll read more of the (THICK!) Icom manual and get ready to transmit when I better understand this complex rig.

Eye-Candy and Radio Porn for hams:

I also bought a yet-to-be-installed automatic screwdriver controller that talks to the Icom, monitors the SWR and adjusts the screwdriver to resonance when I press the "Tune" button on the Icom. It will be installed after I understand the Icom a bit more. Its installation manual runs to 14 pages, there are two separate assemblies to it and there is a lot of wiring to install, extend and solder. This will be a separate weekend project after I first get the Icom understood and transmitting with the Tarheeland the simple ANT controls with which it came. Naw... Here it is four months later in March of '13 and that 2-piece, auto-screwdriver-tuner is still not installed. It is WAY too complex... At least for me. 14 pages of instructions! Jeesch! I just purchased the MFJ Controller that simply counts the screwdriver turns and has 10 pre-set buttons. Eazy-Peazy. Plugs right into the Tarheel control cable. Works great. Simple. I use it in conjunction with the Icom's SWR graphing sweep function (Now, THAT is amazing) to fine tune a particular frequency, then press one of the preset buttons and DONE. Too easy.

I worked a Georgia station while driving to Reno in March 2013. That was fun :-) I was on the eastern side of the Sierras, "Pointed" East toward Georgia (sort of) and heading downhill into Reno with the Sierras behind me. SSB QSO reported as 59... Well, it was a contest 59 :-)

Turkey Net, here I come ! (Well, I'll be ready for it in 2013, anyway :-)

JT-65 (Aug, 2013: Worse than Crack Cocaine!) Starting a few months ago (~May 2013), I began ordering the necessary pieces and parts to try digital modes on the Icom-7000 (really it's a computer with an RF section). First I ordered the interface cables to run between the computer and the Icom-7000. Then I ordered a SignaLink USB and it also came with interface cables frown. Then I looked at the tiny little jumper wires provided for free with the SignaLink to hardwire program it for my radio and I said to myself, "Self, order the prewired program module for the 7000.". Much easier that way. Then I bought the ARRL book "Getting on the Air with HF Digital" by Steve Ford (WB8IMY) and I followed the directions for JT-65. Since my work-week QTH only had (at that time) an indoor 40 meter dipole just pinned to the ceiling directly above my head (see below), I am very limited in the amount of power I can run without tripping the GFI on the mains in this older home (No 3 hole 120V grounded sockets here). JT-65 seemed to be the right digital choice since one can make contacts with very low power or compromised antennas, or even both!. Then I loaded the WB8IMY suggested software (called JT-65-HF) onto my computer and followed the setup procedure in both the book and the PDF instructions that come with the download. It took a couple of night time sessions to get it all running correctly (and I still make the occassional "OOPS"), but I was totally addicted for that first week on this mode. Many more DX "Qs" than with CW, which had been 99.99% of my work up until then. I was on 7.076 MHz most nights for almost a month at that time: (end of Aug 2013).

During the work-week (W7JZE / "Portable" QTH)...  (As of March 2016, all of the home and "weekday" QTH radio equipment is packed away for move to AZ in June)

March 2011: During the week I stay for a couple of days in a small commuter room in Silicon Valley because it is too far to commute from home each and every day. My weekday landlady said OK to putting a rig in my room. So, mid March (2011) I began putting a simple radio station here in my weekday "commuter house". Landlady doesn't mind the radio, but even I don't want to put holes in her walls, leave windows open for coax, nor connect ANTs to the house, yadda, yadda. I needed a REAL STEALTH ANT! So, I ran some 22 Ga white bell wire back and forth across the ceiling of the bedroom that I rent from her. I held it in place with clear "MAP-PINS". Dang hard to see :-) but it IS a 40M dipole, of sorts, 33 +/- feet each side, it's just wound back and forth across and around the ceiling. Tunes 1:1 with an ANT tuner. I then did some ANT cutting / pruning / tuning over April & May (Cool new MFJ ANT Analyzer :-) and got it to 1.6:1 withOUT the tuner! I've only made a few QSOs so far, so I can't be radiating too much signal out of this bedroom ceiling ANT. What signal isn't absorbed by my body just a couple feet beneath the ANT is probably grounded out by the who-knows-what in the attic, floor, ceiling and walls. With only 100 Watts RF out from my OLD Swan 270, (or the Icom 7000 or the Icom 7600 now there ) at least I will not be glowing in the dark from excess RF exposure radiated by the ANT directly over my head... will I surprise?

Aug 2014:  With my work-week landlady's help I just added a 30M dipole outside my commuter bedroom window.  This keeps some of the RF out of this older home that appears to have been built with only 2 conductor mains away-back-whenever (No 3rd prong ground on many of the home's 120v sockets).  Even with the dipole outside of the house now, BOOMING CW clicks come through the old wiring into the TVs and computer speakers throughout her home.  About 15 feet of the 30M dipole is parallel to the mains drop to the house and I suspect that isn't a good thing.  Also... just so the new 30M antenna would not be lonely, I melted down another Visa card for a brandy-new Icom-7600 :-)  Made my first "Q" into Madison, Wisconsin (From this work-week Campbell, CA QTH).  This was also my first "Q" on 30M... SOooo...  Triple-bonus!  New rig. New ANT. New band!  So, after a very scary Icom "Brick your rig forever and don't whine to us about it smiley", (but simple) firmware upgrade to v2.00, I am giving some serious love to this new Icom beauty:


I got interested in ham radio because... I had a burning interest in electronics from a very young age. Maybe fueled by having a large HO train layout in our Trenton, N.J. basement that always needed wiring and rewiring (whether it really "needed it", or not :-). I also built an old XTAL radio receiver back then as well (it never worked). For a grammar school science project I made a XFMR out of a chunk iron ORE, using my Granddad's Dremel tool to hog out the center, some bell wire, a flashlight lamp and a battery. Making the connection to the D cell with the primary would pulse a flashlight lamp hooked to the secondary. Leaving the train set and other projects behind when we moved to Reno, NV in the mid 60's I began salvaging parts from discarded TVs at TV repair shops and graduated to building simple transistor circuits. Eventually Ham radio came along in 1968 and I was helped into the hobby by a close friend, & high school buddy, Ken, K7UGT (Then WA7HVX). It just seemed like a natural progression to me then and I have been employed in electronics (Telecom, computers and silicon, not RF... yet.) for my whole life. It still fascinates me :-)

My favorite thing to do in ham radio is... Because? CW, it's how I started as a Novice so many years ago. It is my comfort zone. It seems more magic than voice for some silly reason. Similar to my attraction to sailing, CW has its own vernacular, slang and codes J. It also has some long established traditions, nostalgic value and seems somewhat mysterious to non-sailors... errr.. non-coders. "Can you really sail into the wind?" is about equal to "Can you really understand those dits and dahs?". Ahhh, well YES matey, I can (Cool :-). It also takes practice to become proficient at both ( I "ain't" there yet in either hobby :-) so, for me, there is a feeling of accomplishment at the conclusion of each successful CW QSO (or coastal cruise). Second favorite thing seems to be scanning the Internet for Boat Anchors. Q: Now why IS that, Captain Ron? A: "Nobody knows, boss!"

My 1968 / 1969 / 1970 Original Novice station consisted of... Heathkit DX-20, Hallicrafters SX-140, my homebuilt 50C5 Tube QRP rig (FUN!! and dangerous as all hades!!), a nice CW key mounted on a rough piece of painted wood with "WN7JZE" stenciled on the side, an SWR/Power meter, a 40W light bulb on coax for a dummy load, a 40M dipole made of 20 ga magnet wire strung along the apex of my parent's house... with "droopy ends" since the house apparently wasn't 66 feet long :-) Two, count 'em TWO, 40M XTALS! I had a lot of fun with that rig for a year or two. Then life happened (!G*I*R*L*S!). I married very young and went QRT until Oct 2009.

 

I have not been able to locate any part of this station since my interest in Amateur Radio rekindled in 2009. I have a vauge recollection of tossing the SX-140 and DX-20 after some moving damage, many years ago. But the key, I always managed to keep around and I would occassionally stumble across it every few years when rooting through an old box. Maybe I'll run across it again in the future, hiding in an old junque box... one day... (laugh FOUND IT, in a rotting, old (as in ancient box), when I moved my QTH to Arizona summer of 2016 laugh) and maybe my original Novice QSL cards will be there :-)  And maybe I'll hit the lottery too :-)

 

My Next Ham Project(s)...

Project # 1: Continue to improve the antenna situation. Something stealth required on my home QTH, small town lot.

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Project # 2: To set up a W7JZE/P Portable station on a Mtn top outside of Reno, NV. (Did do a Mobile setup "almost" atop Peavine Mtn Apr 2016... see pix above.)

 

Project # 3: "Anything Works". I want to raise a lightbulb dummy load up ~ 20 feet on a pole in my backyard and try to make some "Qs" with that. I can't wait to send on CW: "RIG IS OLD DRAKE TR4 PUTTING 200 WATTS OUT TO LIGHTBULB UP 20 FT. NO JOKE.".

 

Project #4: W7JZE / Marine Mobile. "/MM". Being a Boatanchor guy at this time, it seems mandatory that at least a few of the boatanchors should be operated from a boat with an anchor! Being a "Blow-Boater" and used to "sailing on the walls", that makes this project especially challenging. Given the restricted power usually available in a sailing environment, the power hungry nature of old tube equipment, coupled with the fact that I am a CW OP that does not own my own boat, I think I should get extra multipliers if I ever pull this off! My long time friend, Jim, owner of the totally bristol "Blue Note" in San Francisco (Now the brand new "Coastal Moon" spring of 2015) has invited me for a 3 day coastal cruise this coming June. It will at least make for interesting dinner discussion when we drop the hook and I bring up this possibility for the next cruise. Just think of the very strange grid squares I could give out!

 

 

 

I am a member of the following ham radio organizations andclubs...

SKCC # 6053. FISTS # 14670, ARRL (Life Member), QRZ (Life Member) and also the Turlock Amateur Radio Club (TARC - W6BXN):

 

 

Thinking of QCWA, butI haven't gotten there yet.

 

 

 

And now, presenting, W7JZE RADIO CAT!

 

 

 

Radio Cat above, lacking opposable thumbs, gives up on W7JZE paper logging system.

 

 

 

 

 

End... Bill - W7JZE

 

 

8376954 Last modified: 2017-10-08 18:18:40, 47360 bytes

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United States Counties Award#2690
Granted: 2016-07-21 03:50:03   (W7JZE)

Endorsements:
  • 100 Counties Mixed
World Continents Award#10792
Granted: 2015-10-16 19:40:06   (W7JZE)

Endorsements:
  • 40 Meters Mixed
Grid Squared Award#8843
Granted: 2015-08-25 04:20:02   (W7JZE)

Endorsements:
  • 40 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Mixed
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