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WA0RVK USA flag USA

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QSL: DIRECT, BUREAU, LoTW

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June 17 of this year marked the 50th anniversary of my Novice license arriving in the mail, June 17, 1967!   My first CW transmission as a ham is now 50 light years out into the cosmos! 

Back then, there were sometimes 2 or 3 MONTHS between passing the test and receiving your license in the mail.  The FCC misplaced my cousin's test (taken at the same time as I took mine) and it was over 5 months before he got his license.  I can remember opening the envelope and seeing my call sign, WN0RVK, for the first time just like it was yesterday.  Many new hams learned their callsign via a mailing from The Little Print Shop in Texas before they even got their license in the mail from the FCC.  I was 12 years old at the time. That was a LONG time ago!  No VEC program in those days.  To upgrade you had to go to the nearest FCC Field Office and take the test in front of an FCC examiner.

I celebrated my 50th anniversary with the purchase of an ICOM IC-7300.  It is an amazing transceiver.  I'm discovering the digital modes now, thanks to my friend Jim, K0UA, who has been pushing me for a couple of years to try them.  I am now active on JT-65, JT-9, FT-8 and PSK-31 so far, on all bands 80-6m.  I hope to add 160m to the mix this winter.

I am the letter "A" sorter for the W0 QSL bureau, a VE in both the ARRL and W5YI programs, past president and current secretary, life member, and one of the founding members of the Ozarks Amateur Radio Society based in Aurora, MO.  The club was founded in 1975, back when I was an energetic young man.

I was first licensed in 1967 at age 12 as WN0RVK. My Dad and elmer was W0MJE (now my son's call), and he was licensed in '53, so I literally grew up with amateur radio. I got my General class in '68, and my call changed to WA0RVK. I've held the same call ever since. I upgraded to Advanced in '69, Extra in '75.  I got my 2nd Class Radiotelephone license in '75, First Class in '76.  I have a granddaughter, W0FMB who received her license at age 11.  That's 4 generations of ham radio operators in the family.

My favorite modes are SSB, CW and RTTY on all HF bands, but mostly on 80m and 20m. Recently became active on the digital modes as well.  My current equipment includes a soon-to-be-installed Cushcraft A4S with 40-meter kit, (used to have a KLM KT-34A, see pix!) on a 100ft Rohn 25, an Icom IC-7300, three Yaesu FT-767GX's, one with 6m, 2m and 70cm modules, an FT-757GX, and two Kenwood TS-120S transceivers.  Amplifiers include an SB-200, a homebrew 4-1000A, a homebrew triple 813's, homebrew pair of 4-400A's, pair of homebrew 572B's (basically an SB-200 clone), homebrew quad 811A's, various VHF and UHF rigs and talkies, and almost 50 years of other "treasure" piled everywhere.  I haven't used any of the amplifiers in almost 20 years, though.  I have run only 100 watts since back in the mid-80's and have worked everything I tried to work.  I just haven't seen the need for the additional power in all those years.

In addition to the regular station gear listed in the paragraph above, I have the following boatanchors:  Hallicrafters SX-28A receiver, Hammarlund HQ-215 receiver, Heathkit Seneca VHF-1 2/6M transmitter, Heathkit Marauder HX-10 transmitter, and matching Heathkit units Apache TX-1 transmitter, Mohawk RX-1 receiver, SB-10 SSB adapter, and Warrior linear amplifier.  I've also recently added a Hammarlund SP-600 receiver.  At the lower end of receivers, I have a National NC-140, which I used as a novice, and a Hallicraters S-20R.    I used the S-20R back in the early 80's, before I had a remote VFO for the TS-120S, to work DX stations who had a split too large for the RIT.  I worked some rare DX using the S-20R to listen to them so the TS-120S could stay on the transmit frequency.

Added 2-28-2017:  I recently added some more boatanchors.  I've added an SX-28 and another SX-28A.  The SX-28A has been fully restored and operates at factory specs.  The SX-28 was given to me, is non-operational, but will be repaired and recapped at some time in the future.  It also came with the rare Hallicrafters PM-23 speaker.  I've also added an S-40A, an SX-24, and an SX-110 with R-48A speaker. 

Update #4:  March 2017.  All 100' of the tower was back in the air, guyed, tensioned, and ready for the rotor, antennas and feedlines as of September 2016.  I was waiting for good weather and appropriate ground crew to complete the task, but  I got sidetracked.  More about that later.  Right now, I'm on the air with wire antennas on 80m, 40m and 15m only.  I can work 30m, 20m, 17m and 12m with my 80m dipole and a tuner, but it's a compromise.  Let's face it, we're at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, and I'm not going to miss much on the higher bands anyway.  The wire antennas work everything I can hear as they are.  I had planned on having the new 4-element yagi on the tower by last fall.  But, a motorcycle accident in October, with requisite broken bones and torn ligaments, put a temporary end to my tower climing.  The doctor says I just need another 4 or 5 weeks of healing for the broken shoulder and I'll be ready to climb, so I'll be on the air on all bands using an A4S with 40m kit at 100' very soon, I hope.  The rotor and beam are ready to go right now.  I'll add dedicated wire antennas for 30m soon after, and for 17m and 12m when conditions on those bands improve. 

I ride a 2006 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, and I've spent the recovery time repairing the damage to the bike.  I got it finished in March, so the winter months weren't wasted.  Sometimes I think maybe I have too many hobbies.  For some reason, I seem to gravitate toward expensive hobbies, too. 

Below is a picture of the tower as it stands now.

UPDATE #3: January 2016.  I have 90' of my 100' tower back up.  I just have to install the top section, rotor, antenna and feedline.  But, the unusually warm fall and early winter weather has finally turned cold and windy.  So, the tower project is currently QRX..  I was very lucky to get enough good weather to get as far as I did.  It doesn't look like I'm going to get it finished in time for the March DX contests.

UPDATE#2:  In the fall of 2013 my neighbor drove his tractor through the guy wires on my 100' Rohn 25 tower, bringing it crashing down.  While his insurance company paid off handsomely, due to time and health issues I have been unable to get a new tower back up.  But, I'm making slow progress.  I've acquired most of the hardware, but have not yet ordered the tower itself.  The health problems are hopefully history now, so the spring and summer of 2015 are hopefully going to see the tower and all the antennas back in the air.  I'm still trying to decide what beam I'm going to put up.  It may be hard to find one that can top what the old KLM KT-34A could do.

Update: Jan 2007: A major ice storm hit southwest Missouri on January 12, 2007 and destroyed many, if not most, ham antennas in the area. Mine was no exception. The KT-34A that has survived 20 years of Ozark winters, did not make it this time. It was totally destroyed. The pix shown at the top of this page is the "after" pix. I've seen those elements bent almost vertical, and restore to original postion when the ice melted. But, this time, a solid inch of ice (1-inch cover all the way around, or in other words, TWO inches plus the diameter of the element!) was too much and the elements broke at the boom. Likewise, all wire antennas came down. Fortunately, the Rohn 25 tower survived unscathed, something that can't be said for a couple of commercial towers in the area. When I installed this tower back in May of 1980, I designed it to eventually go to 180'.  Maybe that over-engineering paid off this time. I'll be back on the air someday, maybe. It's a lot of work, a lot of expense, and I don't know if I've got what it takes to put it all back together. Echolink and a two-meter talkie are looking better all the time.

The pix at the top of my page used to be a KLM KT-34A. Hard to recognize it, huh?  Here's what it used to look like:

73's WA0RVK

 

 

 

 

 

 

8278630 Last modified: 2017-08-17 21:12:11, 9962 bytes

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