Proud Memember of thw WVDXA -West Virginia DX Association.
I became interested in radio communications at the age of 10 or 11. One evening I was sitting in my room playing with a new 5 tube table radio I had received as a Christmas gift. I started tuning around and was amazed at all the places I could hear from my parents home in East Aurora, NY - a small village about 17 miles south east of Buffalo. There was New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, St Louis - all at a turn of the dial. I was hooked.
I stayed with Broadcast Band DX all through high school and with the help of a friend that had an old National receiver I learned about short wave stations and HAMS. I even did a term paper for my Sophmore English class on DXing. My most memorable catch back then was Radio SWAN on AM. Radio SWAN was the CIA radio station located on Swan Island off the coast of eastern Central America. It was used to broadcast to Cuba. I still have the confirmation letter from the Gibraltor Steamship Company.
After High School I enlisted in the Navy and my DXing stayed with me as I crusied the Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranen and later Pacific. I carried a Sanyo mulit-band portable with me and would sit on the deck late at night and try to see if I could hear stations from back home on the AM Bands. My favorite was to catch WKBW from Buffalo while out to sea.
One day I looked at a Heathkit Catalog, saw a listing for a citizens's band transciever and ordered it. This was in 1964 and a license was required. The kit arrived while we were still at sea and I worked on it on our way back form a Med Cruise. The CB phase with me lasted until 1986. I learned that "skip" was fun and with a good side band radio and antenna I could work the world on 12 watts.
I finally bit the bullet and decided to take a HAM Class in Clarksburg, WV. It was taught by N8FMD and NR8X handling the theory and WD8LDY as the primary CW instructor.I passed and became licensed as KA8ZNN. This was in June and I was limited as a novice to CW, a mode I have never been a big fan of. I did however compete in my first contest with CW, the Novice Round Up.
In 1987 we moved to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and I upgraded to Tech Plus and changed my call to a 1X3 - N4PUV. Novice enhancement came along giving us 10 meter phone privileges and I never looked back. With an ICOM 720A and a home made rotatable dipole I began contesting and chasing DX in earnest. By the time I had upgraded to General I had logged and confirmed well over 250 stations on 10 meters with that station. I also won a lot of ARRL contests for the Virginia District.
I moved back to West Virginia in 1993 and change my call to a vanity one - N4SEA which I held until July, 2010 when I changed to K8YYY. Again I concentrated on DX and contesting and in 2000 won the CQ WPX SSB contest for the USA 10 meter Low Power Novice/Tech catagory. I had also won a few ARRL awards for the WV section during that time and particiapted in the last Novice Round Up by doing a lot of practice first to get back into CW. Most of that was done with my trusty ICOM 720-A and the rotatable di-pole, but when ICOM introduced the 718 I "upgraded" to it (primarily for the ease of working split which was difficult with the 720A) and kept the 720A as a back up. It has since been sold.
Since then I have been "Grand Fathered" to General and am still actively chasing DX and am back into contesting after a 6 year hiatus. My station consists of an ICOM 7600 for HF, a Heil Goldline mike, an Alpha 87A Amp , an old version Palstar Auto Tuner updated and worked on by Kessler Enginering, an MFJ 996Auto Tuner for back up, and an MFJ-434 Voice Keyer. I also have a Signalnk Interface that hasn't seen much use -yet. . Antennas are a 6 element log periodic at forty feet, a full sized Carolina Windom for low bad, and a 43 foot DX Engineering vertical with 40 32 foot radials for low bands. I recently installed a 60/30 meter inverted Vee dipole and a home brewed 6 meter vertical. I use the ICOM 7410 and a Cushcraft 5 element yagi for 6 meters. I use an IC-756 for BCB DX Chasing along with an SDR1-Q, Sony ICF-2010, Panasonic RF-2200, and Tecsun PL-380, several wire antennas and the MFJ -1024 active antenna. For 2 meters I am using a Ringo 5/8th wave vertical antenna and an ICOM V8000.
I have joined up with a great group here in West Virigina, the West Virgina DX Association and am learning a lot of things to help me catch the few remaining placesI need to fill in the blanks on my country count - 335/329. They even have stirred up an interest in revisiting CW so who knows, maybe a DX station may hear K8YYY coming at them on CW sometime in the near future. I am also studying for extra.
Update 12/07/15. I made the DXCC Honor Roll and now am at 336/332. I have been working CW for a while now and am enjoying it. I am have achieved CW DXCC and at 125 confrimed on LOtW and some cards that need checked..
We have a camp on the Cheat River in Hannahsville, Tucker County and I have set up a station there for when go in the summer. WIll be taking thbe IC-7410 and a 6BTV that will be ground mounted and modified for 12 and 17 meters. We are down on the river and surrounded by hills except for a basic North/South direction that the river runs so it will be tough sledding with 100 watts and a vertical mounted on stoney ground but who knows. I also have an MFJ 40-10 G5RV up about 30 feet and set up as an inverted vee so hopefully I will be able to make some Q's.
I use the best lgging software out there - LOGGER 32. It is FREE and has great support. There is a user's group to help you. There a number of add ons for it. Did I mention it is FREE? With a money back guarente
See you in the pile ups and the contests!
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Book Totals: 3 qso's 2 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM