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As a kid in Knoxville, Tennessee, I built crystal sets and regenerative tube radios.  I got my novice ticket - WN4JAQ - at age 13, shared ideas and parts with ham friends, and got support from older hams.  My first transmitter was a homebrew 6146 crystal oscillator built on plywood – the 15 watts made QSO’s!  After a few months of novice operation, I passed my general license and became WA4JAQ.  Soon I was using Command Set VFO’s instead of crystals:

                                      

With a pair of 807’s, I ran AM and CW on HF.  I was active on 160 through 2M and built most of my transmitters.  I upgraded to Advanced before finishing high school. 

In college I studied physics, geology, and music.  After graduation I joined the NOAA Corps and served on oceanographic ships.

As WA4JAQ/MM in the central Atlantic I was DX.  With 100W and a vertical, I ran many phone patches for ship’s personnel. Some nights I called CQ into “dead” 15M and 20M and ended up rag-chewing with VK’s and ZL’s. 

In the ‘70’s I was a solar forecaster and observer for the NOAA Space Environment lab – now SESC.  At Boulder, Colorado, I got a new call – KB0IH – and worked with creative Don Hilliard, W0PW.  I joined a local engineering company, founded by Lee Erb, WA0IKY, and was a member of a team that built about three thousand 20KW MRI amplifiers. 

In 1980 I made a 6L6 CW rig driven by a VXO, put a wire yagi in the attic, and
worked lots of 10-meter DX.  I added a plate modulator, and joined the 10M AM club at 29 Mhz:

I

I also ran a VN10KM mosfet with 3 watts out on 40M CW.  Wes Hayward’s Solid State Design inspired me to build a multi-band dead-bug QRP CW superhet transceiver:

 

About 1982 I built a rack-mounted rig with four WW2 RCA 1625’s in parallel running on 1000V:

I built this rig so I could operate on all 9 HF bands, including the then-new WARC bands.  This workhorse 250W transmitter is still in regular use.  The RF unit, meters, power supplies, and three tuners occupy over 4 feet of rack space.  In 2007 I added 60 meter capability.  Here's the transmitter, power supply, directional coupler/tuning bridge, and several tuners in the rack: 

In early 2000, I passed the Extra test at 20 WPM and chose my current call KX0R. 

Recent projects include several QRP rigs, many tuners, test gear, end-fed antennas, and various other accessories:

    

My home station is a mix of homebrew, vintage, commercial, and QRP gear.  My nice little shop has lots of old test gear:

    

My favorite portable rig is Steve Weber’s ATS-3B:

   

Lately I’ve been an activator and a chaser in the SOTA program:

This picture is on Fairchild Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park - SOTA W0C/FR-010 - 13502 ft, 4107M - nine rocky miles from the trailhead down in the valley at 8500 feet.  

My current focus is on lightweight hiking-type portable operation.  On high Colorado summits, in thin air, I’ve verified most of Murphy’s Laws while operating QRP-portable.  Doing challenging climbs and “first activations” of local SOTA peaks is a wonderful new direction for my ham radio career!  See more SOTA images down below.  

Family interests and outdoor activities balance my lifelong fascination with radio.   

I go by “Carey” on phone and “George” on CW – please call if you hear me on! 

72/73 – KX0R

 

Here are some more SOTA images.  First activation of W0C/FR-032 Buffalo Peak (3525 M); Pikes Peak W0C/FR-004 (4292 M) in background:

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Here's an actual SOTA Goat - they really do exist out here:

Fairchild Mountain W0C/FR-010 4107M, from Hagues Peak W0C/FR-008 4125M; Ypsilon Peak W0C/FR-009 4111M is right behind Fairchild.  These are classic SOTA peaks in the Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park.

View of North Saint Vrain Canyon from South Sheep Mountain W0C/FR-193 2525M - this is what a 2-point summit is like in W0C. Nice radio location!

Longs Peak W0C/FR-110 4336M from Estes Cone W0C/FR-039 3348M

Parry Peak W0C/SR-029 4074M - this is right on the Continental Divide - long rocky hike:

Looking south along the Divide at 4000M near Parry Peak:

Part way up James Peak 4044M - this is an easy high summit:

Gray Wolf W0C/PR-020 4138M:

ATS-3B and tuners on Mount Judge W0C/FR-047 3134M Dec 20, 2014:

I was lucky it was a sunny day:

View east off Mount Jasper W0C/FR-015 3931M :

First Activation of Geneva Mountain W0C/SP-050 3752M - 67 foot EFHW antenna with links - resonant on 40M, 30M, 20M, & 15M - 53 contacts on all 4 bands - Oct 19, 2014 - this was a classic SOTA trip:

KX0R Statistics at Attaining Mountain Goat April 19, 2015

All my summit activations were made in the W0C SOTA Association (Colorado).  I am the only W0C MG to do this so far.  Summit points come hard in W0C – here’s the Summit Banding: 

1 point elevation < 8000 ft          181 summits

2 points 8000 - <8999 ft              247 summits

4 points 9000 - <10499 ft            340 summits

6 points 10500 - <12499 ft          444 summits

8 points 12500 - <13499 ft           347 summits

10 points 13500 ft or more          182 summits

With a wide range of altitudes and various types of mountains available, many W0C summits can be activated throughout the year.  There are remote desert summits, many popular mountains with trails, and a variety of alpine peaks.  The higher summits are more accessible during the warmer months; they offer spectacular scenery with a wide range of difficulty.    

197 Summit Activations; 5.06 points per activation (average)

All my activations were CW; all my transmissions were QRP @ 5W.

111 Unique Summits

56 of my activations, half the Uniques, were First SOTA Activations for that summit.

49 summits were activated only once by me.

62 summits were activated twice, and some of those three times; I enjoyed all the repeats, some much more than the first visit.  

It took from July 6, 2013 to April 19, 2015 to reach 1000 points; this was 21-1/2 months.

Logged 6498 total activation QSO's.

Averaged 33 QSO’s per activation. 

Logged 210 S2S (Summit to Summit) QSO's by April 19, 2015

1360 S2S points by April 19, 2015

I operated CW on the 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15 meter bands only.  Most of my activations were on two or more bands.  I enjoyed contacting different regions with different wavelengths from my central location here in Colorado.  I logged many DX contacts on 20, 17, and 15 meters.      

My rig was/is my ATS-3B for almost every activation.  I soldered every surface-mount part myself. I adjusted the rig for 5W output on every band, as well as sensitivity better than 0.1 uV.  I owe Steve Weber KD1JV eternal gratitude for the design, the kit, and his support.  My antennas were/are mostly end-fed high-Z inverted-L antennas with links for different bands, fed with homebrew tuners.  I use a 6-meter Black Widow pole and/or trees for supports.  Carrying only a few pounds of radio gear helps with the high peaks and the summits with no trails.  Three 18650 lithium-ion cells – 7 ounces - provide plenty of power for many hours of operation.   

I did many winter activations, and 114 of my MG points are winter bonus points earned during the Dec 1 through March 31 periods.  There were no bonus points for many snow-shoe trips in April and later, including my last two summits for MG! 

The average altitude of all my summits is 3089 M, or 10134 feet.  I activated a wide variety of summits, and I recommend doing this.  Many are seldom-visited peaks in wild areas, including Rocky Mountain National Park, with no routes other than game trails.   

I have no statistics for the hikes, but 1000 to 2000 vertical feet and several miles are required for most of my W0C trips.  The longer treks up the 4000+ meter summits usually require 3000-5000 vertical feet and 10 – 20 miles round-trip.  The high altitude adds to the challenge.

I was born in 1948.               

I drove my 1970 VW Bug for almost every expedition – my bug climbed several thousand vertical feet to almost every trailhead – and 6000 to 9000 vertical feet for many.

Thanks to all the sharp chasers who follow my activations, some of them catching me before I'm even ready to start logging!  These top-class CW operators regularly stand by silently when I work DX or S2S, listening carefully to both sides of my contacts; I'm grateful for the respect and patience I hear in every pile.  It is a privilege to participate in this facet of our hobby.  

Special thanks are due to Steve WG0AT and Matt K0MOS for their hard work in organizing and maintaining the W0C SOTA Association.   

72/73 and CU soon!

KX0R

 

 

 

 

6187508 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:22:33, 15662 bytes

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