Another ATNO!!

Another all time new one for WB4OMM!  Worked them on 12M CW running 500W to a G5RV at 35 feet; got them on the 3rd call!  (But that was after I called them on 17M CW for an hour without success).  This brings my DXCC count to 330.

QCX Enclosure and tower is vertical again!

QCX Transceiver when built…….

Now in it’s nice case!  Looks and works well!

 

AND……YES!  My tower is back on the pad!  Soon to have a 2M/70CM vertical; 6M 3 element beam; 10-15-20M 3 element beam, and the top of the 160M wire sloper.  I have all of the materials (including new LMR400 cable, Alpha-Delta lightning protection, antenna switch and grounding mounts) ready to go.  I received the 6M antenna last week – I am waiting on the Mosley MP-33-N (custom, built to order) beam.  Schedule to ship at the end of this month (October).  I just might have everything up and installed by the time my FAVORITE CONTEST arrives – the ARRL November Sweepstakes!

(The antennas on the mast to the right are the MFJ Receive only magnetic loop and my Cushcraft 2M/70CM beam)

Skeeter Hunt! 1st Place Florida Finish!

The 2018 Skeeter Hunt – more here:  http://www.qsl.net/w2lj/

My end of summer outing!  And summer it was……95 degrees on the portable thermometer, probably hotter – as I wound up in the sun for the last 30 minutes!  But STILL FUN!  I left the house around 1:20 pm EDT with my wonderful wife encouraging me to go!  (We were working in the house with new furniture and cleaning – but we got home from church, had breakfast, and every time I would start to “hesitate” – read make excuses why I shouldn’t go – she told me, “Go have some fun!”  Wow!  Whadda gal!

I drove about 3 miles to Buschman Park, a City park that I actually have some history associated with it’s origin.  Back in the late 1970’s I worked as a police detective in the Port Orange Police Department – and one of our problem “drug houses” belonged to a family that owned several acres with a natural, fresh water stream on it.  After working some undercover buys, I got a search warrant we executed it seizing all kinds of drugs, guns, and cash.  Arrested several of the family members including the mom! It was the start of what ultimately would become a  “documentation trail” of having the site designated a “problem property”, and the City seized it in a court action.  It then was developed as Buschman Park, named for a local Audubon  enthusiast and arborist .  You can see the park amenities here:  https://www.port-orange.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Buschman-Park-4 

On arrival, I setup at a picnic table and in the first hour, worked 10 other “skeeters” in quick fashion.  By this time, the sun moved West, and the shade with it.  I took a short break, and after another hour, called it quits.  Radio conditions were not great, and it was really getting hot in the direct sun.  When I secured, I was at 15 contacts in 11 states and one Canadian DX.  Not too bad for 3 watts and a small vertical antenna!  Here’s some photos…….

The Entrance to Buschman Park

 

The WB4OMM “Skeeter Station #98” – Elecraft K1, Elecraft T1 Autotuner, American Morse Express Paddle – In the August Florida Sun!

 

The 20M Hamstick Antenna at the water’s edge

And my always necessary “selfie” with the equipment and lake in the background!

A great outing!  72/73 to all!

The Summer So Far…..

Got this today – 1,000 DX band contacts

 

2018 Field Day at the Daytona Beach EOC

 

More Contest Wallpaper!

July NAQCC Sprint, 2017 Nov SS SSB Results, 2018 RTTY Roundup Results, and 2018 13 Colonies “Clean Sweep” Certificate………missed the “Flight of the Bumblebees”, but waiting on the results from the Skeeter Hunt…….also doing the QRPFOX hunts on Thursday nights.

 

 

 

 

Another new era! Satellites!

AMATEUR SATELLITES!!

Orbiting Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio (OSCAR)

Another new facet of what seems to be a never ending source of fun and excitement!  Here I am during the 2018 Field Day at the Daytona Beach Police Department parking lot making my (well, kinda) first ever Amateur Satellite QSO!  Officially, I was using the N4DAB Daytona Beach CERT Amateur Radio Team call sign, so it wasn’t really “me”.  I made the QSO Sunday morning June 24, 2018 at 1449Z with W4DW through the OSCAR AO-92 Satellite.  It was my fourth try during the FD weekend, but I finally made it.  I was using a Kenwood V71 dual-band FM transceiver running 5 Watts out to an Arrow II 146/437-10 hand held antenna.  We got the 100 bonus points too!

A week later, on early Monday morning July 2, 2018 at 0204Z (actually Sunday night) I made a QSO with N4UFO through the same satellite using my own call.  I’m Official!  This time, same antenna, but using an Alinco DJ-G7 HT Transceiver running 1 Watt output on 70cm!  Wowwee!

Here is the QSL Card:

 

Here’s the AMSAT First Satellite Contact Award Certificate

Egads, what fun! 

2018 Hamvention and FDIM are Over!

Yes, our 2018 trip to Dayton Hamvention and QRP-ARCI Four Days in May is over!    It was a GREAT trip!

My brother John (KI4LOF) and I arrived in Miamisburg, OH at our hotel on Thursday afternoon, May 17th.  After checking in, we proceeded to the CWOps banquet in Dayton, where I accepted the annual award for the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC).  It was a great honor, and a great dinner!  Over 100 CWOps were there.  Here’s a photo of me accepting the award, and the statement that I made:

“This is not my award.  I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the thousands of dedicated members of SKCC, and most importantly, those few members that make the activities and awards possible for hams all over the world.  Morse code is the universal language – CW, TU, SK all mean the acme no matter the culture or country.  It is one of the binding common threads of Amateurs across the globe.  It is my honor to accept this award on behalf of SKCC, one of the premier international clubs that support and perpetuate the continuing use of Morse code using one of the basics of ham radio, a straight key.  Sincere thanks to CWOps for this award”.

Steve WB4OMM SKCC # 8793T –  CWOps # 1943

The dinner was great – we bought some raffle tickets for a drawing on Saturday, but neither of us won anything.

After dinner, we attended the FDIM Vendor Night at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn.  Saw lots of folks, visited and bought a few minor items. 

Early Friday morning, we arrived at Hamvention, where I worked in the ARRL RadioSport booth primarily QSL Award Card Checking and answering questions about Logbook of the World (LoTW) and various awards.  I helped ARRL Staffer Sabrina Jackson, KC1MJW – who just got her license in  April – and I had the honor of becoming her first QSO!!  (2M FM).  A QSL will be on the way once I get home……Sabrina was a terrific partner both days (Fri and Sat); pleasant, knowledgeable, and just a wonderful person!  It was nice to work with her.  Here is Sabrina, my  brother John and I in the booth Saturday afternoon.

Here’s the ARRL Staff Photo at Hamvention 2018:That’s me in the back row on the left side!  Glad I’m kinda tall!

Friday night we had dinner the folks from Orlando Amateur Radio Club (John, Mike, Bob, and Val) – I wish I would have remembered to get a photo!  It was a great dinner, and we talked and laughed for hours.  They are top-shelf folks and we were both honored to get the invite to join them.

Saturday was more ARRL booth, and I also got to visit with my good friend Frank Butler W4RH who was in the adjacent International Amateur Radio Union booth with IARU President Tim Elam VE6SH.  Here’s the three of us Saturday afternoon:

The fella on the left laughing so hard is Gerry Gross WA6POZ who was card checking in the booth with me – he’s howling, because as we had this photo taken, he was doing “rabbit ears” behind Frank and we kept telling him to stop!  He’s a hoot!  He’s also dedicated and dependable!  Always ready to help with the card checking.

Also Saturday, I was able to get into the SKCC Group photo with several members:

I was also able to get a “Special Photo” with my good SKCC/NAQCC friends Karen W4KRN and Curt WA2JPG – these two regularly work me during various sprints, contests, parkpeditions and whatever.  They are great “ham friends”.  It’s always nice to see them in person!  I was glad we could get this special photo.

I purchased some minor stuff again, and John did too – our best “mutual” purchase was a LASER engraved Yeti Cup with the Dayton 2018 Hamvention logo on them along with our call signs – they are beautiful!  We kept checking for a door prize, but neither of our numbers ever came up.

We left at Saturday’s closing bell, and proceeded to the FDIM banquet.  It was a good meal, I visited with a few regulars, and we won nothing – in three separate raffles!!!!  Neither of us has any luck in winning stuff!  Oh well……

I’m writing this in a hotel room in Cleveland, TN on the way home.  Another great trip.  John was a great traveling companion – we listened to lotsa really loud music (my new Rogue has the BOSE sound system!), laughed a lot, and had a ball.  I hope to get my brother George into one of these future trips.  I know it would be a hoot!

And as a final aside to the adventure, here’s a photo of John and I with Kentucky’s Most Famous Person – Col. Harland Sanders, of KFC fame in his original restaurant in Corbin, KY.  Ya’ just can’t make this stuff up!

Hope you enjoyed “the trip with us!”