Your help is needed to help avoid losing our 420-440Mhz band

A bill has been recently introduced which could result in amateurs losing their currently allocated frequencies on the 70cm band (420-440Mhz). The ARRL is asking that folks write to their legislators to oppose the bill in it’s current form. The FCC is proposing to auction off certain spectrum for commercial use to replace the spectrum given up in the 700Mhz band (formerly used for analog TV) to help make up for the loss of commercial revenue in those bands. The spectrum slated for auction is supposed to be existing Public Safety spectrum (since the 700Mhz block went to Public Safety), but the Amateur allocations appear to have been incorrectly bundled in with those from Public Safety. You can read more about this issue at the ARRL website here and you can read how to help here. Please note that they strongly recommend sending letters to their legislative consultants who will hand-deliver them to Congress due to extensive delays in postal mail screening to members of Congress. It’s very easy to do! After downloading the sample letter from ARRL and editing it with your info you can go to http://www.congress.org and register with their website just paste the email into a simple Write Your Lawmakers form from the link at the top right side of the web page after signing into your congress.org account. Onec you’ve pasted the edited letter into the congress.org form you can preview it and then click send and it’s sent. Very simple and easy to do! Only takes about 15 minutes maximum of your time and well worth it to protect out frequency spectrum! Thanks for your help and very 73!

LOOK WHAT SANTA CLAUS GOT ME!

Santa Claus AKA “My XYL” bought me an old German Junker (pronounced “yunker”) CW Key for Christmas! Actually she purchased it from PA3FLM John in the Amsterdam, Netherlands back on November 19th, but thanks to the heavy shipping of Christmas gifts, cards, etc it took 26 days to arrive! I was quiet surprised to see my daughter Elizabeth with a package when she came home around 10 PM Tuesday night. I wish I had drove the 1 mile to the mailbox earlier that evening and I could have used it in the North American CW Club (NAQCC) December QRP CW Sprint. I worked the 2 hour sprint earlier that evening running only 5 watts and wound up with 28 stations in 16 states which got me 2nd place in the entire W4 division using my Begali Camelback straight key! I love my Begali and hope to someday get me a set of Begali paddles! Below are a few photos of the key Santa got me:


An excellent Christmas gift indeed and very much appreciated! Well, at least I’ll have it to use  today from 1800 UTC until 2359 UTC in the ARRL CW Rookie Roundup and in the  ARRL Straight Key Night coming up on New Years from 0000 UTC until 2359 UTC! CW is by far my favorite mode of operation and, speaking from 14+ years of experience on amateur radio, where you encounter the best and most courteous operators. If your a fan of Facebook take a look at my CW OPERATORS page on Facebook. I try and post the latest events for CW operators on there each week to keep folks informed. Well,  guess that’s about it this post and thank you for reading my blog. Be sure and sign my guestbook if you have the time at the link down the page.

Hope to work you on the bands! 73 and “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy and Prosperous 2011!” de Cliff KU4GW  SKCC#652  NAQCC#1491  FPQRP#1183 30MDG#865

SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2010 "54TH ANNUAL SHELBY HAMFEST"

Had a great time at the 54th Annual Shelby Hamfest and got to meet a couple of hams I usually talk with daily on 3895 ,but had never met them in person before. Got to meet N4LMF William & K5TBZ Craig. I rode down with my good friend W4WWF Dale. There was a great turnout even though hamfest officials said attendance was down from last years. Checked out all the newest Yaesu & Icom gear, but Kenwood was a no show. Was wanting to look at the new Kenwood TS-590 to see what it looked like up close & personal, but no luck there! Also, the ARRL was a no show this year, not sure what happened to them, they’re usually there every year! I didn’t really need anything, but did pick up a few PL259s and 30 solder lugs to attach the radials to my Hustler 5BTV vertical I’m fixing to put up. Think I’ll lay down 10 radials each for 20, 30, and 40 meters. Also bought me a set of the plastic HF tuning tools and a set of hemostats to use for a soldering heat sink. I also have another antenna I’m fixing to put up, a double bazooka cut for 75 meters, want to compare it with my 260 feet doublet and also string it up perpendicular to the doublet. Next thing I’m interested in amateur radio wise is to get into QRP in the field. Ten-Tec has a nice little QRP dual band HF rig for $249.00 I’m particularly interested in: Two Band CW QRP Transceiver – 40/20 Meters  It’s a 20/40 meter dual bander CW rig. Here’s a closeup view: Ten-Tec R4020  Also need to get me a portable tripod & antenna for QRP in the field and  a 12 volt portable power pack or solar panel. Hopefully I’ll be ready by next summer for some fun in the field! Have posted a couple of hamfest pics below, but you can see all my photos from the hamfest here:  Shelby Hamfest Photos  Been having a lot of fun lately with my new rig! The VRF (Variable Receive Frontend) is my favorite feature on the FT-1000MP Mark V. It is amazing how much QRN it will take out! Also I like the CW tuning meter which makes zero beating a breeze visually. Until next blog very 73 and hope to see you down the log!

My New Rig Has Arrived!

Just received my new rig, a Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V (200 watt version) on May 3rd, 2010 and absolutely love it! I purchased it from W4CCW Craig. It is loaded with filters,a VRF=Variable Receiver Front end and much much more to help dig those really weak signals out of the noise, especially on CW! I have already sold my Kenwood TS-570D to KD8KAK Tim in Ohio and recouped some of the bucks spent out on the Mark V. Also, finally got new coax to set up my other two antennas. I’m putting up a Hustler 5BTV vertical ground-mounted with 30 radials cut for the 40 meter band and also a Double Bazooka cut for 3.895 Mhz made and given to me free of charge by my good friend KT4FW Sid. Well, that’s the latest from the KU4GW shack so until next blog very 73!
Cliff KU4GW
A FEW PHOTOS OF THE NEW RIG

WA2BEN BEN LIPTON SK

I write this entry with much sadness at the recent loss of my good friend WA2BEN Ben Lipton who recently passed on. Ben was a great friend whom I spoke with for many years on ham radio and is sorely missed! I always loved his great sense of humor, especially the funny things he would say on the air when bickering back and forth with WZ4I Mark. They had the type of relationship where they would continuously put each other down, all in fun of course! If Ben and Mark were nice to each other on the air I would have thought that something was definitely amiss! I got many good chuckles out of the things those two would say to each other! May God bless and keep Ben by his side through all eternity! Heaven is a better place with the presence of Ben Lipton!

PHOTO FROM THE WA2BEN MEMORIAL DINNER HELD JANUARY 9TH, 2010 IN MEMORY OF OUR FRIEND BEN LIPTON
PHOTO OF WA2BEN BEN LIPTON-CENTER IN PHOTO BELOW

2009 CQWW SSB DX CONTEST

I had an absolute blast working the CQWW SSB DX Contest October 24th-25th! Below are my results which I thought amazing for only 8 hours of actual on-the-air operating time.

MY CQWW SSB DX CONTEST TOTALS
20 Meters QSO’s:94 Countries (Not including U.S.):50 CQ Zones:16
40 Meters QSO’s:17 Countries (Not including U.S.):10 CQ Zones: 4
Operating Time In Hours: 8 Total estimate.
Operating Class: Single Operator – High Power
GRAND TOTAL:
TOTAL QSO’s:111
Countries(Not including U.S.): 60
1 U.S. Station QSO
QSO Points:321
Multipliers:81
TOTAL SCORE: 26,001

COUNTRIES WORKED IN CONTEST:
Aruba, Austria, Australia, Balearic Island, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bonaire Curacao, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde Island, Ceuta & Melilla, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, European Russia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jerrey Island, Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turks & Caicos Islands, USA, Venezuela, and Wales.


What I’ve Been Up To Lately


It’s been quite a while since my last post so thought I would bring it up to date. I have been mostly hanging out with my friends on 3.895 & 28.490 and also have been having a CW sked on 80 meters every Friday morning for a couple months now with W4CUX Bill down in the great state of Georgia. Also, I bought an Ameritron AL-80B 1000 watt amplifier back in February that I think is the best thing I’ve ever gotten as far as ham radio next to my 260 feet doublet antenna and Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V rig. . I also absolutely love the Heil Proset Plus headset my XYL bought me for Christmas two years ago! I can hear everything so much better especially weak CW signals near the noise floor. The phase reversal on the headphones makes it sound like the audio is in the center of my head instead of at my ears. I highly recommend them! Have been having a lot of fun also on 30 meter PSK31 and also on 80, 40, & 20 meter Feld-Hell (Hellschreiber). Feld-Hell is a very old mode that Rudolph Hell invented in 1929 that was used a during the Spanish Civil War in 1933 and during WWII for field portable military communications. Check out the 30 Meter Digital Group and the Feld-Hell Club websites for more info on these fun digital modes. My favorite mode is and has always been CW and I joined a great group called the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) back in 2006. SKCC is nearly 6000 members now and promote the use of straight keys and bugs, no electronic keying devices allowed for SKCC Awards. My SKCC number is 652. Give me a call if you hear me. I experimented with JT65A mode a while back, but find it isn’t my cup of tea. It more or less is just used for callsign and signal reports swaps with no conversation. I like to talk and also have a ragchew instead of just swapping reports. I’ll save the RST swapping for DX pileups and contests which reminds me the CQWW DX SSB Contest is coming up this coming weekend and the CW Contest November 28 & 29th. Well, that’s about it from here for now. Hope to hear you on the air or see you on the waterfall on digital.
Very 73 de Cliff KU4GW

Radio Shack 12-162 SAME Weather Alert Radio Product Review

Radio Shack

Keep by your bed to monitor nighttime storms.

Excellent Performance!

Cliff KU4GW Taylorsville, NC 5/2/2009

5 5

Pros: SAME Alerts, Long Battery Life, Durable, Great Reception, Good Sound Quality, Lightweight

Best Uses: Severe Weather Alerts, Home Use

Describe Yourself: Amateur Radio Operator, Advanced Weather Spotter

I have owned this weather radio for about six months now and it works flawlessly and has awakened me during severe storm warnings.

()

2009 Charlotte, NC Hamfest 3/17/09



I attended the 2009 Charlotte, NC Hamfest Saturday March 17th, 2009 and had a pretty good time even though it poured a cold rain all day. The best thing was that I got to ride down with my best friend WZ4I Mark and also had WN4B Randy along for the ride too.I thought they were ridiculously high on the admission price of $10.00 considering that the upcoming Catawba Valley Hamfest April 18th, 2009 in Morganton, NC is only $5.00 at the gate! I got aggravated at the Hamfest officials when I went to the stage area and asked the guy to page my friend Don WD4CWE who had driven from Burlington and he told me they were only paging on the half hour and that I’d have to come back later although the PA system was not even in use at the time!I’ve been talking to Don regularly for almost 2 years now and had never met him in person until that day.Hopefully things will improve next year since WZ4I Mark has been invited to join the Charlotte Hamfest planning committee.I wound up coming home with a Pop Comm magazine, a CQ magazine, 2 ceramic dogbone insulators, and a MFJ/Ameritron coffee mug.
That was it.I took 3 straight CW keys with me hoping to maybe find someone who might have a bug key they’d swap, but no luck. I did lay an eyeball on hopefully my future HF rig, a Yaesu FT2000D! (Seen Above). It is now written: “I shall have one, oh yes I shall!” Anyway, until next blog, very 73 de Cliff KU4GW
(Photo Above Left to Right: NC4JS Eddie,WZ4I Mark,KU4GW Cliff,& WA4HKY Donnie)

I Need A Change

Seems like lately my life has become so routine it’s like I’m stuck in suspended animation! Day in, day out the same thing. Since I no longer go to work everyday like I did for 30 years straight I sometimes feel totally useless like my life has no purpose. God cured my cancer and kept me around for some reason, I just haven’t figured out what it is yet, but I need to do something besides just sit around the house. Thought about getting involved in helping with a Scout Troop again, but not sure if my body can stand it. I really do have limitations due to my spine being so brittle as a result of the cancer. I need to do something though so that I feel like a productive member of society again. Well, enough said, until next time!
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