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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
Keep by your bed to monitor nighttime storms.
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.
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)