The cabin is 1/2 mile west of the intersection of NW 100th street and NW Lawton Rd on the south side! Which is more or less 4 miles north of Hallowell, KS
Well after 4 months of concrete patio/pergola installation, today I put my tri-band fan dipole back up. New location on the side of the pergola worked great. I began running the coax around the eve of the house and thought that I had better check the SWR on the antenna before I totally hide and attach this coax.
After a cup of coffee and breakfast, I go to the shack and fire it all up. Nice to be on the air fully again right? So I tune radio to 40m, and try the antenna tuner.... rattle rattle kerchuunk over and over and over. I know a lot of you know that feeling. Finally the tuner gives up with SWR OFF the scale. Dang I thought, bad coax? Too close to the new outdoor Wifi outlet? So I tune radio over to 20m... first try was the same thing. rattle rattle kerchuunk over and over and over but this time it stopped and settled in at 1.5 on 14.255.
Phewww I thought.... switched back to USB and tuned around and actually heard a signal from a station in California. Sweet so ok I guess I need to figure out the 40m issue. Then... the lightbulb went on! Surely I had the coax plugged into the tuner.... right???
Wrong.... so I plug it in and first try it tuned on 40m, 20m and 17m all at 1.1. So I found out that I can tune only my tuner to 20m at 1.5 swr and receive signals still. The Analyzer had it slighty better than before so the tuner easily handled the rest. Sometimes it's the silliest and simplest things that can make your day in ham radio... and mine was made today. like a wise friend of ours always says.... "Welcome to Ham Radio!"
KAØEGE - Jeff Chancey
The past four years have brought many changes to the dynamic of our family which precluded my spending so much time as an Amateur CW operator. So, the gear got packed away into dust catching boxes in closets. They have been relocated, pushed around, and survived a move to the edge of the world; a remote corner of southeast Kansas. Happily these years have been a good time for our family; a time to get closer and live out the last remnants of our children's young lives before adulthood swallows them up forever. The sacrifice of other things during this time was more than worth it. However, each time I have come across the boxes guarding my gear I have felt that sting; that sense and pang that lives in the lightning of a radio operators heart. An electromagnetic desire to get out my radio and listen up for that relic tune morse which is still alive and well on the continuous wave pouring like a gated explosion of water into the either; a flood of cacophony from the many sky hooks scattered abroad. Recently I got into my paper records from the time I spent operating CW. A rush of experiences that I will forever relish came washing over me and renewed my interest in the pantheon of radio operating skill; A1A.
I suppose I could carry on about my box of contact cards but that would never do. For me it is not the contacts that are the real prize of QRP and CW. It was the odd rarely related experiences that happened along the way. There was the day I first operated directly under the sun with no shade. While I was working a contact, my telegraph speed key suddenly started sending an endless string of dashes on it's own. The very close contact gap and the expansion of the brass & steel spring in the heat of the direct sunlight caused my key to develop a perfectly balanced recursive bounce. It was as embarrassing as it was irritating. I quickly attempted to end the contact in a clumsy disjointed manner the best I could. There were the endless antenna forms I came up with inside our apartment attached to the walls, the ceiling, and in countless other ways. Some of these antennas made astonishing contacts. There was the time i had all my gear on my back and had a terrible bike crash on the way to the park. Getting eaten by mosquitoes, dogs running through my antenna support lines, trying to explain to astonished passers by what morse code is. There's more. I once set up in a parking lot by a small tree which I used to support my antenna to work a QRP sprint. Before I could get my gear taken down, I got blocked in by a sudden rush of young college students arriving to attend a nearby party or get together. There were storms and rain. There were days when the bands where absolutely silent; devoid of radio life. Days of sunburn or even blue frozen fingers. You name it, I probably experienced it. All of it served to give me one of the greatest times with radio I have ever had. Moreover, every claim about CW and QRP, was for me, validated completely. There is one experience however that absolutely set the realities of QRP and CW into my mind like concrete.
My late friend Bart Lawson, a fantastic teacher, avid CW and QRP operator would have a brief QSO with me every morning. Those sessions were great and what a privilege. Bart was also an accomplished fox hunter which is no small skill for any operator. We would try to use different bands, power levels, and other QRP related tactics. Bart and I were both followers of a facet of QRP where operators try to make contacts with extremely low power; like stupid low. He taught me a lot and was the reason I earned several 1K miles per watt awards. How low can you go and how far can you get is the trick and the skill to learn. One morning I will never forget, Bart and I finished up a brief rag chew on 15 meters and then signed off. I had been using a folded vertical T antenna I made and which I had packed inside the closet of our half in ground apartment. Why? I am not sure. I love antenna work. It is a geek thing. After our QSO I was messing around trying to refold the upper T section when I distinctly heard a very clear carrier on my tuned frequency. Not super strong but quite clear. A few dots, and a long dash and then pow, I heard W0IIT. What? Bart? If I remember I may have tried to answer back but got no response so I called him on the telephone. Surprised at the revelation that he had been heard, he chuckled and stammered out the statement that he had been checking his QRP transmitter into a dummy load. This may seem trite to some ops but the situation was that he lived several miles from my home, was inside his house, and I was on a folded antenna inside a basement apartment. For me it was a pretty cool experience and a big time validation of QRP and CW both. Amazing....
I still believe the most fun in HAM radio lives in morse code and CW but thats just me. What ever mode and band you choose to use and what ever equipment you operate on, make sure you operate in the true spirit of radio and relish every second you live on the air. Live and learn and light up the either with intelligence...
Amen, 73's D Keath NØWKZ
|Half wave tuner that actually worked perfect through all the bands from 80M to 10M|
|One of my radio bags with bird poop!|
|Little speed key I built from a kit|
Thanks to the tip from Cecil NØEHP on this article and video. The SWLing Post has a great article on this station. Click here for the post. The antenna and station power is incredible so check out the link and watch the video, you will enjoy it.
I was looking for a good demo on how to adjust the AGC or "Automatic Gain Control" on my radio and came across this good information from Bob Heil K9EID. Good information especially with the tip to LOWER your RF Gain. I tried it today on some 20m signals and it really worked and made the received audio much more readable. And the bonus is that the first segment he played was taken from my favorite 40m net "The Hole In The Wall Net" which is daily at 9pm on 7.188 mhz. Get your radio fired up and test this... it worked great on my FT-DX1200.
Here is an informative video from one of our favorite sources. Ham Radio Concepts has a fantastic channel on YouTube. You can find it here ----> HRC on YouTube
The new Yaesu FTDX10 is a nice addition to the brand. It's lower price than the FTDX-101D but using the same "bones". Early reviews are good. Check out this nice comparison review. Also look to the SEKARC email list for a review from Morgan NJ8M. Great information and thanks Morgan.