SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Dennis Walker WA6QKN Is A Silent Key

It is a great sadness to learn that Dennis Walker, WA6QKN, passed away on June 12th, 2021. Dennis was 74 years old. He grew up in California and served in the Air Force. He worked many years at the Navy Lab in Panama City as a civil service employee. Dennis retired from the government but continued to work for defense contractors until recently. A number of years ago, Dennis overcame a severe bout with cancer. 


Dennis's favorite hobby was ham radio. He was involved with repeaters and packet radio in the past. In recent years, Dennis enjoyed operating amateur radio on the outdoors. Dennis and I enjoyed many outings together, putting parks and islands in the air. Dennis was the ultimate friend, a team player, and was always ready to help others. Dennis is survived by his wife, Lana.


If you follow this blog and my YouTube channel you have seen that Dennis and I had lots of fun together. He is greatly missed.

Greg N4KGL

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Florida QSO Party From Falling Waters State Park

The object of the Florida QSO Party is for all stations to work Florida and Florida stations to work everyone. Florida counties are multipliers. Some counties don't have hams active in the party. Mobiles usually operate in those counties as they rove across the state. Washington County is one of the more rare counties. Since I was camping in Washington County, I was in the Expedition Category. I got plenty of kudos for handing out Washington County. On Saturday, we had a heavy thunderstorm for the first few hours. After the storm passed, I operated from the truck since everything outside was wet. I got fifty SSB contacts. Sunday was a better weather day and I worked 122 more contacts. I had 23 Florida Counties, 39 states, Italy, and the US Virgin Islands. That was enough to feel like the portable station was doing well. I used the Icom 7100, an Icom AH-4 tuner, and a one-hundred-foot inverted-L antenna on 30-foot poles.

My portable setup with Suzy enjoying the sun.

I certainly will keep the Florida QSO party on my list. The setup is a good one for doing Parks on The Air while camping with our travel trailer.

 

My Icom AH-4 Remote Tuner



The poles supporting the Inverted L extend into an adjacent field.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

April 2021 RaDAR Challenge Report

For this RaDAR challenge,  I chose to operate from Solomon Park near my Dothan, Alabama home. The weather was perfect for operating outside. My video below shows my setup time was ten minutes. I used the SOTABeams Band Hopper link dipole supported by a SOTABeams Tactical 700 telescoping pole. It took a while to get my first five contacts. Conditions were not that good. Then I made a one-kilometer walk, returned to the park, and finished with five more contacts. 



On 20 meters CW, I worked John VA3KOT in Ontario. He was not operating portable due to their COVID lockdown. John suggests there could be a Canadian chapter of RaDAR. Sven VA3SVN sent a note he and a friend operated portable during the challenge. Chris VA3ECO had an adventurous RaDAR Challenge from his island location in Ontario. Please watch the videos below. 



Note, RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio which originated in South Africa by Eddie ZS6BNE and his friends. Eddie gave a talk on RaDAR at the March 2021 QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. Also, see http://radarops.co.za/


Chris VA3ECO


N4KGL's 2021 POTA Chase Royale

I plan to do Parks On The Air (POTA) activations while camping at seventeen state parks in 2021. I’ll keep a tally of on-the-air contacts I make with friends and local club members. Please register with me at lanekg@gmail.com to get my schedule and receive notifications. The next activation will be at the end of June.


For the POTA Chase Royale I’ll give out points as follows.

·       From Home: One Point per Band per Day per Park

·       Park to Park: Two Points per Band Per Day per Park

I’ll share a spreadsheet of your scores as we go. I will issue certificates at the end of 2021. Of course, my logs will be uploaded to the POTA Database for your hunting credit. Find out more about POTA at parksontheair.com



If all goes as planned, I will visit the following parks:

Cheaha SP, AL
Clinton SP, KS
East Bank COE, GA
F. D. Roosevelt SP, GA
Falling Waters SP, FL
Frank Jackson SP, AL
Keystone SP, OK
Lake Charles SP, AR
Lake Lurleen SP, AL
Meaher SP, AL
Oak Mountain SP, AL
Petit Jean SP, AR
St George Island SP, FL
Stockton SP, MO
T. O. Fuller SP, TN
TomBigbee SP, MS
Top Sail SP, FL
Unicoi SP, GA


Friday, March 5, 2021

Get Ready for the next RaDAR Challenge April 3rd, 2021

The next RaDAR Challenge is April 3rd, 2021, UTC. RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio. Movement is encouraged between portable deployments via foot or various conveyances. Operate in a four-hour window of your choosing. No specific venue is required, although parks are a natural choice. You may operate any band and mode except repeaters. Satellite and digital contacts are encouraged with bonus points. Remember it is five contacts and move. Get into the flow zone. Detailed rules are available at http://radarops.co.za/index.php/radar-rules/ Portable operators and chasers are welcome to participate. Make your plans and share!


Greg N4KGL

Vintage Radios Used for the Classic Exchange CX Event

March 2nd was my first time participating in the Winter Classic Exchange CW event. I loved it, especially the drift and chirp I heard on the air.  Your multiplier in the event is the sum of the ages of your gear. I used my three oldest radios, including the Ameco AC-1 transmitter, Heathkit HW-8 transceiver, Drake 2-NT transmitter, and the Drake 2-C Receiver; this gear gave me a 235-year multiplier. Twelve of my twenty QSOs were QRP. Also being crystal controlled on the AC-1 and the 2-NT presented a challenge. This event was a great warm-up for Novice Rig Roundup also this month. 

Drake 2-NT Transmitter & Drake 2-C Receiver estimated age 54 years each.

Ameco AC-1 Transmitter estimated age 51 years.

Heathkit HW-8 Transceiver estimated age 38 years counts as 76 years.





Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The February SKCC Weekend Spritathon from the Dothan Shack

For the Straight Key Century Club February WES, the theme was boat anchors, another name for vintage rigs. I operated from the Dothan Shack sixteen hours on Saturday of the thirty-six possible hours for the WES. There were a couple of slack hours for lunch and dinner. I decided to stop at one hundred contacts. 


The first 45 contacts were using the Drake 2-NT and the Drake 2-C which let me give out a nine tube bonus to the other ops. I did not work any other tube stations, although I think they were out there. You have to run when you use xtals instead of hunt and pounce. By the way, I ran right through a storm of RTTY QRM. About mid-course, I switched to the Elecraft KX3 and KXPA-100 and did some hunt and pounce. 

My WES Stats


I worked two Dothan locals, Alton W4IDH and Tom WD0HBR. I also worked Costa Rica for a DX contact. The pace really picked up when 80 meters opened up Saturday night. We all had room to spread out. See the attached score. The SPC count of 33 was pretty good. It is nice to see how popular the SKCC is and have so many ops show up on straight keys and bugs

Example Crystals for the Drake 2-NT