Attempted a lunch 40M CW QSO with Larry, N8LGG, but had a very hard time hearing him. Was able to get his name and QTH (Oakpark, IL) and that was about it.

Followed up with a QSO with the HG1956R special event station from Hungary. He a great signal and gave me a nice 59 report. I remember reading about this special event station somewhere. I’m looking forward to the QSL card.

Just A Radio Operator

Copyright © 2006 Robert Alexander Wallace W1MQV / W1HH

Oh, I’m winning the war with a telegraph key,
Thought I as I finished a “stack”.
I hope this is not all the action I see
Just wearing my pants out in back.
I idly shuffle the blanks in my hand
And glance at the five letter groups.
I think of my brother in far foreign land
Fighting up front with the troops.
I check with my watch – where the heck’s my R.J.?
I’m getting as hungry as sin.
An eight hour trick is enough for the day,
And I’m practically deaf from the din.
The “trick chief” gets up from the teletype chair
And says that he has one for me.
“Get your key oiled up, get that rig on the air,
Here’s a honey – a long one O.P.”
My relief gets a curse on his unknowing head
For his tardiness costs me my chow.
And this is a hell of a time for a sked,
The net’s QJZ about now.
But I slip on the cans and I rattle the key
And the rig is again on the air.
I give with the dits and the dahs just to see
If the station I’m calling is there.
A couple of calls and he sends “QRU?”
So I tell him I have an “O.P.”
He sends me a “K” and I start a tattoo –
Pounding brass on my telegraph key!
I pass the first fifty, then wait for an sec,
While he starts the next block on the sheet.
I’ve found if you don’t make an op break his neck
You get fewer requests to repeat.
A hundred, and fifty, and then fifty more.
She’s long, I’ve a thousand to go.
My head’s getting tired, my wrist’s getting sore.
Can’t use “bug” for this guy is too slow.
I’m passing a thousand, my fist is near beat,
Do I want an R.J. from T.C.?
Not a chance, Chief, you know once my sign’s on the sheet
No one’s sending that message but me.
We finally clear and I send him “AR”
And get one from him with his “ack”.
The look that I give my relief leaves a scar
As I grab for my hat on the rack.


I read how a shipment of arms saved a corps
Because it arrived there in time.
The corps that it saved was my brother’s. What’s more,
The message that sent it was mine!
Oh, I’m fighting the war with a telegraph key
But as long as they want me I’ll stay.
It may not be combat but now I can see
How a message can help save the day.

The above was written just after the “Battle of the Bulge” in 1944.

Glossary: Ack = acknowledgement
AR = End of transmission
Bug = semiautomatic telegraph key
O.P. = Operational Priority
K = Invitation to transmit
R.J. = relief operator
QJZ = on stand by
QRU = Have you traffic for me?
T.C. = trick chief

[From eHam: http://www.eham.net/articles/15064]

CQ WW DX Contest Wrap Up

I now have the contacts for DXCC, time to get the QSL cards. My focus during the CQ WW DX Contest was to work those DXCC entities that I had not yet worked. Here’s the results:

67 logged QSOs

Callsign Band
Aland Is. OH0X 20
Antigua &
V26B 15
Argentina LR2F 15
Argentina LT1F 20
Aruba P40W 15
Aruba P40A 20
Australia VK4CZ 20
Azores CU2/OH1VR 15
Azores CU2A 20
Azores CU2DX 80
Barbados 8P2K 20
PJ2T 10
PJ2T 15
PJ2T 20
PJ4E 40
PJ2T 80
Brazil PY2YU 10
Brazil PP5NW 20
Canada VE7SV 10
Canary Is. EA8AH 15
Ecuador HC1JQ 20
Finland OH8A 20
Grenada J3A 15
Grenada J3A 20
Guadeloupe FG5JK 15
Guyana 8R1EA 15
Hawaii KH7U 15
Hawaii NH6JC 15
Honduras HQ9R 15
Iceland TF4M 20
Ireland EI7M 20
Ireland EI7M 20
Isle of Man MD4K 20
Jamaica 6Y1V 15
Jamaica 6Y1V 20
Kaliningrad RK2FWA 20
Liechtenstein HB0/HB9AON 20
Macedonia Z35T 20
Madeira Is. CT9L 20
Madeira Is. CQ9T 20
Madeira Is. CT3YA 80
Madeira Is. CQ9T 80
Martinique FM/K9NW 15
Moldova ER0ND 20
Montserrat VP2MHX 15
Montserrat VP2MDY 15
Morocco CN3A 15
Morocco CN2ZR 20
Morocco CN2R 80
New Zealand ZL6QH 40
Nicaragua YN2EJ 20
Paraguay ZP5MAL 20
Peru OA4WW 15
Portugal CS2P 40
Revillagigedo XF4DL 15
Revillagigedo XF4DL 15
Scotland GM2T 20
& Tobago
9Y4NZ 20
Turks &
Caicos Is.
VP5DX 20
Turks &
Caicos Is.
VP5T 20
Uruguay CX5BW 15
Venezuela YV4A 20
Virgin Is. NP2KW 15
Virgin Is. WP2Z 20
Virgin Is. NP2B 80
Wales GW4BLE 40

Highlights include QSOs with Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Morocco.

Also plenty of contacts with places that I previously had no idea where they where: Aland Island, Guadeloupe, Madeira Island, Martinique, Montserrat, and Revillagigedo.

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

Call: AD7MI
Operator(s): AD7MI
Station: AD7MI

Class: SOAB LP
QTH: Hampton, VA
Operating Time (hrs): 8

Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 0 0 0
80: 6 4 5
40: 4 4 4
20: 31 13 29
15: 21 10 19
10: 3 2 3
Total: 65 33 60 Total Score = 6,031

… From The Shack

2006 CQ WW DX Contest: It has been a learning experience so far. Much more intense than Field Day. It seems as if the bands are jam packed – nothing but “CQ Contest” from 80M to 10M. I started last night a had contacts mostly on 80M, but also a few on 40M – mainly South America and the Caribbean. Today contacts are about even between 15M and 20M… more Caribbean island stations, Africa, and Europe. Not much heard from the Pacific. I did hear a KH6 station on 15M buried in noise.

When I wasn’t on the radio I was finishing the QSL cards from the W4M special event station. I now consider my QSLing activities for W4M complete.

I’ve also been cleaning up my log. As of right now, I’ve logged 1069 QSOs since I upgraded to General in Nov 2005. Of those, 102 are CW QSOs (the first was back in DEC 2005). I need to go back and look up FISTS information and see if I’m close to their basic award. I’ve contacted a total of 86 DXCC entities – maybe I’ll be able to get 14 more during the remainder of the contest. The total towards the Worked All States award is 47. I’m missing Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming. I’m also probably close to the basic award for Worked All US Counties. The basic award is for 500 counties, I think.

Best news this weekend – I got the ICOM CT-17 working!. It’s quite slick, I can now click on a DX cluster spot in my logging program and my IC-706MKIIG automatically flips to that frequency. Or, if I’m hunting and pouncing, the log will automatically grab the freq and mode from the radio and place it in the log. I wish I had done this earlier.

I also had a short 30M QSO with Bill, WD8RTW over in WV. The QSO was going well, but then he disappeared. He came back briefly but we ended the QSO.

…. but it wasn’t there!

Had a nice 80M CW QSO last night with Tony, KN4VL. There was some QSB and QRM, but we hung in there for about an hour ragchew. Tony is a retired Marine and has children and grandchildren in the armed services. I think I’m slowly making progress on the CW front.

Yesterday after work I wanted to swap out the feedline on the Carolina Windom from RG-58 to RG-8X. My plan was to lower the matching unit which has an eyelet on top that I used to raise the matching unit up to ~50ft with some heavy duty line.

I loosened the line and attempted to lower the matching unit, but the line was getting hung up in the tree branches above. I let the end of the line go and began to gently pull on the RG-58 feedline to slowly bring the matching unit down to a point where I could reach the line isolator (hanging 22′ below the matching unit) so I could swap feedlines. I got the line isolator down to my level and successfully swapped the feedlines. I then went to grab the end of the line to pull the matching unit back into the treetops, but it wasn’t there! Then I looked up. The line had been shorter than I thought – when I had pulled the matching unit down using the feedline, I had not realized that the line was so short and now the end was dangling a good 15′ above my head! I got out my ladder to try and reach the line but it wasn’t tall enough. I then tried standing on the latter with a rake, in an attempt to snag the line and pull it down. No luck. I had an idea. I grabbed one of the 10′ PVC pipes that I use for my G5RV during a portable setup to support the ends. The top of the pipe has a hole drilled through. I then grabbed about 20′ of small gauge wire, threaded a loop through the hole at the top of the pipe and then took the pole back out to the dangling line up in the air. I was able to get the end of the line through the loop, then pulled the ends of the small gauge wire tight, grabbing the line. I pulled the pipe down and the line came with it. I felt pretty stupid, but I was able to get the Carolina Windom pulled back up (now with the new feedline) and my station is up and operational.

While I think the new feedline has helped improve my signal a bit, I’m still having problems on 17M, 15M, and 12M. 17M I’ve always had issues with and from what I read, it might be an issue with the radio itself. I’m usually able to work PSK31 and Phone on 17M without the tuner, but when I dip down in the CW portion the SWR is much too high. Both 15M and 12M will not tune. Also the SWR is too high to use without the tuner. On my inverted vee, both 15M and 12M are usable. So – I know I will need to play around a bit to get everything working.

This weekend is the 2006 CQ WW DX Contest (Phone). I want to use the contest as an opportunity to complete my initial DXCC requirements. The Carolina Windom is good to go for 80M, 40M, and 20M – so I should have plenty of opportunity to work those DX stations.

At lunch today I was tuning around 20M, 17M, and 15M – lots of activity…. lots of stations testing equipment in preparation for the contest.

I need to do two things before the contest kicks off:
(1) fix the power cable to the radio. When I did some shack clean up, I moved all the equipment onto a new Alinco DM-330MVT power supply using the RigRunner. But I was having some problems with the adapter that goes on the back of the IC-706. I need to pull the power cable off, recheck the PowerPole connectors, and the four pins that connect to the IC-706.
(2) setup the ICOM CT-17 so I can save little time by having my frequency automatically saved when I log QSOs on the computer.

…. the question is – can I get both of those done before the 2000 (local) kickoff of the contest?

Special Events for the end of October

Oct 25-Oct 29, 0000Z-2400Z, Portsmouth, VA. USCG Auxiliary/ISAR Special Event, N4I. International Search and Rescue Competition. 28.450 21.290 14.250 7.210. Certificate. Richard Cook, AB4U, 14288 Riverside Dr, Ashland, VA 23005. www.internationalsar.com.

Oct 26-Oct 30, 1400Z-2300Z, Sycamore, IL. Kishwaukee Amateur Radio Club, W9P. Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. 14.268 14.042 7.268 7.042. Certificate. Bob Yurs, W9ICU, 1107 Commercial St, Sycamore, IL 60178. www.kish-club.org.

Oct 27-Oct 29, 1600Z-0200Z, Point Pleasant, WV. Main Street Baptist Church, K8J. Centennial Celebration, 1906-2006. 14.240 14.050 7.240 7.050. Certificate or QSL. G.E. Hodges, Rt 1 Box 646A, Point Pleasant, WV 25550. http://webpages.charter.net/ab8s/K8J%20main%20street%20page.mht.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2100Z, Ann Arbor, MI. US Coast Guard Auxiliary, N8A. 67th anniversary of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. 28.355 21.380 14.290 7.265. QSL. Tony Morris, WA8TM, 827 Asa Gray Dr #459, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-3522. www.cgaux.org.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2100Z, McKeesport, PA. US Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 9, KD3HQ. 67th anniversary of USCG Auxiliary. 14.250. QSL. Walter R. Gretz, 253 Henry St, Whitaker, PA 15120.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2300Z, Huntington, WV. US Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 2 8ER, K8E. Commemorating 67th anniversary of US Coast Guard Auxiliary. 28.350 21.340 14.280 7.282. QSL. Matthew Morris, PO Box 134, Cheshire, OH 45620.
Oct 28, 1400Z-2100Z, Carthage, TX. Panola County Amatuer Radio Club, WA5PC. Special Event from the grave site of country/western music star Gentaleman Jim Reeves. General phone bands. Certificate. Panola County Amateur Radio Club, 380 CR 1241, Gary, TX 75643. www.wa5pc.org. Weather permitting.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2300Z, Jacksonville, FL. US Coast Guard Auxiliary, W4W. 67th anniversary of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. 28.490 21.410 14.255 7.290. QSL. Joe Mac Ivor, 12632 Blue Eagle Way, Jacksonville, FL 32225.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2300Z, St. Marks, FL. US Coast Guard Auxiliary District Eight Flotilla 1-2, N4A. Coast Guard Auxiliary Special Event Radio Day. 28.400 21.400 14.247 7.267. QSL. Tom Ziko, 7849 Briarcreek Rd W, Tallahassee, FL 32312.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2300Z, Philadelphia , PA. United States Coast Guard Auxiliary District 5-NR, K3G. Commemorating USCG Auxiliary 67th anniversary. 50.130 21.330 14.270 7.270. QSL. Joe Rzucidlo, 1013 Anderson St, Trainer, PA 19061.

Oct 28, 1400Z-2100Z, Flowery Branch, GA. United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, W4A. Anniversary of US & Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. 21.360 14.278 7.278. QSL. Al Miles, 3325 Rangers Gate Dr, Marietta, GA 30062.

Oct 28, 1400Z-2200Z, Paris Landing, TN. US Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 8-8E-10, W4A. US Coast Guard Auxiliary 67th anniversary. 28.335 21.370 14.285 7.242. QSL. Kenny Johns, AB4EG, 52 Buttonwood Dr, Jackson, TN 38305. http://a0820810.uscgaux.info.

Oct 28, 1400Z-2200Z, Quad Cities, AL. US Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 24 8ER, W4F. Commemorating US Coast Guard Auxiliary 67th anniversary. 28.350 21.350 14.260 7.260. QSL. Roy Nagle, W4AQQ, 465 McClung St, Phil Campbell, AL 35581. http://a0530407.uscgaux.info/SED2006.html.

Oct 28, 1500Z-2000Z, Port Huron, MI. United States Coast Guard Auxiliary 091-14-03, W8A. Celebrating USCG Auxiliary 67th anniversary & ISAR Special Event. 28.320 21.310 14.260 7.260. QSL. Rodger Catt, 1840 Kern St, Port Huron, MI 48060.

Oct 28, 1300Z-2300Z, St Marks, FL. US Coast Guard Auxiliary District Eight Flotilla 1-2, N4A. Coast Guard Auxiliary Special Event Radio Day. 28.400 21.400 14.247 7.267. QSL. Tom Ziko, 7849 Briarcreek Rd W, Tallahassee, FL 32312.

Oct 28-Nov 2, 1400Z-2200Z, Wheatland, MO. USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 0504, N0N. 67th anniversary of the USCG Auxiliary. 14.280 7.280 3.963. Certificate. Richard E. Hunt, KC0FDF, PO Box 96, Wheatland, MO 65779.

Oct 31-Nov 1, 0600Z-0600Z, Frankenstein, MO. Warrensburg Amateur Radio Club, WØO. Frankenstein FunXpedition 2006. 28.370 21.378 14.265 3.945. QSL. Dennis Gedeon, KBØNHW, 1811 Hillside Ct, Oak Grove, MO 64075. www.waarci.org.

Oct 31-Nov 1, 1800Z-1400Z, Frankenstein, MO. Mid-MO Amateur Radio Club, WØO. Frankenstein FunXpedition 2006. 21.040 14.040 10.113 7.040 3.540. QSL (100%
direct). Tom Hammond, NØSS, 5417 Scruggs Station Rd, Lohman, MO 65053. www.mmccs.com/mmarc.

Busy In The Shack

WX Station: Yesterday after work I was able to reroute the cable for the wind direction/speed sensor from the radio room over to the garage. This included a quick trip up to the roof. I now need to figure out where I’m going to place the rain gauge. The location is tricky because I don’t want it under trees and it should also be accessible for maintenance/cleaning. Today I need to try and move the webcam from the window ledge outside the radio room to the garage window.

CW contacts: I had two on 80M last night, the first was from MI and the second was from AL. Band conditions were pretty bad. Yesterday at lunch I had a short CW QSO with a Polish station on 20M. I guess that’s my first CW QSO to Europe. The station was sending fast, so I only picked up about half of what was sent.

W4M Memorial Day Special Event Station: in a continued attempt to close out all the loose ends from the W4M special event station, I am now sending out QSL cards to all the remaining contacts that I have not yet sent anything to. These remaining folks never sent me anything, but I’d rather send them the W4M QSL card than hang on to a bunch of extra cards. I’m also including a return SASE for those in the US. I completed 30 last night and would like to do 40 tonight. I just want to get a QSL card out to every contact and then officially close the book on the W4M special event.

N3FJP’s amateur radio logging software

I have been using the N3FJP’s amateur radio logging software since I upgraded to General a year ago. I’m slowly starting to realize what a robust program it is. About a month ago, I started using the DX packet cluster feature about a month ago – very slick. Last night I played around with the software’s ability to print out mailing labels, which (with a little tweaking) will be a much more effective way for me to do my QSL cards. Now I want to explore interfacing the computer directly to the radio with my ICOM CT-17 CI-V level converter. I’ve had the CT-17 since I purchased the radio well over year ago, but have never used it. Setting it up looks pretty straight forward. I should have an available RS-232C cable and then I just need to solder a set of PowerPoles onto the power cable and I’ll be in business. The biggest benefit this will give me is the ability to have the QSO freq directly logged. I may also be nice using this direct computer-to-radio interface with the DX cluster capability… simply click on the DX spot that you want to go to and the radio switches over to it. So… we’ll see how it goes.

Tom Mills – K6LHE – SK

Farewell to Tom Mills
by Ed Fong
Sept. 2002

This month we regret the lost of one of our long time member Tomas B. Mills (K6LHE). He was an avid admirer of the Motorola HT220 and had modified dozens in his life time. I officially met Tom in 1990 when I joined National Semiconductor but I had seen him previously at the Foothill swap. I also meant him at the Sunnyvale SARES meeting a few times in the early 80’s.

I would always meet Tom at the swap meet and he was always a joy to talk to. His knowledge of radios was unsurpass since he worked on the design of IC’s for radio and TV for 40 years. We would walk up and down the isles and he would see a radio and say “hey, I had one of those” and then would go through the technical details of the radio. He was the mastermind behind all the video driver chips using the VIP high voltage process at National Semiconductor. Chances are that your TV or computer monitor has a chip that Tom designed. I thought I had a passion for radios until I meant Tom. This guy knew his Collins R390’s and his HT220’s.

Tom lived in the neighborhood and I had talked to him just Wednesday August 28th when I was testing a radio with Ron Quan. He broke on in with his distinct voice “Hey, is that doctor Ed??” That was the last time I talked with him. He passed away Sunday evening September 1st.

He is survived by his wife Joyce. His daughter Jeni Johnstone and husband James, his son Robert Mills and wife Donna. They have two grand children Emma and Ian.

His widow Joyce had at the Sunday September 8 memorial service his HT220 and other memorabilia that made Tom so well loved by his friends.

So K6LHE, we say our final 73’s. It has been my privilege knowing you and you will be missed, but your influence on me will be with me for a lifetime.

Ed Fong WB6IQN