I’ve been on the air since 1978, operating mostly CW. I have always enjoyed DXing and rag-chewing and have lately gotten interested in contesting and lowband operation. My favorite contests are CQWW, ARRL DX, ARRL 160 DX and various sprint-type contests, always on CW. I’m not very good at contesting, but I do enjoy it.
And I’m not sure why I have such an aversion to phone – I guess it just doesn’t seem “radio” enough for me. I’m not too keen on the digital modes either, though every now & then I have to re-remind myself of that fact with 2 or 3 pseudo-QSO’s that those modes lend themselves to.
I grew up in Tyler, Texas and operated from there as KA5BBL from 1978 to 1984, when I joined the Navy. 1984 to 1993 were spent in the Submarine Service working on inertial navigation and electronic surveillance systems. Shot some interesting photos out the periscope with a specially-designed Nikon F3 and a ton of Tri-X – those were the days. I spent 4 years on USS Barb (SSN-596) and was lucky enough to visit some of the DX countries I never would have otherwise seen: DU, VS6, KG6, KH6, 9V, JA, VK6, VQ9, HS and KL7 (Philippines, Hong Kong, Guam, Hawaii, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Diego Garcia, Thailand, Alaska).
Operated briefly as VQ9BL where I gave a pretty poor account of myself in the enormous pile-ups that that call-sign generated.
After the watery life, I spent 1993-2006 in NY/NJ/CT and upgraded to AA5YX and AE5X. Moved back to my home state in 2006 and now live just northeast of Houston in a house with a yard full of tall pines for my various and sundry wires.
Equipment: a slew of QRP rigs built from kits – my favorites are the KX1 and ATS-3a, both of which are written about within these pages. Also a Yaesu FT840, which has earned its place as my all-time favorite radio due to its incredible performance:cost ratio, an Elecraft K3 that is now my main rig and an FT857D that used to be mobile and is now my indoor DC-to-daylight rig should I ever want to send UHF dots and dashes up to a satellite or something…
Antennas, as always, have been wires – well, except for the PAR loop I have for 6 meters. Currently have an 80m dipole up 60 feet and fed with ladder line for use on all the HF bands. And I’m in the process of laying out ground radials for a 160m antenna that will be up in time for this year’s DX season.
I’ve worked 5BDXCC with 100 watts with just such a dipole and now have 160m DXCC as my next goal. Another goal is to be the DX from someplace rare and make up for my pitiful VQ9 disaster.
Any DXpeditions needing a CW op? Give me a shout – my K3 has a handle on it.