First licensed in 1957 as KN4QLN, I progressed through the usual levels, receiving my Extra class call in the early 1980's. I have held a license continuously over this time, although family and work obligations as well as other interests have at times interfered with ham radio. I have always been a fan of CW, operating this mode almost exclusively over the years. I enjoy building my own equipment, mostly using kits, and have numerous QRP projects completed with the obvious problem of how to select which to use at any given time. I have built up several Rockmites, a HiMite, Steve Weber's ATS-3, Dan Tayloe's NC2030, Tony Park's Softrock receivers, Elecraft K2, Elecraft K3 and an assortment of power meters, SWR meters, tuners and the like, mostly residing in the obligatory Altoids tins. I'm starting to like SMT stuff, even as hard as it is to see. My latest build is the BITX20A 20M SSB xcvr which works like a charm, even if it is not yet working on CW. I am in a somewhat restricted neighborhood where I can pretty much only use wire antennas. I started out with a 20/40M fan dipole in the attic, followed by a loop up there as well. I have since put up an inverted 'L' that is devoted to 160M and an OCF doublet using the best available trees which gives it an included angle of about 120 degrees. This is fed with 450 ohm ladder line through a 4:1 balun to an LDG Z-100 tuner remoted at the foot of the ladder line. This signal gets to the shack in the basement through about 150 feet of Davis RF Bury-Flex. I am able to get quite good matching on all bands, 80M through 10M. It will also tune up nicely on 6M, but I use an attic dipole cut for 6M normally. For quieter reception on 160M and 80M I have a homebrewed K9AY loop, also hidden down in the woods.
April 26, 2015