W4ER - John D. Aeiker W4ER

John D. Aeiker
Mobile, AL

QCWA # 37084

My Dad taught me Morse Code when I was 5 years old and it is still my favorite mode. About six years later, he received his license (WN8CNN) and I received my Novice license about a year later in March 1963 as WN8HSB. After many, many years as WA8HSB, in September 2016 I changed my call to W4ER which is much easier on CW. One of my brothers got his license as well back then and he has had several calls over the years, including WA8CNN after our Dad passed away; Jim is now W8JA.

I operate HF and use QRP exclusively. My main rig is the TS-850S turned down to 5 watts (of course!). I also have my KX2 or K1 available at the flip of an antenna switch. As I live in an HOA neighborhood, my primary antennas are in the attic (a 40 meter inverted vee favoring N/S, a 2-element wire yagi for 20/15/10 pointed to the NE, a 20/15/10 dipole underneath the yagi for NW/SE, and a 4-band elevated wire vertical with 6 radials for 17-10 meters). Thanks to Jeff AC0C for the inspiration to be more creative with my attic antenna farm. His description of his attic antenna farm in the May/June (2012) NCJ was very encouraging and got me really thinking about the possibilities of multiple resonant antennas.

You will find me mostly on CW with some RTTY and PSK operation sprinkled in for variety. I have always enjoyed operating in contests and work many of them (big & small) throughout the year - both CW and RTTY.

Beginning in March 2014, I realized the ARRL Centennial W1AW portable stations gave me multiple opportunities over a week to make a SSB contact in each state that would be confirmed in LOTW. This gave me the perfect chance to achieve the Triple Play Award since I already had WAS on CW and RTTY. With contacts in a few contests and QSO Parties, the W1AW portable stations actually make up only about a third of the 50 states confirmed on SSB. QRP SSB with attic antennas was a bit of a challenge and it was great fun.

I enjoy operating outdoors and still travel on business some, although not as much as I did before retiring, so it won't be strange to hear me operating from somewhere other than my home QTH. I've operated from over 30 states so far and 7 countries (W/K, VE, KP4, I, 9A, PY, EA). Since Dayton 2016, the Elecraft KX2 is my primary travel rig. An Elecraft KX1 and KD1JV's ATS-3 have both seen lots of action around the world and are still available. Typically, I throw a wire into/over a tree but, I'm also quite fond of my BuddiStick. It works very well mounted on the rear window of the rental car.

I QSL via LOTW and eQSL for QSOs from my home QTH. I will answer your paper QSL as well as your eQSL (particularly for my portable operations).

Hope to see you on the air soon!

73/72, John

QRP ARCI#1291, CWOps #1189, Flying Pigs # 718, NAQCC# 293, and SKCC#4184

DXCC-QRP (Mixed & CW), Triple Play WAS - QRP, WAS-QRP (40M CW), WAC-QRP (CW, SSB, & RTTY)

Member of Alabama Contest Group (ACG), the South East Contest Club (SECC), and the West Virginia DX Association

November 15, 2016