James D. English
QCWA # 34756
Thanks for stopping by. I was first licensed in 1971 as WA7QLB until 2009 when the call was changed to W7JDE. This proved to be a poor call for CW so late in 2010 the call was changed again to the current one. I am the third "borrower" of this call sign.
Really glad to be back on the air after a fairly serious 25 year QRT problem. Mostly operate on 80 Meters and I do try to check into the Oregon Emergency Net 0n 3980 KHz when I can. Beyond that, I'm usually chasing DX or working a contest. Sometimes I have the webcam turned on so you can see if I look like I sound.
The equipment here is the Flex 5000A and a Commander HF-2500 amplifier and a Palstar AT-Auto tuner. I use a full wave 80M loop antenna fed with ladder line on 30, 40 and 80 and a vertical dipole on 20-10. It hasn't been too difficult to get used to the Flex 5k and you soon discover that knobs are really over-rated! Although, you really need to build an adequate computer with plenty of beans to make everything work correctly. It is still a work in progress however. One of the more interesting parts has been getting the various programs to work well with each other.
A late addition to the antenna collection has been the construction of a tower trailer. That is an old tri-x 2 section tower adapted to an old boat trailer. This is capped of with a ham-IV rotor and a Force-12 C-3 antenna with the 40 meter element. Cranked up it's just short of 40 feet. Compared to what I had before for 20-10, this is great. The best part, moving it is no problem and only takes one person to erect. I will post pictures when I get a chance. The tower trailer is great for field day.
Digital modes have been really interesting, psk31 is cool but I find myself mostly contesting using plain old greasy 45.5 baud radioteletype! Things will get better when I can use the second receiver in the Flex to do SO2R, again, a work in progress. However the orignal digital mode (CW) is by far my favorite for contesting. Don't have a clue why as I am really a lousy cw operator!
On VHF I use a Yaesu FT-8900 quad bander feeding a vertical antenna. Looking forward to 10 meter FM on 29.6MHz opening up as it was a real hoot 3 sun-spot cycles ago!
All of my logs are posted to Logbook Of The World (LOTW) weekly. I prefer LOTW but will return all paper QSL cards with one of my own, eventually! For those of you who haven't signed up for LOTW yet, I highly recommend it. LOTW is a little bit of a pain to get set up but well worth it. I am AG certified for eQSL for those of you that want that.
Back in one of my previous lives, I was in the marine corps and was stationed down in Guantamano bay where I assisted my good friend Carl, W9OO in running one of the Amateur radio stations down there, KG4EQ. It was located in camp Bulkley which is home to camp Delta today (where they keep the detainees). Carl was an avid contester and sucked me into helping him with the CQ WW DX back in 1971. We worked many stations but we never got the log sorted out in time (this was way before computers and the fine logging programs they have today). A few weeks later he cleaned up the west indies section in the sweepstakes. Check out Carl's QRZ page for some pictures.
This ham radio thing is cool stuff. For those of you that know what I mean, no explaination is necessary, for the others, none is possible! My only regret is that I lost 25 years of the hobby due to life's other distractions!
Hope to talk to you on the air sometime, or perhaps, we already have!
November 16, 2012