I’m Retiring from the ARRL DXCC and QRO and Going 100% QRP

I’ve been having a blast running QRP only with my KX-3 for several months now

Our week in Bend so far has just been wonderful. Even though my antenna is about as compromised as I would ever want:

Seriously compromised end fed portable QRP antenna (for DX) – but its works great for NVIS!

I’m having a blast – because my expectations are “commensurate with my situation”. Its not a DX antenna – although I did hear one BA (Chinese) very weakly the other morning – but its a pretty good NVIS antenna for use on 75 and 40M SSB. I’ve had little problems checking into nets – and that has been fun since with Thanksgiving its been festive on the air – and more interesting than usual listening to SSB stations. I usually prefer CW DXing . . .

My fabulous AB-577 and SteppIR UrbanBeam

Using the NVIS end fed antenna now has me realizing with no doubt – that my UrbanBeam up 55′ is a very serious DX antenna. One of my fine young sons is house sitting for us and says the tower and antenna are fine after this last wind storm. Another is happening this week. These are tests for the additional height. This means after I get home I am jacking the tower up to its full 65′ – or a full quarter wave on 40M.

The good Monk is my antenna “Patron Saint” – he keepeth mine antenna safe . . . 

The significance here is that if you ever had tried to work Monk Apollo on 40M from the West Coast – you were one of the few and very lucky. I did because I did have a full sized dipole up just under 70′ tall – aimed right at SV2ASP/A. This is how I know that a 40M dipole up 70′ is really a killer antenna – something happens when you get an antenna up that high . . . Even going from 55′ to 70′ made a big difference for dxing. The supports for that antenna were on my neighbors property – and they are no longer there – they were cut down literally months after I made Honor Roll – in fact – as I was leaving for Visalia 2013 – when we started “selling” VK0EK. Yeah – lots of pretty durned cool memories for sure!

My last ATNO for DXCC Honor Roll – New Years Eve – 2012/3

I am now officially off the ARRL DXCC chase – I am hanging up that “key”. I no longer care a bit about Bouvet or Glorioso – falling 2 short of DXCC HR #1 is just fine by me – I’m done. However, I am full on and 100% in on:

My new operating pursuit – 300 DXCC and / or IOTA entities using only 5 watts

In other news – it looks like I have takers for my Collins Gold Dust Twins. I predict either one guy will purchase all gear – or two others will purchase the TX and RX separately. In any case, I will replace the space they take up with QRP and Maker stuff. My shack will have more room for experimenting and staying on the good graces of this goon – Vinnie “The Educator” . . .

Get educated – or Else . . . 

Anyway, being portable in the field – even in Grandma’s Spy “safe house” already has me thinking “Mission Accomplished”. I tried to get into “Vintage Ham”, and am partially there (I will keep the National SW-3 “forever” and will build my silly QRP Spy Radio) – but the Gold Dust Twins were a “Bridge Too Far”. However – it looks like they will have a new home – so my care and loving expense won’t be “for naught”. I’ll lose several hundreds of dollars – but I guess waxing philosophically, I did get the full experience of the twins – by getting them on the air and making a handful of QSO’s. I don’t know how much experience is worth . . . I’d like to think “priceless” – hahahahah. My wife does see the worth in the fact that I learned how to use an oscilloscope and signal generator, so there’s that.

OK – so – 2019 was a big transition year as far as Ham Radio is concerned (and work even more so – but that’s a parallel blog thread) – and now I know for sure the direction I am heading as we speed into 2020, and even what I will do when I retire in 5-ish years (yeah – I even know when I want to retire now).

This week off has been a watershed as far as making plans for the future . . .

 

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