Elecraft K3 is the New Orion II

The obvious answer to “Why a K3?” Is that nothing is better for a DXpedition. But in a shack, it seems to make no sense to buy a new K3S with the K4 out. The prices are just too close. HOWEVER, a used K3, updated to an S is now a GREAT deal on the used market. There have been several expensive new Japanese…

KY6R 40M Optimized Loop and “Siting”

I checked the second location of where another KY6R loop can be installed, and it only has room for the W6LVP Loop or a second KY6R Delta Flag, but in a fixed position. Ideally, I would have two loops of the same kind, so that would suggest a second fixed loop. That is easily doable. But I already have a cheapie rotator in the…

KY6R 40M Optimized Loop Correction

It’s all coming back to me – and now I remember that having two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loops 50′ a part on 160M was killer and offered 10 dB RDF. I recently found a presentation that confirms that this is scientifically sound, and not just my usual gushing excitement and enthusiasm. I happen to have a rotator that is almost 100 feet away from where…

Elecraft K3 and SP-3

The SP-3 lets you take advantage of Dual Stereo Diversity and AFX effects I usually use headphones for DXing and late at night in the shack – but there are times when I am working on something and don’t want to be “tethered” to my headphones. Plus, the SP-3 speakers have some interesting features – so I will have two of these flanking the…

My Year With Vintage Gear

I’ve spent a year with the Collins Gold Dust Twins and a National SW-3 receiver. These are now all sold. It was an interesting journey, and I used the SW-3 the most. Just by luck, KPIG was transmitting from West Oakland, and I listened to it on the SW-3 for the good part of 2019. Sadly, once KPIG stopped transmitting on 1510 khz, all…

Building The KY6R 40M Optimized Loop

The double walled pipe will fit in the top part of the Yaesu G450 rotator. Bolt the pipe with the redwood inside and then use two U bolts to hold the antenna frame to the pipe.  When redwood gets wet it does get a little bit heavier, but is usually doesn’t warp or split like other woods do. I was going to use fiberglass…

The One Main Reason I Stay Active as a Ham Radio Operator

There is actually a bit of a tie as far as what keeps me in Ham Radio. One is the “magic” of point to point HF radio, and the other is CW. There is no other hobby or pass time that I know of that offers these two very unique things. The world is enamored by real time wired Internet communication, and looking at…

Wither Ham Radio / Wither DX?

Cycle 25 Sunspot – from https://www.spaceweather.com/ Imagine a hobby where tens of thousands (maybe more?) are waiting for sunspots and are patient enough to wait 6 – 7 years at a time (actually they migrate to other bands or parts of the hobby in the meantime). Imagine a hobby where they still communicate using Morse Code! After reading The Secret Listeners, at the end of…

National HRO and The Secret Listeners

Image from The Crypto Museum – https://www.cryptomuseum.com/df/hro/index.htm I have just finished reading a very well researched and written book “The Secret Listeners”. The book describes the British “Y Service” and how important they were as they sent the messages intercepted from the German’s to Bletchley Park. The book is a very human accounting and reads more like a history book than a spy thriller, and…

Radio Watcher

One of several things that move into 2020 as “status quo” is chasing QRP DX and just playing with signal to noise ratio with antennas and receiving. Over the last two days I’ve especially enjoyed 20M, which sounds like a dead band, but where I have answered several CQ’s and was answered immediately. The best thing is there is zero stress involved. My expectations…