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Preview: AJ4JD's Adventures in Amateur Radio

AJ4JD's Adventures in Amateur Radio



Everything I do as a HAM and then some.



Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 22:29:07 +0000

 



New Blog

Fri, 05 Nov 2010 04:48:00 +0000

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. I haven't been on the radio much these days. Life has gotten in the way, and well there are things that are a high priority. So with that said, there won't be much posting here, if any at all. Don't be dismayed though, I haven't thrown Ham Radio in the corner to be forgotten about.

If you'd like, and I wouldn't mind if you did, you can head over to the XYL's and my blog that we keep up with on a regular basis. It's Appalachia & Beyond. It covers all our travels and exploits outdoors in and around the Appalachia region. More specifically the area in and around East Tennessee. Of course if there's anything Ham related and outdoors (can you say field day?), it will be posted there as well. You can even check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Appalchia-Beyond-An-Outdoors-Blog/137431242975912.

Until next time,
Tim de AJ4JD(image)



2009 SS SSB Follow-up

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 05:25:00 +0000

During my final write up on the 2009 ARRL November Sweepstakes post I didn't post any detailed results other than total contacts, total multipliers, and total score. So without further adieu:

Call: AJ4JD
Operator(s): AJ4JD
Station: AJ4JD

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: TN
Operating Time (hrs): 10

Summary:
Band QSOs
------------
160: 0
80: 100
40: 33
20: 38
15: 14
10: 0
------------
Total: 185 Sections = 62 Total Score = 22,940

So there you have it folks. Oh by the way, the XYL (AJ4IJ) took these on Saturday early in the contest. Don't pay too much attention to the man in the chair, he takes away from the elegance of the fine piece of electronics he has his hands on. Oh wait that's me. D'oh.

(image) AJ4JD in the command chair

(image) Enjoying the contest

73 de AJ4JD,
Tim
(image)



ARRL 2009 SS SSB is in the Bag

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 05:17:00 +0000

As most of you know, especially those who read my blog, the ARRL November Sweepstakes contest is done for another year. I worked it for about a total of 10 hours and ended up with 185 contacts and 62 sections worked. I have to admit that it was a lot of fun but now I'm tired and must get ready for bed.

A special thank you to all those that I made contact with. I have to say it was a superb job by all. I don't reckon I'll be in another contest for a couple of weeks. The next big one for me is the lustrous PSK31/63 Death Match, put on my the Michigan DX Association. If you are into the digital modes I suggest you get on the waterfall and give it a go. The contest is 48 hours and the winners for each category get swords for prizes. I hope to put in a much better show this than last. If I'm lucky I will end up with a nice blade to hang on the wall but of course that's stretching it.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. God Bless you all.

73 de AJ4JD,
Tim

P.S. All logs have been uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.cc.

P.S.S. The preliminary results for the August edition of the NAQP SSB contest are posted. I ended up 35th overall in the 4 call area.(image)



Got Contest?

Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:39:00 +0000

Today starts the ARRL's Annual November Sweepstakes SSB contest. The objective is to work as many ARRL and RAC sections as possible. Work all 80 sections and you've made a clean sweep. The contest starts at 4:00pm EST and ends tomorrow at 10:00pm EST (2100z Saturday Nov. 21 - 0300z Monday Nov. 23).

I will be working in the contest from my little gun station, in the SOLP category so be on the lookout for my signal and make a Q with me on the different bands. Propogation seems to be on the upswing as of late so the contest should be interesting and fun.

I've been contesting for a very short time compared to many in Amateur radio, and daily I'm discovering new things on the internet about contesting. For example I've just recently joined up with the Tennessee Contest Group and found a plethora of information about contesting on their site and their Google Group Page. In so doing, this has led me to contesting.com where I have found a couple of lists of interest to keep up with and some very helpful blogs when it comes to contesting. I've even found some rather hilarious blogs on contesting. Just yesterday I came across the Fi-Ni report. I must have busted a gut more times than I can count reading the exploits of Cousin QRM and the members of the Lost Island DX Society. A must read for those with a sense of humor and especially to those who take things a little to seriously sometimes.

Anyway, my journey has just begun in the realm of contesting and I find it to be one of the funnest things to do in Ham Radio, that and chasing DX. So I'm sure I have lots more to learn and experience. While I may never be a Big Gun, I will always put my little pistol on the air and in so doing I have tasted the sweet taste of victory. Everytime I beat a previous score which I officially done during the Tennessee QSO Party (the results for 2009 are now posted on the site), and plan to do this weekend during the November Sweepstakes. Also, I've managed somehow to win a contest this year, which was pretty darn cool if I may say so. The PODXS070 80 meter Jay Hudak Memorial Sprint was held back on September 11 this year and I put my little pistol station on the air, and after 6 hours of operation I put in a worthy effort. To my surprise I ended up Top Dog by a mere 3 points.

If you've never contested before, what are you waiting for? It's a lot of fun, there are many contacts to make, whether you like to search and pounce or run, there's something for everyone. Get on the air this weekend during the Sweepstakes and give it a shot. I'll listen for you there.

73 es Good Luck de AJ4JD,
Tim(image)



CQWW Results

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 03:14:00 +0000

As most of you know, this weekend was the CQWW DX SSB contest. Well knowing me and how much I like contesting, especially if there is DX involved, I worked it. Of course I didn't work the entire 48 hours, heck I didn't even work 24 hours of it. Being such a beautiful weekend and the XYL and harmonic being couped up most of the week, they were itching to get out as well as I. The Fall colors are absolutely wonderful here right now and it's possible that next weekend might not be so pretty.Instead of devoting the weekend to contesting and putting the fam through the agony of hearing my call phonetically over and over a thousand times or more, I opted to only work the contest here and there throughout the weekend. Total operation time was roughly over 7 hours. Within that 7 hours time I was able to make 71 contacts to 44 DX entities and 14 CQ zones. Total multipliers came to 78 and total QSO points equaled 160 for a grand total of 12,480 points.Here's the breakdown if anyone's interested:15m DX: Argentina, Aruba, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Is., Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovak Rep., Spain, USA, Venezuela, Virgin Is.15m CQ Zones: 03, 07, 08, 09, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20Note: Prior to this contest I hadn't worked a whole lot of DX on 15m. This was indeed the most exciting part of the contest for me.20m DX: Alaska (I don't know if this counts as a seperate country in CQWW), Canada, Cayman Is., Czech Rep., Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, USA20m CQ Zones: 01, 04, 05, 08, 14, 15, 1640m DX: Barbados, Canary Is., French Guiana, Madeira Is., Martinique, Morocco, Portugal, Scotland, USA.40m CQ Zones: 05, 08, 09, 14, 3380m DX: British Virgin Is., Canada, Saint Martin, St. Kitts & Nevis, United Nations HQ NY, USA, Virgin Is.80m CQ Zones: 04, 05, 08So that's it in a nutshell. DX in bold above are new ones for me. Anyway that's the damage I've done. All logs have been uploaded to eQSL and LoTW. If you need TN confirmed, please feel free to send me a QSL if you worked me. I will be sure to send one back.Until next time enjoy the reading, enjoy the DX, and most of all enjoy life. Next contest you will likely hear me will be ARRL's November Sweepstakes. After that you can read me during the MDXA PSK Death Match in December. If you hear me or see me in there, give a call, I'll be sure to try and pick you up. Oh I almost forgot, starting November 1st - November 15th we will be on the air as W4H celebrating the 470 Amateur Radio Group's 2nd anniversary. Check out the website for more information. I'll likely add a sticky up top the blog here in the next day or so for more information.73 es God Bless de AJ4JD,Tim [...]



Back in the Groove - CQWW - Gray Hamfest

Tue, 20 Oct 2009 03:13:00 +0000

Well it's been just over 2 weeks since we returned from vacation. Since then we have been busy with work, homeschooling, and a bit of radio activities. As everyone knows, the K4M crew activated Midway Island from Oct. 11 - Oct. 19. I was really looking forward to putting Midway in the log, but due to propagation, it just never worked out. I heard them the first day on 80 meters. That was the best and one of the only few times I heard them. Unfortunately it was in the morning and I could only give 30 minutes worth of trying until I had to get ready for work. Other than that I heard them one other time on 40 and gave it a go but no success. There's always next time. I did manage to get a few DX contacts in during that time, Belize (20m SSB), Australia (30m PSk31), and Virgin Islands(40m SSB). Other than that I've been a bit active on 2 meters as time permits. As I've said I've gotten back into the groove of work, home, and also the business.This past weekend we put playing on the radio and everything else on hold to head up to Gray, TN for the Gray Hamfest. Grey is in Upper East Tennessee, close to Johnson City. Robin (AJ4IJ) and I, got up early this Saturday morning and headed out on our way to see if we could find a good deal, and/or win a prize. Of course as my luck has it, there were no prizes in store for us, but we did pick up some PL-259s and 200' of ladder line from The Wire Man for dad (KU4ME). We seen a handful of hams from our local area and talked at length with Danny (KI4YCJ) one our local buds on the 145.470 repeater.It was cold and dreary with a little bit of sprinkles here and there and by 9:30 we were ready to head back towards the QTH. On our way we stopped and had breakfast at Shoneys. By the time we got back home, we were ready for a much needed nap.Oh I almost forgot. I guess now would be a good time for a shameless plug. Another activity I've been participating in when I'm home and not too busy has been joining in on the Outhouse net. Some of the local Extra class hams have started meeting down 3.660Mhz on 80m on most nights around 8 or 9pm EST for a good roundtable. It's not an official net or anything but we call it the Outhouse net and the only qualifications you need to participate is that you're an extra class and that you have used an outhouse. It's okay if you haven't used and outhouse because you can still be grandfathered in if your grandfather used an outhouse or your great grandfather. As a matter of fact, as of yesterday, I no longer have to be grandfathered in hi hi.So this upcoming weekend looks to be a great chance to work some DX. That's right folks, it's that time again. The CQ World Wide DX SSB contest is this coming weekend. I plan on working most of the contest but we will see how that pans out. I hope to put some good DX in the log that's for sure. I will likely call CQ mostly and of course hunt and pounce on multipliers as I hear them on the bands. I think I have the VOX set up so I hope to improve the QSO rate by going hands free. I'll be working in the SOLP category with the trusty 756 Pro into the homebrewed OCF Windom. I've worked all over the world with that thing and finally got Asia confirmed via LOTW giving me WAC. Too bad I can't use LOTW for that award.Anyway, look for me on the air this weekend between Oct 24 0000UTC - Oct. 25 2359UTC and give a call. I would love to put you in the log and see what kind of points I can run up on my first time in the CQWW contest. Until then here's a little treat.I know, I've been promising a look at the shack so here it is.Our shack complete with ICOM 756 Pro, LDG AT200 Pro autotuner,Signalink USB, Yaesu FT-1802, Alinco DR430, and Jetstream JTPS28 powersupplyand a Lenovo S10 Netbook.Also pictured on the top shelf are our HT'sYaesu VX170, Alinco DJ-V17, and Kenwood TH-22AT73 es God Bless de AJ4JD,Tim [...]



Portable HF Operation

Sat, 03 Oct 2009 15:21:00 +0000

I know, it's been a little while since I've posted anything. Just to let you all know though, I have been playing radio in this stretch. A little here and a little there at least anyway. I've been working a good bit of DX on 20 and 40 via PSK31. Some of the most notable was Greenland and Switzerland, two new DXCC entities for moi.This past week, I was on vacation and we decided to go camping. You can read more on the camping end of the trip on the outdoor blog that Robin(AJ4IJ) and I keep. So with the idea of camping and thinking that I might not get to play any HAM Radio for a week, I thought what better way to test out our capabilities than to bring Ham Radio with us. This part of the camping trip was left up to yours truly to plan out. Let's just say I didn't do a very good job in planing as I not a big planner and usually like to wait until the last minute. It was then that we decided on how we would set up our operation.For our power supply, we decided that we would just connect to the Jeep battery. Of course to do that, we had to splice some alligator clips to the power cable that connects to the Yaesu FT-450 so that we could clip them to either the battery itself (provided it would reach) or to jumper cables that would then connect to the jeep. We also had to connect the power cable for the tuner to the same power cable so that we could tune the homebrew ZS6BKV dipole that we ran in the trees at camp about 10 - 15 ft off the ground.With that accomplished, we had everything else ready to go in order to operate HF portable while at camp. So we finally headed off to camp on Sunday and it wasn't until Tuesday before we had time to even hook up the radio. We did manage to put up the antenna on Monday. I tell you what, camping for 4 and a half days is hard work. Everyday you have to gather wood for the fire, cooking all the time, entertaining the kids, running from the raccoons and more.Well by Tuesday I finally got to hook up the radio, and it found that I was only able to tune 20 meters and put out about 25 watts. I found out later that I didn't have the jumper cables connected to the alligator clips on the power cable. I never did make contact with anyone and after a couple of hours it was time to unplug and run the jeep in order for the battery to charge back up.On Wednesday, it was a different story. I had the cables hooked up correctly but still was only able to tune 20 meters. I believe this was a direct result of the antenna only being 15 feet off the ground. As I said early, we used the ZS6BKV multiband dipole and it is feed with twin-lead. With the twin lead nearly horizontal, It was having a hard time tuning 40 and 80. Normally it will tune those bands when it's up higher and the twin-lead is nearly vertical.It took me a couple of hours and I tried several stations until I was finally able to land a contact with EA8CCQ an OM from the Canary Islands. Talk about getting giddy with excitement. This was the first time I've operated HF portable with a power supply other than a generator and an antenna lower than 30 feet not to mention only 50 watts out. After that contact I was done. That was the last camp radioing I did during the trip. We ended up packing everything up on Thursday as there was a threat for rain. It was a good thing too as it did rain Friday morning and we were already home.Well that's all I have for this edition. The Saturday prior to camping we did attend the TenTec Hamfest. Not much to report there. We did get some eyeball QSO with some of our local buddies, but then it decided to rain so we were outta there with out a single buy.Oh yeah I forgot to mention I did some other radioing while camping. I had both Ashby's (KJ4EGJ) and my HT out there and spoke to Tyler(WX4TX) and Dad (KU4ME) a bit on the Frozen Head/Petros repeater 147.255. So that's it. Here are the pictures for you viewing pleasure. Enjoy.73 and Happy DX de AJ4JD,TimPar[...]



PODXS 070 80 Meter Sprint

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 02:33:00 +0000

So last night was the PODXS070 club's 80 meter sprint contest memorializing Jay Hudak (KA3X now SK), one of the original members of the PODXS club and a founding member of the 070 club. The contest had a rolling start as do most of the 070 sprints and ran from 2000 - 0200 local time. So I started off shortly after 8pm, once I was finished eating a wonderful supper that the XYL prepared. At first the waterfall was pretty cram-packed so I went hunting and pouncing until I had about 5 or 6 contacts then squeezed into a spot on the waterfall to call CQ. I had quite a few calls and within the first hour of operating the PSK31 mode I had around 18 quality contacts.

The second hour rolled around and I was determined to work more stations to increase the QSO rate. CQ 80 Meter Test de AJ4JD I continued to call. Contact after contact filled the log. At the end of the second hours I had 40 contacts in the log.

With each hour up to about 11:00pm I would find new blood as new time zones could start the contest. After the Midnight hour things began to slow and I would switch from calling CQ to hunting and pouncing. I did that for the last 2 hours of the contest (well last 2 hours for me). By the end of the 6 hour period I had 79 contacts, one of which was a dup, and 30 multipliers including a couple of DX entities: Puerto Rico, Venezuala, Spain,
and Canada. With 78 QSO pts and 30 multipliers, I ended up with a total score of 2,340pts.

I don't know if that will earn me a place in the top or not but it was a fun contest none-the-less. I was able to add more 070 members into the log. As a matter of fact I have now contacted enough member to get my 150 endoresment for my LONP award. I know what you're saying, LON what? The Loyal Order of Narrow-Banded Phase-Shifters. It's a special member society in the 070 club for members who have contacted at least 100 other 070 members.

So that's all I have for now. Hope everyone has a great weekend. For those working the VHF contest good luck and have fun.

73 and good DX to all,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)



PODXS 070 1K Results and the Tennessee QSO Party

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 06:15:00 +0000

Good morning everyone. Well it's been a fun couple of weeks of radio and it's not over by any means. Last week you may remember that the PODXS 070 club was having their 1K Celebration. Well the results have been published and I finished a respectable 6th place which I'm quite proud of. Also I have to offer a bit of congratulations to K1GMD who finished 1st overall with a whopping 143,000 points. Also congratulations to all who participated, it was an absolute blast. Also, Robin (AJ4IJ), my XYL, she finished a nice respectable 14th and contacted Sasquatch. I'm looking forward to the 80 meter sprint this coming weekend.

So this afternoon and evening was the Tennessee QSO Party. I had a lot of fun working the QSO party. I thought I was going to have to share the radio with the XYL but she wasn't feeling very well today and opted to not participate this time around. I did much better this year as compared to last year. Of course it helped that I knew more about contesting as compared to last years TNQP and that we have our very own HF and that I worked it solo.

I did take a couple of breaks during the contest. Once was to run to the CVS to get Robin some cold medicine. Another time was a few minutes here and there to play with the dog outside. The last break was to run out with Robin to pick up pizza and then eat it once we got it back to the house.

So after operating most of the contest, I ended up with 166 contacts. The break down is as follows I had 157 contacts on SSB, 9 contacts on PSK31. I had a total of 78 multipliers. I ended up working 21 TN Counties, 33 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, and 3 DXCC entities not including Alaska, Canada, and the US.

The final score that I had tallied was 26,798 points. That's not official but that is my best guestimation. I guess in a couple of months we will see were the cards fall.

Anyway, thanks to everyone that made contact with me over the past couple of weeks. It's been a blast and I hope to catch you all on the bands and the waterfall again real soon.

73, good dx, and God Bless de AJ4JD,
Tim

P.S. All logs have been uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.(image)



Not to Ill to Play Radio...Thank goodness for digital...

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 04:49:00 +0000

If it weren't for the Digital Modes, I wouldn't have played any radio this past week. I've been down with a bad sinus infection since Tuesday. Luckily, I'm starting to feeling better today. Since last weekend, Robin (AJ4IJ) and I (AJ4JD) have been working the PODXS 070 club's 1K celebration contest. It's been a 3 stage contest for the celebration. The first stage, last Saturday, was to work as many 070 members in 24 hours. The second stage was a scavenger hunt that went from Monday through Friday. You had to work 10 different things (i.e. Fur-Bearing Creature (part of name, call or qth), A tree (part of call, name, QTH etc.)). The third and final stage started Friday evening at 8:00pm EST, after stage 2 ended. The objective was to work non-070 members only and the kicker was that it was no calling CQ, search and pounce only.I have to say that I worked a lot of DX this last week and a half during the celebration. It seemed that there was a lot of DX on 20 and 40 this weekend. We were working Europe quite frequently and the occasional South American station and plenty of North American stations. Everything, of course, was worked on PSK31 and with 50 watts. Some of the countries include: Italy, England, Scottland, Germany, France, Sardinia, Mexico, Cuba, Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Australia and many more.So with all the logs uploaded to LoTW and eQSL, as well as having been submitted to the contest manager, all we can do is sit and wait for the results to be posted. For Robin and I, here is how we faired:RobinStage 1: 28 contacts - 28,000 points (Each contact was worth 1,000 points hence the 1K celebration).Stage 2: Found all 10 objects - 10,000 points (Plus another 5,000 bonus points if approved by the contest manager for finding all 10 making 15,000 points)Stage 3: 13 contacts - 13,000 pointsTotal - 56,000 pointsTimStage 1: 43 contacts - 43,000 pointsStage 2: Found all 10 objects - 10,000 points (Plus the 5,000 if approved making total 15,000)Stage 3: 26 countacts - 26,000 pointsTotal - 84,000 pointsI don't know how that will place either of us in the contest, but regardless it was a lot of fun and sure did help to keep my mind off my illness this past week. I look forward to the endorsement for participating and I'm really looking forward to the next 070 contest, The Jay Hudak Memorial 80 meter Sprint. We will also be working the Tennessee QSO Party, from Union County Tennessee, I'll see everyone then.Good DX and God bless.Vy 73 to allAJ4JD - Tim [...]



Happy Birthday KJ4EGJ and PODXS070 1000th member celebration

Sat, 22 Aug 2009 14:12:00 +0000

I just thought I would get in here and leave a big callout (I guess in their lingo that would be a shout-out) to my daughter Ashby (KJ4EGJ). Yesterday was her 13th birthday. That's right she's now officially a teenager and is drifting further away from HAM Radio, at least until later on. Just like most young HAMs her age, there are more important things, like video games, playing outside, talking on the phone, and more things than I can list. Nevertheless, Happy Birthday Ashby. Daddy loves you.

On Thursday the PODXS 070 club reached it's 1000th member mark and has announce a big 3 stage contest/event. It sounds like great fun. Stage one, we have to contact as many 070 club members as possible in a 24 hour time period, starting tonight, August 22, 2009 at 8:00pm EST (0000Z) through 7:59pm EST (2359Z) Sunday August 23, 2009. Stage two is a week long scavenger hunt. It starts Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:00pm EST (0000z August 24th) and runs through August 28, 2009 7:59pm EST (2359z). In this stage you have to work 10 different things such as a tree (i.e. anything with a tree in the name or QTH like Oak Street). In stage three, from August 28, 2009 8:00pm EST (0000z Aug. 29, 2009) through August 29, 2009 7:59pm EST (2359z), we have to work as many non-070 members as possible. This stage however is a search and pounce only. That's right, we cannot call CQ during this stage.

I don't think I've ever worked a contest quite like this one. Of course I haven't been contesting but for about a year now so I'm not sure if there's anything like that or not. Anyway, that's about all I have for now. Looking forward to working you all between this week and next. If any of you fit the bill on the scavanger hunt please leave me a comment or something so we can set up a qso date and time next week. By the way, this is a PSK31 only contest.

Until then, good luck, good dx, 73 and God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD
See you on the waterfall/bands.(image)



North American QSO Party and a Few Lighthouses to Boot

Sun, 16 Aug 2009 20:57:00 +0000

So yesterday was a busy day. I started out running the garbage, then mowed my yard and the father-in-law's (KU4ME) yard. After that we decided to run up to Clinch Mountain. We had been out in the field a couple of nights this past week to watch the Perseid Meteor shower and to watch an Iridium flare. While we were up there watching the shower, I had been on the local 145.470 repeater, talking to a few friends. It was then that one of them mentioned going up to Clinch Mtn. to watch meteor showers. That brought the thought of a little restaurant up there to John the KU4ME. Clinch Mountain Lookout Restaurant is home to the famous vinegar pie. Anyway, we enjoyed a wonderful down home meal along with vinegar pie as well as strawberry rhubarb pie.

So once we got back home, it was time to sit at the station and get down to some serious contesting. Last night I worked the North American QSO Party for a good 5 hours. I know you are thinking that if I was a serious contester, the yards and dinner could have waited. Unfortunately, when the temps are hot and the humidity is low, we are plagued with a horrible AC line noise that won't quit. So needless to say, I wouldn't have done any good during the afternoon hours. After about 5 hours I had bagged a total of 120 contacts and 61 multipliers for a total of 7,320 points.

This morning I was awoke by my XYL (AJ4IJ) who was beaming about a couple of good contacts she had made. She contacted a couple of lighthouses and a special event station for the Mason-Dixon line. I won't go into the contacts as I'm sure she will want to blog about them, but she said I should get up and work some as well, considering the bands were doing really well and the noise wasn't in there. So needless to say, after a cup of coffee and a cigarette or two, I sat at the station and made a few lighthouse contacts, two in New York and one in Canada.

So that's been the amount of radio time I've had. I've been on the 470 repeater a bit more here recently so the activity is definitely picking up. Anyway, thanks to all the contacts I made. I hope all had a fun weekend. Good DX and God Bless to all.

73 de AJ4JD,
Tim

P.S. All contacts have been uploaded to LOTW and EQSL.(image)



Several Good Contests Coming Up

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 11:17:00 +0000

I was looking at WA7BNM's Contest Calendar online and I saw that there are several good contests coming up in August. This weekend is the Maryland/DC QSO Party running from1600Z, August 8 to 0400z, August 9 and 1600Z - 2359Z, August 9. Next weekend the North American QSO Party is running from 1800Z, August 15 - 0600Z, August 16. This ought to be a busy one. I worked it a bit last year but never turned in a log. The New Jersey State QSO Party is also next weekend from 2000Z, August 15 - 0700Z August 16 and 1300Z, August 16 - 0700Z, August 17.

The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd, two more State QSO Parties will be contested, Hawaii and Ohio. Hawaii's party runs 0700Z, August 22nd to 2200Z, August 23rd while Ohio's party runs from 1600Z, August 22nd to 0400Z, August 23rd. To round out the month, the Kansas State QSO Party is running on the last weekend of August from 1400z, August 29th to 0200Z, August 30th and 1400z, August 30 to 2000z, August 30th.

There are several other contests during that time, but for me those are the highlights. I will definitely be working the NAQP hard and heavy and will like try to make some contact during the various State QSO Parties. So look for me on the air during those times. Highlights for September include: Tennessee QSO Party, PODXS 070 80 Meter Sprint, Arkansas QSO Party, South Carolina QSO Party, Washington State Salmon Run, Texas QSO Party, and several more.

That's all I have for now. I have to go get ready for work now. 73 my fellow hams and good DX.

Until next time,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Ho Hum Radio...

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 02:30:00 +0000

Well, it's been another week of hardly any radio. I thought about working the TARA Grid Dip, but instead I spent a wonderful evening hanging out with my XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) in the back yard around a camp fire. The next day we all went to the Frank H. McClung Museum on the University of Tennessee campus. We had went to the museum so our harmonic could see a real life mummy. You see, she and the XYL are going to mummify a chicken as a school project. This will cover many subjects such as math, science, art, and history. After the museum, we had to run to the library to pick up a few books on Egyptian culture and burial practices to help with the project. (I guess I should add that Robin is homeschooling our daughter this year.) After the library we had to run to the store and then drop our cousin off at home (she wanted to see a dead person too). When we got home I had to mow the yard and weed-eat it as well especially since I hadn't been able to do that in about two weeks due to all the rain we've had.

By the time I got all that done, it was too late to work the Grid Dip. That's okay because I've had a wonderful week and weekend nonetheless. I did make a few PSK contacts earlier in the week, two with stations in Belgium (ON4AXU and ON3SB), a special event in Canada (thanks for the QSO Michael VE3FRED), and Joseph in 3 land (NE3H). So this morning, I turned on the radio and the 10-10 International Summer Contest was still going on. I worked a big whopping 3 stations before we decided it was time to figure out what to do today (Check out our outdoor blog for the adventure today).

So that's all the radioing I've done this week. Like the title says, Ho Hum Radio. That's okay, the International Light House/Lightship week is now. Get on the bands and make contact with all the Light Houses you can. They are great fun to work. I worked a handful last year and hope to do the same this year.

That's all I've got for this edition, until next time....

73, Good DX to you, and God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Not a Whole lot of Radio this week

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 02:00:00 +0000

I haven't been doing a whole lot of radioing this past week. I've listened here and there but not much in the way of operating. Although yesterday I did play just a little bit. We all, Robin, Ashby (KJ4EGJ), and me, contacted a couple of Special Events that were commemorating the Apollo 11 40th anniversary. I also made contact a special event on PSK31 celebrating the International Year of Astronomy. Thanks for the contact Walter (W2GSB). Another contact I made was with an OM in France, F5NMK. I have uploaded all contacts from yesterday to LoTW and eQSL.

Oh I thought I might mention that Robin (AJ4IJ) and I have both joined the European PSK Club (EPC) so if you see us on the waterfall give us a call as we are trying to work the many different awards they have. There are a bunch of them and so far we've both got about 7 or 8. Anyway, if you are into PSK then you should definitely check this club out. They have some really nice certificates for their awards.

Well that's all I have for now. I don't know of much else to write about at the moment so I'll be clear for now. 73 to all.

Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Contest Statistics since I've been a HAM

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 05:21:00 +0000

I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of analysis of my contest results since I became a HAM and got into contesting. I've worked a few contests since I became a HAM back in April 2008. Some I just made a few contacts just for fun, and some I've worked with serious competition in mind. So below is a list of all the contests I've worked and sent a log into.Tennessee QSO Party 2008Vermont QSO Party 2009New Hampshire QSO Party 2009Louisiana QSO Party 2009North Carolina QSO Party 2009Wisconsin QSO Party 2009New Mexico QSO Party 2009Florida QSO Party 2009West Virginia QSO Party 2009Mississippi QSO Party 2009ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB 2008PSK31/63 Death Match 2008PODXS 070 31 Flavors 2009PODXS 070 Three Day Weekend 2009PODXS 070 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint 2009ARRL Field Day 2009 (Not formally a contest)CQ Worked All Prefix(WPX) SSB 2009I can't find the results on some of these but where I can I have them listed below:* Tennessee QSO Party 2008 - (In state low single op - 33 contacts, 25 multipliers, 1,650 pts., 33rd out of 43) and In State Team: 10,000 pts. 4th out of 5 teams.* Vermont QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.* New Hampshire QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.* Louisiana QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.* North Carolina QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 33 contacts, 25 multipliers, 1700 pts., 50th out of 86.* Wisconsin QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 31 contacts, 18 multipliers, 837 pts., 2nd of 5 Tennessee low power operators.* New Mexico QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 24 pts. - 43rd out of 62.* Florida QSO Party 2009 - Results not available at this time.* West Virginia QSO Party 2009 - Results not available at this time.* Mississippi QSO Party 2009 -Results not available at this time.* ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB 2008 - Single Op Low Power, 32 contacts, 24 multipliers, 1,536 pts, 783rd out of 881, 20th out 21 Tennessee low power stations.* PSK31/63 Death Match 2008 -Class II category - 12,865 pts, 25th, out of 72 class II operators.* PODXS 070 31 Flavors 2009 - Finished 36th in the Medium Power Cat. 3 QSO's, 3 Mult. 9 total pts. Had some serious AC Line noise that day.* PODXS 070 Three Day Weekend 2009 - I finished 15th stateside. 166 QSOs, 104 Mult. 800 Bonus Pts. 18,064 Tot. Pts.* PODXS 070 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint 2009 - Official results not available at this time.* ARRL Field Day 2009 (Not formally a contest) - Result not available at this time.* CQ Worked All Prefix(WPX) SSB 2009 - Official results not available at this time.* IARU HF Contest - Low Power Single Op Phone Only - 72 contacts, 44 multipliers, 8,184 pts. Official results not available at this time.So folks, that covers it. I have to say that the IC-756 Pro 100 watts into a Windom Dipole at 30ft. does a pretty good job. Although not all contests have been done on that setup. A few contests have been done over at Dad's (KU4ME) on his IC-7560 Pro into a ZS6BKV dipole, or the 80 meter inverted vee.So with that, the next contests I plan on working are: Tennessee QSO Party, 80 Meter Jay Hudak Memorial, North American QSO Party SSB, PSK 31/63 Death Match, and I'm sure a few others. It will be interesting to see how much better I do compared to last year in some of these.Well I guess that's all I have for now. I'll say 73 and good DX to all.Until next time when I talk about the European PSK Club...God Bless,Tim - AJ4JD [...]



IARU HF Championship Fin

Sun, 12 Jul 2009 17:03:00 +0000

Another wonderful contest came to an end this morning at 8:00am EST. (12:00 UTC). I worked the IARU HF Championship contest for a few hours yesterday. Actually I worked it for about 4 hours off and on and made some really good DX contacts. In total I made 73 contacts and garnered a little over 8000 points. I still need to send my log off to the contest email but I will get that done at some point today more than likely. I've already uploaded to LoTW, but still have to get the log uploaded to eQSL. So if any of the contacts I made need to confirm, that would be the place to do it.

Anyway, to give you an idea on the DX I worked here's a list: England, France, Serbia, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Madeira Island, Romainia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Poland, Crete, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Portugal, Bonaire, Curacao, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands, Morocco, Canary Islands, and Canada.
A total of 37 DX entities, including the U.S. Not to bad if I may say so my self. All my contacts were on either 20 or 40 meters by the way. I got started way too late to do anything on 10 or 15 but that's okay. There's always next year or the next contest.

Anyway, the contest was a lot of fun, and while I know I didn't score enough points to be any count, I still put forth a very good effort for the amount of time I put in. Until next time, take care, 73, good DX to you, and thank you to all the contacts I made yesterday.

God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. Next up, my contest results since I've been a HAM.(image)



New EPC Member. Anticipation builds for the IARU HF Championship

Fri, 10 Jul 2009 03:51:00 +0000

Just thought I would let everyone know that I am now an official member of the European PSK 31 Club. My EPC number is 7880.
I'm also working on a post about my current contesting stats. Hopefully I can get that finished and posted tomorrow. Until then, I'm still waiting for the IARU HF Championship. This is a great contest. I worked it a little bit last year but I didn't submit a log or anything. I was still a fairly new HAM and didn't know much about contesting at that time. Anyway, this year I plan on putting forth a major effort like I did during the CQ WPX contest. Speaking of which, unofficial results have been posted and it appears that I'm sitting as the 4th place rookie stateside in the Low Power Single Op All Band category.

Well that really all I have right now. It's getting late so I'll get off the puter and settle down for bed.

Have a great Friday everyone. 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD(image)



10 Meters Booming.

Wed, 08 Jul 2009 11:38:00 +0000

Was there a possible Canadian French broadcast on my regular FM car stereo yesterday? That's right, yesterday in the late afternoon, I was returning home from dropping something off over at dad's(KU4ME) when I realized that Green Day had faded out and I was now listening to a woman speaking about Michael Jackson in French. I demonstrated this to my XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) with the shortwave in the house after telling her that propagation must be doing really well. I suppose this is what they call heavy Sporadic-E or E-Skip.
It was at that time she told me I'd better get in there and play with the HF. So, I just had to get in here this morning to mention that 10 Meters was booming in like crazy yesterday. I can only hope that it's booming like that again today. I wonder how much the huge sunspot, that's currently on the Sun, had to do with it? I'm sure that was a player in yesterday's conditions. Regardless, I got in there and called CQ for a few minutes and ended up with 4 contacts on 10 with stations in NJ, MD, MA, and IL. By the way, all contacts have been uploaded to LOTW and eQSL.
I would have played longer but the yard was getting closer to jungle status by the second considering all the rain we have had, so the lawn mower was calling my name. If conditions are that good again today, I will be sure to get in there and make more contacts. So if you happen to play radio this evening, look for me on 10 meters. I'll likely be in there.

Until then, 73 and good DX,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Updates for W4H and PODXS 070 40 Meter Sprint

Sun, 05 Jul 2009 17:39:00 +0000

So yesterday, we decided to take a break from the "Rat Race" and just play Radio. So with that in mind we decided to work a little bit of W4H in celebration of our Country's Independence. Robin (AJ4IJ) decided to give it a go on 40 Meters for a few minutes with no bites at all. So she decided to turn it over to me. So I tuned over to 20 Meters which was very busy with a contest and of course the 13 Colonies Special Event. (BTW we both worked 5 of the 13 yesterday.) So away I called CQ W4H/AJ4JD on 20 meters and ended up with about 5 or 6 DX contacts. The band was going really long but it was hard to pull stations out due to QRM etc. So over to 40 Meters I went and made a few more stateside contacts. That was about the extent of it for me. I made a total of 12 contacts and all have been uploaded to eQSL. I will get them uploaded to LOTW soon under the W4H call but they are uploaded under my call.
So 8:00pm rolled and it was time for Robin to work the 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint hosted by the PODXS 070 club. She did quite well racking up a total of 80 contacts and 33 mutlipliers for a grand total of 2,640 points. Of course we did take a break long enough to watch our neighbors across the street blow up about $200 worth of fireworks. She also got up long enough to let me make a couple of contacts. Enough to get an attaboy for my 070 certificate. Thanks Honey.

So that's about all I have for now. I should be posting soon and overview of my contesting experience since I've been a HAM and got into contesting. That should be interesting to say the least.
Until next time... 73 and Good DX to all,
Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. We are now on Twitter. You can follow Robin at http://www.twitter.com/aj4ij and me at http://www.twitter.com/aj4jd.(image)



W4H - 470 ARG 4th of July QSO Party

Sat, 04 Jul 2009 08:31:00 +0000

Just thought I would make a quick entry about the special event that the 470 Amateur Radio Group has going on right now. W4H is the call for the event. We are celebrating the 4th of July. There will be several different operators in and around the Knoxville, TN area working the event. You will want to get their callsign as we all have our own QSL cards for the event. For example, if you make contact with me, you will want to send your QSL to my QTH as entered on QRZ.com for my call AJ4JD.

The event started on July 1 at 1:00pm and goes through to July 9th at 11:00pm EST. The frequencies we are operating on are as follows: 14.260, 7.260, 28.400, 3.960 mhz +/- 20khz per the ARRL instructions.

So that's all I've got for now. I hope to catch you on the bands either as W4H/AJ4JD or just as AJ4JD. Until then, 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Another Field Come and Gone... Is it 2010 Yet?

Thu, 02 Jul 2009 05:43:00 +0000

That's right Ham fans, another Field Day has come and gone. How did you all do during Field Day? What do you find was the highlight of the day? Well I have to say that the highlights are our day was the opportunity to actually operate during Field Day. You see, last year on field day we were on vacation down in Florida. Needless to say, on Field Day we were on the road headed to New Orleans to see my folks and family and the only radio at my disposal was a Yaesu FT-90r. I had the radio tuned most of the time to 146.520 or 146.550. From time to time I would hear a brief QSO and then it was gone.Of course, don't forget that we did have our own personal field day prior to going on vacation. 2 weeks before vacation we did go up to the field and set up all the stuff and made a few contacts. That was actually one of the first times I made any HF contacts.Fast forward to Field Day 2009. This year we brought up the following for our operating situation:- Yaesu FT-450- LDG 200AT Pro Auto Tuner- Power Supply- Lenovo Net Book for computer logging with N3FJP's Field Day contest log, which we then exported seemlessly into our ACLog.- A 1800 HP Gas Generator- ZS6BKV Multi Band DipoleI think that covers the equipment. Of course we brought snacks, fans, and a percolator for coffee.Once we arrived and had some hot dogs that we picked up from a convenience store we got to looking around and found that one of the ropes we left up there for the antenna had gone missing. This rope by the way was a bit in the edge of the woods and out of site. The other rope is in plain view so we wondered why they only took the one. Well we assume it must have been hunters. Anyway, we got another rope up in a tree for the operation. This was just a temporary fix. We didn't have the sling shot or a fishing pole so we resorted to tying the rope to a bottle of Gatorade.It wasn't much longer and we had the equipment set up and we were ready to call CQ. I spent a couple of hours calling and ended up with a total of 60 contacts. Robin (AJ4IJ) worked for just a little bit. She was pretty wore out from running around during the day getting supplies for the evening and getting things ready to go. Ashby (KJ4EGJ) towards the end of our evening finally decided to work some stations and ended up with 16 contacts. I was so proud. Mom (KF4SSI) and Dad (KU4ME) didn't work any. Dad was pretty tired from working on the Jeep all weekend as was I. That's right, we did get the Jeep in running condition. She still needs some work but at least she isn't spewing radiator fluid anymore.As a final note, Robin had found earlier on QRZ'd that the QSO Radio Show was broadcasting on the air for Field Day and were taking calls from Field Day stations all over the world. Well it was around Midnight when Robin and Dad got the big idea about calling in and handed the phone to me. So I took the cell phone and made the call. I gave them my information and it wasn't long after that they called us back and I was on the air speaking with Ted Randall (WB8PUM) about our setup and our Ham Family. As a matter of fact on Ted Randall's site he has a streaming rebroadcast of the show.So this year's Field Day was considered a success. We got setup in short order and in total made 82 contacts between us. As I know it, Dad worked some stations the next day but at this time I forget how many he made.That's all I got for now. Stay tuned as I plan on posting on my contest experience and results over the first year of my Ham life and The First Ann[...]



Field Day Update and West Virginia QSO Party

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 11:39:00 +0000

Well folks, if you haven't heard then I'll just say this, field day is looking a bit bleak at this time. If you've read the XYL's blog then you know all about it. Otherwise, here it is in a nutshell. Our Jeep is broke and we have no other way of getting up to our beloved field we visit for outdoor ops as well as astronomy operations. It's up on a ridge and requires 4 wheel drive to get up there. With that being the case field day may end up in the back yard or from the comfort of indoors with the fridge around the corner and a bathroom within 4 steps of the shack. Regardless, we will work field day.

On another note, I worked the West Virginia QSO Party for a bit last week. You see, West Virigina, has been one of those elusive states that I have yet to get confirmed for WAS. Well last night I checked my LOTW account and low and behold, I've now got WV confirmed. I only have 3 states left for WAS via LOTW (South Carolina, Nebraska, and Maine). So if you here or see me on the bands and your from either of those states, and have LOTW, please, by all means, give me a call.

Well that's all I've got for now. It's time to get ready to go to that 4 letter word that begins with a 'W'.

73 to all and good DX,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)



Got PSK31?

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 05:00:00 +0000

I certainly do. And let me tell you, I've made some of the grandest contacts on the mode. With just 50 watts this evening I made contact with Belarus and Estonia on 20 meters. Thank you to ES7FQ and EU2MM. Hope to see you guys on the waterfall again. My other contact for the evening was with a familiar OM, AK4DW. David is about 9 miles or so as the crow flies from me and I happened across his signal on the waterfall on 20 meters this evening. David and I both tend to catch each other on the 145.470 2 meter repeater here in East Tennessee on the drive home from work from time to time.

In a few of our chews on 2 meters we've talked about PSK31 and how wonderful of a mode it is. David just recently got an HF rig and got all set up to work the digital modes. Since then I hadn't had the chance to chew the rag with him on any of the modes or bands. So this evening was our chance. David, congrats again on the setup and on your membership in PODXS 070 club. Catch you again on the fall and on different bands and modes.

I have to say that other than a good ol' phone contact, my favorite method of operation is digital via PSK31. Why just last night I made contact with an OM in Washington state with just 50 watts. Thanks K1NVY, I really enjoyed the QSO Fred. The same power level applies to the DX contacts I made this evening. Had I been on phone I seriously doubt we would have heard each other running a bare 100 watts.

So if you've ever thought about it, give it a try. I'm sure that if you are familiar with computers and even remotely adept at the keyboard, you will definitely enjoy working PSK31 or any of it's other varients as well as other digital modes like Olivia or RTTY.

Well that's all I have for this evening. So good DX to all and 73.

Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. If you see me on the waterfall or hear me on the bands, please feel free to give me a call. I would love to make contact with you.(image)



Museum Ship Weekend and the Upcoming Field Day

Wed, 10 Jun 2009 03:49:00 +0000

This past weekend was the Museum Ship weekend. I hope everyone got a chance to work the ships. I think that this event is one of my favorites when it comes to special "Get on the Air" events. This event is sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey Radio Station (NJ2BB). There were 85 different ships operating on the bands from Saturday June 6th - Sunday June 7th.

I was able to make contact with about 10 of them. Which was pretty cool as I made contact with some ships I hadn't contacted before (i.e. USS North Carolina, USS Indianapolis, and more). If you made contact with at least 15 ships, then you earned yourself a certificate. All you have to do is mail in your log information. The Battleship New Jersey Radio Station website linked above has all the info on that.

The next big event coming up is Field Day. June 27th - 28th. If you don't know about Field Day, then your either new, or you've been living under a rock, Hi Hi. Anyway this is one of the biggest events of the year. Operators from all over will be out in the field, mobile, or even in the comfort of their home QTH making contacts all over the bands. For more information about Field Day check out the Field Day link above.

We will be up in our Aunt Betty's field operating on the 27th. We plan to be running the Yaesu FT-450 that we went in half with Dad(KU4ME) on. We will have that hooked to the LDG AT200 Pro auto tuner and a ZS6BKV multiband dipole as well as a G5RV antenna, both homebrewed. You can check those out in previous posts of our out in the field experiences: HF in the Field With New Homebrew G5RV and Our Early Field Day.

Anyway, if you are on the air for field day, listen for us and feel free to make contact. Catch you down the log.

73 and good DX,
Tim - AJ4JD(image)