Sunday, September 17, 2017

Another Ragchew on 40m

Saturday afternoon I had some spare time so I fired up the K2 and ran a few stations in the Iowa QSO Party. 40m was in decent shape although there was some slow rolling QSB taking place.  I tried calling 7049 for about 10 minutes and wasn't getting any bites so I moved down to 7034. Threw out a few CQs and got a 599 callback from John WZ9I from way down in Winder Georgia.   John was running a TS590GS into a dipole up about 40 feet at 50w.  I was running 5w from the K2 into my antic dipole that is apparently aimed due southeast. 

John and his family moved to Georgia a couple months ago from Wisconsin, he told me they had to move because he broke his snow blower and he was looking forward to no more 20 below zero temperatures.   He's retired and has been a ham since 1960 according to his QRZ biography page.  It was hotter here in Indy than it was in Georgia today. 

Winder is an interesting town, it started out in the mid 1700's as a Creek Nation trading outpost called Snoden.  By the 1790's settlers and farmers had moved in and changed the name to The Jug...then later Jug Tavern...population 37,  About that time the Humphrey Brothers built Ft Yugo and sold it and 167 acres to the county for $127.00 - the cool thing about Jug Tavern, it was the intersection of three counties.  Gwinnett, Walton, and Jackson counties all met in the middle of main street. 

Soon afterwards the railroad came through and Jug Tavern became a main stopping spot on the way to Atlanta parts further south.  In 1893 they changed the name to Winder, named after the general manager of the Seaboard Railway, John H. Winder.  

Being situated in three counties caused continuous legal problems and governance confusion for the residents and businesses of Winder. It required almost 75 years, following many aborted efforts, for Barrow County to be established. Finally, on July 7, 1914, the Georgia General Assembly carved territory from Gwinnett, Jackson and Walton counties to create the new county, with Winder as the county seat. Each of these counties utilized a river as the line which would separate the donated land in the former counties from the future Barrow County. The new county was named for the Chancellor of the University of Georgia, David Crenshaw Barrow. A new courthouse, designed by James J. Baldwin, was completed in 1920 at a cost of $133,400; the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other towns brought in with the establishment of Barrow County included Auburn, Bethlehem, Carl and Statham.

Barrow County Courthouse.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the info on Winder Georgia.  John and I closed out the QSO after about 28 minutes, so he will be issued CW Ragchewer Award #2 from KB9BVN.   Great fist, good copy, and I hope to work him again. 

73 de KB9BVN

Friday, September 15, 2017

A QSO to Remember!

So tonight I was going to check in to the Indiana Code Net on 3535 Khz at 7PM local time, and at 7PM nothing happened.  I heard not a I went ahead and called the ICN Net to order and asked for  QNI (check in) and got zero replies.  I am not the greatest NCS because I am on 80m with a compromise antenna at 5 watts.  If the band isn't open, I'm toast. 

So not to be too discouraged, I still had the K2 all setup so I moved to 40m, my favorite band, and started calling CQ on 7039...for like 5 minutes at a quarter past 7PM...nothing.  A quick check of the Reverse Beacon Network shows I am being heard all over the midwest, so I try a couple more times, and boy am I glad I did. 

For the geography impaired, Indiana is wedged between Illinois on the west and Ohio on the east. KD8ZM called me back in answer to my lonely CQ.  Brady KD8ZM lives in a town called New Carlilse Ohio...near Dayton...maybe 200 miles away.  He was 599 and I was 599 and we commenced ta QSOing.  Come to find out, Brady had been at CW for about 6 weeks.  He got licensed way back in 1984 but decided to make a comeback to ham radio just 6 weeks ago.  He was using a IC 7200, a straight key, and a 600 foot loop antenna (!!!)  up about 40 feet.  

Here's a picture of Brady that I pilfered from his QRZ biography page. Come to find out we are the same age.  Brady likes to make beer, and he like blacksmithing, woodworking, AND he is a banjo and guitar player!! We need to get Brady to come over and visit the HoosierQRP group and jam with the guys.   

New Carlisle Ohio has been made famous by a rather infamous Hoosier...that's right. On June 21, 1933, the infamous John Dillinger committed his first bank robbery, taking $10,000 from the New Carlisle National Bank, which occupied the building which still stands at the southeast corner of Main Street and Jefferson Street (state routes 235 and 571) in New Carlisle.  Thanks to Wikipedia for that fun factoid. Wow...John Dillinger.   Also...New Carlilse Ohio is the birthplace of Roy J. Plunkett...who?  The guy that invented Teflon! 

Anyway we chewed it for 30 minutes, it was awesome, and I can't wait to bump into his very easy to copy fist again soon.   BTW....Brady is the recipient of the KB9BVN CW Ragchewer Award! 

KD8ZM Earns Ragchewer Award!

Thanks for the FB QSO Brady!   Your ears are awesome as I was running 5 watts from my K2. 

Very best 73 de KB9BVN

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Great night for Corn Whiskey!

Things around here are in turmoil, plus I have a storage upgrade to do tonight that will take until 3AM I am told...good grief.  So imagine my delight when the locals and I are chatting on Slack and we find out there is a slow CW net tonight at 7PM...on 3535 every night of every week.  More on that later. 

So I was setting up my shack for the big upgrade tonight, I am using remote tools along with the manufacturer so I needed everything set up at home so I didn't have to stay at work all night.  I noticed my poor K2 sitting there all disconnected, and being ignored, so I decided to move the HW8 off the desk and plugged the K2 in. 

I immediately tuned to 7118 and started calling CQ at a whopping 5w into the attic dipole and was answered instantly by Jim KI4I from down in Bartlett TN.  Now Jim is a Navy man and a long time ham radio operator.  He started out as a Navy Seabee in Rhode Island and ended up in Cuba eventually where he got bit by the ham radio bug.  Checkout his wonderful bio on QRZ.COM for all the details.  He and I both have wives named Ann and we have lived blessed lives! 

Jim KI4I in his Shop
Thanks for the 579 RST Jim, Your TS440S at 100w was sounding great from the G5RV and an honest 599 even though we had just a little bit of QSB going on.  I hope to work you again soon, nice ragchew and your fist was a pleasure to copy. 

That QSO was at about 2130Z and I was anxiously awaiting the ICN (Indiana Code Net) on 3535 Khz at 7PM...several of our newer guys are learning CW and they wanted to try and check in tonight.  W9IMH was the NCS this evening and we had about 7 or 8 QNI, and the new guys all did GREAT jobs, with great fists, many checking in to the CW net for the very first time.  It just made it all a blast.   Rick KB9NDF and Mac AF4PS got me on the trail to CW about 20 years ago, I passed the CW bug on to Ivin W9ILF not too long after that, and now he's given the CW bug to Mike W9ODX, Steve W9BRI, and Jermane we have a whole bunch of new hams like Chris KD9JCJ and old hams like Wayne AC9HP interested in learning just keeps growing.  CW is fun.  So is being an Elmer. 

When the net was over, Mike W9ODX and I QSY'd to 3526 Khz and had our first CW to CW QSO and I could not be more excited about a QSO.  He's only been at CW since about spring and his fist is beautiful armchair copy.  Ivin W9ILF has done a very  very good job teaching him.  Hats off and Mike a QSL card is in the mail buddy! 

Great night to be a ham! 

73 de KB9BVN 

Friday, September 1, 2017

It's a NEW STATE!!!

Got on the air tonight at about 00:30 UTC and heard W9IK calling CW on 7052 or close by.  So I grabbed the world famous Nye Viking Master Key and sent my call a couple times and Steve W9IK came back to me totally 599! 

A quick look and I see he is from Danville Illinois, so I was happy to have QSO but did not know I had a new state until he sent QTH Nesbit MS, Nesbit MS.  I was about to jump out of my chair.  This is the first new state on the HW8 in about 9 weeks what a long dry spell.   Steve was running 100w from his TS 570S down there and he gave me a 579.  

Nesbit is in the very far north edge of Mississippi, in DeSoto County, almost on the Tennessee border.  Guess who lives here?  JERRY LEE LEWIS!!!  That's who!  Killer himself has had a ranch there since the mid 1970' would I like to QSO with him.   That's about all I know about Nesbit. 

So I am happy to report that I get to color in another state tonight.  Now I can go to bed a very happy ham. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN

QRP-ARCI Fall QSO Party is Coming!

Happy first day of September!  

Fall arrives this month and that also means the QRP-ARCI Fall QSO Party is just around the corner. You can get all the details from our website at so you are totally ready to radiate into the ether and make loads of contacts! 

The Fall QSO Party is a alot of fun, especially if you are outdoors enjoying the Fall colors and the cooler temps. No better time to plan an outing with your QRP radio. 

I'll look for you from 1200Z on 14 October 2017 through 2400Z on 15 October 2017 - full details on the website.

Don't miss out on the fun, AND don't cost nothin...

QRP-ARCI 10223

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Local Tailgater Huge Success

Bright and early this morning, my grandson Alex and I loaded up and headed to the first AIMfest tailgater held at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance on the west side of Indianapolis.  This tailgater was done through the efforts of the Indiana Elmer Network, and the school.  Gates opened up at 7AM and the event ran until 11AM, I would estimate we had maybe a dozen guys selling stuff and maybe 50-60 people walking around shopping and socializing.  The weather was beautiful, sunny, low 70's and amost no humidity...which is very RARE for Indiana in August.  For a FREE tailgater they had some great prize giveaways, thanks to Radio Oddity and N3FJP.  They gave away two sets of R2 FRS radios, a GD-77 dual time slot DMR HT, and a set of the N3FJP logging software to four lucky hams.  Wayne AC9HP did a most excellent job of gathering donated prizes and his wife Mary was awesome running the Nacho and Hot Dog booth. 

One of the best parts was when the B-29 they call FIFI flew over at about 9:15AM.  It was a true sight to behold and is only one of TWO remaining B-29's still capable of flight. 

B-29 FIFI in Flight
Paul KD9IAO and I picked up a big honking air variable cap from Phil N9RKA and we are going to try and fashion a nice big magnetic loop antenna for 20, 30, and 40m....stay tuned for that.  Mike W9ODX brought his brand new radio, the mcHF SDR radio and man is it a beauty.  He is using his rain gutters as his antenna and I know he's going to have a blast with that rig. 

Great Hamfest! Great Food! Lot's of great folks there making it happen.  I had a great time and I look forward to next year! 

Hawaii QSO Party is on the air right now...and I need Hawaii.  Wish me luck!

Best 73 de KB9BVN