Lotsa catching up to do…

I can’t believe that it’s been almost two three years since I last put an entry here. When I first put this site up I intended for it to be a chronicle of my growth as a ham. But then, life happened. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do, I guess.

A short summary of what’s transpired in my ham radio career over the last two three years:

I’m an Extra now. Almost a year to the day since my last entry, I became a General. Then in October 2010 I passed the exam and became an Extra. so now I have an all-access pass to the ham bands. I also got VE credentials earlier thisĀ  year. However, despite being HF-authorized for almost two years, it took a while for me to get my station up and running, which brings me to the next point…

I now have HF capability and have made a few contacts. I got my Yaesu FT-857D on my last trip to Oregon…thanks to the folks at Ham Radio Outlet in Portland for shipping it to me and saving me space in my luggage. Alex (KH7CX) lent me a homebrew wire dipole double bazooka that I had used to listen a few times. However, I still needed a key ingredient – the tuner. Blowing out the finals on my 857 would have been a bad thing. I finally got my hands on an LDG YT-100. Up went the dipole, lying flat on the roof. Hooked up the tuner…it works with push-button simplicity. Then I called CQ — nothing. Called again — nothing still.

Fortunately, Ron (AH6RH) and Rick (KH6OM) helped me break in the new HF rig by helping me make an HF contact on 20 meters. True, it was within a two-mile radius as the crow flies, but an HF contact is an HF contact, and at least I knew the antenna worked. Little did I know that I would multiply that distance by a thousand, then several thousand, a couple of weeks later…more on that in my next entry.

I’m still active in the EARC. Still a net control station on Tuesday nights (check in and say hi if you get the chance).

I hope now that I’ll have a lot more to write about in the months to come. It’s been a great journey so far, and I hope to continue it. So, come along and join me…again…

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