Welcome to the NU8Z Website: Well, this website has been up for just about a year now. I find that the desire to build my own website is not matched by the amount of work that is required on a continuous basis to keep it up to date. That being said, all of the news links on this site are automated and I have kept the bookmark links pretty much up to date. I will continue to add new and interesting links when I find them.
The main objectives of this website will remain as follows:
- Serve as a “one stop shopping” site for Ham Radio related news.
- Pass on relevant DXing, General Operating and Contesting related information to others that may be interested.
- Pass on items of interest and neat links to others
- Discuss my experiences related to Ham Radio and DX operating from a small city lot.
- Tell others a bit about myself, my station, my other interests, and what aspects of this great hobby I enjoy.
New Radio: I recently bought a new Elecraft KX3 with all the optional goodies. The last thing I needed was a new radio, but that little thing seemed pretty interesting and has proven to be a lot of fun to play with. I was completely amazed that there was that much radio packed into that little box. The receiver is exceptional and reviles my Flex 5000. I took the radio to Florida this winter and made a many qso’s with a marginal antenna. I used a 27 ft longwire with a 17 foot radial. It was fed with a small 4:1 balun. It would load on 10 thru 40 meters with no problems using the tuner in the KX3. The good news was that I was located right on the Gulf of Mexico, but the bad news was that I had a number of very large Condos blocking the path to EU and Africa. I operated every couple of days just using the 8 AA batteries that were in the radio. This gave me about 3 watts out into the little 28ga longwire that was tossed over a little tree (big bush?). This operation was a lesson in patience, persistence and humility. I made a number of DX contacts. Sometimes they answered on the first call, but there were many times that they CQ’ed in my face. I think I had the most fun when I had no expectations at all. I would go to the QRP portion of the band and call CQ. I made about a dozen minimal to minimal station QSO. One of the more interesting ones was with a guy on 30 meters that was doing the exact same thing as me. We both were sitting on the beach and had out short long wires tossed over trees. He was in NC. We rag chewed for about 30 minutes. Of all the bands, I found 30 meters the most conducive for this type of QSO.
I bought the radio mainly for travel purposes. I can fit all that I need into a very small package. I have also stated to use the radio at home as a second station. I have established a goal of working DXCC using just the AA batteries that are in the radio. I’m also going to continue to build on the list of stations that I worked while in Florida with the goal of working DXCC using the AA’s and small portable antennas while operating portable in the field.
2014 DX Marathon: Well, contrary to the promise I made after the 2011 DX Marathon, I have decided to do it again in 2014. The objective in this event is to work all the CQ counties and Zones that you can work in one year. The event started on January 1, and will end on December 31, 2014. There are a total of 347 CQ countries and 40 Zones. I’m again going to run the mixed mode, high power category. So far, as of the end of March I have worked a bunch of countries and all 40 CQ Zones. Check my totals to date. I’m pretty pleased with that considering I spent 5 weeks away from the home station while enjoying the warmer climates. I guess my goal would be to beat my 2011 score of 310 (270 countries + 40 zones). I think the conditions are better now that they were in 2011, but on the down side my amplifier is somewhat crippled. It has a blown final transistor and only runs about 500 watts. This in fact is not a big deal, but I found myself wanting to buy a new more powerful amp during the 2011 effort. There were a number of countries that were on in 2011 that I was in the pile up for. But just could not break through. One of the stipulations that I made for this year’s effort is to have a more laid back attitude. If I get’m I get’m. If not, oh well it was fun. Hope to hear you in the pile ups.
The “Year of DX” photo above if the title of a book written by Bob Locher, W9KNI. This book chronicles Bob’s winning effort during the 2010 CQ DX Marathon. It is written in the same style as Bob’s well known book, “The Complete DX’er” which is a must read for all aspiring and serious DX’ers alike.