Started by John Galt, March 14, 2014, 09:32:47 AM

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John Galt

As I have posted before, I have only made two contacts to date, one of them being KF5RHI.  I normally spend some time in the evenings in my garage just tuning around to listen to various conversations, nets, etc.  Recently, W1AW has been doing the centennial thing and is usually something I avoid because of the pile ups that ensue.

Last night about 6:30, I was spinning the dial on 15 meters and there was W1AW but without the usual pile ups.  He was "portable 7" but I didn't get his exact location.  Well, I hit the tune button and answered and he came right back!!  It was pretty cool hearing my call sign.

About 20 minutes later, I heard W1AW on 20 meters out of Arizona but with the usual pile up.  Emboldened by my earlier success, I went for it again.  It took two or three tries but I got through again!  And that's against all the stations running amps, etc.

I thought all that was pretty cool.  I've put all my "stuff" together without the benefit of an elmer - just what I've picked up from books and places like this forum.  So I felt a little validated knowing that my stuff actually works.


Nice work.  Three tries is quick.  I've spend 20 minutes trying to get through pile-ups.

Though contests and special events clog up the airwaves at times they also are a good opportunity to stretch your legs.  At this point in my ham development I still like them ...in moderation.  I agree there are too many contests cluttering things up with 59-73 empty contacts.

If you haven't yet, checkout www.dxsummit.fi.  Click on HF/Phone.  The 3rd column is the station being "spotted".  It makes it very easy to find the W1AW/? stations.  Also, if you click on the station's call sign it opens up that station in QRZ.com

BTW, I'm just about through Atlas Shrugged.  Gawd that's a long book, but good.


That same morning we contacted each other I also worked Croatia and a few contacts on the east coast.  Since then I've added Austria and Bulgaria.

I've been trying to work all of the W1AW stations.  This week W1AW/7 is in Arizona and W1AW/8 is in Ohio.  I've still gotta get on this weekend and see f I can work /8.  Every Wednesday they change to two different states.  Look on the ARRL website for info on the Centennial QSO Party.

This week I've been on Spring Break so I've been able to get on during the day.  I go back to work on Monday so I might be able to be on in the evenings; but it will mostly be weekends.

It's all about small steps.  When I first heard a voice coming through my speaker on my FT-857D I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  When they answered me back I was hooked!


Nice work, JOHN. You the man! I do not think I would ever have put out a signal out especially within the proper frequnecy when I was first licensed without help from some local hams. Kudos to you.

John Galt

Thanks for all the great replies!  I think I'll make a few more stabs at W1AW in the coming days and weeks.  As you say, it seems a good place to stretch my legs and overcome any mike fright I have.

cockpitbob, I really don't mind the contests but frankly I don't see the fun in it.  But to each their own.  Thanks for the website, looks interesting.  And yes Ayn Rand is a "little verbose" like Texas summers are a "tad warm".   ::)

FF5RHI, good lawd!! you're logbook is growing.  Let's make another contact soon.

Archangel, thanks for the encouragement.  I'm glad now that I've done so much listening before grabbing the mike.  Just listening to some olpharts ragchew I pick up a tidbit here and there.

When I first got my HF rig set up in late December, the active bands were 160-80-40 for the most part because I was on well after dark.  Now, I'm starting to see the other bands a lot more active in the evening.  Although, I think my ultimate interest is NVIS, it is way cool hearing Japan, Australia, Slovenia, etc.


Sure man, anytime!  With daylight lasting longer I might be able to be on in the evenings from time to time!

I'm not sure how come I don't seem to pick up much from the west coast or Asia.  I'd like to pick up a Ukranian contact while there still is a Ukraine to work.

PM me an email address and I can send you a couple antenna designs that I've used.  Also check out KX3Helper.com for an end-fed antenna for 6m-40m.



My first CW contact was with my mentor, K3VCU. He was the WHOLE way across town from me. I bet a 1/2 mile away as the radio wave flys and we were on 40 meters. The only crystal I had was for forty meters. I still remember the QSO. I was trembling so hard my fingers were flopping around and my heart pounding and I near pee'd myself. I listened a lot before I got on also, John with an old HQ-100 Hammarlund Reciever. I still have that old receiver.

John Galt

I'm using a Chameleon - 


The reason I selected this was that it could be hung under the eaves and then the wire stretched out from there to keep me out of the HOA radar, it covers 160-6 as I didn't know what I'd end up using most and it got 5/5 reviews on Eham.   It's very similar to the one the Gil suggested just commercially made.

Of course, I've no experience with any other base antenna but it sure seems to work well on receive. 

Archangel, that's hilarious!  I can see where I'm getting better.  My palms were sweating a little on that first contact but I'm improving rapidly.

KF5RHI, pm sent.

John Galt

Woohoo!  Just got a 12 meter contact with W1AW/7.  I got through first call which is really surprising me how easy I'm getting in.  I know it's just TX<>AZ but I'm not having to repeat anything at all.  So cool.

Moving to 10 meters....     :)

EDIT:  Just added 17 meters.    :) 8)



Anybody seen W1AW/8?  It seems like it's hardly been on the air at all.  :(


Are you checking dxsummit.fi?  I've only been watching the CW spots but W1AW/8 seems to be there most of the day.  I have to imagine the SSB crew is also there.

John Galt

Quote from: cockpitbob on March 15, 2014, 10:24:51 PM
Are you checking dxsummit.fi?  I've only been watching the CW spots but W1AW/8 seems to be there most of the day.  I have to imagine the SSB crew is also there.

I ended up using it a lot.  It proved to be pretty useful.

I didn't hear or see much out of W1AW/8 until later last night on 40 meters.  I tried to get in but just couldn't break through the pile up.  40 meters was pretty noisy to begin with but I'm not sure if that's normal for the band or just a function of my setup.


I can't do CW so for me it's only SSB until I get my station in a box built and can do digital.

I've been watching HamSpots.net.  It looks like there are a few sightings on 15m.  It's pretty windy here in DFW today; but I might run my Inverted-V up and see if I can bag it!