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Hoping Your Contact Graces My Log 

As For Now,  HF Operations Strictly Mobile

Restricted by "HOA" where HO = Alaska State




Tarheel-400 Antenna







September, 6 2016


Busy these days preparing for a final kayak expedition down a river near my backyard, which I recently discovered …is the world's largest glacial river. First efforts to launch out onto a river a mile wide and running at 7 knots, went smoothly as my destination was down river a ways, needing only to paddle across the river while the current helped me reach the specific island; the island being the focus of a year long study. 

Due to the unusually large amount of rain that fell in Interior Alaska, the river swelled it banks, with the currents so intense as to change the hydrodynamics causing massive erosion, so much so that the inlet exit was no longer a smooth simple paddle out to the middle of the river, rather, the inlet exit had been turned into a gaping side weeping flow of river water; attempts to paddle back out to the river became impossible because the moment the kayak touched the 7 knot river current, I immediately began to be swept down river.…an event for which no human powered kayak can return. 

The only way out to the river was by paddle back into the inlet side of the breakwater, then, get out of the kayak, pull it around the half mile long huge boulder breakwater barrier, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers many years before as part of a flood control system, to protect Fairbanks from further destructive floods.  



April 26, 2016 -  KL3DO and I had a "Shoot Out" mobile to mobile on 3920 KHz 80 meters, KL3DO with his Icom 7000 fed into an 80-10m Hi-Q antenna and I using an Icom 7100 fed into a Tarheel 400 160-10m antenna with both running 100 watts.  KL7DTH was kind enough to compare our signal strength from his QTH some 360 miles south of our location in Fairbanks. The results….well reports came back at first with about an S unit over KL3DO until other stations further south and west came back saying KL3DO was a bit stronger, however in the final assessment, collective reports considering QSB, had us at about equal signal strength.  I had been apprehensive about the contest considering how much work I put into my system so I could use it as my "ONLY" operating position through the long cold winter parking lot location. I wasn't quite ready to discover all my efforts were for something that placed me at the bottom of the hf mobile list for the Arctic.


April 23, 2016

Mobile updates have me using an Icom 3230h dual band with my Icom IC 7100 and Tarheel 400 80-10m mobile antenna. All due to housing restrictions, my HF operations are fed through a TuneMatic antenna controller so the safety factor is completely covered. Without figuring CW into the equation, emphasis has been upon safe operations while driving, thus the TuneMatic screwdriver antenna driver functions to make the most dangerous and ominous part of mobile ham operations a totally hands off process.  After considerable research including a fairly recent QST article on the Turbo Tuner, the TuneMatic fit the demanding parameters for highway driving safety by automatically counting turns, adjusting SWR and storing all new positions in memory, a task which requires manual effort on all other lower cost units. True the TuneMatic is the most expensive tuner driver, yet I figure the price tag (like getting killed) for any accident that may occur from trying to use a cheaper unit, would far exceed the dollar amount of the TuneMatic

Survived a drive through extreme white out conditions on the only road between Anchorage and Fairbanks.  My time was spent driving but not seeing ten feet before or aft, never knew if I was going to hit a vehicle in front or be rear ended from behind, while winds buffeted my vehicle at 70 miles per hour, it's was a veritable miracle to survive.  Before the white out drive, tried to tune up on 20 m but the system failed to get the antenna tuned, forcing me to negotiate the white out road with attention totally on driving without hf distractions...most certainly the hand of God watching out for my welfare.

Spent today camped on 20m with exceptionally long propagation as signals out of South America were more than 10 db stronger than any station being heard from the lower 48.  While making efforts with dx contacts, I scouted out the very large glacial river south of town.  Breakup happened today which leaves the river at record lower levels because the warmer temperatures have not reached the glaciers which feed the river.  Now is the time to put my kayak in and travel to a specific geo tagged location I found while hiking the river ice just a month before.  Without a power boat, it's virtually impossible to explore island land areas scattered along the river flood plain. Strong currents, combined with steep bank drop offs make it very difficult to stop and camp. 










At age twelve acquired a Hallicrafters S-120 general coverage receiver which opened the way to Amateur Radio. It was on this receiver I heard W1ZYZ tuning up his AM transmission from Putnam Connecticut. I was impressed with his signal and clarity.  On this receiver I could also receive transmissions from WWV where I heard information about time and solar terrestrial indices. Not long after I came by a set of CB walkie-talkies which opened the way to transmitting and not just receiving.  I worked with the CB talkies trying to boost range by moving them to my fifty foot high tree fort.  There I managed to arrange an antenna which was visible from the fire watch tower in the next town over. It was from this tree fort that I made contact with a CB base station in yet another neighboring town.  I remember clearly his efforts to work ground wave DX.  I was operating from a location four miles away but when he asked where I was, I said, “Weymouth.”  Being so weak on his receiver he could barely hear what I was saying. Since his objective was DX he came back and asked me if I was saying “Yarmouth” a town ten times further away on Cape Cod. I kept saying “Weymouth” and he would ask if I was saying “Yarmouth.” When he finally received me clear enough to discover the discouraging news that I wasn't fifty miles away but only four miles away, he question my pitifully weak signal by asking, “Weymouth!!??? What are you on, a walkie-talkie or something?” From my fledgling QRP DX I met Dave Marchant who inspired me to acquire a more powerful transceiver.  My father seeing the chance, went out and bought me a new CB base station.  I opened the box and saw package after package of resistors, capacitors and transistors as my enthusiasm was quenched to see my goal at the other end of a Heath Kit Radio.  It took a long time but with my dad’s help, I completed my Heath Kit Transceiver and finally got on 11 meters.  

From this CB rig I made many new friends, many of whom disappeared into the more exciting world of Amateur Radio. My preparation for Amateur Radio was further enhanced when my father invited me to the Arctic where experience with microwave technology came through exposure to the transmitters utilized to support the DEW Line. It was in Höfn Iceland that I had my first experience with klystrons and linking UHF sites to contact Wright-Patterson Air Force Base so I could reach Massachusetts and a friend waiting; Yep, pretty crazy using 50Kw relay points to call a high school girl friend.

While in the Navy I passed my conditional class license in 1976 which secured my first ticket of WB6JLI.  Some years later in 1979 hiked 366 miles from San Diego California across Sonoran Desert to Maracopa Arizona, remembering well the excellent conditions for operating; no salt spray or humidity to corrode antennas.

Spent 11 years in Korea operating HL4/ from IOTA AS-026 with antennas dissolving salt saturated air made time with a wire brush frequent. Though the atmosphere was hostile for antennas, the social environment was quite the contrary with Korean Hams from a Confucian background revering an operator based upon age and call sign; if one is older with a by one or by two, they exalt them like a king. This did become problematic before I left when my age, call and association with KL7 made me too rare to be believable.

After leaving the U.S. sought escape from entropy which I when I left CB was relentless and inescapable as FCC policy changes brought about efforts to bring Amateur Radio closer to the reach of the CB world by deregulation of ham license requirements, making void the purifying effect of the Morse Code requirements. Like many others, time in the QRM CB world stimulated a desire for an “educated” arena to relate to; and in the end stimulated an environment where pushing myself up from Technician brought on a near cardiac arresting as I pushed myself to master 16 wpm for General followed immediately by Advanced. While this wild effort was being run through, Anchorage hams were pushing me to do Extra. In retrospect, I'm very happy I didn't go for Extra because the advanced (not being offered any longer) is the only proof of having pushed hard to pass the 13 wpm necessary to get General. Former experience as a Navy aircraft electronic technician and optical physics student at MIT, I found the theory requirements to be less problematic than the code.

HOAs are the current dilemma especially when on 160m.



After obtaining my Korean citizenship in 2008, returned to Alaska to teach elementary school.  Children in Korea are loved and worship by parents and society, so they wind up morally pure, family focused and devoted to a spouse. Remembering that many children in the U.S. are not as blessed with family or school, efforts were made to teach in the US. 

Decisions in adult life to teach were made as I clearly recalled my time in fifth grade, where US “educators” (not meant as an oxymoron) determined I was developmentally impaired because I wouldn't read Dick and Jane. By sixth grade, these educators failed to recognize my preference for Popular Science as I made collection efforts for parts necessary to assemble a pulse laser. Their oversight delayed my laser dream construction until I was in High School, where fabrication of a HeNe laser lead me to experiments with communication, light speed determination. and holography.