About Rich

I have been licensed since 1985 so I am going on 30 years of being a ham. I upgraded to Technician Class within two months of getting my novice license and upgraded to General then Advanced at the same time about 6 months later and became KD0ZV. I kept my advanced license over 29 years and recently upgraded to my Amateur Extra license .

My first interest in radio started in the 70s when I was young and my Dad became active in 11 meters and I joined in on the fun. After a few years of racing cars and chasing girls I settled down and got married and returned to radio. I have owned radios made by Yaesu, Drake, Elecraft, Ten Tec, Kenwood, Heathkit, WRL Galaxy, Hammurland, Icom and recently Flex Radio. I just like to experiment with different things.

First Tower (late 80s)

Tower (late 80s)

I love American manufactured radio or at least the concept of American built.  I really enjoyed the start of my relationship with Ten Tec and even made a 900 mile motorcycle trip to visit the factory. I have owned a couple Paragons, Pegasus, Jupiter, Argonaut 5, Orion II, RX-320’s along with a multitude of accessories including tuners, amps, mics power supplies and a few kits. Unfortunately in my opinion things deteriorated with Ten Tec and I returned to buying Japanese manufactured rigs until running across the Elecraft K2.

1988 shack at old house. Testing a server controlled tuner I built.

1988 shack at old house. Testing a servo controlled tuner I built.

Elecraft is based out of California and was (and somewhat still is) a modern HeathKit company (an era I missed). They offer  several transceiver kits with modular options including 100 watt PA, DSP, ATU, NB, etc.  I purchased one of the K2 kits fully loaded and spent the next few weeks building the radio which I later sent to Mike at Callsign Software and he purchased a kit to replace it and shipped it to me. So in the end I built two.  Their manual’s and process to build is the best I have seen and this ended up being one of my most enjoyable projects with ham radio.

The thrill with Elecraft ended after the build process as the SSB quality was not that good and the unit was small and required a dozen key presses to make simple adjustments buried deep in the menus. The newer version K3 is improved over the K2 however the newer K3 is not available in a “real” kit version although you can buy a version you can do basic assembly yourself.

So… once again back to Japanese radios. Fast forward 10 years to the FlexRadio 6000 series (more info here).  This is another American manufacturer  that is #1 on the charts for performance. Have to say I am quite impressed with the performance of the unit and hoping Flex keeps improving and I can continue to purchase their products. This is (SDR Radio) and requires a computer to operate.

(Land 3 acres)

So as of this writing the shack is complete so its time to do something about antennas. Currently, I am running just a 160 meter half wave fed with balanced line hung between the trees. I also have a Carolina Windom in my attic that does 10-40 meters and a discone that is dedicated to wide-band receiver.

So the plan for this spring is to purchase and install a SteppIR vertical and ground mount it with a few dozen buried radials. I am also going to add dedicated dipoles for 20 and 40 meters which should have a better radiation pattern than my current multi-band 160 antenna.  If that doesn’t take care help my situation my contingency plan is a crank up tower and tri-bander the following year !

Old Shack “1999”

 

Current Shack "2015"

Current Shack “2015”