Category Archives: K9ZW Operations

K9ZW Paper QSLs starting to flow

After a very long hiatus I’ve started the QSL card process. First batches will focus on responding to SASEs and a couple friends/local hams who I really owed QSL cards to.

Second prioritization are fellow veterans and received QSL cards that caught my eye.

First batch readied and went out in the mail today (08FEB21) .

Thought I had grabbed a photo of the two dozen envelopes which contained around three dozen QSL cards. Turns out through operator error I took a lovely video of some of the outgoing mail sitting patiently on my breakfast table.

Here is a picture taken from the video:

Part of the outgoing first batch

The whole catch-up QSL process will take quite a few months as I work off the backlog.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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More New K9ZW QSL Cards

More new K9ZW QSL Cards (upper right is a guest card) – Fronts

My remaining three designs arrived from printing, along with a variation made up as a “Guest Operator’s QSL Card” for people operating from my Washington Island neighbor & friend George W9EVT’s station.

These are updates to designs Jeff K1NSS did for me back in the 2014-2015 timeframe, that I never had printed as physical QSL cards. A series of distractions, an anticipated QTH move that would have required rework before printing that didn’t happen in the end, and our actual home QTH move kept putting the project on the back burner.

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New K9ZW “Circle-n-Select” QSO Cards

‌The first two designs of my new QSL cards arrived and I took a moment to fill out an imaginary QSO with myself to see how they would work.

K9ZW Circle-n-Select QSL Card in B&W

K9ZW Circle-n-Select QSL Card in Color version

Jeff K1NSS worked with a concept I suggested to make a quick to fill out card covering the the complexity of having combinations of various working positions, station/antenna locations, available radios and antennas.

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The Awesome QSL Drawings of Jeff K1NSS Heading to Print

K9ZW New QSL Card Proofs

Jeff K1NSS is a QSL card artist that you may enjoy checking out part of his portfolio at: https://www.jeffk1nss.com/

He had done designs for me back in 2015, most which never ended up being printed for a variety of reasons including moving and a need my end to be more focused on health.

I asked Jeff K1NSS to update the 2015 designs, and to create several new designs. All the updates are done and two of the three new designs are finished.

After reviewing several QSL printing services (I had previously had quotes from local printers) I’ve select QSL Concepts to print the first six cards. They are at: http://qslconcept.com/usa/

QSL Concepts “Fab” VE7FBN got it right away that I had ready to print front/back artwork. While Canadian based QSL Concepts uses a USA based affiliate for cards being delivered stateside.

I was able to tag the cards into a pricing program focused on clubs, and anticipate the new cards arriving about ten business days down the road (might be sooner!).

This batch of card designs includes:

  • A retro boat-anchor voice card
  • Two new designs based on a concept I have to accommodate my FlexRadio operating conditions, one in B&W and one in color
  • A digital mode card
  • A Washington Island QTH card emphasizing my operations from George W9EVT’s monster-shack
  • A Washington Island card intended for guests at the W9EVT monster-shack which I will give to George W9EVT

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The 2008 K9ZW Station

K9ZW 2008 Station

Found a 2008 picture of my radio station.

Things certainly have changed!

The old station was built around a TenTec Jupiter transceiver and an Alpha 78 amplifier.

The Dell computer is on the floor, and the square monitor is kind of a classic. Likely running Windows XP and N2PY’s control software.

All very different than the FlexRadio based radio station I run now, but this simple TenTec station did the business back in the day.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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A change in Antenna Direction at K9ZW Home QTH

On my main Skyneedle was supposed to go a RadioWavz Barrett Hexbeam with Broadband option.  The antenna was bought about four years ago and health and then a home QTH move kept it from going up in the air.

RadioWavz built this antenna with the high power and heavy duty options, and it is purported to work as a rotatable dipole on 160/80/60/30m, a 2el wire beam on 40/6m and as a 3el(+) wire beam on 20/17/15/12/10m.  Original configuration was using three antenna drop feedlines, but two can be combined with a harness they offered.

RadioWavz helped me out sending new element guides made of metal which replaced the DOA original fiberglass guides, replacing most of the parts missing from the original antenna (though the spare parts ordered have never arrived) and sold me a upgraded support rope set made of a Kevlar type material.

In the antenna building process twice I have had damage from deer getting into the antenna.

First incursion pulled a number of elements loose and broke one of the smaller fiberglass arm pieces.  My calls and emails to RadioWavz had not been answered, when I figured out who supplied the fiberglass.  Ordered new fiberglass parts direct and made the repair.

Second deer incursion again pulled some elements loose but this time half of the 40m element with insulators and spacer cord went missing.  Presumption is it was caught on the deer’s rack and carried away until it could be shaken loose.  The wire element I can cut locally but as my spare parts supply of extra insulators and cordage was never shipped, I’ve had to have the special insulators locally fabricated and I’m scrounging for similar cord.  Again my emails and calls have not been answered by RadioWavz.

What I have learned is that the business was sold to the next generation, and the founders retired to another state, plus the next generation is up to their eyeballs dealing with a child’s severe health issues.

I get it.  Family is WAY more important, period.
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