Tag Archives: W9EVT

Lending a Helping Hand – W9EMY’S First HF QSO

Spending the long Memorial Day weekend on Washington Island (WI-001L) Wisconsin, I learned that Emmett W9EMY had taking his Tech & General tests together, applied for a vanity call as he was sequentially assigned a tongue-twister call, BUT hadn’t made an Amateur Radio contact!

One of his Elmers, George W9EVT seemed to have presumed that Emmett W9EMY had his station on the air, and like true gentlemen they “talked around” what could have been a question of “Hey W9EMY, how about knocking out some QSOs?”

Emmett had asked to look at my ZeroFive Flagpole Vertical Antenna, and when I asked him if he had his station running and how did he like making contacts, I learned he hadn’t been on the air.

Well that sure needed to be fixed!  So tuning the Island QTH Flex-6700 across 20 meters, we heard Rick VE6CQ holding court, working stations at a good pace.  So we listened and talked about the parts of the QSOs until a nice opportunity came up to have W9EMY call VE6CQ.

Turns out I had the microphone gain too hot, as I had switched to a Neuman mic on a boom for Emmett to us, but left the settings for another mic.  Rick VE6CQ came back with additional information that our settings were messed up.  My mistake fixed in less time that it takes to type about it.

Emmett W9EMY and Rick VE6CQ had a great classic QSO with VE6CQ throwing in an on-air pep-talk about amateur radio, HF and I think he may have worked in an appreciation of life itself in there somewhere.  I was inspired by Rick VE6CQ’s pep-talk even though I was the Elmer rather than the new guy that day!!

Time restraints kept Emmett’s first foray limited to that first QSO, but I did do a quick FT8 demo as Emmett wanted to see that in operation.

Then we arranged a Sked (scheduled contact) for the following day, and Emmett W9EMY from his home Flex-6400 station had a roundtable discussion with myself on my Flex-6700 and George W9EVT who was on his Kenwood TS-990S.

Now that we were all within a small local circle kind of made it easy,!  Actually W9EVT and I are a fifteen minute walk apart, and Emmett is another twenty minutes or so further west than George W9EVT is  from my QTH.

Was fantastic to get another new ham on HF for their first contact!

And to hear Rick VE6CQ’s pep talk was icing on the cake.



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Lending a Helping Hand – KD9TVC’s first HF QSOs

Took a half-day off of work to lend a helping hand. Fr William KD9TVC earned his General Class ticket a few weeks back and hadn’t had a chance to make an HF contacts.

Earlier designs to get him to the K9ZW Home station on a weekend had not worked out, so when comparing schedules it looked like Friday Feb 11th 2022 was open there was little question that I would play hooky to have the station open.

KD9TVC has been making 2m and 440 MHz contacts since he earned his Technician ticket last November, and had held General Class privileges for about two weeks when we set forth to get him on the air. I gathered that Mike KD9TZ and the gang at SARC (Sheboygan Amateur Radio Club) had added to the Baufong HT I had given Fr William to get him solidly on the air on 2m/440.

At 2100 utc on 20m, I handed over to Fr William an ongoing QSO I had done as a demo, which the two operators exchanged their calls & reports, and made their own. Over the next hour calling CQ more QSOs were rounded up by KD9TVC.

It was SO MUCH fun to facilitate the session. I busied myself on some minor tidy-up tasks, listening and offering suggestions. “Call CQ now,” “Included signal report,” “If you aren’t sure the call, ask them again,” and “now you can broadcast QRZ and listen” were among the many offerings I was able to make.

As clergy Fr William has the presentation and speaking skills, so my suggestions were more about coaching towards an effective pattern for the HF SSB situation.

Prior to getting on the air, we had talked about logging, QSLing, and how the equipment we were going to be using was just a software-enhanced version of a typical transceiver.

For the record Fr William used a Flex-6700 (serial number 11, my original 6700) speaking to a Sure SMB-5B Microphone, outputting to a Flex-PGXL Amp (on bypass for our entire session), a Flex-TGXL tuner, over 1/2 inch hardline to a ZeroFive Flagpole vertical antenna. Keeping it simple he told other stations he was “on a friend’s Flex-6700 barefoot to a vertical.”

We followed the SSB session with a digital demo session where I showed how I run FT8 with a honest presentation as to how that mode was a very shallow experience compared to the SSB QSOs just made. We then ran some PSK31 to show a more keyboard-interactive digital example, and called CQ without response on 20m Hellschreiber as that mode is so historical.

Before the day’s light disappeared, we walked around in the crusty snow to look at antennas and the land. The wind made it a bit of a “bite” when exposed, but stretching one’s legs is always appreciated.

A nice dinner of Spiesebraten, Parched Wild Rice, and Veggies prepared by Alison KC9MPL (XYL) and joined my Victor KC9NWB, rounded out the session. Victor had just finished a lengthy “Full-Stack Bootcamp” which best I can figure out was a hands-on stem-to-stern computer training program complementing his more academic undergraduate computer and GIS degree. We had a great time talking until it was time for Fr William to head home, with a borrowed spare HF Go-Kit of mine.

That making his first first HF contacts was a thrill was both obvious and expressed by Fr William. I think we all cherish some of our earliest QSOs because they were a new event and as such became special.

The personal reward of helping another ham really resonated with me. I had been Elmered on making phone QSOs by George W9EVT and the memories of his “call now,” “say QRZ now” and “don’t forget to give them their report” really made me smile, as I was having a chance to “share-forward” what had been shared with me. Really I became so thrilled to help someone progress that I lost track of time and would say that this rated right up there in ham radio experiences I will appreciate always.

As important as memorializing Fr William KD9TVC’s first HF session is, the real reason I am sharing this is a reminder that helping another ham gain new experiences and progress their experiences & skills is rewarding out of proportion. It is so uplifting and as a reminder seek out your own opportunities to Elmer others on the air whenever you can!



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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

Continue reading

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Setting up a TS-990, Yaesu FT-5000, a Icom IC-7800 and a Flex-6000 back to back

My island neighbor George W9EVT had some unsupervised urchins in his shack during a major event on the farm, youngsters whose curiosity set them into twiddling knobs and pushing buttons.

Stuff like that happens and while the radios were none the worse for the attentions, the settings were partially scrambled.

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May 2015 Operation from Washington Island WI-001L – Trying for DXCC in one session

For a good part of last week I was on Washington Island, Wisconsin – US Island WI-001L – operating from my friend George W9EVT’s shack.

I had informally set myself a DXCC in a visit goal.  Despite poor weather I didn’t come too far short.

The first 16 QSOs I used George W9EVT’s Icom IC-7800 and then for the remaining 174 QSOs moved over to the Hilberling PT-8000A Transceiver.

Here is the country list for the visit:

  1. Aruba
  2. Andorra
  3. Austria
  4. Azores
  5. Argentina
  6. Algeria
  7. Balearic Islands
  8. Bahamas
  9. Bahrain
  10. Bonaire
  11. Brazil
  12. Belarus
  13. Belgium
  14. Bulgaria
  15. Bosnia-Herzegovina
  16. Croatia
  17. Chile
  18. Cuba
  19. Canada
  20. Canary Islands
  21. Cayman Islands
  22. Crete
  23. Denmark
  24. England
  25. Estonia
  26. Falkland Islands
  27. France
  28. Georgia
  29. Greece
  30. Germany
  31. Guinea
  32. Guayana
  33. Grenada
  34. Hawaii
  35. Hungary
  36. India
  37. Iceland
  38. Israel
  39. Ireland
  40. Italy
  41. Kyrgyzstan
  42. Kuwait
  43. Kenya
  44. Latvia
  45. Liberia
  46. Lithuania
  47. Lebanon
  48. Luxembourg
  49. Macedonia
  50. Malta
  51. Netherlands
  52. New Zealand
  53. Norway
  54. Northern Ireland
  55. Oman
  56. Portugal
  57. Panama
  58. Paraguay
  59. Philippines
  60. Poland
  61. Qatar
  62. Romania
  63. Russia – Asiatic
  64. Russia – European
  65. Sardinia
  66. Saudi Arabia
  67. Spain
  68. South Cook Islands
  69. St. Martin
  70. St. Barthelemy
  71. St. Lucia
  72. San Marino
  73. Slovenia
  74. Slovak Republic
  75. Switzerland
  76. Svalbard
  77. Scotland
  78. Sweden
  79. Turkey
  80. United Arab Emirates
  81. Uruguay
  82. Ukraine
  83. USA
  84. Wales

I’m rather sure that without the storms and lightening, that 100 DXCC entities wouldn’t have been much more work.

In addition to the DX, I also worked a “Clean Sweep” on the Ham Nation special event and a handful of special event stations that caught my interest.

I did fudge and organize one sked – I had called and arranged to work my good friend Paul AE5JU as my final QSO for the visit.  Nothing finer to “close the logs” with working a good friend about 1000 miles away!

While I only added two DXCC entities to my all time list, the exercise was a lot of fun for both myself and George W9EVT.



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May 2015 US Island Program One Day Getaway Island Activation Plans

Of course our friend George W9EVT will be operating for the day from Washington Island WI001L

Here further south in Wisconsin the team is myself and Scott W9JSB.  We may add one or two more hams, but they haven’t confirmed as I wrote.

Plan is The Friday evening part (May 9th 0000Z to dark)  to operate from Step-In Island WI039R.  This is a second time activation of an Island in Shoto Wisconsin.

Saturday will start with “The Flats” WI041R – an Island in Appleton Wisconsin in the Fox River – with myself running solo, and Scott W9JSB will join after he is done coaching his kids soccer team to do a first time ever activation for Banta Island WI057R.   Banta Island is further downstream in the Fox River, still in Appleton.

Equipment will be a bit different for the One Day Getaway than my past Island operations:

  • Transceiver – FlexRadio Systems Flex-6300, running SmartSDR 1.4.3 and a Toshiba Laptop
  • Antenna – SteppIR CrankIR antenna

I used this FlexRadio/CrankIR set up with great success for Washington Island WI001L weekends at Rocky Ridge Farm – a place we leased last season about 2 miles from George W9EVT’s QTH. As most folk refused to believe I wasn’t running an Amp and a Beam when I ran the setup from Rocky Ridge Farm, I am hoping the same performance will work for the team for the One Day Getaway.

Appreciate some help for the first time activation!  We need at least 25 confirmed QSOs with a minimum of one DX QSO to make the activation of Banta Island WI057R official.  Hoping we can catch many of you on the air that day!



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