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KJ4FUU's Ham Shack - Tom Kirby

Tom Kirby
Extra Class
KJ4FUU Ham Since 2008
United States

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My Ham Radio Interests
Project/Kit building

All my equipment is purchased with portability in mind.

Yaesu FT-817ND, w/TXCO & 300hz CW filter
Z-11 Pro tuner
Astron 4A power supply
12V 7Ah battery
Blue Star P1 antenna w/80-60m coil & capacity hat
NilJon Super M antenna
Hy Power 6m QRP dipole
Hy Power 20m very short QRP dipole
Radio Shack DSP-40 audio filter
Radio Shack DX-394 receiver
Radio Shack DX-440 receiver
TenTec Omni A Series B w/D104
TenTec Power Supply
Kenwood TH-F6A
Yaesu FT212RH
Yaesu FT690RII
Icom IC-80AD
Kenwood R-1000 receiver
Par EndFedz 10/20/40

Other Interests
Silent Movies
Thai Food

Alexandria Radio Club

KJ4FUU Updated Profile - 11/13/2010 9:49:23 AM

KJ4FUU's Blog Post - 11/13/2010 9:47:09 AM

It's been a while since my last update...

I still haven't had my TenTec Omni A restrung, and I still don't have a great antenna waiting for it. In the meantime, I've been having more luck with SSB DX using 5 watts than I ever thought possible. I've reached several states, and a handful of DX entities.

I've added a few radios, too. I now have an ICOM IC-80 D-STAR dual band handheld, an old Yaesu FT212RH 2 meter mobile, an old Yaesu FT690RII 6-meter portable, and a RadioShack HTX-10 10-meter mobile (that last one cost me all of $5.00).

I'm doing OK in my Morse Code practice, but still haven't had a lot of time to try and do a CW QSO.


-- Tom
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KJ4FUU's Blog Post - 1/19/2010 9:31:20 AM

Merry Christmas to me!

I got a belated Christmas present this year. This month, I was given a TenTec Omni A (this is the analog version), matching power supply, and a D104 microphone.

Now, I have to get this set up. I don't want to try running it on the longwire setup I have for reasons to numerous (and probably obvious) to mention. I'm planning on buying a vertical antenna and since my shack is on the 2nd floor, I probably have to use an artificial ground. I also need to wire up an adapter cable for the D104, since it has 4-pin output, and the microphone jack on the Omni A is a stereo 1/4".

Maybe I'll have it fired up by spring or summer. I can't get the vertical until after the tax refund gets here. I plan on buying a bunch of other stuff with it, like a current choke for the vertical, and some form of lightning/surge protection.

Wish me luck!
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KJ4FUU's Blog Post - 6/22/2009 10:07:41 AM


My QTH has no room for large antennas, and what room I do have is blocked by the power line, which runs diagonally across my backyard.

So, my plan is to install the new MFJ feed-through panel in my window, and string as much antenna wire as I can fit under the power lines. I will be feeding the antenna from the 2nd floor, but the rest of the antenna will mostly be no more than 6ft off the ground. Not ideal, but it beats nothing at all. The long wire will be connected to the feed-through, which will be connected to a 4:1 LDG balun, which will be connected to my LDG tuner. Hopefully, I'll be able to tune it up enough to make some contacts, although since I run 5w, I'm planning on using CW (I'm currently at 37 characters in the G4FON training program, 20wpm characters, 10wpm effective speed).

My only CW problem right now is that I've got to practice more in order to overcome the bad habit of counting dashes/dots for the numbers. It's not a problem w 0,5, or 9, and I'm not doing it on 3, but I haven't heard 2, 7, or 8 enough to recognize them immediately. Like I said, I need to practice more.

I haven't built any projects yet, although I have collected most of the necessary parts for them. My current backlist:

1.) Vectronics SSB audio filter,
2.) 2m/6m FM receiver from Elenco,
3.) Black Widow paddle,
4.) "Reggie" xcvr (from QRP, need 3.58mhz ceramic resonator),
5.) Regenerative receiver (need toroids)
6.) Micromountaineer 40m xcvr (need crystals, toroids)

I ordered the toroids from a company that seems to be in business on and off. I think I will give up on the assortment, and just buy a bunch of what I think I will need. I did get a bunch of toroids from Hendricks, but I need some different values for the above projects.


-- Tom
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KJ4FUU's Blog Post - 4/1/2009 11:24:08 AM

Ham Radio Information Table went OK, but...

I was actually hoping to demonstrate making a contact, but my radio only puts out 5 watts, and I'm still learning Morse Code. I had the antenna nicely configured for 40m, and it was receiving well, but unfortunately, 3/7 was a contest weekend, and I was drowned out.

I tried to make arrangements for a local ham friend of mine to meet me somewhere, but he wasn't able to be there during the time of the seminar.

Down the road, I may get either an HFPacker amp or one of the Tokyo Hy-Power 45w amps, but both of these things cost money. For right now, my cheapest option is to hurry up and learn Morse Code, because 5w CW contacts are much more common than 5w SSB. 8^)

I'm up to 12 letters on the G4FON training program. I've got the character speed set for 20wpm, and the sending speed set for 10wpm.

Wish me luck!
Comment from K4BTC 4/1/2009 1:09:50 PM
Hey Tom!
Good job on the demonstration! Sorry that the results were not what you wanted, but at least you were out there trying. I think it is a good measure of your devotion and willingness to go out and show the public. Kudos too on learning and becoming proficent at CW. I always tell newcomers that it's cool to understand and "speak" a language that not many people in the world can or do. Best of luck to you Tom and hope to hear you soon on CW!

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KJ4FUU is Connected to the following - 2/12/2009 4:16:03 PM

KJ4FUU's Blog Post - 2/12/2009 11:14:25 AM

I have to man the ham radio table...

On March 7, I going to man the amateur radio table at our church's emergency preparedness fair. I'm going to set up my radio and portable antenna, but since I'm going to do 5W inside of a gymnasium, I'm not holding out too much hope for a meaningful QSO, and DX is only a fantasy.

I've got to put together some handouts that hopefully, won't bore people or make them think amateur radio is for geeks.

More later...
Comment from 2/12/2009 4:16:03 PM
Sounds "Fun" - Check your with your Local Races or ARRL for Hand out info - Bet they have some good stuff.

If you can make any contacts at all people will be impressed. Also maybe look at VHF - I've always thought that was impressive.

73's - Bill - KA6KBC

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KJ4FUU is Connected to the following - 2/11/2009 8:48:06 AM

KJ4FUU Uploaded a Picture - 2/11/2009 8:48:06 AM

Me at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park
Me at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park

KJ4FUU Joined My Ham Shack - 2/11/2009 8:28:48 AM

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