My Ham Shack - Your Shack. Pictures. Blogs. Projects.

Dan Gillenwater
General Class
K9SLY United States

View Profile
Viewed 6698 times

My Web SiteOpens in a new window


View All 4 Pictures


View All 14 Connections

Request Connection


Other Callsigns

My Ham Radio Interests
My involvement in communications centers around furthering the government's ability to communicate during emergencies.
To that end, I support the Arlington County RACES mission to develop emergency communications training and enhance the Emergency Support Function.
The Arlington Radio Public Service Club (ARPSC) provides support for the RACES function.
Please stop by W4AVA.ORG to learn more...

Yaesu FT-897D (Station)
Yaesu FT-7800 (Mobile)
Yaesu VX-7R (Portable)

Vintage Rigs:

Yaesu FT 101E Transciver
Yaesu YC-601 Digital Display
Yaesu YO-100 Monitor Scope
Yaesu SP- 101 Speaker/phone patch

Drake R-4B Receiver
Drake T-4XB Transmitter
MN-4 Antenna Tuner
MS-4 Speaker

Hellicrafters SX-43 Receiver
Hellicrafters R-46 Speaker

Kenwood TR-7950 2 meter Mobile

Crushcraft 7.8 dB Dual Band Yagi
2 meters & 440

Hy-Gain AV-18VS Vertical for
10, 15, 20, 40, and 80 Meters

Ham Radio Deluxe
N3FJP's Amateur Radio Software for contesting

Other Interests
About my Call Sign & QSL Card...

K-9 Sylvester (Sly)

I have been a police officer for 23 years. 10 of those years I spent with the best partner...

Sylvester's story starts in the soviet republic of Georgia (former USSR) in 1991. After being washed out of the military he was sold to a US vendor for police service and shipped to the USA. My Department purchased him in 1992 for $2,500.

Sly and I completed Police K-9 Training in April 1993. We worked midnight patrol for seven months and were the first K-9 Team, in my department, selected to be crossed-trained for criminal apprehension and narcotics detection.

During our 10 years on the street we were responsible for more than 300 criminal apprehensions (some resulted in bites!) Over 1500 narcotics searches and countless misdemeanor arrests. Resulting in the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, property and drugs.

Sylvester was retired from police service in April 2002 as I continue a career as a detective in Computer Forensics.

Sylvester passed in January of 2003.

This call sign is my way of keeping a part of him with me and remembering his service to our community...

Arlington Radio Public Service Club

Sharpen your Skills thru Contesting

From K9SLY

8/27/2010 6:37:26 AM (0 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

When I started in amateur radio one of the things that interested me was contesting. The first time I tuned in and heard a station calling CQ CQ Contest, I listened to the pile up of operators trying to get there call sign heard so the contester would acknowledge his call above all others. Then the exchange that took place was swift and graceful.
I continued to listen for the next twenty minutes to this operator work stations, sorting out calls and directing traffic on the frequency like a traffic cop. He would take call signs give signal reports and swap ID numbers and he never missed a beat. I soon realized if the time ever came when as a RACES member I had to handle a pile up or a directed net I would need to be as cool and methodical as he was especially if I was involved in a major incident.

I began to follow the schedule for contests and I would work a few stations, getting the exchange down, fill out the log and send them in to the club sponsoring the event. I enjoyed making contacts with other operators in the different state QSO Parties and when conditions were right I was making 200 to 300 contacts per event. The more I worked the better I got at tuning in stations, making the exchange and logging the contacts at the same time. I also got better at pulling out stations I could barely hear during noisy conditions and handling multiple operators trying to contact me.

All these skills can be helpful when working as net control for Skywarn, a weekly exercise net or a special event. After the contests the QSO Cards started pouring in and most contest organizers send a nice certificate acknowledging your participation. So if you are just beginning in amateur radio or want to sharpen your skills try working a few contests.

Contesting tips:
Schedule your contest in advance – Know what contest you want to work. Set aside the day or weekend to operate.

Set goals– How long will you operate, how many contacts do you want to make? What mode will you operate?
Maybe you want to try working mobile or expedition.

Have an operational plan – Know how long you want to work and schedule breaks. Know what frequencies to work and when based on propagation openings.
Will you squat on one frequency or band surf?

Check out your equipment – Check your antennas and radios on all bands your going to work. Check your computer, logging software and back up battery. Have extra pencils and paper on hand.

Review the Rules - Read the rules of the contest and know your frequency/band limits. Know the proper exchange. Set your logging software to handle the multipliers. Know the best way to submit your logs for credit.

Listen, Listen, Listen – The best way to learn how to contest is to listen to the contesters. You will hear the good ones and the bad ones. You can pick up tips and model your exchanges after them.

Have Fun - Enjoy the contest and you will be amazed at the people you contact and the things you will learn.

Hey you never know when you might need those skills in an emergency.


Be the first to comment below!

   Login to Add a Comment