IDXC 2017

The stars have aligned and I have found the time and the finances to be able to attend the International DX Convention. This is will be my first time attending this convention that my dad (N6XT) has been attending for quite some time. This is also the first time both my dad and I will be attending something together that we both share a passion for.

I am looking forward to the face to face QSO’s with everyone that I have either met on the air, or have e-mailed back and forth be it directly or via one of the many e-mail reflectors I am a participant of.

I am also hoping to have at least enough credits for my MIXED 100 DXCC (purely LoTW confirmed) before the convention. So if you have not uploaded your LoTW in awhile I would appreciate it if you can to help me get one step closer.

Hope to see you their!

73 de KF5JRA


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Roof-Top Tower Installed

With the help of my good neighbor (Jay) one of my goals was accomplished. I was finally able to get my Glen Martin RT-936 roof-top tower installed. The tower is supporting a K4KIO 6-Band Hex Beam with the rotating duties being handled by a HyGain Ham-iV rotator.

With the rental of a 45 foot boom lift the process went smoothly. The 20m band sits approximately 32 feet off the ground. After everything was cleaned up I made three DX contacts with good signal reports. (Check either QRZ, ClubLog, or HRDLog for the date this was published.)

Below are a few pics from the install.

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ICOM IC-7300

I have finally stepped into the current age of ham radio (as far as the rig goes). On Friday (04/15/2016) I signed for my IC-7300 that was properly handled by the UPS guy. The radio is not much bigger than my IC-735 but the performance is ten fold over my old radio.

Operating the radio standalone (with out a computer) has been a blast and a joy to operate. The MFJ-939 tuner is now on the shelf since I have a LDG tuner that now handles the tuning of my carolina windom (IC-7300’s internal tuner can not get a good match). Also the signalink is also on the shelf. Pretty much everything is on the shelf except the icom external speaker. Contemplating on ordering the control cable for the tuner so I can do it in one step instead of three.

With having such a new radio with different technology than its predecessors I am excreting patience in waiting for the mac ham radio software developers to add full support for the radio. (You know the old saying, “Good things come to people who wait”) I have reached out to the developers of the software I use and have expressed my extreme interest in them adding full support for the ic-7300. I even went as far as e-mailing them the CI-V command section from the full manual.

Online social support has been awesome both in the IC-7300 Facebook group as well as the IC7300 yahoo group. Every day I am learning something new (positive) about the radio as I try new things to try and get my current version of software to work.

Cya on the bands (and hopefully in my log)

73 de KF5JRA

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First Contact for 2016

On Friday before the ARRL DX SSB contest I was finally able to sit down to my ham station. After getting all of the software updated and finding I had fourteen (14) Q’s in LoTW I got to turn on my IC-735 and spin around the bands. Good thing was after five months the IC-735 was still working like a champ.

Was able to make a contact to Chile (CE3/LU8ADX) and got a 59 report with my carolina windom still in winter mode (Slacked down to about fifteen to twenty feet). After the successful contact I raised the Windom up to its normal operating height of thirty-fie feet and got ready to setup RUMLogNG for contesting. This all went smoothly without any issues. I was set and ready to go.

While waiting for the contest to start I got pulled away by higher priorities and was unable to participate in the contest. I least got one contact in before the contest and all my gear checked out ok after sitting for the last five moths with out any love.

73 de KF5JRA

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Still Here. . . .

I am still here and am highly aware that I have not posted anything to my site in quite sometime since I moved it here. It has been a very busy year and I don’t see my personal or professional life slowing in the near future.

Even my hobbies have been suffering on how busy I have been. Trust me I miss my RF therapy (aka Ham Radio). 

Hopefully soon I can break away and get some me time.  🙂

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Site Moved …

Due to unforeseen circumstances caused by Textdrive closing their doors without any notice I am slowly getting data restored and my site along with others back online. 

Stay posted for further updates

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Adding a Shop

With the property/land cleaned up we had a shop built to be able house cars, work on projects, and to be my future ham shack/man cave. With the structure and exterior completed and the electrical wiring in process we (ian, Kyle and I) started on the following:

  • Insulated walls and ceiling.
  • Piped air to every wall and a spot in the ceiling.
  • Networked the shop to the house network (Ethernet jack in ham shack room and Access Point in the center of the shop.
  • Routed TV coax and speaker wires
  • Created an 12’x 8′ room to serve as my (Ron’s) ham shack.

Shop Features

  • Dedicated 220 circuit for Ham Radio Amplifier.
  • Dedicated circuit for Ham Radio.
  • Dedicated circuit for Ham Shack.
  • Dedicated circuit for air compressor.
  • Each wall in the shop uses its dedicated own circuit.
  • Three light bays with three lights each (enough light for any project).
  • Dedicated 35 amp 220V circuit for RV or possible tools
  • Exterior light provided by Flood lights located on all four sides.
  • High Speed Internet Access.
  • Cable TV with Surround sound.

Probably went a little overboard but wanted to ensure that I covered all my possible contingencies of what I ever wanted to ever do or be capable of doing. Shop was completed on Mar 2014. A huge “Thank You” goes to my neighbor (Jay) for all the help with hanging and texturing the drywall. Also a huge “Thank You” goes to my step-son (Ian) for doing the texturing and painting of the interior of the shop.

Below are some pics of our finished work:

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The Clean-Up

This blog post is being posted after the fact but backdated in hopes to provide a better flow as I feel in the gaps of things I like to write about that has been done to our home here in Colorado.

With being all moved in it was time to make our new home our own and the first task at hand was to clean-up the property All the work was accomplished by my family (Kelly, Kyle, Ian, and Sam) and my next door neighbor to the north of us (Jay). Believe it or not most of the listed work below was mostly completed before our first winter here in Colorado.

Back Yard

  • Removed all discarded items left from previous owner.
  • Graded and smoothed out garden area.
  • Filled in DiY created root cellar on north-east corner of the house.
  • Relocated chicken coop (Re-purposed as a tool shed).
  • – Cleaned chicken coop.
  • – Repaired floors and holes in chicken coop.
  • – Painted chicken coop to match future colors of planned house trim.
  • Ripped out the sorry excuse of a fence on the north side of the property and replace.

Front Yard

  • Removed un-maintained shrubbery between the half circle and the street.
  • Removed un-maintained shrubbery along south side of driveway attached to main garage.
  • Removed a pin tree that should have never been planted so closely between two trees.
  • Laid crushed asphalt on long driveway located on the south side of the property that heads back to the shop (man cave, ham shack, work area). Future Post coming soon.
  • Laid crushed asphalt in half circle driveway

Below is a Google Earth picture that pretty closely matches what we started with when we moved in May 2013.

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Below is a Google Earth picture of what it looks like as of August 2015.

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Spring, TX to Loveland, CO

After almost eight (8) years in Texas humidity is was time to find a more comfortable climate to live and enjoy life. So we packed up the family and moved to Loveland, CO.

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