The K3RRR Anomaly – Where the Laws of Physics Cease to Play Nice
Having been a ham since I was 12 – over half a century ago, I have seen a lot of changes. Having been inactive for a dozen years, I got active again about five years ago and have been rediscovering the joys and many changes to the hobby.
(Whadda MEAN Extras no longer have to take that horrific, complex written test and pass 20 WPM any more???)
I went inactive when I sold the big house and started with high rise condo living. That part remained true until a couple of months ago when we moved from our beachfront condo on Sand Key Island near Clearwater Beach, Florida to our current home in Potomac, Maryland – 15 miles from the White House and the United States Congress.
We are also only 8 miles from Great Falls National Park which is where I took the above picture that I use for my banner.
adjacent to a city park with lots of trees.
While I still have some HOA issues and limitations, I can still erect wire antennas along with having a ground mounted MFJ 1786 magnetic Loop antenna. Lately, my focus has been on end fed wire antennas using a 9:1 unun.
Currently, my primary radiator is an end fed wire antenna that is 175 feet long at a height of about 60 feet that has less than a 2 to 1 SWR on all HF ham bands without using a tuner. More about that later.
New Call Sign – K3RRR
Kilowatt Three Triple R
For the first time in over 25 years, I’ve new call sign: K3RRR – instead of AA5FR.
Kilowatt Three Triple R is for Robert Robert Robert, or Radio Ready Robert or Roger Roger Roger, or…Well, you get the idea.
Great Falls National Park – Eight Miles From K3RRR QTH
Below is a short video I took of one of our favorite places here – Great Falls National Park which is about eight miles from our home and the QTH of Amateur Radio Station K3RRR .
Apologies for the wind noise but took this with a small Canon point and shoot (SX-280HS)…amazing 1080p quality even with a 20x zoom on the kayakers who are climbing the near vertical rocks with their kayak on their backs…the whole video is shot handheld…..
Be sure and turn on HD….and watch full screen…
The Equipment At K3RRR
At this stage in my life, I approach many things, including my renewed interest in ham radio, with a minimalist philosophy…where less is more. Things have changed from the wall of equipment I used to have.
Now the radio equipment include a Yaesu FT-897D 160M – 70 CM 100 Watt All Mode Transceiver that is the size of an abridged dictionary and a Yaesu FT-857D 160M – 70 CM 100 Watt All Mode Transceiver that is smaller than a Tom Clancy large format paper back novel.
Both rigs are dwarfed by the two computers and the two 32″ LED screens that flank the middle 40″ Samsung computer monitor (all three monitors are 1080p HDTVs) on the conference table that I use as my desk (I need all of this for my businesses). The 40″ Samsung makes such a great monitor that so greatly enhances my work productivity that I rarely use it to watch TV…instead, I use Media Center windows on the two side computer screens to watch TV (mostly tuned to CNBC and CNN during the day.) I run the two computers in dual screen mode which successfully adds to my information overload!
Here’s a list of my very modest station with links to pages with more information about many of the items (coming soon!):
Home Station: Yaesu FT-897D always running barefoot between 5 watts and 100 watts. Yaesu MD-100A8X desk microphone.
Antennas on HF: End Fed 9:1 Unun 160M – 6M -175′ stealth wire in the trees @ about 60′ / MFJ-1786 Magnetic Loop at 8′ vertically mounted.
Antennas on VHF / UHF: Arrow J Pole / Dual Band Slim Jim / All attic mounted.
Antennas for SDR: End Fed 9:1 Unun 160M – 6M -123′ stealth wire in the trees @ about 50′ / Diamond D-130J discone antenna – attic mounted.
Antenna for Satellite: Handheld Elk 2M/440L5 Dual-band Log Periodic antenna (used with BaoFeng UV-5R)
Mobile Station: Yaesu FT-857D with ATAS 120A HF antenna / Diamond CR320A triband for 2 meter, 220 MHz and 440 MHz mobile antenna.
HT: Kenwood TH-F6A triband handheld transmits in the 144, 220 and 440 amateur bands / BaoFeng UV-5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band.
Other: LDG Z-11 Pro Autotuner / MFJ 1026 Noise Canceler / Two SignaLink USB interfaces for multiple digital activity and the amazing Joplin Amateur Radio Club Antenna Launcher.
SDRs: Three NooElec RTL2832U USB Sticks – Two for 50 MHz – 1,800 MHz and UniTrunker with both using Diamond discone/ The other is the new Version 2 dongle for HF with the NooElec Ham It Up v1.2 – RF Upconverter – using End Fed 9:1 Unun 160M – 6M -123′ stealth wire.
Computers: Homebrew Twelve Core i7 5820 @ 3.3GHz / 32 GB RAM — HP Eight Core i7 950 @ 3.07GHz / 24 GB RAM — Triple monitors: Main 55″ LG HDTV with dual 32″ Sceptre HDTV all running 1080p @ 1920×1080 – Apple iPad 4.
Software: Windows 7 x64 / Ham Radio Deluxe 5.24 / Digital Master 780 / HRD Logbook / HDR Sat Tracking / JT65-HF with JTAlert RTL Sharp for SDR / AGWTracker / UZ7HO Soundmodem Software Packet-Radio TNC, etc. etc. etc.
My primary activities are all things digital…though you never know….you may hear me even using a microphone or key from time to time!
When I had the TH7DX and tower and that wall of equipment back at the big house, I KNEW that I could contact just about anyone I heard. Now that the entire RF portion of my shack occupies little more than one cubic foot, I am learning the pleasures of NOT knowing I can contact just anyone.
With low power, if not QRP, and stealth antennae, the challenge and the enjoyment of the challenge are back!
My Other Sites and More About Me
Besides playing with ham radio again, I have several other interests:
- I spend most of my time helping start startup companies and keep them started as Ceo and Chief ImpleMentor for Ceo Resource LLC – I love what I do: Working with highly creative entrepreneurs, startup ventures and emerging companies – so together we can slay the multitude of dragons that try to block the path to their success. To date, Ceo Resource has already helped, on a one to one basis, many thousands of diverse companies and their CEOs in 49 of the 50 states, nearly four dozen countries on six of the seven continents, with their start up company business planning, fundraising and plan implementation. Check out www.Chiefi.com if you need help starting or growing your own company. (Special MAJOR discount for my FIRST client based in Antarctica or South Dakota!)
- I’ve written six books that are carried by Amazon… Five of which are Amazon bestsellers! There is information in the sidebars about many of these books.
The K3RRR “Shack-N-Bag” TM
The K3RRR “Shack-N-Bag” TM is my packaging approach to turn the FT-857 into something that is at least as portable as my old FT-817ND. It combines the following into an easy to grab and go 16 lb. package.
For details and photos, click K3RRR Shack-N-Bag TM
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