Amateur Radio as KC8HZM

I was first licensed back in high school as a no code technician. I started with a 2 meter HT like most no code techs but then quickly decided that I wanted to get on the HF bands. So I learned morse code and then in 1998 passed my 5 wpm test. I bought a Heathkit HW-101 and put up a 40 meter dipole. I made a few contacts with CW and then added a 10 meter dipole and used that for SSB. That summer was pretty much at the peak of solar cycle 23 and 10 meters was great. However, I didn't have much time to use my station because I left that fall for college. So my ham radio activities all but ceased. They were renewed my fifth (and last) year of Goshen College when I found out that the 13 and 20 wpm code tests had been dropped. So I immediately upgraded to General spring of 2003 and then a month later upgraded to Amateur Extra Class.

I enjoy CW and want to do QRP. I recently bought an HTX-10 when they were on sale from RadioShack for $50. Solar cycle 23 is well on its way down, so there isn't much going on. But I do hear a lot of South American stations probably via F2 and a bunch of domestic ones via sporadic E. Here are some pictures from my mobile 10 meter radio installation. I'm still working on getting all of the RFI eliminated.

Here is one of my QSL cards.

I drilled a hole in the roof of my festiva to install a HK-1 mount from Lakeview Co. I also bought a ten meter hamstick, but decided to go with a 102" stainless steel whip from RadioShack. Grounding the outer shield of the coax at the feed point made huge improvements with my SWR. You can just see the fishing wire that goes out the trunk and up to the antenna for a rear guy.

This is where the radio sits, I had to cut a bunch of material out of the center console to get the radio to fit with clearance for cooling air. The power leads connect to directly to the terminals on the battery with fuses on each lead.

The ham stick tuned up with a 1.0:1 SWR and a nice broad bandwith (SWR < 1.5:1). However, I wanted the quarter wave whip. The best SWR I can get is 1.4:1 and it is about 1.5:1 across all of the ten meter band. Good enough for me.

Here is my Festiva with the antenna installed. I added three guy wires out of 50 lb. test fishing wire to keep the antenna from swinging around too much and damaging the roof of my car. (I added black lines to the photo because the wires didn't show up.)

My latest interest is operating as a Rover. I am putting together a minimal rover station, my goal is to operate in the 2003 ARRL September VHF QSO to have fun, learn something about rovering, and not to be competitive. I'm currently working on building a 1.6 lambda beam as designed by DK7ZB.

DF8GH and DC6GH have further information on this particular antenna.

Because it is a German design, the dimensions are all metric, but 3/8" is 9.525mm which is awfully close to the specified 10mm. Close enough that I didn't bother re-optimizing the elements. More details to come.

I am also looking into getting a Tentec 1209 transverter as a cheap way to get on 6 meters. I'll post full details after the contest!

UPDATECheck out full contest results on the rover page!

Here is the mast that I've installed on my Festiva.


This is the page of Kazuhiro Sunamura. He has some absolutely incredible project designs. Definitely take a look around his site, truly impressive.


HamCalc. Quite possible the singly most useful piece of software written. Ever. Seriously, take a look, check it out. It may look antique, it was written for DOS, but what it lacks in appearence it makes up in power and versitility.

Morse Academy is my personal favorite method for learning and practicing morse code.

Lowell Amateur Radio Club LARC

Grand Rapids Amateur Radio Association GRARA

Independent Repeater Association IRA

Good QRP info