Kelly (N6KJ)
Amateur Radio

N6KJ

Daily Operations

My favorite activities are contesting and DXing.  I spend about 90% of my time operating CW, typically moving along at 30 or 40 wpm.  The other 10% is a combination of SSB, PSK-31, and occasional RTTY.  My station consists of a Yaesu FT-1000MP, a Yaesu FT-857D, a Yaesu FT-817, an Acom 1000 amplifier, a 3 element SteppIR yagi at about 54 feet, a 2 element Optibeam OB2-40 40m yagi at about 62 feet, and an 80m inverted vee with an apex at about 50 feet.  The FT-1000MP is the primary HF workhorse.  The FT-857D is used primarily for VHF/UHF.  The FT-817 is primarily used as an IF rig for microwave transverters and for RFI hunting in the neighborhood.  When not contesting, you will usually find me hunting DX in the CW subbands.

Emergency Communications and Public Service

It is important for all amateur radio operators to be prepared for emergency communications.  I maintain a battery backup at all times in the event of a power failure.  I am a member of SVECS (Silicon Valley Emergency Communication Service) and RACES and I am a registered DSW (Disaster Services Worker) in Saratoga, Ca.  I am a former president of SARA (Saratoga Amateur Radio Association) which is actively involved in Emergency Communications and Public Service.  I periodically man the radio at the Saratoga EOC and am prepared for emergency service if/when needed.  I have provided emergency communications on several occasions in the past and I am prepared to do so in the future.  Obviously, we all hope this type of service isn’t necessary, but I believe in being prepared just in case.  This is part of the service amateur radio provides to the community.

As an ex-boy scout I enjoy communicating with other scouts around the globe during JOTA (the Jamboree on the Air).  This is a yearly event which gives scouts the ability to speak directly with other scouts around the globe via amateur radio.  One of these days soon I would like to host a group of scouts at my home for this event.

Contesting

My station is a bit underpowered for serious contesting, so most of my serious contesting is done from one of several nearby contest stations W6NV-Sunol Ridge, W6YX, or W6DR.  Occasionally, I put in a modest effort from home.  My most recent serious contest effort from home was during the 2006 November SS CW contest in which I made 803 QSO’s in 24 hours of operation and achieved a clean sweep of all ARRL sections in the LP class.

I frequently operate as part of a multi-op team from the awesome W6NV-Sunol Ridge contest station.  I am typically part of the team for CQWW DX, CQWW WPX, and the ARRL International DX Contest.  My most recent contest at Sunol Ridge was the 2011 CQWW WPX CW contest. 

I am a member of the Stanford University ARC W6YX.  This club has become quite active in the past few years.  The club station at W6YX hosts everything from HF and VHF contesters to moonbounce, microwave, and satellite enthusiasts.  I spent the first 3 hours of Field Day 2004 at W6YX running the 20m CW station at a rate of about 70 QSO’s per hour.  The next 3 hours were spent running the 15m CW station at a rate of about 50 or 60 QSO’s per hour.

DXing

Unlike most other members of NCCC, I still collect QSL cards and still work toward awards like the DXCC Honor Roll.  After years of hard work, I finally received my 5BDXCC award on Jan. 14, 2010.  My current DXCC counts are shown below: 

Band/Mode

Worked

Confirmed

80

113      


110


40

211   


199

30

22

21

20

285

278

17

147

129


15

220

210

12

61


49


10

163


158

PHO

262

254

CW

293

287

MIX

325


325


Some of my most prized DXCC contacts are: TO4E (Europa), 3C0V (Pagalu), KP4AM/D (Desecheo), XZ7A (Myanmar/Burma),  XF4DX (Revilla Gigedo), R1FJ (Franz Josef Land),  XX9TVR (Macao), YV0D (Aves Island), VU4RBI (Andaman Island), YI/KV4AB (Iraq), BS7H (Scarborough Reef), FT5ZM (Amsterdam Is.), and FT4TA (Tromelin Is.).

I return QSL 100%.  I periodically upload my log to the ARRL’s LOTW database for those of you that prefer electronic QSL’s.  I do not use eQSL.

VHF/UHF

I have only owned a multi-mode VHF/UHF rig for about 2 years now.  Below is my current VUCC status.

Band/Mode

Worked

Confirmed

6

215

200


2

6

6


1.25

0

0

70cm

2

1

33cm

0

0

23cm

0

0

13cm

0

0

9cm

0

0

6cm

0

0

3cm

0

0

Microwaves

I dabble in QRP and Microwaves. I am a member of the Northern California based 50Mhz and Up club.  I currently own a 10GHz station based upon the DB6NT 10Ghz transverter transverter and a Yaesu FT-817.  The antenna is a modified 18” DSS dish.  The transverter output is approximately 250mW.  Using this system I made approximately 35 QSO’s from the top of Mount Diablo in Northern California during the first weekend of the 2004 10GHz cumulative contest.  The longest QSO was just over 290 km (about 165 miles).   This QSO was made between Mount Diablo and Mount Lassen.  You can see pictures of my 10GHz setup on my Picasa N6KJ Page page.

In 2003/2004, I integrated a PLL and 10MHz OCXO into my system to provide frequency stability.  The PLL was designed and built by AD6IW.  The 10MHz OCXO is an ISOTEMP OCXO purchased on EBay.  This modification really made a big difference in my ability to make long distance QSO’s this year.  It is my hope that I can integrate a 2W (or more) amplifier into my design sometime soon. 

Pictures

I have a number of pictures of my antenna system and portable microwave operations on my Picasa N6KJ Page.