Amateur Radio

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"Amateur radio is as old as the radio art," is a popular aphorism among proponents of this mature but still vital hobby. Marconi was essentially a radio amateur when he conducted the first experiments in wireless communication. The first trans-Atlantic radio communications were conducted by amateurs, including some at MIT, my alma mater. Hams today continue this history of experimentation and innovation. They are also among our nation's most selfless volunteers in times of emergency and among the world's most avid competitors. For more information, see Hello Radio!

Some Radio Links:

CW Operators Club (CWops)

Rick Tavan N6XI page for N6XI 

Formerly N7TN, K1RC, W1DVH, K3QDD, KN3QDD

Son of Norm K3QDC (Silent Key); Father of Jeremy KC6YEW; Husband of Ann KD6MOB 

Trustee of WF6C (Filly Contest Group, Truckee, CA)

Former Trustee of K6BSA (Troop 566 Amateur Radio Club, Saratoga, CA)

Long-ago former trustee of W1MX (MIT Radio Society)

N6XI / WF6C Truckee, CA, CM99wj 

Rural ridge-top location at 5900' MSL, about 400' above Boca Reservoir, 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe, 8 miles east of Truckee center, 35 miles southwest of Reno, NV

(2x) Elecraft K3/100 + P3 + Alpha 87A, KPA1500, KPA500

SO2R via YCCC SO2R Box,  Dunestar 600 BPFs, absurd amounts of mental masochism

72' Crankup: 4el SteppIR 14-54 MHz, Force 12 Mag 240N, Force 12 Sigma 80 Rotary Dipole

28' Rohn 25: Force 12 C4S with dipole element modified for 30M

Inverted L for 160

Force 12 "Tornado" Vertical for 80/40 (flat on the ground at this writing)

Remotely controllable with 1258 boxes

N6XI Saratoga, CA, CM87xg

Flat, suburban location about 3 miles northeast of the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, adjacent to San Jose, 50 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Elecraft K3/100 + P3 + ACOM 1000

48' Rohn 25: Force 12 320/240, 310/315; M2 3el 6; 80m drooping dipole

Control site for mountain station

Logging Software: N1MM Logger+ at both sites

WRTC: Selected by team captain K6XX as his teammate in the July, 2010 World Radiosport Team Championship in Moscow, the "World Cup of Radio Contesting." This was a great honor, to be selected to compete on a uniquely level playing field against some of the world's best radio contesters. (What the heck is radio contesting? Click here.)  ... Results: In this 24 hour event, we made 3115 contacts and 328 multipliers for 3,059,256 points and came in 25th out of 48 competing teams, missing the "Top Half" by one contact! This exceeded almost all of our goals in this competition among giants. I'm jazzed. See Final Results (We were R31A.) and my NCJ Blog entries:

        What? Me, Compete in WRTC?!

        Frantic Preparation


The non-ham chair of my 40th college Reunion, a journalist, liked the story enough to ask me to present it at our class forum. Here are the slides. I enjoyed it so much that I attended WRTC 2014 in New England as a spectator and will compete in WRTC 2018 in Germany as a sponsored entry with teammate AE6Y.