Latest Update

Station is currently operating with a temporary antenna (random length wire into tree). SEA 245 is directly driving the antenna tuner driving the wire against ground. I am currently running CW, RTTY, and SSB. The block diagram below is accurate to the left of the SEA 1630 antenna tuner. On the right is just the random length wire antenna.

Antenna tuner fixed! One of the inductor shorting relays in the SEA 1630 antenna tuner had welded contacts. The relay was replaced 6/30/21, so I'm back on the air with CW, RTTY, and SSB. The SEA 1630 is driving a random length wire to a tree in the front yard. This is fed against ground (the water main in the front yard).

The TU-170 timpots replaced and TU-170 retuned.

Recent updates to the RBN report add links to various fields.

I should soon be applying for a building permit for a flagpole antenna It is an interesting design. It is an off center fed dipole turned vertically. There is an insulator at the bottom and another part way up. Balanced line runs from the top insulator down the inside of the bottom section, then out at the bottom. It will be driven witn a current balun and an automatic antenna tuner. Since it is a dipole, no ground radials are needed. I suspect there is a fair amount of radiation into the ground, but that is also the case with a horizontal dipole. I might try putting a chicken wire ground screen around it so that radiation is reflected better than it would be by the ground. We'll see! But in any case, the bottom of the antenna is not grounded. I modeled it with EZNEC and found there was a lot of current through the connection to ground if I did indeed ground it. That would probably cause a lot of loss. I will experiment with it some once it is up. there is an RBN receiver about 40 miles from here, so I can do some comparisons without dealing with skywave variations. The antenna is to go in the front yard, away from the utility lines in the alley behind the house.




Favorite band, image from the cover of a recent CRHS Journal, an old Schlitz magazine ad, Solar-Terrestrial Data showing conditions for HF and VHF bands and the MUF for Boulder CO, the W6IWI QSL card, view of antenna ("Wow! You must have a really big TV"), view of W6IWI Mobile. The Optimal Working Frequency is about 0.85 times the Maximum Usable Frequency.

Search W6IWI:

The call letters W6IWI were first used by Kauko Hallikainen in the 1930s (1933 license, 1937 ARRL membership). See the 1934, 1936, 1937, and 1938 Amateur Radio Callbook. The 1930s QSL card was similar to that shown above (I may still have one of the originals somewhere). By 1952, the call had been reassigned to Carson Donaldson in Inglewood CA. He held it through 1977. I acquired the call in 2016. Prior to that, I held the call WA6FDN, and prior to that, WN6FDN. The WA6FDN license was first granted in 1969, with WN6FDN in 1968. WA6FDN shows up in the Summer 1969 Callbook. NL7XM offers a great service. He has over 100 years of Radio Amateur Callbooks and will find the first appearance of your callsign in the Callbook. For a reasonable cost, he'll provide certified copies of these pages verifying that the callsign was held by the particular person on this date. This is what he sent me for WN6FDN and WA6FDN.

WN6FDN started with a Heathkit DX-60 transmitter and a National NC-300 receiver running CW on HF. WA6FDN used a Viking Ranger transmitter running AM, CW, and RTTY on HF. RTTY used a Teletype model 15 printer (also see a slow motion video of a model 15 in operationg), and a model 14 typing reperf and transmitter distributor. W6IWI now uses an SEA 245 with a Dentron Clipperton-L amplifier running CW and SSB into a Cushcraft A3S with 40 meter adapter. Previosly, a HyGain TH-3JRS 3 elemement tri-band (10, 15, 20) beam was used. Finally, an inverted V for other bands (other than 40, 20, 15, and 10). VHF and UHF FM are covered with a Baofeng UV-5R and a Wouxun KG-UV-6X. The Wouxun KG-UV-6X normally drives an outside vertical antenna at home. Mobile info is here.

HF Station Details

Click in a box in the block diagram for more details. Antenna VSWR is tracked here. Your browser does not support the HTML5 canvas tag. ;

Maximum Usable Frequency (7.62 MHz at 30 Nov 2021 2301 GMT)

Every now and then there is a gap in the MUF data received. For example, June 15, 2021 through July 7, 2021. The graph below plots the Boulder CO MUF and OWF over time (times are local at the browser). Data courtesy of Paul N0NBH. The MUF is the maximum frequency that can be used over a 3,000 km path centered on Boulder CO. The optimal working frequency is 0.85 times the MUF. Due to the large amount of data in the graph, it is pretty crowded. Zoom into a date range for a closer look. Drag over an area with the left mouse button down to zoom to that area. Right click to go back to the full graph.

W6IWI HF Activity

The table below shows recent contacts logged on qrz.com.

RBN Report

The table below is generated by a PHP script that pulls JSON data from the Reverse Beacon Network, parses it, calculates distance and bearing based on latitude and longitude, then shows data for the last 250 spots. Frequency changes greater than 1 kHz or time changes greater than 1 hour are shown in bold. The Rx links link to the QRZ page for the station. The SNR links link to a graph of signal to noise ratio versus time for that receiver and band (data limited to 250 spots total from RBN)

The background color is green if the distance is greater than 3,000 miles. The Relative Distance column has a * for every 200 miles.

TimeRxFreq (kHz)SNRModeSpeedRx LocationDistance and BearingRelative Distance
0509z 01 DecK9IMM 7055.0 12 dB CW14 wpmMount Horeb, WI2225 km (1382 miles) at 50.5 degrees******
0509z 01 DecKO7SS-7 7055.0 26 dB CW15 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0509z 01 DecNC7J 7055.0 5 dB CW15 wpmLayton, UT1028 km (639 miles) at 354.8 degrees***
0504z 01 DecKO7SS 7055.0 29 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0500z 01 DecAA4VV 7115.0 11 dB CW11 wpmLexington, NC2852 km (1772 miles) at 72.6 degrees********
0500z 01 DecW6YX 7115.0 20 dB CW12 wpmStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
0500z 01 DecNC7J 7115.0 4 dB CW12 wpmLayton, UT1028 km (639 miles) at 354.8 degrees***
0459z 01 DecK9LC 7115.0 6 dB CW12 wpmRockford, IL2257 km (1402 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0149z 01 DecAA4VV 14060.0 13 dB CW13 wpmLexington, NC2852 km (1772 miles) at 72.6 degrees********
0149z 01 DecW8WWV 14060.0 5 dB CW12 wpmChesterland, OH2828 km (1757 miles) at 59.3 degrees********
0140z 01 DecVE6WZ 14060.0 8 dB CW12 wpmCalgary, AB2237 km (1390 miles) at 353.7 degrees******
0140z 01 DecK9LC 14060.0 3 dB CW12 wpmRockford, IL2257 km (1402 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0138z 01 DecWE9V 14060.0 5 dB CW12 wpmBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0138z 01 DecW3OA 14060.0 10 dB CW12 wpmMooresville, NC2792 km (1734 miles) at 73.3 degrees********
0138z 01 DecW7HR 14060.0 17 dB CW13 wpmPort Orchard, WA2004 km (1245 miles) at 334 degrees******
0138z 01 DecAA4VV 14060.0 15 dB CW13 wpmLexington, NC2852 km (1772 miles) at 72.6 degrees********
0136z 01 DecK2PO/7 14060.0 19 dB CW12 wpmPortland, OR1828 km (1136 miles) at 328.6 degrees*****
0136z 01 DecKO7SS-7 14060.0 9 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0136z 01 DecK9IMM 14060.0 6 dB CW12 wpmMount Horeb, WI2225 km (1382 miles) at 50.5 degrees******
0136z 01 DecKO7SS 14060.0 22 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2315z 30 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2315z 30 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 25 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2315z 30 NovKO7SS 14083.9 27 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1846z 30 NovKE3BK 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
1845z 30 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1845z 30 NovW6YX 14083.9 37 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1845z 30 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 14 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1845z 30 NovKO7SS 14083.9 28 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1734z 30 NovKE3BK 14083.9 21 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
1733z 30 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1733z 30 NovN6TV 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1733z 30 NovKO7SS 14083.9 29 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1733z 30 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 16 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1733z 30 NovW6YX 14083.9 36 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
0443z 30 NovKD7YZ 7030.0 11 dB CW14 wpmGreenup, KY2628 km (1633 miles) at 66 degrees********
0435z 30 NovWZ7I 7030.0 10 dB CW15 wpmPipersville, PA3328 km (2068 miles) at 63.2 degrees**********
0435z 30 NovW8WWV 7030.0 8 dB CW15 wpmChesterland, OH2828 km (1757 miles) at 59.3 degrees********
0431z 30 NovKO7SS 7030.0 29 dB CW19 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0431z 30 NovWE9V 7030.0 10 dB CW19 wpmBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0431z 30 NovKD7YZ 7030.0 14 dB CW18 wpmGreenup, KY2628 km (1633 miles) at 66 degrees********
0431z 30 NovK5TR 7030.0 14 dB CW19 wpmAustin, TX1217 km (756 miles) at 95.2 degrees***
0431z 30 NovW4KAZ 7030.0 23 dB CW18 wpmCary, NC2987 km (1856 miles) at 72.8 degrees*********
0430z 30 NovK9TM-4 7030.0 11 dB CW14 wpmSylvania, OH2827 km (1756 miles) at 93.7 degrees********
0421z 30 NovW3OA 7030.0 15 dB CW12 wpmMooresville, NC2792 km (1734 miles) at 73.3 degrees********
0421z 30 NovKO7SS-7 7030.0 25 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0421z 30 NovKD7YZ 7030.0 11 dB CW12 wpmGreenup, KY2628 km (1633 miles) at 66 degrees********
0421z 30 NovWE9V 7030.0 5 dB CW12 wpmBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0421z 30 NovK5TR 7030.0 6 dB CW12 wpmAustin, TX1217 km (756 miles) at 95.2 degrees***
0421z 30 NovW4KAZ 7030.0 7 dB CW12 wpmCary, NC2987 km (1856 miles) at 72.8 degrees*********
0421z 30 NovKO7SS 7030.0 30 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1616z 29 NovWE9V 14083.8 15 dB RTTY45 bpsBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
1616z 29 NovK1TTT 14083.9 10 dB RTTY45 bpsPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
1616z 29 NovN6TV 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1616z 29 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 20 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1616z 29 NovW6YX 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1615z 29 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1615z 29 NovKO7SS 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1615z 29 NovKE3BK 14083.9 14 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
1605z 29 NovWE9V 14083.8 15 dB RTTY45 bpsBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
1604z 29 NovW6YX 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1604z 29 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 15 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1604z 29 NovN6TV 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1604z 29 NovK1TTT 14083.9 9 dB RTTY45 bpsPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
1604z 29 NovKO7SS 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1604z 29 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
0306z 29 NovWE9V 7030.1 14 dB CW11 wpmBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0306z 29 NovK9LC 7030.0 9 dB CW11 wpmRockford, IL2257 km (1402 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0306z 29 NovW3OA 7030.0 14 dB CW12 wpmMooresville, NC2792 km (1734 miles) at 73.3 degrees********
0306z 29 NovKO7SS 7030.0 28 dB CW11 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0306z 29 NovKO7SS-7 7030.0 23 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0306z 29 NovW8WWV 7030.0 15 dB CW12 wpmChesterland, OH2828 km (1757 miles) at 59.3 degrees********
2232z 28 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2232z 28 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 15 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2232z 28 NovKO7SS 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2042z 28 NovKE3BK 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
2042z 28 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 15 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2042z 28 NovN6TV 14083.9 21 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
2041z 28 NovW6YX 14083.9 39 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2041z 28 NovKO7SS 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2041z 28 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2031z 28 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 13 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2030z 28 NovW6YX 14083.9 26 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2030z 28 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2030z 28 NovKO7SS 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2015z 28 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2015z 28 NovN6TV 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
2015z 28 NovW6YX 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2015z 28 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 26 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2014z 28 NovKE3BK 14083.9 27 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
2014z 28 NovKO7SS 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0422z 28 NovK7EG 7120.0 16 dB CW12 wpmAuburn, WA1963 km (1220 miles) at 334.3 degrees******
0422z 28 NovKD7YZ 7120.0 15 dB CW12 wpmGreenup, KY2628 km (1633 miles) at 66 degrees********
0207z 28 NovNC7J 7120.0 5 dB CW11 wpmLayton, UT1028 km (639 miles) at 354.8 degrees***
0207z 28 NovW3UA 7120.0 10 dB CW10 wpmBedford, NH3658 km (2273 miles) at 59 degrees***********
0207z 28 NovWE9V 7119.9 11 dB CW11 wpmBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
0312z 26 NovAC0C-1 7052.0 5 dB CW15 wpmLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
0216z 26 NovWA7LNW 7052.0 28 dB CW12 wpmWashington, UT631 km (392 miles) at 340.6 degrees*
0216z 26 NovKO7SS-7 7052.0 23 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0216z 26 NovKO7SS 7052.0 31 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2016z 24 NovN6TV 14083.9 14 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
2016z 24 NovWE9V 14083.8 17 dB RTTY45 bpsBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
2016z 24 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2015z 24 NovW6YX 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2015z 24 NovKO7SS 14083.9 29 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2015z 24 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1902z 24 NovN6TV 14083.9 16 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1902z 24 NovKO7SS 14083.9 30 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1902z 24 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 24 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1902z 24 NovKE3BK 14083.9 15 dB RTTY45 bpsMountain House, CA1169 km (726 miles) at 307.1 degrees***
1902z 24 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1902z 24 NovW6YX 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
0227z 24 NovWA7LNW 7029.0 21 dB CW14 wpmWashington, UT631 km (392 miles) at 340.6 degrees*
0152z 24 NovK1TTT 7029.0 7 dB CW12 wpmPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
0152z 24 NovKO7SS-7 7029.0 25 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0152z 24 NovK5TR 7029.0 8 dB CW12 wpmAustin, TX1217 km (756 miles) at 95.2 degrees***
0152z 24 NovAA4VV 7029.0 8 dB CW12 wpmLexington, NC2852 km (1772 miles) at 72.6 degrees********
0152z 24 NovK2PO/7 7029.0 30 dB CW12 wpmPortland, OR1828 km (1136 miles) at 328.6 degrees*****
2208z 23 NovW6YX 14083.9 14 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2207z 23 NovK1TTT 14083.9 14 dB RTTY45 bpsPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
2207z 23 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2207z 23 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2207z 23 NovKO7SS 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0419z 23 NovNC7J 3530.0 6 dB CW14 wpmLayton, UT1028 km (639 miles) at 354.8 degrees***
0418z 23 NovWB6BEE 3530.0 16 dB CW14 wpmPagosa Springs, CO695 km (432 miles) at 30.4 degrees**
0416z 23 NovK2PO/7 3530.0 9 dB CW12 wpmPortland, OR1828 km (1136 miles) at 328.6 degrees*****
0415z 23 NovWA7LNW 3530.0 17 dB CW12 wpmWashington, UT631 km (392 miles) at 340.6 degrees*
0415z 23 NovKO7SS-7 3530.0 30 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0415z 23 NovKO7SS 3530.0 28 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0415z 23 NovN6TV 3530.0 5 dB CW12 wpmSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1804z 22 NovWE9V 14083.8 16 dB RTTY45 bpsBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******
1800z 22 NovW6BB 14083.8 12 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
1800z 22 NovK7EG 14083.9 11 dB RTTY45 bpsAuburn, WA1963 km (1220 miles) at 334.3 degrees******
1800z 22 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1800z 22 NovW6YX 14083.9 23 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1800z 22 NovKO7SS 14083.9 33 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1800z 22 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 24 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
0338z 22 NovVE7CC 7054.0 23 dB CW16 wpmMaple Ridge, BC2156 km (1340 miles) at 336.7 degrees******
0224z 22 NovW3RGA 7054.0 12 dB CW15 wpmSunbury, PA3201 km (1989 miles) at 62 degrees*********
0224z 22 NovW2NAF 7054.0 12 dB CW15 wpmSpring Brook, PA3297 km (2049 miles) at 61.3 degrees**********
0224z 22 NovKD7YZ 7054.0 13 dB CW15 wpmGreenup, KY2628 km (1633 miles) at 66 degrees********
0224z 22 NovWS3W 7054.0 7 dB CW14 wpmEllicott City, MD3168 km (1968 miles) at 65.3 degrees*********
0224z 22 NovK7EG 7054.0 9 dB CW15 wpmAuburn, WA1963 km (1220 miles) at 334.3 degrees******
0215z 22 NovAA4VV 7054.0 10 dB CW11 wpmLexington, NC2852 km (1772 miles) at 72.6 degrees********
0215z 22 NovW3OA 7054.0 13 dB CW12 wpmMooresville, NC2792 km (1734 miles) at 73.3 degrees********
0215z 22 NovVE6WZ 7054.0 17 dB CW12 wpmCalgary, AB2237 km (1390 miles) at 353.7 degrees******
0215z 22 NovAC0C-1 7054.0 9 dB CW12 wpmLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
0215z 22 NovWB6BEE 7054.0 9 dB CW12 wpmPagosa Springs, CO695 km (432 miles) at 30.4 degrees**
0215z 22 NovKO7SS 7054.0 35 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0215z 22 NovKO7SS-7 7054.0 23 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0215z 22 NovVE7CC 7054.0 19 dB CW12 wpmMaple Ridge, BC2156 km (1340 miles) at 336.7 degrees******
0023z 22 NovVE6WZ 14030.0 12 dB CW12 wpmCalgary, AB2237 km (1390 miles) at 353.7 degrees******
0023z 22 NovK7EG 14030.0 10 dB CW12 wpmAuburn, WA1963 km (1220 miles) at 334.3 degrees******
0023z 22 NovVE6JY 14030.0 17 dB CW12 wpmLamont, AB2436 km (1514 miles) at 357.1 degrees*******
0023z 22 NovKO7SS-7 14030.0 13 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
0023z 22 NovKO7SS 14030.0 30 dB CW12 wpmMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
0023z 22 NovVE7CC 14030.0 12 dB CW12 wpmMaple Ridge, BC2156 km (1340 miles) at 336.7 degrees******
2303z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 16 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2303z 21 NovNU6XB 14083.8 11 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2303z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 37 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2303z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2303z 21 NovN6TV 14083.9 16 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
2303z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 18 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2303z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2250z 21 NovKM3T 14083.9 11 dB RTTY45 bpsAmherst, NH3644 km (2264 miles) at 59.1 degrees***********
2249z 21 NovK1TTT 14083.9 16 dB RTTY45 bpsPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
2249z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 18 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2249z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 38 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2249z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2249z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2249z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2238z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 21 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2238z 21 NovNU6XB 14083.8 11 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2238z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 17 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2238z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 17 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2238z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2238z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 31 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2214z 21 NovKM3T 14083.9 12 dB RTTY45 bpsAmherst, NH3644 km (2264 miles) at 59.1 degrees***********
2214z 21 NovK1TTT 14083.9 12 dB RTTY45 bpsPeru, MA3525 km (2190 miles) at 59.5 degrees**********
2214z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 14 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
2214z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
2214z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 27 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
2214z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
2213z 21 NovN6TV 14083.9 24 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
2213z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 42 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
2011z 21 NovW6YX 14034.0 27 dB CW12 wpmStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1939z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 10 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
1939z 21 NovN6TV 14083.9 22 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1939z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 18 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1939z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 27 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1939z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1939z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 42 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1912z 21 NovKM3T 14083.9 9 dB RTTY45 bpsAmherst, NH3644 km (2264 miles) at 59.1 degrees***********
1911z 21 NovAC0C-1 14083.9 23 dB RTTY45 bpsLouisburg, KS1658 km (1030 miles) at 58.4 degrees*****
1911z 21 NovKO7SS 14083.9 32 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ63 km (39 miles) at 19.2 degrees
1911z 21 NovKO7SS-7 14083.9 19 dB RTTY45 bpsMt. Lemmon, AZ66 km (41 miles) at 11.5 degrees
1911z 21 NovW6BB 14083.8 15 dB RTTY45 bpsBerkeley, CA1233 km (766 miles) at 306.1 degrees***
1911z 21 NovW6YX 14083.9 46 dB RTTY45 bpsStanford, CA1200 km (745 miles) at 304 degrees***
1911z 21 NovN6TV 14083.9 28 dB RTTY45 bpsSan Jose, CA1159 km (720 miles) at 304 degrees***
1758z 21 NovKM3T 14083.9 11 dB RTTY45 bpsAmherst, NH3644 km (2264 miles) at 59.1 degrees***********
1757z 21 NovWE9V 14083.8 13 dB RTTY45 bpsBristol, WI2339 km (1453 miles) at 52.9 degrees*******

The plot below shows a historic plot of W6IWI HF CW and RTTY activity.

Also see here for a graphical representation of all RBN data. There is also a new version under development that shows similar graphs but also paths between transmit and receive sites on a map.

Search RBN for Your Station

Enter your call and click Submit to see what RBN has on you. This can be useful for testing different antennae. Transmit TEST DE CALLSIGN a few times on one antenna, switch to the other, change frequency a bit (maybe 100 Hz) and transmit again. You should see spots recorded at several locations for each antenna. Compare the reported SNR to get an idea how the different antennae perform. Click Show/Hide on the right side of the results page to enable a map with grayline showing the location of the receive sites. If your site is not shown correctly, update your location at QRZ.COM. Once logged in, select your call (right side of menu bar), then Edit your call, then Map, Grid Square and Coordinate settings. RBN uses these coordinates to place your station.

NOTE: RBN only reports CQ or TEST. It does not report every QSO. Send one of the following (I use CW and RTTY) to generate RBN spots:

Also, note that RTTY is only reported if it is at "tape speed." Hand typed RTTY is not reported.

Call Sign:

You can also use the form below to get a more detailed RBN report.

Call Sign:

Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program

VOCAP for ham radio. Originally written for the Voice of America, this predicts the best frequency between two locations at a specific time. For more info, see www.vocap.com.

Find Hams in your Neighborhood

Amateur Radio License Map maps US amateur radio operators in an area centered on a call sign, grid square, zip code, or street address. Pretty neat!

The Ham Shack

Here's an overall view of the operationg position (a rolltop desk). On the top shelf ia a lamp with a mechanical watt-hour meter. On the base to the right is a more modern version, the Kill A Watt AC power meter that measures line voltage, frequency, load current, load power, load VA, power factor, and kWH (pretty amazing). To the right of that are the two VHF/UHF handheld radios (Wouxun KG-UV-6X and a Baofeng UV-5R). The Wouxon is used as a base station with an outside antenna and a speaker/microphone. To the left of the handheld radios, you can see a couple antennae for using the handhelds portable. Behind the handhelds is a black carrying case holding the SARK-110 antenna analyzer (another truly amazing instrument). To the right is the Dentron Clipperton-L with a pair of Daiwa 501H RF wattmeters on top. The left one measures the transceiver output power, while the right one reads the amplifier output power. To the right of that is a USL CM-8E cinema booth monitor. The center channel of the CM-8E is bridged across the balanced audio line between the SEA 245 and its control head. It's used as a headphone amplifier since the SEA 245 does not have a headphone jack. In addition, the equalizer in the CM-8E is set to a narrow bandpass to act as a CW filter. On the desktop surface, starting on the left is the Chromebook laptop. To the right of the laptop is a Flesher TU-170 Teletype terminal unit with a Wave 2 handheld digital scope as an XY tuning indicator. To the right of the TU-170 is the control head for the SEA 245 HF transceiver. Below the TU-170 and SEA245 is the controller for the MFJ HAM-IV rotator that aims the Cushcraft A3S antenna. To the right (the silver box) is a switch that switches 12 VDC to the MFJ-4712 antenna switch. The bug and key are to the right. The bug is wired in parallel with the key. There are several diodes on the key so the bug and key can drive the code practice oscillator part of the MFJ 557 to provide sidetone, drive the SEA 245 and drive the CW ID input of the TU-170. On the far right is the Teletype model 15.
Dentron Clipperton-L with the cover removed. The power supply is on the left, the output tuning network on the front right, and the four 572B triodes on the right rear.
Here's a view of the SEA 245 control head. It has an RS-485 bus (called SEABUSS) that carries control information between the control head and the trnsceiver. It can also communicate with the SEA 1630 tuner, but I currently have the tuner operating stand alone. Instead of being on SEABUSS, the tuner (of course) gets the RF and PTT. It returns an open collector signal that goes low when the tuner has tuned. When transmitting, the SQL indicator (squelch) is replaced with TND indicating the tuner has tuned the antenna. Besides SEABUSS, the control head connects to the SEA 245 transceiver with a balanced audio line, the PTT line, a power on/off control (switch to ground to turn on the radio), and switched +12V. The balanced audio line is run as an analog tristate bus. When receiving, the transceiver puts audio on the bus. When transmitting, the control head puts audio on the bus. On a ship, there are typically multiple control heads connected to a single transceiver using SEABUSS.

On the right is an MFJ-557 code practice oscillator. The straight key keys both the code practice oscillator and the SEA 245 transceiver. The code practice oscillator provides "side tone." You may see a few diodes on the left side of the straight key. They provide isolation between the code practice oscillator, the TU-170 CW ID input, and the SEA 245 transceiver.

To the left of the MFJ-557 is a Vibroplex Blue Racer Deluxe. This is serial number 229386 originally owned by my father, K. E. Hallikainen (Hal). This list puts the manufacture date as 1962, which seems a bit late. Note the Round Arm Vari-Speed Accessory added to the bug. This slows it down to about 13 WPM. The bug is connected in parallel with the straight key so it also keys the code practice oscillator, the SEA 245 transceiver, and the CW ID input of the TU=170.

This is the actual SEA 245 transceiver (bottom right black box with blue Power Pole connectors). Above the SEA 245 is the SEA 1630 antenna tuner (see below for more details). To the left of the SEA 245 is the Astron SS-50M 12V, 50A power supply to power the SEA 245. Just to the right, but not shown, is a APX SUA2200 UPS that can run the station (without the Clipperton L) for an hour or two. The UPS weighs 139 pounds!

The Work Bench

Here's a veiw of the work bench. Test equipment includes a Belar FMM-2 modulation monitor. On top of that is homebrew frequency converter that converts several frequencies to the 650 kHz IF input frequency. Other equipment shown includes an audio voltmeter, oscilloscope, audio generator, distortion analyzer, and a small USB logic analyzer. There's a desktop Windows computer shown running a G4L backup. The large microphone is used for web conferences. The PTT switch on it enables the microphone and mutes the speakers making conference calls pretty easy. To the left of the computer is a CZUR book scanner I use mostly to scan broadcast equipment manuals (see https://bh.hallikainen.org ). It's a pretty amazing scanner. It takes a high resolution photograph of a pair of pages of an open book and generates PDF with background OCR. While photographing the book, it puts a few lines across the book with a red laser. It then adjusts the image to make these lines straight, flattening out the curve of the pages as they approach the binding.

Antenna Tuner

Here's a view of the Seacom SEA 1630 antenna tuner with the cover removed. It is designed to drive a wire antenna on a ship, so there is a ceramic insulator on the top to connect the wire to. Here, the tuner is driving coax (to the balun driving the inverted V). Therefore, an SO-239 was added to the side of the tuner. AWG #6 wire connects the SO-239 to the antenna tuner output at the ceramic insulator and to the ground plate in the tuner. The tuner is a pi network with capacitors to ground at the input and ouput and an inductor between the input and output. Both the inductor and capacitors consist of several binary weighted inductors or capacitors. Relays short out the inductor sections when they are not needed. Relays also ground the low side of the input and output capacitors as required. The microcontroller (in the metal box) drives the relays as appropriate to put the minimum SWR on the input. Also visible on the bottom right of the tuner is a "doorbell button." This allows the transmitter to be keyed at the tuner for checking its operation. This photo shows the tuner when it was outside As noted in the block diagram above, the tuner is now in the shack, immediately above the transceiver. It is electrically between the SEA245 and the Dentron Clipperton-L. When the amplifier is not in use, its internal bypass relay (also used in receive) connects the input to the output. The SEA 1630 then matches the antenna, as seen at this end of the transmission line, to the transceiver. When the Dentron Clipperton-L is in use, the SEA 1630 matches the transceiver to the untuned input of the Dentron Clipperton-L.

Power Line Noise

My adventures with power line noise. Xcel Energy did a lot of work to solve it. Now I see some noise the day after a rain storm, but generally noise is not synchronized with the line. I look forward to a power outage go see how much noise goes away. There seems to still be quite a bit of noise, but it is not synchronized with the power line. It could be switching power supplies in the neighborhood or may just be th way the HF fands are. I can drop AC power to the QTH and the noise level remains the same, so it appears to be from outside.

Ham Radio Resources

Ham radio resources will be collected here.

Interesting Stuff

Here's a short list of interesting radio stuff.
Broadcast History - My own online collection of broadcast equipment manuals along with LOTS of other interesting links.
California Histrical Radio Society - A great group of people collecting old broadcast equipment and history. They publish an excellent magazine that has included stuff like restoration of a mechanical television and other wonderful articles. The museum is in a 1900 telephone exchange building in Alameda CA.
Restoring a Teletype model 19 - Great series of videos on restoring a Model 19. Includes a visit to Mr. RTTY, the ultimate Teletype parts supplier.
Maritime Radio Historical Society - An operating Morse radiotelegraph shore station. The transmit site is in Bolinas CA, and the receive site and control point is in Pt. Reyes Station CA. Here are some photos from our visit in 2015. This is a wonderful project!
Remote Ham Radio - Can't put up a 200 foot tower with a four element 40 meter Yagi and 1.5 kW amplifier in your backyard? Operate one of these stations from your kitchen table with a web browser. There's an annual membership fee plus a per minute charge for use of the stations. But, this is an interesting way to get on HF from a condo with strict CC&Rs.
Reverse Beacon Network - Software defined radio receivers around the world are continuously monitoring the ham bands. These SDR receivers drive "skimmer" software that decodes CW and various digital modes. Send CQ or TEST DE CALL and see where you are received, the signal to noise ratio, and the speed (such as CW WPM). Another amazing intersection of ham radio and the Internet.
Web SDR - Software defined radio receivers around the world. In simplified form, these receivers connect an antenna to an analog to digital converter which drives an Ethernet interface (with an FPGA between) which drives a server. All tuning, filtering, and demodulation happens in the server. Multiple users use a web interface to receive the frequency of interest to that user. Each user operates their SDR software independently. It's a great way to hear what your transmitter sounds like. The web sdr can record the audio and send you the audio file. Key clicks, chirp, good speech quality? Web SDR lets you know.
Kiwi SDR - Another software defined radio running on very limited hardware. It supports 4 users and includes decoders for CW, RTTY, FAX, Loran C, Navtex, and more (see the list under Extension)
Jean Shepherd was an announcer on WOR and wrote and narrated the movie "A Christmas Story." He talked about ham radio several times on WOR. Jean Shepherd audio clips
Contra Dance - Great Fun!

Comments?

I look forward to your comments! Write me at harold@w6iwi.org.