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08 September 2018

Route 66 On-The Air 2018


Today I took part in the 2018 Route 66 On-The Air special event station.  I operated as W6K on 40 and 20 meters using FT8 while listening to the Oklahoma Sooners beat the UCLA Bruins 49-21 on the radio.  My ultimate goal for the week long event is to get 100 QSO's. I know that is pretty easy for most people, but most people are not running 3 watts into a wire.  I did better than I thought I would and am now well on my way to the 100 qso's. Today I got 36 QSO's from 18 states and 3 countries. The countries I got were USA, Canada and Sweden. First time I ever worked Sweden.
States Worked:
AZ
CA
CT
FL
GA
MI
MO
MS
NC
NJ
NM
NY
OK
OR
PA
TN
TX
VA

10 August 2018

Mission: Worked All States QRPp

About a month ago I finally got my Worked All States QRP.  About 99.99% of it was me using 5 watts or less. So now I will start a quest of working all 50 states at QRPp Power. The definition of  QRPp is operating at a power level that is below 1 Watt.  So follow this post along and check my progress.
MS 800 milliwatts KG5GCC 14 Aug 2018 FT8 30
TN 500 milliwatts W4HRC 11 Aug 2018 FT8 40
TX 500 milliwatts K5IBK 12 Aug 2018 FT8 40

03 August 2018

Introduction to the Mind of K5ATG

First of all, I would like to welcome you to my little spot on this great World Wide Web.  Let me tell you a little about me.  One of the biggest things about me is that I have NEVER EVER been accused as being normal.  My brain does not work that way.  My story goes back to the spring of 1995 when I met the young lady that would eventually become my wife.  We were married in June 1997 and we are still annoying the crap out of each other today.  Along the way we have had a son and a daughter, and every single day I thank the good Lord for my family.  They are so much greater than I deserve.  

The majority of my life I have spent following astronomy.  Going out looking at the night sky has always been deeply religious to me.   Don't get me wrong, I'm not a new age hippy that lives by astrology and that weird stuff.  I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the very buckle of the Bible Belt.   Anyway where ever you look at on planet Earth, man has touched.  Yeah I believe that man is in charge of the planet and we really screwed up on that one.  However you look into space like the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Beehive Cluster and the list goes on and on.  None of those things have been touched by man.  To me that is the closest that you can get to the unmolested beauty of Gods work. 

It took me well over a decade but I finally saved up enough to buy my dream telescope.  It is a 12 inch Orion Intelliscope Dobsonian Telescope.  Not the biggest or the baddest scope out there but one large enough that I will never be able to see all of the deep sky objects that it can show me.  I was with that telescope so much that my wife named it the "Other Woman" because if I wasn't spending the night with my wife, then I would be with the Other Woman. 

Then in 2010 I started having a lot of trouble with my knee.  I was seeing specialist and everyone I could find to look at.  I started receiving steroid shots and physical therapy and nothing worked or even helped.   Finally we were going to schedule exploratory surgery on my knee to figure out what was going on.  However this nurse said that she had spent years with a back doctor and had heard of my symptoms before so she made me get an MRI done on my back before I did the knee surgery.  So I agreed and did not think much about it, I had never had any trouble with my back.  

The MRI results were not quite what I expected.  I had so many problems with my back that they could not begin to think of where to start.  Long story short, I had surgery and they found that my vertebra were growing and closing the hole that my spinal cord goes through. Spinal cord damaged beyond repair.  

I worked as long as I could and finally in 2016 I was forced into medical retirement. 

With my back completely screwed up, I was put on a 5 pound weight restriction, so the days of my moving my 150 pound telescope around were over. 

Then in 2013 my mother in law asked me if I would take a class with her on Ham Radio.  I was never interested in ham radio and I don't recall meeting anyone that had their ham radio license other than a few people in the astronomy club.  My mother-in-law had tried to take several classes to get her amateur radio license but had to quit the classes because life events happened.  She wanted her license because she was involved in CERT and wanted me to go along with her to keep her motivated to finish the class.  In April 2013 we both passed and received our amateur radio licenses. 

Amateur radio kind of replaced astronomy and in November 2014 I upgraded to General and then in April I got my Amateur Extra.  

I have been trying to run this blog since 2014 but it has been wondering  around with out a real direction.  I wanted something that was kind of different but there are so many blogs and Youtube videos on amateur radio, its kind of hard to find something new.  

After many hours spent praying and thinking I finally found I direction that I want to take this blog.  I would like for this to be a teaching blog.  Not the standard blog or video that shows a schematic that says "Don't think, just follow my instructions and you can build this project"  I want to expand upon that.  I want to get a schematic and  explain why is this resistor here, why is this transistor used.  My goal will be the give people an opportunity to understand amateur radio electronics.  I want to show what makes a project do what it is supposed to do. 

Truth is, I have never taken any courses or anything that teaches electronics, so I will be learning as we go also. So if I am wrong about something please drop me a line, I love feedback.  My email address is k5atg.aaron@gmail.com

03 August 2018
Aaron
K5ATG