I've been a ham for 53 years now (since I was 12 years old). See my bio for an extended ham radio biography. In late 2000, after being "equipment-less" for several years, Santa brought a Sierra QRP rig and I built it during the winter, then later a PSK20 kit arrived at my birthday! Until spring 2003, I was active only QRP CW on 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters plus 20 meter PSK31. In late May 2003, I bought a Yaesu FT-897, my first new commercial rig in almost 20 years. What a great radio! I use it both at home and in the car. I also have a working PSK80 Warbler, but until 2008, I was "antenna challenged" because I was living in a condominium and using an indoor 40M dipole in the attic. In Jan 2006, I built an Elecraft KX1 "ultra-portable" CW transceiver (since sold) and have been having a great time making contacts with it, often operating portable near my building at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. In Dec 2007, I completed a basic Elecraft K2 and not only is it the best rig and best receiver I've ever used, but now I'm hooked on building Elecraft kits for sure! I'm a member of the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. In mid-August 2008, we moved to a house in Waquoit (East Falmouth), MA and I'm back on the air with outdoor antennas! Latest additions to my Elecraft lineup are a KX3 in 2012 and a KX2 in 2016 - wow! Great rigs that have pushed the FT-897 and the K2 into the background!
I like to get on during the various contests (ARRL DX, CQ WPX, June VHF QSO Party, the monthly QRP Spartan Sprints and NAQCC Sprints) and make a few contacts. Most of my contacts are CW, but if it's a SSB contest, I'll get on for a few phone contacts also. With an indoor antenna, CW is a bit more effective, but SSB works. Contesters have GOOD ears and they need even the weak ones - a contact is a contact, regardless of the signal strength!
As of 2016, I run WSJT-X and fldigi on a MacBook Pro using an iMic USB sound interface with either the KX3 or the KX2. I also make many RTTY contacts with the built-in RTTY capabilities of the Elecraft rigs.
Oh, and check out ARRL's Logbook of the World - a great way to get confirmations! Got my C5Z (Gambia) contact confirmed this way, for example. Everybody should add LOTW to their "bag of tricks"! I use N3FJP's ACLog software running under Parallels Desktop on the MacBook Pro and can upload new log info directly.
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