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Featured Members For April 2005

Kenji Rikitake - JJ1BDX/K1BDX - NAQCC # 0517

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I'm 1st licensed in March 1976 as JJ1BDX, but didn't have an affordable and DX-capable HF simple wire antenna until June 2002. I've been brasspounding since 1979 when I first earned my CW-capable license, and later I earned the JA 1st class license and US FCC Amateur Extra license on January and February 2003.

I'm using a 10m-length fiberglass fishing rod to put up a 9m-length vertical wire as a radiator element connected to my ICOM AH-4 tuner, and a whole bunch of counterpoise wires crawling on the floor of my apartment balcony. Beam antennas are still out of the choice, because the small balcony is the only available space for raising an antenna.

The IC-706mkIIG has been my only TRX since 2002, and I have succeeded to exceed 200 or more DXCC confirmed entities using 80m to 6m bands and 50W (yes, I'm not a hardcore QRPer). Setting up a linear amplifier is out of the question due to legal and physical reasons (all amateurs must comply with the RF Safety requirement, aren't we?), so I decided to try something new as a part of my amateur radio activities: QRP.

Why I joined NAQCC? Their pragmatism. I should confess that some practice of QRPers annoys me, such as using /QRP while the signal strength is weak, which is an apparent loss of reliability during a critical propagation. (Keep it terse always - especially if you are a real QRP station!) John, K3WWP, of NAQCC addresses this issue quite well. I think the real QRPers do not brag about them.

NAQCC also promotes the simple wire antenna principle. I support the principle also. Not all amateurs can raise a big beam antenna, and doing QRP on a beam antenna is technically equivalent to doing QRO on a low-gain antenna, at least on the transmission side, which is important on the QRP game. Many modern rigs can configure to do the 5W-maximum QRP too; giving it a try is another good experience to gain a self-confidence that you're not just another pile-up screamer on the air HI.

So far the 1.5W restricted output with my simple wire antenna works well with the bigguns worldwide - I have made successful contacts with Finland in 30m and US West Coast in 40m, provided that the station at the other end uses really good antennas. I worked quite a few DX stations in 1.5W and 5W. And I can work many stations in JA in 5W output during the QSO party on this New Year in 2005. What's next? Maybe homebrewing a QRP TX, making a QRP kit, or a real portable operation.

In fact my first TRX was a 1.5W 6m SSB rig, and the second TRX was a 5W 6m SSB/CW rig. So once upon a time I was forced to work QRP. Now I can enjoy QRP - thanks to NAQCC staff who accepted such a casual QRPer.