Category Archives: Info

This Morning at the DXcorral

This morning, I was leaning against the fence of the DXcorral, drinking coffee. Last night, I had finished moving this site to my new server and realized it had not been updated in several months. I’ll endeavor to do better. One thing will be more about the DXcorral, which encloses my new 43-foot ZeroFive vertical antenna. There’s 3000-feet of wire in the ground underneath it — in the form of 73 radials. Nice low-angle signal, gives my 100 watts good coverage into the South Pacific and elsewhere. Since it went it last September, I’ve over over 60 countries. My total as W5VE is now 162 worked / 141 confirmed. In about two years, very pleasing. Ham radio, it’s a GREAT hobby! … Oh, the fence is to keep the deer and neighborhood kids from getting RF burns.    Send article as PDF   

W5VE Wins DXCC Award!

dxcc The American Radio Relay League, the sponsor of this award, state: “DXCC is Amateur Radio’s premier award that hams can earn by confirming on the air contacts with 100 countries.”

“Confirming” being the operative work. You can’t just say you talked to someone in New Zealand, it must be authenticated. Two way exist of accomplishing this authentication. In the old days, hams exchanged postcards (we call ’em QSL cards). You could bundle those up when you had 100 different countries and mail them to the ARRL. I did that under my original call years ago, WA4NUO. Today, the ARRL maintains a secure online method of authentication, the Logbook of the World or LotW. Continue reading…

Get Your Ham License

This summer would be a great time to get or upgrade your amateur radio license! WCARS VEC volunteer examiners can help you achieve your dreams.

wcarsvec    Send article as PDF   

Amateur Radio, the Passion    Send article as PDF   

ARRL DX Contest, the Movie

Me, participating in the ARRL International DX contest, where hams talk to as many other stations in foreign countries as possible. It’s great fun!    Send article as PDF   

Elements Required for a Perfect Ham Station

20150907_100039[3]Needed for efficient amateur radio operation: transceiver, antenna tuner, good microphone, excellent Morse code key, and (most important) a multi cup coffee operator enhancer. This is my personal version of that perfect station. –W5VE

(click on pic to enlarge)    Send article as PDF   

Intro to the HF Bands

This is a video targeted at new HF operators and covers the 20 and 80 meter bands.    Send article as PDF   

Battery Lugs


This the power supply for my Icom 7200. When I the rig last December, I just twisted the wires, bent them into a semicircle, and screwed them down. Not a very secure way of getting power. … Since Pat won the Yaesu FT8900 at the WCARS hamfest in Waynesville NC, I need both hooked up to the power supply so I could program hers. I went to one of the auto parts stores and got 10/12 gauge battery lugs (cheap) today. Crunched them on and all’s fine as shown below. … Of course, I violate a major rule here, having the wire and the lug only connected mechanically. As they drilled into us when I was learning electronics, you make a mechanical connection to hold two conductors together, then you SOLDER them to make sure you have an electrical connection. I’ll get around to that.    Send article as PDF   

Recent QSLs

_cfimg-3400925458103817560[1]Hams confirm their two-way radio contacts by exchanging “QSL” cards. Back in the day, these were always post cards via mail. Today, we more often use Internet services such as the Logbook of the World, eQSL, or (I use all three). Here are some examples showing confirmation of several recent amateur radio contacts I’ve made, all received by eQSL: Continue reading…


For a quick look at band conditions (i.e. what bands are open), check this site!    Send article as PDF   

Ready to do a little ham radioing



 Ready to do a little ham radioing … W5VE is on the air! Using an Icom IC-7200 transceiver (100 watts to a 117′ end-fed longwire), HRD software (radio control on one screen, logbook open on other). Put together this setup on Dec. 12, 2014. Worked 81 countries and 44 states so far.  .. Follow my contacts in real time here.    Send article as PDF