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home QRZCQ - The database for radio hams 
2020-06-05 16:20:27 UTC









Active user

activity index: 3 of 5

Neil W. Powell

Spokane 99205
United States, WA

united states
image of k2amf

Call data

Last update:2020-01-07 04:38:10
Main prefix:K
Federal state:WA
US county:Spokane
DXCC Zone:291
ITU Zone:8
CQ Zone:5
ULS record:3890433

Most used bands


Most used modes


QSL data

Last update:2018-10-07 21:39:26
Bureau QSL:no
Direct QSL:YES


I was always fascinated by radio communications. In the mid 60s I enjoyed my high school electronics class. I built a 5 watt audio amplifier that was fun to use with the music sources of the day. My next project was a All American 5 AM radio with no polarized AC plug that made it a 50/50 chance of buzzing yourself with the all metal chassis and one side of the AC input connected directly to it.

I remember my radio used the 50C5 and 35W4 but the schematic above is pretty close. It was both cool and sucky that the filaments were wired in series so no heavy transformer was required just to get filament voltage. Of course that meant if a single tube burned out then none of them would light up.

Converter: 12BE6
IF amplifier: 12BA6
Detector and first audio amplifier: 12AV6 or 12AT6
Audio power output: 50C5 or the less-common 50B5
Rectifier: 35W4

I was given a Hallicrafters SW-28 and used it to listen to hams and especially long distance SW broadcasts. I wish I still had that receiver even though I bet it worked better than I remember today!

By the late 60's Uncle Sam said he needed me and I told my USAF recruiter that he could have me for a few years if I could be guaranteed a job as a radio operator. The deal was struck and off I went to San Antonio, Texas for basic training and then Biloxi, Mississippi for communications technical school.

My first assignment was to the HQ SAC HF/SSB station located at Elkhorn, Nebraska. I got my hands on some Collins KWT-6 transceivers and of all things a 205-J 50KW linear amp!

Curtis LeMay a WWII hero and future CINCSAC understood long range communications. He ordered SSB the radios standard for SAC aircraft in 1957. The general was famous for being on the air on amateur bands while flying on board SAC bombers!

My next assignment was to South East Asia where I worked command and control comms and doubled as the base MARS operator. I was given several KWM-2A transceivers and associated linear amps to work phone patches back to the land of the big BX.

Towards the end of my time with the USAF I found myself in England working direct comm support with U-2/TR-1 and SR-71 Aircrews. The sled guys claimed they could outrun my radio signals and I never challenged them. I can tell you first hand that those SAC aircrews were some of the very best people you would ever get to work with.

The squadron commander handed out nicknames and he blessed me with "Pigman".

I asked why and he said "Because you ride a pig". Um ... no ... I ride a Harley which is a HOG. I don't know many people who attempt to tell a O-6 that they were wrong and able to correct them but I found myself in the group who just accepted the nickname assigned.

After working a couple of decades as a computer technical support guy I figured it was time to enjoy a few of the things I had to put on hold. One of those things was getting back into Amateur Radio.

I passed my first hurdle by getting my Tech license in January 2017. I then passed my General Class examination in May 2017 and passed the Extra Class examination in January 2020.

I am a member of the ARRL, the Inland Empire VHF Radio Amateurs Club (IE VHF) and the Washington Digital Radio Enthusiasts amateur radio club where I enjoy both DStar and DMR radio communications with both a Icom ID-31A, a Icom ID-51A and a TYT 2017.

I enjoy DSTAR where I can be found on Reflector 29A. I have a OpenSpot 1 and the new OpenSpot 2 which is even easier to take portable with it's built in WiFi capability.

I have joined the gang using FT8 and find the IC-7300 a perfect match. I have also found the combination of a SignaLink USB and my trusty Yaesu 857D to be a great matchup for portable work. Speaking to FT8 use I am only interested in exchanging call signs and signal reports and a QSL (RR or RR73) if that happens you go in my logbook. I am always happy to work you again, even if same mode and same band. The bands are always different, maybe I have changed or tweaked my antenna, or the power is different and thus the exchanged signal reports are often interesting.

For recording QSOs I use LOTW, QRZ, eQSL and HRD Logbook. I use HRD to control the Icom 7300 with great success.

I love the integration of internet, computers, etc., into the hobby. Thanks to those who have developed these many formats and keeping HAM radio more alive than ever in spite of the threat of cell phones, internet and like forms of communication. A special thanks to all the other hams out there who make this such a great hobby!

HAM radio is still unique, fun and there is always the anticipation of who is on the other end of a CQ call.

Worked DXCCs:


The Icom IC-7300 is a real work horse and full of features that make the occasional contest or CQ Party a blast.

I have a Yaesu 7900 for VHF/UHF use. For HF I have a Icom IC-737, a Icom IC-7300 and a Yaesu 857D. I have several antennas such as a Hustler 6BVT, a fan dipole for 40 and 20 meter work and several vertical ones along with a Diamond X50A Dual Band antenna on a 30 foot mast.

I am still working on growing my antenna farm. The antenna on the far left is a simple broadband antenna I use with my Digital Trunking Scanner for emergency communications monitoring. Next up are a pair of ham sticks (MFJ-2240) mounted horizontally rising up from a MFJ 1919EX antenna tripod that I use portable and for occasions where horizontal polarization is best. The next antenna is the Hustler 6BTV vertical that works well with all modes and especially FT8. In the middle is a Diamond X50 dual bander and the antenna on the far right is my MFJ all band vertical mounted on my garage roof. I also use a 40, 20, 6 meter fan dipole.

I have found the performance of the dual ham stick antenna quite acceptable. The ham sticks come in two pieces and could easily be stored in a 5 foot go bag. I recently purchased the "Octopus" head for connecting 8 hamsticks to a single feed line. (MFJ-2104) Makes it easy to set up in the field as you just choose which band sticks you wish to install, secure them into the antenna mount and raise the mast

Other images

second pic
K2AMF / Pic 2

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