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In early July of 2009 I realized I was getting quite a few LotW cards and decided to check into the ARRL's Triple Play award. Basically, the Triple Play is awarded for making contacts with all 50 US States on CW, SSB, and Digital for a total of 150 contacts. All contacts MUST be confirmed through the ARRL's Logbook of the World (LotW). I've been looking for contacts mainly from the K3UK Sked page for LotW. There are several Sked pages here for Digital, SKCC, Fists, LotW, Worked all France, VHF/UHF, and County Hunting. Its a great resource and the guys that hang out there are a lot of fun, and very willing to help you make contacts. It makes picking up new bands and modes very enjoyable. Check it out.

In February of '09 I realized there are a lot of counties on CW on the County Hunter net frequencies and also in the state QSO parties I wasn't working, and decided it was time to pull the old straight key out of the moth balls. After a little CW I came to the realization that the straight key had to be replaced. I borrowed a Bencher paddle from K8DID and it didn't take long at all to realize this was the way to go. I could work the contests and didn't feel the least bit fatigued. My CW still isn't perfect, but I sure enjoy it a lot more. I'm not sure the ham on the other end does though, but I'm working on it.

What a year for change. In May of '09 I made the plunge and purchased a used (of course) SB220. I had told myself I didn't need an amp until I hit at least 300 DXCC entities. Well, I'm a bit over that and stumbled into a decent price on an amplifier and had to pick it up. I'm not much for house wiring, so my friend N8KRD helped me run the 220 (Ok, he did it all). The new 220 line hadn't been hooked up for 5 minutes when I called another friend WB8FIW to come over and help me test the amp out. WB8FIW has a 220 and I wanted a hands on lesson. Much easier than reading the manual. Phil had already been over to pull the cover off the amp to help me check it out. Well we made a couple contacts and everything was great. I kicked both N8KRD and WB8FIW out as there was a RTTY contest about to start and I had some playing to do.

I installed a Hazer in April of '08.   Check it out!

Name here is Hal. I hold an extra class license and have been licensed since 1977. In the past I have taught theory classes for all license classes novice through extra. Besides my current call I have been the holder of KD8YK, and my original call WD8MJJ. I am also ringmaster of the Amateur Radio Web Ring which began in July of 1997.

My main interests lie in dxing and field day competition from my home qth. Currently my confirmed dxcc total stands at 305 with 2 outstanding. One of these days I might even send the cards in to the ARRL. All contacts have been made barefoot using either a Heathkit HW101, which I built immediately after getting my Novice license, a Heathkit SB303, 401 pair, an Icom 740, 745 or the Icom 761 which I am currently using. All contacts have been made with 100 watts.

The antenna system consists of a Cushcraft A3S with the A743 40m add-on kit. This spring I'll be installing a G5RV and am looking forward to see how it performs. Nothing extravagant, but it works.

Field day competition has turned into a family event with various family members helping mainly with the logging. Every year prior to field day we check to make sure the antennas are in good working condition. Various family members help in the logging and duping process. In the beginning they fight over who gets to help out first, but around three or four in the morning I'm at the rig by myself listening to the drone of heavy breathing and snoring. About the time dad is ready to crash someone wakes up with a full head of steam. Normally with a little coaxing and lots of Mountain Dew power I can make the full 24 hours. In the 1996 contest we placed 3rd in the 1D class. No small feat being we operate solely on voice since nobody else has learned CW past the 5 wpm rate yet.

I finally replaced my Santec handheld which I used on 2 meters for many years with a Yaesu FT-2800M. The Yaesu runs into a Rango Ranger at about 55 ft. I don't operate VHF much other than to talk to the local DXers.

Renew Your FCC Amateur License

You can renew your Amateur License online at the FCC's web site. Before renewing your license online you will need your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password. If you don't remember your FRN you can find it by doing a search for your call in the Buckmaster call lookup below. Currently there is no charge for renewing your license if you do it directly through the FCC's web site. Licenses may be renewed up to 90 days in advance. The online renewal process is really quite simple and straight forward if you know your FRN and password. If you wish to renew by mail you can print the application from the FCC's web site.

Check the Status of Your Renewal

You can check the status of your electronic renewal by going to the FCC's web site and following the instructions.

Thanks for stopping by my web site. Hope to hear you on the air soon.

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