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N3HEE USA flag USA

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I'm building some new keys.  See details here for my Torsion Bar Key Project.  Click here to see my new straight key project.

About Me

I was first licensed as WN3CXD in 1976 at age 13. I lived in the small town of Oakdale, PA just outside of Pittsburgh.  I soon upgraded to General, Advanced and finally Extra class in the early 80's.  Life kicked in and I let my license drop in the mid 90's.  I was relicensed in 2002 as KB3KJS.  In 2013 I changed my call to N3HEE. 

I have always had a love for Morse code or CW.  My first rig was a HeathKit HW-16 with just a few crystals.  I honed my CW skills by making hundreds of contacts with that rig and simple wire antennas.  Eventually my Dad put up a 40 foot tower for me and I had a small triband yagi installed on top.  That was the only time in my long ham carreer that I have had a tower and a beam.  I didn't know how good I had it back then !  Thanks Dad !

Today my operating consists mainly of casual contesting and chasing DX.  I still have an HW-16 that I fire up every now and then just to have some fun.  I also like experimenting with wire antennas especially for 160 meters.  I have simple wire antennas for all HF bands including a 300 foot horizontal loop for 80,30&17, a 160 meter inverted L with K2AV folded counterpoise  and dipoles for 40-10 meters.

 

Morse Code Instructor

I am a advisor for CWOPS CW Academy. Information is available at www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html 

Please check out my web site at www.morsecodemasters.com  I developed this site to help people learn Morse code and serve as a classroom for my CW Academy students. 

I also have a YouTube channel with Morse code related videos here.

 

QSL Policy - I prefer LOTW whenever possible. I'm really not set up to send cards however I will send you a card if you absolutely need one from me.

 

Clubs - Click on the club name below for more info.

PVRC - Potomac Valley Radio Club

CWOPS #1283

SKCC #6594T

NAQCC #0239



Shack Picture Details - March 2015

Top - Speakers, CW keyboard

Middle - UTC Clock, TenTec Omni C, Heathkit HW-16

Bottom - Elecraft K3/100, MFJ 4726 antenna switch, Watt/SWR meter, Hi-Z RX Antenna Control Box, K42 CW keyboard control box, Yeasu VX-7R, Heil Pro7 headset.

Keys - Begali HST II, Kent SP-1, Kent TP-1, my original Heathkit HD-1410 keyer, Home Brew Cootie key, 1963 Vibroplex Presentation Deluxe,  1958 Vibroplex Lightning Bug, Home Brew Straight Keys.  All keys are connected to home brew key switch and are instantly availalbe with any rig in the shack.

Floor -Ameritron ALS-600 Amplifier, Astron DC Supply, Dummy Load, RTR-1A RX antenna switch unit, UPS

Computer - Home brew Intel 4.0GHZ with 16 GB RAM.  Three (22, 22, 24 inch) wall mounted monitors.

Studio A - Modern DX and Contest station. Elecraft K3 100W (160-6 meters.) 500W with amp.

Studio B - Ten Tec Omni C with Remote VFO 243. 100W

Studio C - Vintage Novice Station. HW-16. 80,40,15 meters. Crystal control.  My first novice rig.

Studio D - VHF FM station. Yeasu VX-7R (6M - 70CM)

 

Skinny Brick

Home Brew Keys

These keys above were inspired by the WB9LPU Simple Straight Key Project. I added a rear contact mechanism of my own design. I also used ball bearings on this key. I made the navy knob using a cabinet drawer knob and large fender washer. This key is super smooth to operate and has a great feel to it. Like my first key key, I have a little over 20 hours into building it. Well worth the time though!  

The bottom key is a new design machined out of a solid piece of aluminum and is mounted on a very heavy brass base.  The knob was created from a 3D printer.  


First Home Brew Key

The key above is from the WB9LPU Simple Straight Key Project. I machined all of the parts in my small garage shop using very "simple" tools. I also had great support from the master himself, Rich, WB9LPU. The key was built over the period of one week and took nearly 20 hours to put together. It feels and looks like a high end pro key! Many thanks to Rich for all of the hard work and effort he put into documenting this excellent project.

 

Home Brew Cootie Keys

Top Key - Blood Cootie

This key is mounted on a 3.5" x 4.5" x 1" thick blood wood base with wooden finger piece.  This Cootie is made from 1" x 1/8" thick aluminum angle stock and hardware obtained from Lowes using simple hand tools and small band saw. I put it together in one afternoon! It works very well and has very smooth action. I installed a switch so it can be switched between Cootie and Single Lever paddle mode. Used with my K1EL K42 keyer this key is capable of being a Cootie, BUG or Fully Automatic single lever key.

Bottom Key - The Heavy Duty Cootie

The bottom key is my newest creation.  Mounted on 3/4 inch thick brass base with machined solid aluminum parts and finger piece.  Thumb screw adjustments for quickly and easily moving the blade in or out to adjust tension and feel.  Weighs about 2.5 pounds.  It only operates as a cootie.  Very stable on the table ! 

 

Torsion Bar Key

This key was inspired by Steve W1SFR.  It is a single lever paddle key with a unique "twist".  The lever arm is connected to a torsion bar. It is a rod which twists back and forth to act as a spring.  The key is very smooth with good action.  It feels completely different from a spring or magnet operated key.  

 


HW-16 Mods

Replaced power cord with 3 wire type for safety.

Installed SO-239 antenna jack.

Disabled neon bulb sidetone monitor.

Replaced D1 with 1N4148 to increase sensitivity.

Removed ground from cable connecting D1 to point B on PCB to increase sensitivity.

Replaced R14 with 2.2K 2W resistor to obtain QRP power levels with power level control.

Replaced R49 with 150 ohm resistor to slightly unmute reciever for louder sidetone for better QSK operation.


HC49/U Crystal Holder For HW-16

This holder adapts four HC49/U xtals for use in FT-243 type sockets. Just pull it out and turn it to the next xtal! Use 80 meter

xtals and double your fun with 8 choices in one holder.

Carefully remove all the pins from one octal tube base by drilling them out from

the inside of the plug. Set them aside because you will reinsert 4 of them

later. I used a new octal tube base from Antique Electronic Supply that I had

laying around.

Using a hacksaw blade cut the key way off flush with the base.

Reinsert 4 pins that give you .5 inch spacing. They should be a snug fit. Make

sure they are straight. They should already be pretty straight once you

reinsert them.

Use a dab of fast drying epoxy at the base of each pin to secure the pins back

into the base.

Insert two crystals at a time soldering each of the common pins as you go around

the base. Set the crystals down deep enough inside the base cavity in case you

want to put a cover on it someday.

Plug into your HW-16 and have up to 4 rocks to choose from in one handy holder!

You can use 80 meter xtals for 8 choices between two bands.


My Gear

Elecraft K3 100

Ten Tec Omni C

Ameritron ALS-600 amplifier. Used with K3

Softrock RXTXv6.3 (1watt output on 160, 80, 40 meters)

Hallicarafers S20R

Heathkit HW-16

Homebrew 6L6 QRP transmitter

Homebrew VFO/Driver/TR switch box.

K1EL K42 CW keyboard.

Hombrew PC - Intel Quad Core with 8GB RAM and 500 GB disk

Antenna 1 - Fan dipole at 30 feet (20,15,10 meters)

Antenna 2 -Inverted L 160m 65 feet vertical 65 feet horizontal with K2AV folded counterpoise (FCP)

Antenna 3 - 40 meter dipole at 30 feet.

Antenna 4 - Discone at 30 feet for VHF\UHF

Antenna 5 - 300 foot horizontal loop for 80, 30, 17, 12 meters.

RX Antenna - Hi-Z 2-3

N1MM Contest Logger

DXLAB Suite - Logging and DX work.

 

My Record Book

My WSPR DX record so far is 16295 KM on 500 miliwatts into a slinky antenna in my attic

My CW DX record so far is 6174 KM on 1 watt into a slinky antenna in my attic.

My PSK31 DX record so far is 6129 KM on 1 watt into a slinky antenna in my attic.

6672851 Last modified: 2015-08-28 19:17:27, 11872 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - N3HEE
Latest Contacts for N3HEE at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
RA6AN 2015-01-30 80M CW KN95lb Russia Fedor ( Fed ) V. Tsapro
W9UK 2015-01-30 160M CW EN90wg United States JOHN L LAYTON
W8BJO 2015-01-30 160M CW EM89bv United States LESTER A WAGNER
OZ0JX 2015-01-29 80M CW JO54vv Denmark Soren Baekkel
N2ATB 2015-01-29 40M CW FM29mv United States FRANCIS A CANUSO
KB8F 2015-01-29 80M CW EM79vn United States DONALD M BURNS
SU9VB 2015-01-29 40M CW KL76dc Egypt Vladimir M. Bykov
N4UB 2015-01-28 160M CW EM71mj United States JASPER D WIDENER, JR
HK1T 2015-01-28 160M CW FK21oa Colombia Salim (Sal) Gechem R.
W3PV/VP9 2015-01-28 20M CW EM17iq United States
J6/SP7TF 2015-01-28 17M CW FK93mv St Lucia
SM5IMO 2015-01-28 80M CW JO79xd Sweden DAN HULTGREN
8P0P 2015-01-28 80M CW JJ00aa Barbados Peter Cross
ON7PQ 2015-01-28 80M CW jo10pt Belgium PAT PARMENTIER
G3WZT 2015-01-27 80M CW IO90ux England JOHN MATTHEWS

Book Totals: 7428 qso's   4058 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


c
World Continents Award#1193
Granted: 2015-01-22 17:26:17

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 40 Meters CW
    30 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    10 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
    30 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    10 Meters Mixed
United States Award#140
Granted: 2015-01-22 17:26:13

Endorsements:
  • Mixed CW
DX World Award#196
Granted: 2015-01-22 17:26:02

Endorsements:
  • Mixed CW
Grid Squared Award#1058
Granted: 2015-01-21 21:19:02

Endorsements:
  • Mixed CW
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 160 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    10 Meters Mixed
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