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Sunday, November 14, 2010

W4HBK's QRSS Grabber: The Amazing Pensacola Snapper

When we were in Italy, ON5EX provided my "go to" grabber. Because we were just one ionospheric hop away, and because Johan had a really excellent receive system, it seemed like my little signals were visible on his screen from dawn to dusk every day.

Now that we are back in the States, W4HBK's grabber is playing a similar role for me. His grabber consistently seems to pull in more sigs than most of the other North American grabbers. The above image is a sample of what you will see when you visit his grabber web page. (I'm also a big fan of the W1BW and VE1VDM grabbers -- thanks guys!)

My signal is the "shark-fin" pattern just a little below the middle of the screen. That's 20 mw to a 50 foot piece of AC line cord about 12 feet off the ground. And it is making the trip from Northern Virginia to Pensacola Florida very consistently. Thanks Bill!

Try taking a look at the Pensacola Snapper and see if you can spot my QRSS signal. My frequency varies from day-to-day (sometimes intentionally!). And lately Bill has occasionally been parking his receiver on 40 meters :-( But most days you will be able to see his 30 meter screen, with my shark fins menacing Pensacola. Please let me know if you see me.

Here is OM HBK and his bio:
Born: 1939, Pensacola, Florida

I was first licensed in 1954 as WN4HBK and upgraded to General in 1955 acquiring the call sign I've used to this day. My dad is responsible for my favorite suffix moniker. the Hot Biscuit Kid. I could really put away my mom's scratch biscuits!

My first station I built myself and consisted of super regenerative RX and a 6L6 TX.from designs in the ARRL Handbook. My dad was a radio mechanic for the Navy and taught me how to read schematics and solder. Later stations consisted of Hallicrafters S-38C, National NC-98, HRO-5 recievers and several Heathkit and Globe Scout transmitters. Boy, those were the days!!

After high school I entered college intending to become an antenna engineer but eventually gravitated towards a degree in Physics. This was pretty cool because it led to a career with NASA where I worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle projectsall thanks to my early interest in radio.

Today I'm fully retired and living in Gulf Breeze, FL. just across Pensacola Bay from my hometown. My XYL (Anna) and I enjoy the local beaches in a variety of wayssurf fishing, beachcombing, hiking, painting (her) and photography (me). We are also enjoy gardening and winemaking.

My Amateur Radio interests are CW, DX, contests, antennas and digital modes.

Presently I am experimenting with QRSS and have a 250 milliwatt MEPT station on 10.140 MHzsend me an email if you copy my signal. I now have a grabber to present a spectral display of QRSS activity for other Hams worldwide to watch for their signals http://www.qsl.net/w4hbk/w4hbkgrabber.html

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