Saturday, December 31, 2011

Attained Friendship Club and 2Way QRP Awards in NAQCC

I finally reached earning 200 points - working NAQCC club members - 4 points per ragchew, 2 points per sprint and 1 point per regular QSO. There were 157 members in the application which was approved for the award.

I also reached the certificate level for 2 way QRP QSOs - 250 points (2 points per NAQCC member, 1 point per non member and 4 points for a DX QRP.

See Awards Page

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NAQCC Milliwatt Sprint

Most fun I ever had with 950 milliwatts or any power level for that matter. I started out on 40m and the weak signals were barely copiable. I did manage a couple of Qs - one to a VE station from BC and then switched over to 80m. There was so much static that I had to put on the attenuator to squelch the noise down. I managed one QSO then I heard another station with the Serial number 2 and I knew it was John K3WWP from PA and managed to work him. Then something happened with the band. All the weak signals were showing up with 4 bars with attenuator on with the K2 and I was being copied from distant stations at less than 1 watt tx power then the QSOs started pouring in. It was a fun last hour with.a straight key no less.
This had been my best sprint yet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Latest Project Completed

Next to the transceiver is a little box for a keyer I built from a kit from Idiom Press - their CMOS4 keyer. It is the neatest little keyer.

New Key for Christmas

The key is mounted to a Cocobolo base I made. The brass nameplate has my call sign laser etched on it. The key was made by Molded Insulator Co., one of the manufactureres contracted by the US government to manufacture this key during WWII. The key is new old stock and never been used. With the nice base it will have some collector value. Its maiden voyage was during the SKCC Straight Key Sprint on 12/28/2011 and garnered 19 QSOs. It is much easier on the wrist than the AMECO that I had been using and will be the key I now will use for straight key sprints.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Centurion Level Reached on SKCC

Centurion award was given by the SKCC for having worked 100 SKCC members. The Centurion #646 and it is posted on the SKCC website. It looks like I am 4 states short for SKCC WAS and need Montana, Nebraska, Mississippi and Kansas. Working the December Sprint might help reach that goal. The next goal will be to acquire the Tribune Award which is gotten by working 50 other Centurions or Tribune holders. My SKCC member number is now 7288C.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rookie Roundup and Homebrew QRP Sprint

Well I ended up working two contest in 6 hours shortchanging both. I worked the Rookie Roundup for 4 hours and the QRP ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint for two. Well, I don't really know how well I did relative to the competition - worked 10 rookies and 45 non-rookies in the Rookie Roundup for a total of 1755 points (with 27 SPC multiplier). As far as the Homebrew Sprint, I worked 22 stations for a total of 104 QSO points, with a 7X multiplier for QRP and SPC multiplier of 18 plus the Homebrew Bonus points of 5000 pts per band for a total score of 23104 pt total. We will see how well this all stacks up.

Till next time,

73 DE NY4G

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rookie Roundup Tomorrow

Looking for support tomorrow in the ARRL Rookie Roundup

Look for my calling CQ around the following frequencies tomorrow

CW: 3.550, 7.050, 14,050, 21.050, 28.050 and between 50.080 and 50.100 MHz between 1800 UTC and 2400UTC on 12/18

My last year to qualify as a rookie having been licensed in 2009

I'll be firing up the K2/100 - look forward to hearing y'all


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ARRL 10 Meter Contest

Worked the 10 meter contest for about 3 hours and bagged 54 stations mostly DX and some US West Coast. I worked a station that had almost 2400 QSOs judging from the serial number.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Milestones Reached

Hi folks to those reading this blog.  Finally reached the worked all states QRP milestone after successful QSOs with Alaska KL7UW Dave operating his K3 and Tribander on 12m, K6JSS/0 ND0CW from North Dakota on 317m and W0CZ Ken operating his K3 from Fargo, ND on 20m.   These are the last states to fill out the confirmed QRP QSOs.  The QSO with Dave KL7UW was on the weekend of the the CQ WW CW DX contest and so the only bands available not filled with contesters were 12m and 17m.    Dave and I had a SKED and we chose 12m for a 2000Z attempt at a QSO.  The K2 is amazing in hearing Dave well within the noise.  I turned AGC off and put the headphones on and we both copied each others 449 signal reports.  That same day on 11/26, earlier on 17m, I heard K6JSS/0 calling CQ on 18.060 and that was an easier contact than the oe with KL7UW.  The week before, I heard Ken quite strongly on 20m on 14.060 from ND at the appointed 2100Z attempt at a QSO.   Thanks to all three of you for helping me reach this milestone.  Once I get the QSL card from Dave, I will be sending off the cards and the QSO records to ARRL HQ.  At the same time I am sending the QSO records to QRP-ARCi to get their WAS certificate.  I was looking through my log and it appears that I have made 397 QRP contacts to all 50 states and it looks like I may have established contact with all 50 states with my K2 subsequent to having built it in June 2011 - so I may be eligible for that award as well.  Another milestone reached is in reaching the 100+ unique DX entities for DXCC after having worked the CQWW CW Contest and working 135 DX stations.  I have 55 DX credits in LOTW which means I need to get less than 45 cards to get the DXCC award.  This will take some time as postage is somewhat expensive but I expect to get the award early in 2012.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fixed the KAF2 on the K2

With the help of Stan KF4BY, spotting a subtle solder bridge near the pots - the KAF2 is now doing its job. Heard K7K on 80m this morning but could not bust thru the pileup with 5 watts.

Got DX monitor thanks to the tip from Matt KQ4VY

Saturday, October 1, 2011

SC Statewide Simulated Emergency Test by Tillman Cuttino

I'm happy to report a rousing success for the Simulated Emergency Test this morning! Thanks to (in no particular order), Johnny WD4DYH, Wyatt KJ4CTD, Ariel NY4G, Phil KG4FQG, Ken KD4PH, Bob N3PT, Chris KJ4GJG, Wayne K4VAS, Chris K4FLL, Nathan KJ4RQZ, Josh KG4PFJ, Robert WA4HRK, Tom KB1EFA and Greg KI4SVQ. These are the folks that I remember as either attendees or checkins -- I'm sure there were more.

Around 0830, Phil opened the ARES Net in standby mode and took checkins from responding ARES members. The plan was for most of the group to rally at the Red Cross at 0900 while Bob and Tillman met at the EOC at 0915. Phil kept close tabs on all logged-in stations and did a great job of seeking status updates and tracking our assets.

While enroute, several of us checked into the statewide linked net called by K4EMD at the state EOC in Columbia. The SCHEART VHF repeaters were then unlinked at 0900 to allow users to experiment with various direct DTMF links around the state.

Our group quickly established operations on VHF repeater and simplex frequencies at the Red Cross and Bob and Tillman soon had the EOC's 2-meter radio on the air. From the EOC, we contacted the Red Cross (both repeater and simplex), several ARES operators in various locations around the upstate, the Spartanburg EOC (repeater only -- simplex was not successful at the time), the state EOC (via SCHEART direct link), and the Berkley County EOC (again via SCHEART link). We tested the radio's memory, VFO and DTMF capabilities. Special thanks to GCOEM's Rachel Ethun for coming in on a Saturday to let us in the EOC and for Scott and Jay's help to authorize our access. This was the first time in a long time that those radios were on the air for an official drill and we were very excited for the opportunity.

Meanwhile over at the Red Cross, Johnny led the group through the activation of multiple 2m radios in the Ready Room and Ariel temporarily swapped out the existing TS-820S for a very capable TS-2000 and quickly established HF communications on both the 80 and 40 meter bands. Ariel logged contacts with K4EMD at the state EOC on both bands! The Red Cross crew continued to experiment with various combinations of repeaters and simplex frequencies to give the systems a thorough workout, and they performed extremely well. Much like the EOC, it's been many moons since the Red Cross Ready Room equipment has seen this kind of use and testing. Special thanks to Tanya Carter for arranging our access today!

As an additional bonus, we applied an antenna analyzer to every piece of feedline we could find along the Ready Room wall and they all indicated very good SWR matches on their intended bands.

We wrapped up operations around 1130, secured the facilities, and headed over to Wendy's to celebrate the day's success over burgers and fries (which carried its own adventures including rendering first aid to a woman in diabetic shock and parking lot repairs to my truck's electrical system -- thanks Johnny and Phil!).

Be sure to check out (and "like") our new Greenville ARES Facebook page, where you can find a few photos of the day's event!

I had a blast and hope you did too!
73 until next time,
Tillman AJ4IK

Sunday, September 11, 2011

QRP ARCI 1000 Miles per Watt Award

I just received the 1000 miles per watt award from QRP ARCI for contact made with Amateur Radio Station E7HQ in Bosnia on July 9, 2011 for a distance of 5892 miles as calculated by based on the QTH locations for a calculated 1228 miles per watt running 5 Watts. The contact has been confirmed on The radio rig used for this contact was an Elecraft K2 and the mode was CW.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Parting with Old Faithful MFJ949D

I am about to ship my trusty MFJ949D to W5GTL in South Dakota. I had worked ARRL WAS Mixed Mode #55,400 and worked 48 states QRP and 73 DX entities with that tuner in a short span of 2 years. I have only been licensed as a General Class since April of 2009. My first contacts were SSB with the Kenwood TS830S. I probably worked 2/3 of the 50 states with that radio. I acquired a yaesu FT897D in March 2010 and proceeded to bag a fair number of states using PSK. In October of 2010 I started to use CW as my main operating mode and have been able to get the most difficult states SD and AK using that mode. Since then I operate mostly CW and got most of my DX entities and 48 states using CW and stateside - mostly at 5 watts. Good bye to the old MFJ manual tuner.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

QRP WAS Update and Other Things

Picked up 4 new states during the North American QSO Party: Oklahoma, Utah, Montana, and Delaware. State count is now up to 48 worked and 40 confirmed by QSL cards. Only missing the usual suspects - AK and ND.

Did reasonably well during the NAQCC Sprint in July. I would have done much better if I had used a straight key with the 2X multiplier but I am so bad with a straight key

Did the Spartan Sprint in early August and submitted my results. The results are below. I placed second in the TUBBY category.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

South Coast Amateur Radio Service

Checked into the South Coast Amateur Radio Service

Their URL is

Membership Number is forthcoming


Sunday, July 10, 2011

IARU Worldwide DX Contest CW

I made about 50 contacts during the contest. The benefits for participating included two new additional states QRP - CA and NM plus a few more new DX contacts.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

K2 is Done!!!!!

Made three contacts so far KS4L - Huntsville AL AQP Contest; W4AN, Columbus GA, AQP Contest; and first ragchew on the K2 with KT4CW Scott in Brewton, AL.

CW Meetup tonight with KJ4YQK and W4DJW in the following frequencies:

3540 on 80 meters is primary
7030 on 40 meters is the alternate

TIME: Around 9 PM after net check-in

Friday, June 3, 2011

K2 is Practically Done

Except for a missing capacitor and an RF Choke which I broke while desoldering, the K2 is ready for the final alignment and test. Everything has worked out so far and knock on wood - I hope it will continue to do so. Accumulated time for the build has been 80 hours for the basic radio. The options I plan to install are as follows:

Noise Blanker
Single Side Band Module
Automatic Antenna Tuner
160 m receive and extra antenna receive jack
Audio filter
Internal 2900 mA-hr battery

All the modules are ready to build. The battery kit has already been finished

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Added New Link for VK2DX K2 Project

This is by far the best photo-documentation of a K2 build I have ever seen and it is by VK2DX and the link is on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

K2 Project Started

Work has been really, really busy and I have just a little amount of time to dedicate to radio activities. But at least, I started the K2 project and did some soldering of the control board. There are not many pictures to share yet as I only have been able to solder a few components. I have added some new links related to building the K2 and these are really helpful. You can read my K2 page for a detailed update on the project.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Worldwide DX Contest and K2 Project

Two weeks ago or thereabouts was the worldwide DX contest - 2/19 and 2/20. I was able to add 30 new DX entities while working 82 DX stations.

I got Hawaii twice. Once was on 40m QRP and the other time was on 15m QRO.

I have not had too much HF operation of late. I have not even started building the K2. I built a work table on which to build the K2 on. The table is finished and now it is just the time commitment that is necessary.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Closing Out January

I have not posted in a while - 2 weeks. It does not look like I will get the K3Y/6 station as I had wanted. I had taken my rig to PA with a Buddistick Vertical and it appears totally deaf right now. I don't know if it is the snow cover, the atmospheric conditions or what but I could not hear anything. So I miss being on the air. I also missed the CW training net on Saturday mornings.

During the month long event, I have contacted 27 K3Y stations (some are duplicate) and got a bunch of region 7 at QRP power. I have contacted every region except for W6.

On 1/22 I heard WU0L calling CQ. He hails from SD so I was excited to get only my second SD contact. WU0L is vacationing in Weslaco TX so it is not to be a SD contact but a second TX contact with the same station.

On 1/22 I made a phone contact with J79XB1 - Seth Sjostrom (who hails from Sweden) from the DX entity Dominica near Guadeloupe in the Carribean Sea. On the same evening I called Peter Horvath HA8RM in Hungary also on phone. I was at QRO power levels for both at 100 watts.

I worked the NAQCC Sprint on 1/20 and was able to bag a couple more new states at QRP power AR and AL both in region 4. My exchanges were clumsy and inefficient and was only able to muster about 15 QSOs in 2 hours which is a little bit below middle of the pack after having reviewed the Sprint results. It was still a lot of fun though and was cited in the NAQCC newsletter as a first timer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recent Contacts

Still Only 41 DX entities now,
33/50 states worked QRP - 5 more than last update
50/50 states worked - waiting QSL from SD - 49 confirmed

SKCC has the 5th Anniversary Special Event during the month of January and 89 operators are calling from all over the country. I made 13 contacts and got 9 out of 10 calling regions. I am only missing region 6 (CA) which would make a complete sweep. I used QRP power for most of the contacts unless QRM or poor band conditions warranted. I did get some hard states QRP - Wyoming and Washington - in the process.

I plan to work more region 7 and region 0 in the coming days to fill the QRP holes and I expect to work AK, HI, CO, UT, ID, NV and of course CA.

I did not work DX the last few days as I concentrated on SKCC special event QSO's

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recent Contacts

1/11/2011 update

Well the logbook is starting to fill out - 41 DX entities now,
28/50 states worked QRP (just sent a massive mailing of QSL cards)
50/50 states worked - waiting QSL from SD

S59A - Drago from Slovenia - only interested in low band DX - got him on 80m CW. Does not QSL unless specifically requested - think will send him one. He has an interesting QTH on a hilltop near the Austrian border. This one send either witha bug or a straight key as he really accentuates the dash in "A".

V5/DH2HD - German Michael Borsch sending from Namibia - broke into a phone pileup on 40m. he was booming in with his beam. Got so excited that he came back to me that I forgot to give him my state - just thanked him for the 59. Tried to chase him as he said he would change modes to RTTY - but could not break thru - not very experienced in RTTY and just did not have the macros to be effective. My PSK macros just would not cut it.

SV1ENG - Antonis from Greece - second contact with this station - both on 40m.

LZ2VU - Peter from Bulgaria and second Bulgarian contact, but Peter is the first on 40m.

YV5DRN - Venezuela and his name is Leandro - first CW contact with this DX 40m, the other 2 were 20m CW and 20m PSK

Worked a couple of K3Y/N special event stations for SKCC - and I got region 1 and region 7 stations - one in MA and the other in WA. There are 8 other stations for all 10 calling regions - if I can find all ten - I get an award from the SKCC.

From a couple of days ago 1/8/2011......

Z35T - Macedonia - his name is Ozren - 40m CW

IS0HQJ - Sardinia - Francesco is his name - 40m CW

EI9JF - Nicky from Ireland - 40m CW

OM1XQ - Patrik from Slovakia - 40m CW

VP9HW - Stephen from Bermuda - 40m CW

Last but not least - KB0KBJ - Steve Olson in South Dakota. This proved difficult but Steve and I were able to connect. First we tried phone - on both the 40 and 20 meter bands - no copy. We tried CW on 40 meters and after much effort we were able to hear very faint signals of each other - call signs and exchanged signal reports. SD is the last state for WAS for me.