About Me

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Taylorsville, NC, United States
Hi all. I am age 62 and was happily married to Irene for 27 years until her untimely death on March 24th, 2012. I have 3 children, 2 sons, 1 daughter, and 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, My hobby and favorite past time for 27 years as of October 16, 2023 is "Amateur Radio", better known as Ham Radio. I make friends all over the world using voice, digital, and International Morse Code. CW (Morse Code) is my favorite mode!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I had an absolute blast working the CQWW SSB DX Contest October 24th-25th! Below are my results which I thought amazing for only 8 hours of actual on-the-air operating time.

20 Meters QSO's:94 Countries (Not including U.S.):50 CQ Zones:16
40 Meters QSO's:17 Countries (Not including U.S.):10 CQ Zones: 4
Operating Time In Hours: 8 Total estimate.
Operating Class: Single Operator - High Power
Countries(Not including U.S.): 60
1 U.S. Station QSO
QSO Points:321

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Balearic Island, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bonaire Curacao, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde Island, Ceuta & Melilla, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, European Russia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jerrey Island, Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turks & Caicos Islands, USA, Venezuela, and Wales.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I've Been Up To Lately

It's been quite a while since my last post so thought I would bring it up to date. I have been mostly hanging out with my friends on 3.895 & 28.490 and also have been having a CW sked on 80 meters every Friday morning for a couple months now with W4CUX Bill down in the great state of Georgia. Also, I bought an Ameritron AL-80B 1000 watt amplifier back in February that I think is the best thing I've ever gotten as far as ham radio next to my 260 feet doublet antenna and Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V rig. . I also absolutely love the Heil Proset Plus headset my XYL bought me for Christmas two years ago! I can hear everything so much better especially weak CW signals near the noise floor. The phase reversal on the headphones makes it sound like the audio is in the center of my head instead of at my ears. I highly recommend them! Have been having a lot of fun also on 30 meter PSK31 and also on 80, 40, & 20 meter Feld-Hell (Hellschreiber). Feld-Hell is a very old mode that Rudolph Hell invented in 1929 that was used a during the Spanish Civil War in 1933 and during WWII for field portable military communications. Check out the 30 Meter Digital Group and the Feld-Hell Club websites for more info on these fun digital modes. My favorite mode is and has always been CW and I joined a great group called the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) back in 2006. SKCC is nearly 6000 members now and promote the use of straight keys and bugs, no electronic keying devices allowed for SKCC Awards. My SKCC number is 652. Give me a call if you hear me. I experimented with JT65A mode a while back, but find it isn't my cup of tea. It more or less is just used for callsign and signal reports swaps with no conversation. I like to talk and also have a ragchew instead of just swapping reports. I'll save the RST swapping for DX pileups and contests which reminds me the CQWW DX SSB Contest is coming up this coming weekend and the CW Contest November 28 & 29th. Well, that's about it from here for now. Hope to hear you on the air or see you on the waterfall on digital.
Very 73 de Cliff KU4GW

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Radio Shack 12-162 SAME Weather Alert Radio Product Review

Excellent Performance!

Cliff KU4GW Taylorsville, NC 5/2/2009

5 5

Pros: SAME Alerts, Long Battery Life, Durable, Great Reception, Good Sound Quality, Lightweight

Best Uses: Severe Weather Alerts, Home Use

Describe Yourself: Amateur Radio Operator, Advanced Weather Spotter

I have owned this weather radio for about six months now and it works flawlessly and has awakened me during severe storm warnings.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 Charlotte, NC Hamfest 3/17/09

I attended the 2009 Charlotte, NC Hamfest Saturday March 17th, 2009 and had a pretty good time even though it poured a cold rain all day. The best thing was that I got to ride down with my best friend WZ4I Mark and also had WN4B Randy along for the ride too.I thought they were ridiculously high on the admission price of $10.00 considering that the upcoming Catawba Valley Hamfest April 18th, 2009 in Morganton, NC is only $5.00 at the gate! I got aggravated at the Hamfest officials when I went to the stage area and asked the guy to page my friend Don WD4CWE who had driven from Burlington and he told me they were only paging on the half hour and that I'd have to come back later although the PA system was not even in use at the time!I've been talking to Don regularly for almost 2 years now and had never met him in person until that day.Hopefully things will improve next year since WZ4I Mark has been invited to join the Charlotte Hamfest planning committee.I wound up coming home with a Pop Comm magazine, a CQ magazine, 2 ceramic dogbone insulators, and a MFJ/Ameritron coffee mug.
That was it.I took 3 straight CW keys with me hoping to maybe find someone who might have a bug key they'd swap, but no luck. I did lay an eyeball on hopefully my future HF rig, a Yaesu FT2000D! (Seen Above). It is now written: "I shall have one, oh yes I shall!" Anyway, until next blog, very 73 de Cliff KU4GW
(Photo Above Left to Right: NC4JS Eddie,WZ4I Mark,KU4GW Cliff,& WA4HKY Donnie)

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Need A Change

Seems like lately my life has become so routine it's like I'm stuck in suspended animation! Day in, day out the same thing. Since I no longer go to work everyday like I did for 30 years straight I sometimes feel totally useless like my life has no purpose. God cured my cancer and kept me around for some reason, I just haven't figured out what it is yet, but I need to do something besides just sit around the house. Thought about getting involved in helping with a Scout Troop again, but not sure if my body can stand it. I really do have limitations due to my spine being so brittle as a result of the cancer. I need to do something though so that I feel like a productive member of society again. Well, enough said, until next time!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My 2008 ARRL Field Day Experience

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I had a great time working 2008 ARRL Field Day with all my friends in the K4KQ North Carolina Contest Group. I had fun at Field Day 08, we only had 40 CW contacts though, the rig I was on was a Kenwood TS-450S with no filtering at all and that made it really tough!I did get some traffic handling experience as I passed 14 formal messages including the one to the Division Section Manager for 200 bonus points altogether! Had 23 hams show up plus the ARRL Norfolk Division Section Manager Tim Slay N4IB visited and by K4RLD Bob DeWitt, District Emergency Coordinator for ARES Area Thirteen of the Western Branch of North Carolina . We had 2 stations on HF and one station on 6 meters and above. Bradley WZ4C worked south Texas off a LEO Low Earth Orbit satellite and a Hawaii station on 40 meters using a multiband vertical antenna, but we mostly used the wire antennas. A severe thunderstorm stopped operations for about 2 hours. Talk about getting field experience under adverse conditions! It hailed, hard wind gusts blew down trees to the North of us and there was a power outage, but we were on generators anyway so it didn't stop us after the rain and lightning receded and the 1000 foot loop and the 260 feet dipole hung in there. We sat in the RV and a camper and the RV I sat in rocked from the wind gusts! WZ4I Mark and Bradley WZ4C were prepared and all the equipment tables were covered with tarps and worked well. I made it til 6 AM this morning and was so tired I came home and went to bed.I'm just thankful it wasn't 95 degrees with 90% humidity! It was 70 last night after the storm that blessed us with much needed 2 inches of rain.
73 de Cliff KU4GW SKCC#652

Mickey Mouse & Me - "A Story of Two Miracles"

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Back when I was going through chemotherapy for treatment of multiple myeloma (bone marrow) cancer last year my wife brought a little Chihuahua Feist mix dog home to me and I named him Mickey Mouse. My feet would about kill me with pain caused by peripheral neuropathy, a side effect of the chemo drugs. They would hurt so bad that I would soak them in hot water and then have the wife rub them down in Bengay and they still hurt, but not as bad. Anyway, the first thing Mickey did when she brought him home was he would lie on my feet. He would get them real warm and they would almost stop hurting completely. I told Irene that I thought God sent him to me. Then, not long after I had Mickey he got very sick and would start shaking from side to side and slobbering. He took it by spells. Eventually he got so he couldn't walk 3 steps without falling down or falling into the wall. I had to physically hold him up to keep him from falling into his water bowl when he drank. I took him to the veterinarian and the vet diagnosed him with hydrocephalus (water on the brain). He told me I could take Mickey to a specialist, but he may not be able to help him either. I didn't have the money to take him to Charlotte to the specialist, so I prayed for God to heal him. After I had my stem cell transplant in August at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and was back at home in recovery, on the 30th day of October they telephoned me and told me all my tests showed I was now cancer free. The very same day Mickey got better and has been better ever since then. He is wide open and I love that little dog. I still think he was a gift from God. He is my best friend. He sleeps with me every night and he is so warm! The cancer I had was multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and according to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation it is an incurable cancer. I believe with all my heart that God answered my prayers and that he healed both Mickey and me.

**UPDATE** - MARCH 9, 2018 - It is with much sadness I must report I had to have Mickey euthanized this evening at Stony Point Animal Clinic in Stony Point, NC. He came down with a terrible hacking cough 3 days ago on March 6th that was so bad and loud you couldn't stand to be in the same room with him! The veterinarian wanted to do a chest x-ray because she said his gums looked grey which was a indicator of a lack of oxygen. She came back and told me one side of his heart was very enlarged and wasn't pumping right so he wasn't getting enough oxygen. Mickey also had a heart murmur he'd had his entire life. You could hear his heart murmur without even trying when lying in bed at night in a quiet room. I asked her if that could be the reason he has always had such a bad itching problem and dry skin. He would take his paws and rub the sides of his mouth and cry out in agony from it. She said it's possible because he hasn't been getting the right amount of oxygen. The poor little guy has 
suffered with that his entire life! She told me she could give him up to 10 pills a day to reduce the swelling in his heart, but it could get expensive, money I just don't have anyway, and even after doing that every day and it may come right back or he may smother to death over the weekend if it didn't help him so I told her to put him to sleep so he wouldn't have to suffer anymore. I left before they ethahanized him because I told the vet I wanted to remember seeing him alive and not how he looked after passing away. Mickey was 11 years old and was a wonderful companion to me. After today I've made up my mind that after the rest of the dogs I own pass on I am never getting another one because unfortunately God didn't make them live as long as humans do so getting one and then falling in love with it is just setting yourself up for heartbreak. I've had more than my share of that already after going through what I did to defeat stage 3 multiple myeloma and then going through losing my dear wife of 27 years when she passed away at only 48 years old from a pulmonary embolism 6 years ago as of March 24, 2018. I know one thing that's a fact. God sure has given me more than my share of tribulations in the soon to be 57 years I'll have been alive on this Earth as of May 10, 2018!