This page is where I (Ed Braaten, aka K6EKB) keep things related to my hobby of Amateur radio. My introduction to the world of radios began in a police car at the age of 5 - I was fascinated by all the chatter and squelch tails. I got involved with shortwave listening in high school. I collected a number of QSL cards from international broadcasters and listened to a lot of Deutsche Welle.
After several thwarted attempts through the years I finally studied and passed the test for a No-Code Technician license in November, 1997. Shortly after getting my Technician license, I taught myself Morse Code and became proficient at the blazing speed of 5 WPM. I passed the 5 WPM Morse Code examination and was able to upgrade to a Technician Plus license in December 1997. My original callsign was "KF6OQI".
When the FCC Opened their Gate 4 Vanity Callsign Program in December, 1997, I applied for the vanity callsign "K6EKB". I was inspired to apply for this callsign (which matches my initials) by my Elmer in those days, "K6KRD" whose callsign also matches his initials. On 7 January, 1998 the FCC granted me the "K6EKB" callsign.
After some theory study and some more practice with Morse code (13 WPM), I upgraded to General Class in May 1998. Many years later (April 13th, 2004 to be exact) after hitting the books again and participating in an excellent class held by Jerry Seligman, W7BUN, (Silent Key, Aug 16th, 2006) from the Radio Club of Tacoma, I finally upgraded to Amateur Extra Class.
If you thought the picture of me on this page was taken in K6EKB's shack, guess again! Note the "KH6BB" on the bulletin board behind me. The picture was taken while I was visiting aboard the battleship USS Missouri. None of the hams were on board that day so I didn't get to operate KH6BB, but it was a thrill to look at nevertheless!
My current shack is setup in my workshop on our acreage near Rainier, WA. The VHF grid-square is CN86PV and the ICBM coordinates are 46° 54.279' N and 122° 42.118' W. For HF (160m - 80m) I'm running a 200 ft. end-fed, long-wire antenna mounted up in the trees. The long-wire is fed via 50 ft. of RG-8 coax and a home brew balun and RF choke. Tomm, KD7QAE gets the credit for giving me the long-wire antenna design and hounding me for several months to try it out! One of these days I'll revamp this web site and put a dedicated page here with the complete antenna design and more pictures. For now, just click here for some pictures of the original feed point at my old home QTH. My other HF antenna is a Gap Titan Vertical which I use on 40m - 10m.
A 14-month military deployment in Iraq beginning in January 2006 left my station unattended and upon my return I found a number of radios, my HF long-wire, and my VHF antennas in need of repair. Also while I was gone, my mobile station, a Chevy Z71 pick-up loaded with 2M, 220, 440, HF radios, and an ARPS beacon, was involved in an accident and totalled. I'm still trying to find the time and resources to get everything repaired and back on the air again.
I'm a life member of ARRL and am currently inactive in the Thurston County RACES/ARES group. I'm member #4334 of FISTS International. I'm also a member of the Ten-Ten International Net with 10-10 number 69377.
I'm not much of a paper-chaser, but in my early ham days I worked my way toward the awards listed below.
|Africa||31 May 98||5X1T||17 M||SSB|
|Asia||1 Jan 98||JH1MSB||15 M||CW|
|Europe||17 May 98||YL2DX||20 M||SSB|
|North America||2 Jan 98||VE7IDV||10 M||SSB|
|Oceania||21 Apr 98||ZL1ABL||10 M||SSB|
|South America||1 Jan 98||LU2YAX||10 M||SSB|