On The Cover: January 2010


Greg Hanson, KI8AF, of
Marquette, Michigan

On the Cover

It’s January, so it must be time to work on the antennas, right? Greg Hanson, KI8AF, of Marquette, Michigan, says jokingly that “We don’t do antenna work up here unless there’s two feet of snow on the ground!” His Gap Challenger vertical is now accompanied by a 48-foot tower, but as a QRP CW aficionado, Greg is somewhat of a minimalist. Code, he says, “works so much better than phone,” especially when operating at low power.

His main QRP rig is an Elecraft K1, although he also has an Oak Hills 500 and a variety of QRP kits, as well as a Yaesu FT-840 and a Kenwood TS-520. Greg enjoys island-hunting, also on CW, and mostly on QRP. He says his most memorable QRP contact was his first DX contact, with Ireland, using a “38 Special” from the NorCal QRP Club on 30 meters. Greg and a couple of friends had built a few of them together … “I mean, a $25 rig, and we had more fun with those rigs!” he recalled. “We tried to work all states with them and got up to 47 or 48 until conditions deteriorated, and they still haven’t gotten much better, so we’re still trying to get Alaska and Hawaii.”

Greg has been a ham since 1996, but his interest goes back to his youth, when he lived next door to a ham who provided an introduction to the hobby. School, the Navy, work, and raising a family all got in the way of pursing a license, he says, but once his kids were grown, he decided it was time. Greg says he gets on the air at least a couple of times a week—“Whenever I come down to the basement, I turn on the rig, just to see what’s happening”—and is active in the local Hiawatha Amateur Radio Association, serving for the last several years as editor of the club newsletter. (Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)

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