We always enjoyed talking to Rich Strand, KL7RA, at Dayton, and were saddened to hear of his passing in November, 2015. However, thanks to the efforts of the North Pole Contest Group, his legacy continues.

club mugs Rich Strand tribute QTH

The station, on a hill top in Nikiski, north of Kenai, has beautiful views.

antenna and volcanoes sunset and towers Mount Spurr sunset sunset sunset alpenglow on the volcanoes

Steve Bloom, KL7SB, purchased the QTH,


and with Wigi Tozzi, KL0R, as trustee,


KL7RA lives on as a club station.

Steve and Wigi

CQ WW SSB 2018 was the first operation as a M/M. Steve built an addition to Rich's original house, adding more dormitory space

house and towers first-floor new bedroom original second floor master bedroom second floor bedroom thord floor dormitory third floor dormitory third floor dormitory Wigi in the kitchen contest food

and producing a spacious, comfortable ham shack. The original section was set up as the workshop and 20m and 40m positions. The new addition was set up for 15m, 80m, and an SO2R position for 10m and 160m, as well as the snack refrigerators, coffee maker, and bathroom. New, large monitors were added, and the station was rewired as M/M.

shack, new section old station area and workshop Paul setting up computer rewiring Steve at the SO2R position Kris rewiring

The bandpass filters and switching network are housed in the "copper room", which used to be the original shack bathroom.

bandpass network switching network

Two sheds hold reels of cable, tower belts, parts, and tools.

large shed small shed

Quite a bit of work needed to be done to get ready for the contest.

We replaced three bad coax connectors for the fixed JA 20m antenna.

Paul replacing PL259 Paul checking cable Paul preparing to climb Paul making PL259

We built lock-out boxes and receiver-overload protection boxes:

Paul building boxes lockout box construction Paul wiring 8-pin DIN Paul building lockout boxes

We added more radials to the 160m vertical:

radials 160m vertical

Some sidemounted antennas had turned in the wind. Paul straightend out the lower 10m antenna before the contest.

10m sidemount

The antennas (as of October, 2018) consist of:

towers towers antenna farm antennas

160m: Full-sized vertical built of Rohn 25 with a whisker on top and ground radials. Used for transmit only.

80m: Half-wave wire 4-square, 130' tall

40m: (North tower) 4 element M2 at 95', half-wave wire 4-square (currently not in use), (South tower) 2 stacked 2-element shorty-fortys at 55' and 110'. The two towers are three wavelengths apart N-S and can be tuned to be driven in phase

20m: North 20: 5 over 5 M2 at 55' and 110', East 20: 5 over 5 M2 at 45' and 90', fixed 5-element homebrew on JA at 45'

15m: 5 over 5 Cushcraft at 35' and 70', 4 over 4 over 4 Cushcraft at 33', 66', and 99'.

10m: 5 over 5 over 5 Cushcraft at 30', 60', and 120'

Beverages: N, NE. E. and W 660'. No need for receiving antennas for JA, KH6, or ZL. Used on 160m and can be used on 80m.


For CQ WW SSB 2018, the operators were:

AL2F, Kris Kerce

KL7SB, Steve Bloom

KQ1F, Charlotte Richardson

K1XM, Paul Young

KA1NCN, Dave Case

KL0R, Wigi Tozzi

KL2HD, Jeff Williams

KA1NCN K1XM and KL2HD KL7SB AL2F K1XM K1XM KQ1F 15m position K1XM final screen

After contest, the four blown amplifiers needed to be repaired

KL0R checking amplifier

and one lower 20m antenna needed to be straightened out.

Paul straightening sidemount antenna


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Contact us at mermaid@underwater.org.

Last modified14 NDecember 2018