HFpack

Meet the Moderators
of HFpack Group
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Bonnie KQ6XA
Bonnie KQ6XA
John K6ERO
John K6ERO
Virgil K5OOR
Virgil K5OOR
Oliver KB6BA
Oliver KB6BA

Budd W3FF
Budd W3FF
Bob AB7ST
Bob AB7ST
Sasi VK5SN
Sasi VK5SN
Ken N0VZ
Ken N0VZ

Meet the Moderators of HFpack. The HF Portable Group.
HFpack has become one of the largest non-commercial fully-moderated groups of this kind in the world. It remains a high quality group because a team of skilled moderators makes it run smoothly and efficiently. Every day, the volunteer moderators read every message posted by members. They approve it, reject it, or clean it up before it goes out to the 6000 members via email or the web. Moderators process new membership applications, and help members who are having problems with their messages or membership. Such a spammer-free and flame-free group would not be possible on the internet without the watchful eyes of these talented people.All of the moderators on the HFpack team possess a unique combination of technical expertise, HF portable radio knowledge, talent for writing/editing, and even-handed patience for interacting with people. Every moderator is also an active HF portable operator and radio enthusiast. We hope this section of the HFpack website gives you a little insight behind the scenes, into the human beings that make HFpack Group an enjoyable experience.

Bonnie KQ6XA - Founder/Webmaster/Moderator
Bonnie founded HFpack in 2000, as an international resource forum for HF portable.
She had been operating HF Pedestrian Mobile for many years, and wanted to talk with other pedestrian operators on the air. Before that time, it was very difficult for HF portable operators to find each other, except once a year on Field Day. The early HFpack discussion forum existed first on the eGroups system, which later became Yahoogroups. As the group started to expand, she proposed new HFpack Calling Frequencies dedicated to HF portable SSB operation. Once the frequencies were established, she proposed regular on-the-ar schedules, and the informal HFpack Net was born. Through the efforts of HF portable enthusiasts around the world as the solar cycle was starting to peak, operators went out to set new long distance records for pedestrian-to-pedestrian QSOs; this became the basis for the HFpack Hall of Fame. Bonnie says, "When I first started HFpack, I hoped there might be 25 operators around the world interested in lightweight HF portable operation. The first day, when 65 members joined, I knew it was the beginning of a worldwide movement for amateur radio. Since then, as thousands of operators have become a part of it though the egroup and events, we have branched out into other aspects of HF operations. I want to thank the other Moderators and the HFpack Steering Committee who have made it possible to have such a huge and wonderful group. We could not have made it this far without them. I hope that all HFpackers continue to carry the spark of HF portable enthusiasm into the future."
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Bonnie KQ6XA cave radio pedestrian mobile
Bonnie KQ6XA portable
Bonnie KQ6XA Bike Mobile
Virgil K5OOR - Moderator

Virgil was first licensed as K5OOR in 1956. He enjoys operating but not chasing DX. His favorite on-air hangout is 18157.5 kHz with his K2. His vocation prepared him for design and packaging of electronic products. When he joined HFpack in 2000, he realized the widespread need for a battery-powered portable HF linear amplifier. After developing the HFPacker-Amp, he ran up against a technical problem with the FCC rules temporarily preventing the sharing of this great project with other hams. Barry W4WB helped him with guidance in obtaining a letter from the FCC, which cracked open a door for QRP linear amplifiers that had been slammed shut for 30 years. Since then, through volunteer help from fellow HFpackers, Virgil’s HFPROJECTS has supplied the HFPacker-Amp project to over 600 radio amateurs worldwide. Virgil says, “I am happy to donate my time to help lift the quality of the HFpack forum high. My real passion is the creation of home construction projects for the radio amateur. I enjoy helping others have a successful building experience via the web site and email. My obsession for the hobby is what keeps me motivated. Over the years, I have added a few other projects. I am currently steeped in the design and development of a 100W amplifier to also be built as a home construction project. I look forward to the next up period of the solar cycle. I like CW but I’m a little rusty. I hope to put up a beam in the future.”

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Virgil K5OOR
Bob AB7ST -  Moderator

HFpack member for 5 years, moderator for 4 years. First licensed in 1964, Bob became a DXer as KA7RF with his first overseas assignment in the USAF - Fukuoka, Japan. He was only one of two active hams with the KA7 prefix. Upon return to stateside, he discovered how difficult DX was with modest antennas! Living in the Seattle area, then California, the DX VHF bug hit. Bob came within 300 miles of the 2M over-land record using a single beam antenna - Los Angeles to Arkansas. Moving to Park City, Utah, antennas were limited, and Bob moved to CW QRP as the mode of choice. Bob has made it to the Dayton Hamvention twice, and built many QRP radios. Now, Bob splits his time between QRP CW and usually more power for SSB. Current rigs of choice include the Icom 756 Pro III, AL-80B 1000w amp for clearing frequencies, and the main antenna is a 5 band Hexbeam. Portable activity even includes HF Snowshoe Mobile, and using a variety of rigs ranging from the KX1 to IC 703 and 706 with a Buddipole and other homebrew antennas.

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Bob AB7ST

Ken N0VZ - Moderator

Ken first became interested in amateur radio as a means of emergency communications while hiking and four wheeling in the back country of Colorado. He earned his Technician ticket in July 2000 and realized quickly that that without HF privileges he wouldn't be able to explore all that amateur radio has to offer, so he upgraded to General in August 2000 and finally upgraded to Extra in June 2001.  Not long after obtaining HF privileges, he worked Budd W3FF, who was operating pedestrian mobile on 15 meters... Ken was soon hooked on /PM. Here was a way to combine enjoyment of the outdoors with amateur radio. He soon built a homebrew Buddipole with the help and encouragement of Budd and obtained an SGC 2020. Since that time Ken has used a progression of commercial HF rigs for /PM operations including the Alinco DX-70, Icom 706, Yaesu 817, 897, 857, and the famous FT-70 manpack. Ken also experiemented with a variety of antennas including the homebrew and commercial Buddipole, SuperAntennas MP-1, Outbacker Perth and Ham Sticks. While all of these setups had their pros and cons for working /PM, none fully satisfied what Ken was looking for. Then, he obtained a PRC-2000 from the UK and soon realized that military HF manpacks provided a real grab and go package. Since that time he has moved to a PRC-1099 packset, and he would like to give the Vertex VX-1210 a try at some point. Ken says, “I am glad to be able to serve the HF Pack group as co-moderator and look forward to continuing experimentation and outdoor adventures with /PM operation.”

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Ken N0VZ


John K6ERO - Moderator

John was first licensed in March 2001, at the suggestion of a friend who knew he was interested in military radios to go along with the military vehicle hobby. He really enjoys the woods and the water, so he is most active from the trails of the Ozark highlands, and famous among HFpackers for his HF Kayak Mobile operations on the lakes of Arkansas. John appreciates the important waterproof qualities of military mapacks for kayak mobile, so he founded the MILPACK egroup. Active 160M-2M, mostly on SSB, ALE and other digital modes, and soon to be bike mobile. Simple wire antennas are also a particular interest. John says, “My first DX contact as a Tech ticket holder was with a station in Venezuela on 6 M pedestrian mobile with an old FT-690RII at 2.5 watts. That was all it took, I was hooked on walking mobile, QRP and amateur radio in general. I proceeded to get my General license, took on my grandad’s callsign K6ERO, and soon discovered the HFpack group! I was delighted to find a group that is dedicated to my type of unusual portable operations. In the past couple of years I have bought, sold, traded, and experimented with many different amateur, commercial, and military portable and manpack radios, to learn about what makes for the the most effective and fun portable/ pedestrian mobile HF set up. In the process I have met many fine hams, and made some very good friends with similar interests.”

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John K6ERO


Budd W3FF - Backup Moderator

First licensed at age 14 in 1954, Budd grew up with a ham father (W3FF senior), in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Later he moved to California and was a disc jockey for 10 years until he got into a real occupation. In 1990 Budd began making daily walking HF DX QSOs carrying his TS-50 and 12 volt SLA batteries with a homebrew portable dipole. When he put it up a web page, he became famous among so many HF portable hams building his design for that homebrew portable dipole. Now, Budd enjoys running an  FT-857 on his mountain bike. At the home QTH, he runs a TS-850S with a quad camouflaged in the trees on his restricted lot... an Alpha 78A amplifier is held in reserve for when the going gets tough. Budd’s main interest is modular portable antennas. Budd says, “A local ham told me about a brand new website called HFpack and I joined the same day. A discussion about my portable dipole came up on the HFpack forum and Sharyl W3VET,  named it the Buddipole! My son Chris W6HFP and I later went commercial with it in 2002. I'm the only backup moderator for the HFpack egroup. Early on, Bonnie wanted to have someone be available to take care of the group when she was away on trips, and I volunteered. I'm grateful to be a part of HFpack.”

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Budd W3FF

Sasi VK5SN - Moderator

Sasi was first licenced in 1987 as VU3SNM (India) when he was 15 years old. In his years as a ham radio operator he has enjoyed QRP and portable operations, casual DXing, a bit of contesting and homebrewing antennas. His interest in portable operations has come in handy on a few civil emergency operations and medical emergency communications. He has also used amateur radio for community activities such as International coastal clean-ups, marathons, JOTA's and car rallies. His work as a marine biologist has taken him all over the world to destinations such as USA, Bermuda, UK, New Zealand and Canada operating portable and from the shacks of his good old friends, making use of the reciprocal licencing agreement. From 1999 to 2004 he was based in Singapore and held the call sign 9V1SM. During that time he took along and operated his portable pack from a few remote islands off Singapore on his work-related trips. Living on the second floor of an apartment with antenna restrictions did not stop him from getting on HF as he operated ‘stealth’ very ‘productively’ often working into Europe, East & West Coast of the US and South America on the other side of the globe. In early 2005 he moved to Adelaide, South Australia from where he is currently active QRO and QRP, on PSK31, SSB, SSTV, RTTY, FM and a few other digital modes. Sasi also moderates the Icom 706 group, the Digipan group, and the VU Hams group. Sasi says, “ My interest in boating and radios recently got me involved with volunteering as marine radio instructor and operational member of the South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron. I also enjoy SCUBA diving, underwater photography and aeromodelling.

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Sasi VK5SN

Oliver KB6BA - Hall of Fame Curator

Oliver’s early interest in ham radio focused on VHF and some satellite operating, then turning more to HF and mobile operating after getting an Advanced ticket in 1978. For portable work, he started out using a modified L-pole with two fishing poles supporting lengths of wire and a couple of coils. He now uses a 9ft W3FF shock cord whip with a B&W air-wound base loading coil, an Elecraft T1 antenna coupler, and a dragging counterpoise. His favorite hilltop portable antenna is an inverted V, using a wire on a couple of small fishing reels and supported by two hiking staffs attached to the Cabelas 14ft telescopic pan fishing pole.  The portable rigs are: Yaesu FT817, Elecraft K2, or the Yaesu FT857 with Virgil's HFPacker-Amp for more power with the QRP rigs. He also has built up an 8Ah battery pack of Lithium Polymer cells which enable up to about 35W transmit power when needed. Oliver says, “The big change for me was first becoming an avid trail hiker years ago. This sowed the seeds for my enjoyment of outdoor operating. I still preferred messing with equipment and antennas more than operating, because I found it hard to stir up QSO's on HF and getting to know hams there on a regular basis. The breakthrough came at Pacificon in 2001 when Ken WB6MLC and I found out about HFpack. Shortly thereafter I started taking portable gear to hilltops and more importantly, began to develop a network of friends on the HFpack frequencies. It took a while to try out pedestrian mobile, and my early gear was not only heavy, but also cumbersome with many tangling cables.”

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Oliver KB6BA




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