Ken Harker WM5R
Amateur Radio


I have been an Amateur Radio operator since August, 1993, when I earned a "Technician with HF Privileges" class license and the callsign N1PVB. I upgraded to Advanced in 1996, and held the callsign KM5FA for four years. I currently hold an Extra class license and the callsign WM5R. I am the webmaster of the Central Texas DX & Contest Club. I've been a member of the American Radio Relay League since 1996, and I am a former president of the University of Texas Amateur Radio Club.

My primary interest in Amateur Radio is contesting. I have recently become very active in both HF and VHF/UHF contests. I am primarily a phone contester, and have had some recent success as a single-operator. Much of my experience, however, is in the multi-operator categories. I was a member of the team that set the West Gulf Division Limited Multi-op record score for the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes. I do almost all of my operating from the University of Texas Amateur Radio Club station N5XU, although I have recently been operating serious contests from K5TR, N5TW, W5KFT, and other top stations. I have had a few articles and photographs published in the National Contest Journal (NCJ) and the ARRLWeb.


Amateur Radio Photography
I've taken a few photos of some of my Amateur Radio activities. Some of these photos have been taken with a simple, 35mm camera, and scanned by Kodak when the film was developed. Others were taken with a Fujifilm FinePix 2400Z digital camera. One of my photos has been featured on the cover of the National Contest Journal and on the ARRLWeb.
ARRL 10 Meter Contest Records
For several years, I've maintained the record scores for the ARRL 10 Meter Contest. The records are re-calculated each year using a complete database of line scores from ever year that the contest has been run. Many of the line scores were typed into a digital format from old print copies of QST by volunteers including K5OT, KG5U, and WM5R. Someday, these records will also appear again on the ARRLWeb.
Contesting
I operate a dozen or so serious contests each year, including both VHF/UHF and HF events. I have had Top Ten finishes in the ARRL International DX Contest, Phone, M/2, and ARRL 10 Meter Contest, Phone, SOHP. I helped N5XU set the current West Gulf Division record score in the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, M/L. I also enjoyed helping N5XU take second place overall in the 1997 Collegiate Championship.
Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF)
ARDF is a map-and-compass sport that includes using handheld radio receivers and directional antennas to locate radio transmitters in diverse, wooded terrain. As an Amateur Radio operator, and an active orienteer, ARDF is a natural fit to my interests. We are organizing more ARDF activity in Texas - look for upcoming meets at Texas ARDF.
Amateur Radio Mobile
I am currently driving a 2007 Honda Civic EX sedan. For amateur radio use, I have installed an Icom IC-706MkIIG transceiver, an Icom AH-4 antenna tuner, and two vertical antennas on the trunk. The objective of the installation was to utilize antennas that can remain affixed to the car at all times.
Contest Maps
I have generated a few maps of U.S. contesters using data from ARRL Contest Results and other sources. The maps show some interesting demographics of the different contests. Some of the data that the maps illustrate include transmit power, entry class, and top ten scores.
Elecraft K2/100
My Elecraft K2/100 was purchased Friday May 16, 2002 at the Dayton Hamvention. It is fully-loaded with the K160RX, KSB2, KNB2, KAF2, KPA100, and MH2 options, as well as several modifications. In April, 2003, it was upgraded to Revision B. As a radio for contesting, I think the Elecraft K2/100 has great promise.
VHF Weak Signal DX
I enjoy working DX stations on the VHF/UHF bands using SSB and CW modes. Over the summer of 1996, I helped N5XU earn VHF/UHF Century Club (VUCC) status on 50MHz, by contacting other Amateur Radio stations in over 100 different "grid squares." Mostly I use the callsign N5XU, but I have worked over 100 grids on six meters using my own callsign as well.
HF World Wide DX
I have a blast working distant DX station on the HF bands. I am active on CW, SSB, and RTTY modes. I am a member of the DX Century Club (DXCC), have Worked All States (WAS) , and I continue to work toward Worked All Zones (WAZ) and Worked All Japanese Prefectures (WAJA).
Antenna Visualization
With fellow graduate student Adrian Agogino, I developed this software as a class project in 1996. This is a rapid prototype of a useful visualization tool that could aid antenna designers in better understanding the nature of radiation fields associated with antennas.
Super CMOS Keyer III
In 1998, I built a Super CMOS Keyer III for the VHF contest station at N5XU. The Super CMOS Keyer III does not have a PTT output, but Dale Martin KG5U suggested a circuit that, when added to the keyer, would do the next best thing.
Rescoring Cabrillo VHF Logs
I've written a program that reads in Cabrillo format files and computes eight different contest scores based upon eight different scoring formulas for each log. Output is in space or comma-delimited format, suitable for import into spreadsheets and other data analysis software.
Amateur Radio Publications
This is a bibliography of the Amateur Radio journal articles and online articles I've had published, and a listing of the newsletters and online media I edit or publish on Amateur Radio topics.

Last Updated 22 November 2012
wm5r@arrl.net