Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As 2019 moves closer and closer to becoming 2020 I wanted to spend time and look back on 2019. I looked at my blog posting history from 2019 and it was a slow year for posting. This had to do with working long hours and just too tired to get on the radio or to blog for that matter. My new Icom 7610 did not see too much operating time. During July, my wife and I had some heart-to-heart talks and I decided to retire. We both agreed it was time to move on to the next stage in life. The only thing that was holding me back was the change I had done the work thing at the same company for over 30 years. To just stop what I had been doing for so long made me feel uneasy but I put my notice in and by the end of July I was retired!
The next change was the location...... Julie and I both agreed that living in downtown Toronto was nice but it was time for a change. A slower pace was very agreeable to us both, so we decided to move to the east coast of Canada. We sold our condo in Toronto and purchased a home in New Brunswick and started to pack and move. I have to be honest I have NEVER made this many decisions in a single year in my entire life.
Fast-forward to the present.....we are settled in New Brunswick and my new call is a 2 letter call VE9KK. In Ontario, 2 letter calls are very very hard to get. In New Brunswick, I had a choice of 2 letter call signs. I chose a call that had good CW qualities. I have put up an EndFed antenna the property is small and the Endfed was my desk drawer taking up space, so I decided to put it into service. I'm now in my 5th month in New Brunswick and to date, I have logged 447 contacts as VE9KK and the first months at the new QTH I was unpacking and setting the house up. My first contact was on October 13 with IU8DON and since then I have logged more contacts in two and a half months than the first 7 months of 2019 as VE3WDM, I made a total of 311 contacts so it looks like retirement is treating me well in regard to my radio hobby.
I'm Looking forward to 2020 and what are my goals.......I want to look into the CWops cw academy program as this is really the only option I have found that works and can get my code on the upswing. Get involved with the local amateur radio club in town the Moncton Amateur radio club or MAARC. I would like to explore contacting some DXpeditions both CW and FT8 and or FT4. The above goals seem like a good start for the year as I don't want to go overboard with one hopeful goal after the other.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blog readers.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

  • Harry K7ZOV:


    It has been fun sharing your adventures and mis-adventures. Looking forward to reading more and how your retirement is working out. I am retired now also and most of the time it still feels strange since I have been working at something since 6th grade when I got my paper route. The other problem with retirement has been this time warp that messes with what day it is, what week it is and why the hell does a 2 hr project now take 2 weeks…

    In any case wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and every Happy New Year with lots of DX and other adventures… Take care my friend…

    Sending warm wishes from the White Mountains of Arizona

    73 Harry K7ZOV

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good afternoon Harry and always good hearing from you, I sure the new year will not be without retirement adventures! Yes, you do lose track of the days for sure sometimes my mates from work will text me saying “TGIF”. I read it and think “oh it’s Friday?” As for jobs around the house, I find myself taking my time to make sure it’s done right. Sometimes that may mean a job that I rushed and finished in a day now takes 2 or more days.
    I too wish you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and for you may the New bring many swap and trade deals!

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Going to be hard to do any more trades… The IC-7300 is a keeper. The IC-9700 is a keeper. The KPA500/KAT500 is for sure a keeper. My old S/N DOA K3/100 i brought back to life is a keeper. The Kenwood TS-990S is for sure a keeper and I suspect that if Sherwood would do another review (last done in 2013) with all the firmware up grades it would be close in performance to the new TS-890. This 54 lb beast is nothing short of awesome. So good I would put it up against my friends IC-7610 any day of the week.,, That leaves me with the KX2..It might be in danger because of the IC-705..Might be.., Time will tell… The KX2 is one small radio that plays like a big one..

    Have a Very Merry Christmas… Hope the weather if good where you are.. We are having a white Christmas… More time for ham radio

    73 to you and yours


  • Larry KG4ZAR:

    Thanks for all the notes over the years. I’ve really enjoyed following your journey as you retired and relocated. I also retired a year ago and moved to a new (to me) home after 3 months of remodeling and updating my Dad’s old 1931 farmhouse. As you and Harry pointed out, the hardest part of retirement was a sense of loss of purpose. Ham radio has been a major asset in that respect. I’ve managed to study and pass the General licence test and now studying for the Extra. Enjoy your retirement and new home. You’ve earned it!
    Larry KG4ZAR

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good evening Harry, well it seems you have a full station with “Keepers” I do agree that the KX2 in your lineup could be up for trade. I did not realize you also had the Icom 9700, I am not all that familiar with VHF/UHF to get the 9700 for myself. I am looking at some blogs that have a VHF/UHF leaning with the 9700 and I will see if my KX3 may be up for trade as well as some other goodies.
    As for the weather we have only had a dusting of snow so far and what I have been told by the locals that this time last year there was 6 feet of snow here.
    73 Harry very nice to hear from you,

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good evening Larry and congrats on getting your general ticket and the studying for your extra will keep you sharp and on the cutting edge of the hobby. I am very happy to read that you have enjoyed reading about my adventures. It’s very true Larry that once you retire there is a loss of purpose but ham radio and our new home with the reno’s has kept that demon at bay.
    Larry good luck with the study for the extra class ticket and do update me when you achieve that goal.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Hi again Mike. The IC-9700 was a shock radio from my xyl. She walked in on me using my 30 yr old Kenwood TS-711 and TS-811 setup for Satellite work that I was trying to get working. They are hooked to a 2 meter and a 70 cm eggbeater antennas. I said in passing I hope one day to be able to get a IC-9700 that is designed for what I was trying and pointed to the IC-7300 and said the radio looks like that but the guts a different.. She came back later and asked how much the radio was, so I punched up the latest pricing at the time and I believe it was around $1,600.. I also went to QTH.Com and did a radio search and found one for $1,200+shipping. It was only 2 months old.. I told her and she said pick one.. Happy early birthday (Dec 23rd) and early Christmas. I picked the 2 month old one. The money came out of funds from the sale of a HUGE cabover camper we sold. That was late last month, November.

    The IC-9700 is very unique. You have 3 antenna inputs. One for 2 meters, one for 70 cm and one for 23 cm. What you get is the core of the IC-7300 as far as UI and in the box 3 separate radios each with their own 99 memories and other unique features per band. Add to that a 3rd radio (sort of) for Satellite with it’s own 99 memories for full duplex. AND just when you think they packed a lot into the radio it does D-Star and can be networked and run remote. What it can NOT do is receive anything but ham bands. There is NO way to use the radio as a VHF/UHF RX for anything outside the ham bands. If you want to listen to the police and fire departments or download satellite weather maps you need to add a external RX transverter and use the radio as a IF. Not big deal, just a pain. But based on the design of this radio I totally understand.

    The person I bought it from supplied the bill of sale from where he bought it, so I know for sure it was only 2 months old. I asked why he was selling it. The radio did not fit his needs. He instead got a IC-7100 which gave him HF/VHF/UHF/D-STAR/SWL and more.

    This is a radio for everything. AM, FM, SSB, RTTY, DIGITAL, SATELLITE, EME, ARPS, PACKET, FT8, D-DTAR, DIGITAL PHOTOS and I am sure I missed a few items, so will as more. You are in a area that probably has a lot of FM going on, but also SSB, ARPS and other fun things. So my recommendation is look for a used one unless money is not a issue. The price of the radio is now falling. If the KX3 is not being used then maybe sell it thereby getting the funds or better yet list it on QTH.COM for trade.

    Any Question? LOL..

    73 and have a great day… We are getting snow. Expecting close to a foot in the next 24 more hours..

    Harry K7ZOV

  • Mike ve3wdm:

    Good evening Harry, I bet that was a surprise for sure! I am very new to Satellite work and not just sure if I want to lay the money out as I will need an antenna as well. I was wanting to do more research before I take the plunge. Now having said satellite I know is lots more you can do but I’m not that up to date With VHF/UHF all mode.
    Happy New Year Harry and keep me up to date with your VHF/UHF adventures.

  • Bob KD8WWM:

    Hi Mike,
    I enjoy reading about your adventures in Ham radio. You and your wife Julie must have an adventuresome spirit to make such a move to New Brunswick after spending 30 years in one job. Welcome to the retirement mode. I retired 3 years ago at age 85 after liquidating my printing business and I am still making adjustments. Sometimes I spend more time analyzing a project than actually working on it. I revived my dormant interest in Ham radio and recently passed the Extra exam. Like you, I hope to increase my code speed this year. I am currently renovating some old Heathkit transmitters. I hope to meet you on the air someday. Keep on blogging. Best regards, Bob

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good evening Bob and thanks very much for stopping by and leaving a comment, it’s always nice to read that my blog is being read and there are those that enjoy it. Yes, Bob it sure was an “adventuresome” spirit to make the move but Julie and I said what the heck lets just do it. I was 59 when I retired and in 2020 I will be hitting the big 60! Congratulations on passing the Extra exam that’s fantastic! Bob these days I am hanging out on HF FT8 so if you see me in the waterfall calling CQ do answer and we can get each other in the log.
    Happy New Year and thanks again for stopping by.

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