Dean St. Hill, 8P6SH has been licenced since 1987 and since 1988 has been involved in mainly SSB contests, RTTY contests, DXing, 6m and other digital modes.
Dean earned his DXCC and currently has worked 5Band DXCC and is awaiting the required confirmations for submission. The toughest band was 80m. He has worked a total of 251 mixed, 248 SSB, and more than 150 on both RTTY and CW. He is currently working on VUCC on 6M (89 worked to date) and DXCC (33 worked).
In contests, he has earned a number of plaques and trophies but is especially proud of his 2004 and 2006 CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest North American wins. In 2006 his 2.247M points was a new record for North America. In 2002 he won World Single Operator Assisted in the ARRL International DX Contest (phone).
Since 2000 he has used 8P2K in major contests by obtaining written authorisation for its use. Since 2004, that callsign has been formally issued to him and can therefore be used at anytime. He however reserves it generally for use during contests.
Dean's station is set up around Yaesu transceivers and includes 2 FT1000mpMK5's and a newer FT950 which provides back-up and six-meter coverage. Main Antennas include a Force 12 C3 modified for seperate feeds on 10, 15 and 20m as well as Innovantenna 10 and 6m LFA monobanders - a 3 element and a 2 element on 10m and a 6 element LFA-MAX on 6m. The low bands are a weakness but he uses 2 element arrays on 40m and 80m using Comtek PVS-2 controllers. A pair of top-loaded Butternut HF2V are used on 80m, while a pair of Force 12 Sigma 40XK's are used on 40m. A currently unused 4-square for 20m can be pressed into service to provide options on 20m if necessary.
Station control is centred around MicroHam gear with a MK2R+ used for station computer control along with interfacing for all the modes. This unit provides the necessary headphone control, rtty FSK generation, CW keying and amplifier control. Station Masters from uHam are used to provide automatic antenna switching and in the future will be used for rotor control as well.
Antenna switch-gear is built around Array Solutions equipment including the WX0B Six-pack (6 X 2 matrix( and Stack Matches for combining and switching on 10m. In 10m contests this allows for beams to be pointed in different directions and for instant switching or for working EU and NA with equal ease despite the directional differences.
Amps include Acom 1000's (160m to 6m @ 1KW) and an Ameritron AL811H as back-up.
Rotors are Yaesu but need to be upgraded to the DXA versions to allow computer control of rotor.
Software used is exclusively Writelog but N1MM is available, fully configured and tested but has never been used in a major contest. Originally software used was CT and this was used even under windows but the transition was made years ago. In addition MMTTY is used exclusively for RTTY and a master log is kept within DX4WIN but that software is currently a couple generations behind and is due for an upgrade.
The shack computer is based on a quadcore AMD chip and Gigabyte motherboard and was home-brewed with 8GBytes of RAM and a dual monitor configuration with two 17in monitors.
Future plans call for adding another Station Master, redesigning the bandpass filter switching, upgrading to a 10 X 2 antenna matrix and possibly adding another tri-bander to augment the 15 and 20m options.
When he's not on the bands, Dean also spends time as a semi-professional photographer focussed on landscapes. His images have been used by websites and he also runs a small business selling his black and white and colour prints to visitors to the island.
Professionally, he has over 25 years experience in the media industry primarily in Radio and TV production. He currently runs a small PR firm on the island.
QSL info is via KU9C or direct.
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