In this photo I'm visiting station W6RO in the Radio Room on HMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA
After nearly 50 years on the air I'm enjoying Amateur Radio now more than ever. There is romance
to Amateur Radio CW that I don't find in other means of communication. I began as a Novice Class
operator in 1967 when Novices had to be sponsored by another Ham of at least General Class. That
ham was my first mentor, Harold W6HKV. He certified to the FCC that I had achieved 5wpm sending
and receiving International Morse Code, then gave me the written test the FCC sent. That test was
then returned to the FCC for grading, and there was a wait of 8 or 9 weeks before I learned I had
passed and received my Novice License and the call sign WN6YMO. I started my Ham career at the
age of 15 on 40 CW using a dipole, a Johnson Viking 1 transmitter, and a Knight-kit R100A receiver.
My first DX outside of the USA was KG6AAY on the island of Guam. It's been lots of fun ever since.
1968 - Strand Memorial Radio Club Station W6HKV at Kingsburg High School
The kid in front is me, then WB6YMO General Class at age 16, with friends Robert WB6PPT
in the middle and Rick WB6WKR at the rear - I was privileged to be a member of this great
high school radio club in the late 1960s, and served as the club president my senior year.
Visible in the photo are a Galaxy V transceiver, Gonset GSB-100 transmitter, Hammarlund
HQ-180 receiver, and in the rack is a homebrew kilowatt amplifier and high power antenna
tuner built by Harold Strand W6HKV, my mentor and the station's namesake. Harold became
a silent key soon after giving me the Novice test in 1967. After his death his widow generously
donated his radio gear, tower, antennas and large library of radio books to our school club.
After graduating form college I began a 10 year career with Sperry Corporation as an field
technician. After several years of night school I became an engineer with Rangor Electronics,
a company producing monitoring and control equipment for Getty Oil, Shell Oil and other
oil exploration and production companies. In 1987 I moved to Silicon Valley and a job with
Plexus Computers, a minicomputer and software company. In 1989 I moved back to the San
Joaquin Valley and began a 23 year career in the Information Technology Department at
Fresno Unified Schools. I'm now semi-retired and do IT work on a part time contract basis.
15 bands 1.8 - 432 Mc on one tower, 14 bands rotatable, 160/80 meter shunt feeds up the sides.
I modified the Mosley PRO-67C 7-band HF Yagi so it covers 9 HF bands on one boom and feedline.
It works as a rotatable dipole on 80, 60 and 30 meters, and as a 3-element Yagi on 40, 20, 17, 15,
12 and 10 meters. The antenna has averaged 315 countries confirmed on each band 40m-10m. My
single-tower all-band system based on the PRO-67C has worked more than 2,500 band-countries
in the DXCC Challenge from my small city lot. I also shunt-feed the tower as a 160/80m vertical.
Detail of the separate 160/80 shunt-feeds - vacuum-variable series-feed caps, 16 elevated radials
The crankup tower sections are bonded together for RF, and the rotor in the tower is RF protected.
With all of the metal Yagi antennas on the 54-foot tower acting as a massive top hat, the tower
is nearly equivalent to 1/4 wavelength on 160 meters. It's tuned with series-feed capacitors. I tune
them for a purely resistive impedance at the feed points, measure those values, then use the series-
section coaxial matching technique in the individual feed lines to transform those impedances to
50 ohms at the transmitter. This is a simple solution that allows tuning across both bands with
kilowatt power and no failures. The mild California weather allows the large vacuum capacitors
to sit out in the open without any protection - rain has caused no problems in operation.
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AMATEUR RADIO STATION AD6W
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A1 Operators Club - American Radio Relay League - Central California DX Club - San Joaquin Net 3918 Kc - Trustee, Strand Memorial Amateur Radio Club W6HKV
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ALL-TIME DXCC - 350 CONFIRMED
DXCC MIXED #32,484 - HONOR ROLL - 339 CONFIRMED
DXCC CW #6,205 - HONOR ROLL - 334 CONFIRMED
DXCC PHONE #20,574 - HONOR ROLL - 333 CONFIRMED
5-BAND DXCC #4,466 - ENDORSED FOR 30, 17, 12 METERS
160-METER DXCC #2,275 - 121 CONFIRMED
DXCC CHALLENGE - 2488 CONFIRMED
WORKED ALL ZONES #7,797
IOTA - 870 ISLAND GROUPS CONFIRMED
5-BAND WORKED ALL STATES #2,552
ANTARCTIC BASES - 31 CONFIRMED
AMATEUR RADIO LIGHTHOUSE SOCIETY LIGHTHOUSES - 96 CONFIRMED
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My operating awards are based only on contacts made from my home QTH in Kingsburg California USA. I'm active on all bands 1.8 - 432 Mc. CW is my favorite mode of operation. I enjoy keeping up with friends by Ham Radio. I enjoy chasing grids on the VHF/UHF weak signal modes, band-countries for the ARRL DXCC Challenge program, island groups for the RSGB IOTA Islands On The Air award program, Antarctic stations, lighthouse stations, and museum ship stations.
I enjoy restoring and operating a collection of vintage vacuum-tube radios produced by American and British radio manufacturers. It's fun to find an old radio at a swap meet, clean it up, fix its problems, and bring it back on the air. The look and smell of old vacuum-tube rigs in operation brings a romance to Radio that newer equipment lacks. I enjoy the tactile delights of big black knobs, wrinkle-finish paint, glowing vacuum tubes, and the smell of warm components cooking in a chassis.
I enjoy designing and building homebrew projects including antennas and kilowatt amplifiers. I also enjoy building electronic kits. I built the Elecraft K3 Transceiver kit, and it has become my favorite rig for everyday use.
I use the Elecraft K3 alone on HF and 6 meters, and on the 144, 222, and 432 Mc bands using transverters and mast-mounted preamps. I've had several top-performing 50-pound import radios, but at my station the little 8-pound K3 beats them all. The K3's narrow roofing filters, adjustable digital noise reduction, adjustable noise blanker, and CW audio peaking filter allow me to hear and work DX buried in noise that I can't copy on other rigs. Using the K3 I was able to complete 160 meter DXCC from California using only a shunt-fed tower for both transmitting and receiving (no low-noise receiving antenna). That says a lot about the K3's ability to hear through noise. 160 meter DXCC from California is very difficult for smaller stations with almost no opportunity to work European DX. With a rich set of control outputs the K3 automatically band-switches and controls all of my transverters, mast-mounted preamps, amplifiers and antennas through a homebrew interface. Just dial up the band and frequency, and the K3 properly configures all the accessories. The K3 is one of few rigs that directly reads out transverter frequencies on the transceiver's display. Along with modern transverters, the K3 can be locked to an external 10 Mhz precision frequency source for ultimate stability in the VHF, UHF and SHF regions. With the P3 Panadaptor option it's easy to see activity pop up on the higher bands. I plan to have 902 Mc and 1296 Mc transverters, preamps, amplifiers and antennas operational soon. The K3 has the capacity to to control up to nine transverters.
As shown in the pictures above, the heart of my compact 15-band, 1-tower antenna system is a modified Mosley PRO-67C-3 HF Yagi. Experts say these coil-trap beams don't work very well, so they are always surprised to learn I've worked more than 2,500 DXCC Challenge band-countries using this antenna on a 54-foot tower from my small city lot in California. The PRO-67C is one of few antennas easily modified to put all 9 HF bands rotary on top of one tower, and that's what I need to chase band-countries. It's also compact enough to fit on a small city lot with a reasonable 24-foot boom length and correspondingly small turning radius. Using the PRO-67C I often work DXpeditions on 7 or more bands. Mounted above it are phased stacks of Yagis for the VHF and UHF bands. I shunt-feed the entire tower structure as a vertical for DX on 80 and 160 meters.
When I'm not on the air I'm out in the garage building hotrod cars and trucks. I do all construction tasks myself including metal fabrication, welding, chassis and suspension construction, engine modifications, body and paint work, and upholstery. My current projects include a low black 1951 Ford F1 Pickup with all the modern conveniences, a scary fast 1931 Ford highboy coupe powered by a 392 Chrysler Hemi, and a 1928 Ford roadster pickup powered by a flathead V8.
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