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K4TD QSL CARD SHOWS MAIN TOWER (ANTENNA/RIG INFORMATION IS PROVIDED IN BIO) LOCATION PROVIDED IS FOR BASE OF MAIN TOWER.
UPDATE: On a happy personal note, I have been fortunate to reconnect with Doug, KY4F - an old Navy buddy from USNSGA Sabana Seca, PR. Doug and I really enjoy contesting with each other. He has relocated to the Huntsville area so there are now plenty of opportunities to be active in CW and RTTY contesting in the multi-op category. Doug is a great friend, an excellent operator, and he keeps me laughing my head off when we aren’t behind the rigs… :-)
ORIGINAL: I became a ham in 1969 at the age of 12. From 1969 till 1979 I was extremely active in traffic handling, contesting and DXing. From 1980 till 2002 I was pretty much inactive due to reasons that included military service, family, work and living in CCR neighborhoods. I was able to return to active participation in amateur radio in 2002 but was still impacted by living in a CCR neighborhood. In 2003 I made up my mind that I was going to move out of the city and far, far away from places that had CCRs. My dream was to find a mountain-top location within reasonable commute to my job. While I was never able to find a suitable mountain top, in 2004 I finally found a beautiful location that includes 11 acres of land. I moved into my new QTH in September of 2004. Soon thereafter, I contacted Jay (WX0B) at Array Solutions, about assisting me in putting together a plan for a good antenna system. Jay put together an excellent plan for the antennas, provided the necessary hardware, and introduced me to Paul Nyland (K7PN) of Custom Metal Works, my integration contractor.
My antenna system consists of two towers: a 200 foot rotating tower (main) and a 70 foot free standing tower (multiplier) both made by AN/Wireless. The main tower is turned by a PRO.SIS.TEL PST71D rotator. At the top is an OptiBeam OB2-80 two element 75/80M yagi at 185 feet. Below that is an OptiBeam OB4-40 four element 40 meter yagi at 140 feet. I use OptiBeam OB16-3 20/15/10 tribanders in a three antenna stack. The OB16-3 tribanders are at 125ft/85ft/45ft. The configuration is 4/4/4 for 20M & 15M and 8/8/8 on 10M. I have a WX0B stackmatch to switch them. There is an OptiBeam OB2-30 2 element 30M yagi at 105 feet, a C3I 7 element 6M yagi at 90 feet, and an OptiBeam9-2WARC 17/12M dual-bander at about 65 feet. The multiplier tower is an AN/Wireless HHD-70 (rated for an 85 sq. ft. load at 70 MPH). On top of this tower is an OptiBeam OB17-4 four band yagi turned by another PRO.SIS.TEL PST71D rotator. The OB17-4 requires only one feedline and has the following configuration: 3/4/4/6 elements on 40/20/15/10 meters
In the shack, I have two Elecraft K3's amd two Alpha 8410's. The XCVRs are protected by in-line ShackLAN ethernet-based bandpass filters. I have a ShackLAN ethernet-based relay driver that manages the Array Solutions Six-Pak/Rat-Pak antenna switching units out at the towers. Both rigs have a microHam microKEYER II device attached. Each rig has a touch screen monitor to control antenna switching (including RX antenna control). I have the rigs set up in a multi-two configuration. I am a CW guy almost exclusively, but I have added RTTY capability. I occasionally use the station for RTTY contesting and find that I like that mode as well.
I am fairly happy with how my station performs, and I really enjoy using it whenever I can. Like many others, I wish I had all this hardware in some place that was more propagation friendly, but I always try to do the best with whatever the conditions throw at me. Due to recent impacts caused by my job, I have had to restrict my activities to mainly contesting and occasional DXing. If you have any questions about the system or one of its components, please feel free to drop me a note.
WN5DLW – 1969 to 1970 WB5DLW – 1970 to 1977 K5PM – 1977 to 2002 K4TD – 2002 to Present