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November 14, 2014

I have been continuously licensed and operational with this original call since October 1959 when a sophomore in
high school. My rig was a Globe Scout 680A transmitter, Heathkit AR-3 receiver, a home brew 6-meter converter using
a 6U8A oscillator/mixer with a 6EW6 RF Amplifier, and a modified surplus low-band Forestry Service folded monopole
ground plane tuned to 50.4 MHz.

My favorite band is 6 meters although I can be found on 80 through 10 – all SSB, depending on propagation and
interest. I do operate WSJT and related digital modes while learning and enjoying weak signal methods. I also enjoy
144 and 432 MHz operation and am planning to expand my operations to include EME, Meteor Scatter, and 10GHz.
I enjoy building and experimenting with antennas and utilize the DG8SAQ Vector Network Analyzer VNWA (from
sdr-kits.net) which I highly recommend for the serious experimenter. I simply got tired of SWR Bridges and Bird 43's.

 

On 80-10 meters, I sometimes utilize an old Butternut HF-6V vertical pictured here. The counterpoise is a cyclone fence, which works surprisingly well. A MFJ-986 Differential Roller Inductor Antenna Tuner does help.

Butternut HF-6V K5WWQ
 

I just put up a medium-sized G5RV (102 feet long) which is at 50 feet across the top of two large Oak Trees. One can see the 450-Ohm ladder line, but is is more difficult to see the dipole wires.

Here is a wide angle view of the "Antenna Farm" which shows the G5RV, the 6 and 2 Meter "Hentennas", and the Par Electronics OA-50 Omini-Angle 6-Meter Loop.

This is a close-up of the Par Electronics OA-50 Omini-Angle 6-Meter Loop and the 2-Meter Hentenna. Notice the passenger jet contrail inside the OA-50 Loop which is about 12 feet above ground.

I like to experiment with unique antennas such as the HenTenna (a form of slot antenna) pictured here for 2 meters. It.is about 16 feet above the ground. Even though it physically is vertical, the radiation pattern is horizontal. It works quite well with a gain of about 2 db above a dipole and a take-off angle of about 15 degrees. Construction utilizes PVC pipe and assorted connectors. It is 3 feet tall and 13.5 inches wide.The wire is #14 THHN. If you are interested in building one, email me and I'll send you a PDF file.

Here is the 6-Meter Hentenna which is about 18 feet above the ground. Construction utilizes PVC pipe and assorted connectors. It is 9 feet tall and 3 feet wide.The wire is #14 THHN. If you are interested in building one, email me and I'll send you a PDF file.

Here are my secondary rigs - an Alinco DX-77T for HF and a Yaesu FT-620-B for 6-Meters.


My main transceiver is a Yaesu FT-857D that has been modified with a XRef-FT Main Oscillator Board from VK3HZ.net. The rig is shown here with the MFJ-986 and SignaLink USB digital interface.

I occasionally listen to AM broadcast and shortwave utilizing a Hammarlund SP-600 JX-17 manufactured in 1952. There
is something about the receiver that is heartwarming – besides the 20 tubes. It is simply a joy to operate, including a
hefty spin of the tuning knob.

I am restoring a Racal RA-6217E (from the 1970's) for general shortwave listening and various digital modes.

I am also restoring a Racal RA-6790/GM (from the 1980's) for more precise weak signal work.

The VK3HZ XRef-FT replacement oscillator board for the FT-857D allows precision frequency generation when synchronized with a highly accurate 10 MHz reference source such as a GPS Disciplined Oscillator (GPSDO). I utilize the Trimble Thunderbolt GPSDO for various test equipment references through a distribution amplifier. This arrangement provides for very accurate frequency generation, necessary for weak signal work. Here is the XRef-FT installed in my FT-857D.

Here is the Trimble Thunderbolt GPS Disciplined Oscillator which provides a precision10 MHz output.

This the matching amplified (26 dB gain) GPS circular polarized antenna.

Here is my re-purposed PC Enclosure which houses the Trimble Thunderbolt GPSDO and the precision linear power supply.

This is the front of the re-purposed PC Enclosure


I look forward to working you somewhere on the dial …

73,
Gary

1446330 Last modified: 2014-11-16 16:56:04, 7418 bytes

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