Licensed since December 1956, I've seen a lot of changes in the Ham Radio hobby. It has been a social and technical tool for me throughout my life, bringing me many good friends, employment opportunities, and enjoyable experiences.
I have a somewhat out of date homepage at k7buc.org
Latest news at K7BUC
The winter radio conditions are here, and Christmas is near. Season's Greetings to all. The bands have been quiet and the DX is abundant. I've shifted much of my operation to digital modes, especially on 20 meters. For me, the best of the current protocols for rag chewing is Olivia. Olivia uses a narrow bandwidth, yet can give error free QSO's where the signals are more than 10db below the average band noise. Only Amtor/Sitor and Pactor ARQ modes are more impressive.
Throughout this year I have been experimenting with Analog SSTV using MMSSTV, Digital SSTV using EasyPal, and digital voice using FreeDV. I sure do like the quiet background with FreeDV. With all this, I still frequent the 7200 khz vicinity of 40 meters and some operation on 75 meters.
The Primary Antenna
HyGain AV-18HT HyTower vertical antenna before radials were installed..
Evening view to the southeast
Radials run through the Mesquite and Prickly Pear Cactus areas (Ouch!)
Climbing up to the antenna plateau
aftermath of mini-tornado!
I only had 60 radials when this happened
antenna is now rebuilt and back up. Its working great again
The "magic" of raising the antenna
Look at the rocks! David, my wife's Yavapai-Apache cousin made hard work look easy.
Note the large piece of "caliche" (calcium carbonate) from the hole in the middle picture. A pick just bounces off this stuff.
It is elastic and tough, and iforms a 10 foot deep layer at the antenna location.
The concrete flows into holes in this layer which gives the base extra strength.
The tranceiver is a Flexradio Flex-3000. It is a joy to use, having by far the best receiver I have ever used. The Amplifier is an Alpha 77, a legal limit amp which employs a single 8877/3CX1500A7. On bands where an antenna tuner is required I use a Nye Viking MB-V. Power is measured by an LP-100 Digital Vector RF Wattmeter.
The vertical antenna is a Hygain Hytower AV-18HT with 90 radials, located 25 feet above and 200 feet to the North of the hamshack on a desert plateau, and is fed by 200 feet of Andrew LDF5-50 7/8" hardline.
Since I have a soft voice, I use a bit of audio processing. A Neumann KM-184 mic feeds a Focusrite Saffire 24 Pro preamp, which has a parametric equalizer and compressor. Output one is into a W2IHY i-Box balanced interface then a Ten-tec 715 Speech Processor drives the Flex 3000. I use the Flex downward expander/gate to remove air conditioner noise. Output 2 of the Focusrite preamp feeds a Behringer UC202 USB 1.1 interface. This input to the computer is used for FreeDV digital voice software. The Focusrite firewire interface is used for recording.
Pictures of Equipment at K7BUC
Hamshack as of12/04/2013 (right side)
Hamshack as of 12/04/2013 (left side)
Antenna Tuner (with AIM4170 antenna analyzer on top)
The Amp, an Alpha PA-77 (one 8877 tube)
First attempt at a Ham Shack in Rimrock, AZ
Shack as of Nov 2012, showing the Armstrong Sound Soak acoustical panels covering the walls and ceiling.
Yes, the soda is part of the station :-)
Latest Hamshack Picture
1504363 Last modified: 2014-12-08 00:58:21, 7477 bytes
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