Growing up on Long Island , NY I was quite familiar with amateur radio. My father was KA2GYM beginning in 1975. I spent many hours watching him pound out cw QSOs on his Kenwood HF transceiver and chat with his friends on the local NY repeaters with his Kenwood TR-7600 FM transceiver. He was also a major collector of Lionel trains. but that's another story - one that we can discuss at length on HF in the future.
My family moved to South Africa in September 1982. So I spent the rest of my teenage years living a very interesting life in our oceanfront home on the Indian Ocean in Margate,South Africa
I got married and moved back to Long Island in February 1993. In 1999 I moved to North Carolina with my wife and 3 boys. My father has been a Silent Key since 1992.
I lost track of ham radio until 2008 when a friend mentioned that if I passed the code-free Technician amateur radio test I could obtain my father's old call. That really got me fired up. Later in 2008 I passed the Technician test and was assigned the call of KJ4HSZ. I held that call for only a few days since I immediately applied for and received my father's call , KA2GYM.
I was very interested in HF-SSB operation so about 6 months later I passed my General exam.
I enjoy DXing , ragchewing and chatting with friends on the local 147.27 repeater.
DXing is fun but frustrating because a lot of the good DX is down in the Extra Class only band segment so I am now studying for the Extra class license!
My current HF station is a Kenwood TS-850SAT (A Kenwood TS-430S was my pevious HF transceiver. See photo below.)
I use various antennas but the main antenna is a “5-Band No Tune Dipole” ( 5BNT ) up about 40 feet in an inverted V fashion. This antenna is described in the June 1995 QST magazine. It's a fantastic antenna. A diagram of the antenna is shown at the bottom of this page.
I also have an Antron 99 antenna which I use on 10 and 12 meters.
On 2 meters I have a Kenwood TR-7625 which is the 25 watt version of my father's TR-7600. The 2m base antenna is a 6 db gain collinear vertical.
I am also have a light duty Tri-Ex 45' crankup/tilt-over tower for rotatable antennas. I just finished my " 17m for 17 Dollars Moxon " beam antenna and photos of that project and the Tri-Ex tower are below.
Please QSL direct (with an SASE) or via the Bureau.
You can often find me on 40 m SSB around 7.188 MHz after 11pm Eastern Time. See you on the air !
The 5BNT Antenna -->
KA2GYM -STATION IN 2010
KA2GYM - STATION IN 2009
Latest Antenna Project: A 17M Moxon For $17
Boom made from 2x4x8ft lumber.
Element Supports 2x4x2ft Fastened by 5 screws #8 x 3".
10ft Bamboo Element Halves secured by 3/4" 2-hole conduit straps.
Completed 20' Bamboo Element Will Support Moxon Wire Element (One for Driven Element, One for Reflector).
Boom to Mast Adapter made from 2x4x3ft lumber; Fastened by 2 shelf Brackets plus 2 - 3" screws through boom into end of mast adapter. Mast will be attached with 2 u-bolt clamp assemblies salvaged from an old TV antenna.
Moxon "Frame" Ready for Bamboo & Wire.
Moxon Frame with Bamboo ready for Wire Elements (before Mast adapter was attached).
The Completed 17m Moxon up 30' on a temporary mast has about the same gain as a 2 element yagi , 5 dBd , but has a direct 50 ohm impedance (SWR about 1.1 or 1.2 to 1 across the 17m band). It has a fantastic 30 dB or more front to back ratio (5 s-units)! I now hear a whole new "layer" of signals that I can't hear on my dipole that's 10ft higher. The slight droop on the Moxon "side wires" don't cause any noticable change in performance. The wire droop is courtesy of loitering overweight birds.
A closeup view of my $17 17m Moxon. "She ain't pretty, but she's my baby". The old Radio Shack/Channel Master Rotator easily turns and holds the lightweight Moxon. I'll be giving the rotator more of a workout soon as I will be adding a 20m Bamboo rotating dipole element dead center on the boom, fed by a separate 1/2 wavelength RG-58 feedline. I'll also give the whole antenna a couple of coats of paint to add some longevity to the life of the antenna. A friend designed/modeled this 20m add-on so that it does not interfere with the 17m Moxon and vice-versa. Updated Aug 17, 2010
A view of the Tri-Ex T545 tower with the 17m Moxon and A-99 10m vertical installed.
A worm's-eye view of the tower.
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