Licensed since 1992, I am currently operating / living in the panhandle of Florida. I got involved with Ham Radio as a kid when a few hams came and visited us at my Boy Scout Troop. I caught the 'bug' and got licensed as a 'Tech Plus' (needed CW back then) at the ripe old age of 12. Eventually I upgraded to General, luckily I kept my license active throughout these years. I was really active as a kid. College, work, and marriage kept me inactive for awhile, but I got back in and remembered how much I love it. Something about fond memories from my childhood, and the sight and smell of old tube radios listening to far away voices makes the hobby really enjoyable for me.
I have always used tube radios. Dad (KB2OUQ) had a big Heathkit collection, and I have great memories of listening and talking around the world with old Heathkit SB-100s, SB-300/400s, the old HW & DX series rigs, and the Mohawk / Apache sets. Dad also had what we called the 'Dissection desk'. He would put the non-functional rigs there, and I would take them apart with a soldering iron and a screw driver learning about circuits trying to 'fix' them. In truth I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun 'working' on radios with my Dad.
My Station (so far) consists of:
Dedicated Station Ground
I believe that a lot of the success I have seen with the antennas I have experimented with is due to the dedicated station ground and improved household ground that I installed. When I first installed the station ground, I left a method of rapidly switching between just using the old single rod household ground, and the new station ground. With the new ground system, I noticed immediately (based on comparing S-unit readings of background noise):
Antennas of the past:
My favorite part of the hobby is building my own antennas. So far I have built a bunch of Dipoles, Loops, Longwires, Beverages, 'Normal' Verticals, Wire Verticals, and Wire beams. I've made a few mistakes and learned a lot along the way. I love cooking up an idea in my head, running some numbers, stringing up some wire and seeing how it works.
Just finished my project, a 'Sky-Wire' horizontal loop. I have been wanting to get on 160m, but not with a 'Cloud Warmer' The original plan was for an inverted L for 160m, but then I stumbled on a few discussions of multi-wavelength horizontal loops. The multiple wavelengths of a loop begin to cancel out the high angles of radiation inherent with the (relatively) low height of a 160m antenna. So, construction began on a 2Wavelength + Skywire for 160m, at an average height of 60' (Pine Trees), fed with home brew balanced feed line to a Heathkit 2060 tuner.
Hope to hear you on the air!
Station 4.0 is complete! Dedicated revieve antennas can be shared by 2 receivers at once. Expanded the shelves, improved the operating position and made sense of the cable-nightmare that has grown up around the back of the radios. Also found a cheap used monitor and built an RF pickup to monitor my transmitted signal through the scope. Fine tuned the dedicated station ground, fed through a dedicated entrance panel, lightning arrestors / static discharge, and a single point ground for all equipment. Installed underground coax to a distribution box where all antennas will feed to (much more lawnmower friendly!)
In order to restore the radios, first I had to restore the diagnostic gear that I would use to restore the radios. Which came first, the tube tester or the transceiver?
Operating at night . . . that is why I love tube radios!
1132302 Last modified: 2014-07-27 04:43:24, 8495 bytes
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