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:
Portable rig, but lugging a 50lb radio around the world is not my idea of a good time, so I made a compromise with the TS-430.
Dedicated Station Ground
I believe that a lot of the success I have seen with the SkyWire and the vertical 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, 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 3.0 is complete! Finally installed a 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!) And of course, built a dedicated desk for the station! The Yaesu and Kenwood audio outputs through a Radio Shack DSP, which outputs to the Heathkit SB-600 speaker. The Hammarlund audio outputs to the Hammarlund speaker.
Many thanks to John, Robert, and the guys of the Gulf Coast Mullet Society for getting me back in to AM!
Station ground / coax entrance panel with PVC window pass-through, tied-in to common ground behind the radios
Inside the station ground / coax entrance box. (Used 2" copper strap to tie everything together)
Underground coax run to a remote distribution box. No more moving coax to mow the lawn!
Last modified: 2013-11-12 18:41:28, 9253 bytes cached
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