Be Aware - IRC are no longer accepted at my post office so don't send them. Green Stamps or LOTW PLEASE. International Reply Coupons are no longer being accepted here!
Due to the expenseof sending QSL cards even to the bureau's I'm switching to LoTW exclusively. It just don't make sense paying over $12.50 for 50 cards to the UK bureau plus filling out customs forms. It has just got too expensive and homeland security customs are a pain in the a.
Well, it's time to start a complete new page. The quad project just didn't turn out good I'm sorry to say and after about 35 or so major problems to resolve I gave up. Between the winch problems, making the crankup work, and then Necwire2 just not coming close to what the 5 band quad was reading, it was too much. Probably took on too much and I sure missed getting on the air.
I've put the steppir back up on the new crankup tower and it sure is nice not to fight SWR issues and to have an antenna that I know works well. I have resolved the winch problems. The new Ramsey RE8000 worm gear winch works well. It did require a custom mount but it is a beast of power and I just got to remember not run it too long. Take short up and down runs about 20 seconds or less and make sure the winch doesn't get too hot (low duty cycle). No hand winch could be used to raise this heavy of tower the way I have it setup. Even with the 40:1 ratio worm gear hand winch it took about 80 or more pounds to crank it and that was just an inch or so per crank revolution.
Lord, it's good to be back on the air!
The three pictures above are a closeup of the steppir and GP6 (2mtr/440), the Ramsey RE8000 winch with it's custom mount, and a longer distance picture of the tower and antenna along with the house and my toy (el camino). Well, you could almost see the house if it wasn't for my favorite tree. I just added a couple more pictures. The one at the top shows the home QTH this fall but the looking into the sun darkened it up a bit. The effect I was trying to get was to show my favorite tree is stripped of leaves as anyone who heard me talk about raking leaves has heard. The two pictures below are of the Steppir at 70' (about 21.5 meters) high. I can still go up another 10' or so and may do that come contest season. There are three guys on the top section that are 1/4 wavelength 80 meter slopers but only the SW sloper seems to work right now.
Below is the 5 band 20-10 meter, 30' boom quad array. 14-15 square foot that I changed out for the Steppir 3 element 20-6 meter in 2006. If anyone wants the dementions I developed on NECWIRES 2.0 for the big quad array I can send a file over email to them. I worked several months on my old computer developing the quad dementions for each band and it seemed to work out well. My latest quad design of 4 elements on 20/17/15, 7 elements on 12/10, and a 2 elment folded yagi for 40 meters proved to have major issues with 12, 15 and 40. I'm sorry to say it but Necwires 2.0 failed me. I'm sure it was due to the combining of all the bands together. I have seen such issues with 10 and 12 before and did manage to resolve it on the older quad you see below. If I try building another quad array it will start out as a single band (20 mtrs) and after that works I will add a band at a time.
I've had a picture up in my shack for years of a 1965 red El Camino that I've always wanted but never thought I would be able to afford. Well you might say a miracle happened and I got my 'Dream Car', a red 1965 El Camino with 350 cu. in, automatic, black interior bench seat, and loud pipes. It really came like a bolt out of the blue, completely unexpected, but I did have that picture up in my shack for years. Maybe I should put a picture of a big multi-element quad on a 100' tower up in my shack, ya' think?
Below are some pictures from my messy shack.
51J-4 Collins RCVR above the R-390.
Lineup on antennas as of 10/24/2013
1. 3 element 20-6 meter Steppir at 73' now (22.5 meters) with a 16' boom.
2. Hygain hytower ground mounted for 40/80 meters Going Away Soon since the 80 meter 1/4 wavelenght sloper seem to work better. Think I'll move the 40 meter DXengineering GP onto the hytower 'tower' to get a little more height. Might reinstall my K9AY receiving antenna back where the GP replaced it.
3. Three 80 meter 1/4 wavelength slopers/guys at 65'. Unfortunately only one is working right. The other two (N and SE) appear shorting sheild to center conductor or something but I just not going to bring down the tower till I need to. It's contest time!
4. 40 meter DXEngineering DXE-40VE-1 with the base at 13' high and four 34' radials above the ground. Required 35' 7 1/2" and still is a little short but is very broadbanded. SWR at 7.125 is 1.35, 7.2 is 1.1, 7.25 is 1.0, 7.299 is 1.0:1. The groud plane radials have quite an effect on SWR. DF2BO gave me a 46 on the 40 meter inv-V and 57 on the 40 meter GP. Noisey but gets heard by the DX.
5. 40 meter inverted V' converted to a Full Wave 40 meter loop at 60'. Sometimes I do something right.I used another of my old 40 meter slopers for adding the wire, SWR was so far off I could not find a dip. I guessed it was too short and I added one-two-three-four arms lenghts, about 10' of wire and it dipped it a 7.130Mhz. Calculated I needed to remove 3.6" of wire to get to 7.150, cut about that off and hit 7.180Mhz at resonance. Wild guesses sometimes work! Seems the 40 meter loop is quiter than the 40 meter GP so that helps a bit at least on receive for DX.
6. 135' of wire in an inverted L' arrangement for 160 meters. Goes up at about a 70 degree angle to 65' high, then bends over. Fed against the hytower radial system. Uses a 3" diameter coil of 1/4" copper tubing (air core) with a wire jumper to move the dip from 1800-1910 Khz or so. Have about 15 turns of coil which is actually more than I need since it will dip down into the AM BC band. It does dip in near 1:1.
7. GP6 for 2 mtrs/440 on top of the mast reaching 85'.
Changed out the driven element EHU because of intermittent connection problems. Suspect the SO-239 'prongs' becoming loose. Also fixed a high SWR on 10 meters apparently caused by my not soldering the sheild onto the SO-259 connectors on the LMR-400 50 ohm coax. Added four 40 meter slopers and 2mtr/440mhz GP6 vertical again like in the big quad picture. The 40 meter 1/2 wave slopers had SWR issues running 1.5:1, 1.8:1 or higher. Having to lower down the tower to adjust the slopers was always a pain.
People are flexable, computers are ridged and inflexable. 30 hours of CQWW160MSSB contest and it takes about 6-8 more hours to get the log file uploaded to the server! ARRRGGGGHHHH!
Equipment: Yaesu FT-1000MP with SP-8, FT-1000D with SP-5; Icom IC-775, IC-736 (HF 160-10 and 6 mtrs), R-7000 VHF/UHF/SHF receiver; Command Technology HF-2500 160-10 mtr amp; Dentron DTL-2000L 160-10 mtr amp (my basket case amp); Henry Radio 2K-Classic 80-10 mtr amp; Drake MN-2700 antenna tuner. Various boatanchor receivers like Hallicrafters SX-28, National HRO-60, Collins 51J-3 and 51J-4, R-390 and R-390A. Johnson Ranger AM/CW transmitter.
9/20/2013 Mail cost have skyrocketed. Sometime back I sent several large envelopes and a box of qsl cards to overseas bureaus. Even the 420 JA cards were less than $8-10. Now calculation of 1.7 ounces for the UK showed lowest price about $20! I just checked for 1.4 oz to Germany and it was unbelieveable. I have about 1 1/4" of cards to send to many bureaus but it just looks like I will just throw them away because the price is just too high. By the way, I put 5 overseas airmail stamps on the UK envelope and stuck it in the mailbox to send along with my return address. It is just hard to believe how expensive the mail has got. If the UK envelope comes back we'll know for sure. Prices starting on the USPS calculator over $65 for a letter!
From now on USE LoTW (Logbook ofThe World) if you want a QSL. I upload to LoTW about every month. Anyone who just has to have that Oregon QSL card had better include an SASE or SAE and a green stamp.
I say the above about QSL cards and I just sent about 420 JA cards off in the mail trying to catch up! Also sent to several other bureas. So many countries, so many bureaus to send to. LoTW is so much easier.
United States Army Security Agency 4/69 to 4/72. Stationed at Ft.Ord (basic), Ft.Devens, MA; 7th RRFS Udorn Thailand; Vint Hill Farms, VA. 05D20/30. Now days no one even knows about the old ASA it seems. Getting old, huh!
19 years at Tektronix and 7 years at Xerox, first as an Electronic Technician, then in telecommunications. Last big project was programing and deploying 130+ Cisco 4606/4609 switches as well as some 6513's. I was actually pretty good with up grade projects like this even if I do say so myself! Really!
Umpqua Valley Amateur Radio Club founding member along with WB7OTR,AE7Q,W7LNE,WB7OTM,KA7DCL,KA7ADI and others.
Elmer: AE7Q, Dave Lee (SK) 'best technician I ever knew'. I miss him ever day for his technical advice and his humor.
CQ Zone 03 and ITU Zone 06
51J-3 Collins RCVR with my dream 64' GTO and WWII jeep 1:18 scale models. I consider the 51J-3 a better receiver than the 51J-4 due to apparent AVC/AGC issues. Backing off the RF gain helps
Above is my messy shack (a messy shack is a happy shack). FT-1000mp, FT-1000D, etc. You might also note the 1965 El Camino picture on the monitor that's been up for several years. Below is Shaddow giving the eyeball and my Rohn 25 tower that is now the upper section of my Rohn 45/25 crank-up.
My cat Shadow says hello (and feed me)
With this old picture above you can see the 40 meter slopers and the hy-tower on the right. Having just one big tower I've always tried to add secondary antennas to get the most 'bang for the buck'. It always seemed like a waist to only have the beam or quad on the tower. Only thing is it's always a problem raising and lowering the tower to adjust the SWR on the slopers or whatever seconday antenna I have.
That's the old man with Patrick 'fat cat' who weighs about 25 pounds and has claws (oh, did I do something wrong?). Poor Patrick is like Rodney Dangerfield, get's no respect around here. Even Shaddow and Hanna my wife's dog gang up on him. Pecking order I guess. Sometimes I take pity on him but then he drools!
Working on new (old) mast and sliding the Steppir up about 9 feet to 58'. It amazing how heavy that little steppir gets. Below is my dream car come true.1965 El Camino. I added a couple more pictures of the El Camino. It's the time of the year when I keep it covered up and set a heater in it to make sure it does not get too cold. 'She's real fine my 350'.
Recent photo of new tower with steppir at 70'. Now it's at 73'. Let's see if I can put a couple more pictures of the setup today 8/16/2013
Really looks good up there! And having a pulley setup with dacron line gives me the ability to raise and lower 40 meter inv V' or some other antennas easily. I run a long RG-8X feedline down from the remote switch box at the top of the tower to that antenna. Below is a picture of the DXengineering 40 meter ground plane.
Below is a picture of the tower layed down earlier when I was working on it. Notice the old winch that has been replaced. You can also get a look at the way I originally had the hand crank winch mounted that almost was a disaster, started bending the 'Z' braces. I fixed that and got the new setup seen in the picture with the tower winches above.
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