Hello from the great frozen north. I am located near the small town of Hale, Michigan, on a Centennial Farm that has been in my wifes family for many generations. This is about 180 miles, (290 km), north of Detroit, Michigan, (if you were a crow, going to the "Joe Louis Arena", but by car more than 200 miles or 322 km), and worlds and worlds apart from life in the city. My QTH is located between the two Londo Lakes, halfway between West Branch, Michigan, and Tawas City, Michigan, on the eastern, (sunrise), Lake Huron side of the state.
Enjoying life in the country, each and every sunrise, and sunset, and all that is in between.
Working conditions are usually, a "Yaesu FT-1000MP MKV" @ 200W, stock "Yaesu" hand held microphone, and a "TenTec 715 RF Speech Processor".
A welcome addition to my station is a "RF-Space, SDR-IQ", receiver. This is being used as a Pan-Adapter, when it is not being used as the primary receiver, (it works that good). This is one great product. Now using HDSDR software, and this breathes new life to my station.
I installed a "Stridsberg, MCA102M, ZERO Loss antenna multicoupler", replacing the lossy, "Magic "T". The result of this change is remarkable to the listening side of my station, (no more 3.5db loss, at best, per port on the listening side of things). Also, I am using the "West Mountain Radio CLRspkr , ClearSpeech" , speaker. Very good product, but it does take a little while to get my ears tuned to listening without all the buzzing and hiss. Easy to use device, and as a bonus, no manual to interpret to get the radio adjusted correctly.
This is all connected to a full size 80 meter square horizontal loop antenna, (272 feet of solid # 12 AWG aluminum electric fence wire, 68 feet long on each side), suspended to a 45 foot height on all four sides, and tuned with a remote, "SGC SG-230" antenna coupler.
The antenna is located some 350 feet from the operating position, and is in the middle of a field to the west/northwest of the house. This is fed with run of buried, 50 Ohm, rigid, surplus, gas filled broadcast hard-line, and has very low losses at HF frequencies. The antenna is not photogenic at all. The function of this antenna is much much more than a “cloud burner”, and exhibits interesting and unique properties. I have found this to be a good all around antenna, and have made many contacts, both local and DX from 80 meters to 6 meters. Working 160 meters I have to float one end of the loop from the coupler, and ground the coupler end to a good grounding system. It is not supposed to tune on 6 meters, but it does, just waiting for an opening, and an opportunity to hook up the older "FT-847" or "FT-857D".
The “Sky-Loop”, a.k.a., "Loop Sky-Wire", stands up to the Michigan wind and weather, and once the electrical connections were sealed, has not required any maintenance. Good choice of antenna for this QTH and conditions. Not always a 59 signal on either end, but if I can hear a station I can usually work that station. Six years of maintenance free, trouble free service.
I will QSL by LOTW, QRZ, and eQSL, and response is almost immediate. Physical QSL cards, have become a lengthy and difficult process, for me at this time.
Operating time varies, as living with Parkinson’s has demands all its own.
Usually on HF most days, weather and wife permitting. The photo is a view of our front yard one Sunday morning in late September, when a hot air baloon missed its landing site.
7628695 Last modified: 2016-10-13 14:57:50, 3793 bytes
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