NOTE: as of March 1, 2013 I will no longer use EQSL, since it cannot be used for any awards.
Born, raised & lived in Louisiana until June 2007. Got my novice in 1957 as KN5JFO...being a kid of about 9-10 years old, that call lapsed since I was about 6 months late taking the General (in New Orleans FCC office), so I had the call WA5LTH for many years..operated thru the early '70s then put ham radio aside for some 40 years for other interests (motorcycles, sports cars, boats, fishing, flying, aerobatic flying, and a few more!).....finally got the original call, K5JFO,back as a 'Vanity" a few years ago! It was replaced in early 2011with N5FO for better CW weighting in contests & DXing.
The Wife & I were full time RVers, from June 2007 through June 2010.For more details on us and our adventures, be sure to visit our Blogsite at: http://adventures-kim-sam.blogspot.com/
I got back into ham radio as we became RVers, at the suggestion of a friend, I bought a Yaesu FT-817ND in 2007...had lots of fun with the 5 watts, and a throw-up dipole. Several adventures of remote paddling & backpacking operating portable are documented on the Blog. In 2009 I upgraded the RVing rig to an FT-450,a great little radio for out on the road.
By early 2011, we had bought the place in Silver City, NM and gave up full-time RVing (although we still do many trips). I got a new Kenwood TS-590, and the Ameritron ALS-500 amp for use RVing with my Hustler 5BTV Vertical. We spent about 5 months on the road in 2011, and I operated this combination from the trailer quite a bit. And in 2012, I've added an Ameritron AL-1500 amp for home use. Antennas at that time were a 160M dipole, a CushCraft R8 Vertical, and the addition in late 2012, the bigOptiBeam 16-3 Tribander!
The Primary picture in the upper right corner is my completed 3 element long boom 40M yagi. It sits atop a 90ft tower. The base of that tower is on a second ridgeline that is about 80ft above the shack, so a total of 170ft high! (about 450ft from the OptiBeam)
When out RVing in our 21ft travel trailer, the rig operates strictly on battery power, by solar panels on top of the trailer. These pix are of the Kenwood 590 & ALS-500 setup in the trailer in late 2011.
We operated portable forseveral months in 2011 & 2012, and for the rest of2012 here at our newly purchased home west of Silver City, New Mexico (DM52sq).
The pole and antennas you see are our TV antenna, and an "emergency" 40M dipole for NVIS, and in the back a 2M vertical.
(To learn more about how we found this QTH and see pix go to the bloglink above, when the calendar appears on the left side, click on "2009" then click on "December"). If you look closely, you will notice two high ridges behind the house. The left ridge is 110ft above the shack, and the right ridge is about 80.
The "shack" has a fabulous view of the "Little Burro" Mountains, part of the Gila National Forest.
The QTH is at 5800ft elevation which helps!
A 160M dipole is at the top of the higher ridge that is to the left of the cabin, which ADDS 130 feet EXTRA VERTICAL HEIGHT, and has an almost 360 degree unobstructed view..
Here's the big dipole photo'd looking eastward
Here are pictures from uptop the ridge, looking North, with the roof of the shack (house) down below. The other ridgeline is visible coming in from the left side of this picture.
Now Looking East:
Looking West is the only direction that has a hill out there about a half mile, but the angle above the horizon is very low, maybe4-6 degrees. I'm standing right where I have the center pole for the dipole located now, and the tower & new Optibeam 16-3 are now located slightly behind me.
In late 2011, inaddfition to working on the tower and getting ready for the new beam, I erected this CushCraft R8 Vertical about 60 feet west of the tower. It seems to perform well for DX and stateside when the propogation is short. The pix to the right is the upper half of the almost 400 ft Heliax run through the rugged ridgeside terrain to service the vertical and the beam with a remote coax switch.
Thanks to the help of a couple of locals, Steve & Bob (NM5SD & WA0QJE), we were able to get the first two sections of Rohn up..
October 8th, 2011got the 2 inch by 18inch deep rock drill in and installed the guy anchors up there!
Working up the ridge is quite an effort, since there is no road or 4-wheeler trail up there!
Finally on Nov 9th, 2011with the help of N2IC, NM5SD, WA0QJE and Bruce, a close neighbor,N2IC(pictured on theleft) & I(on the right)got the top sections of the tower in place.
Here's a pix taken from down by the shack some 170ft below, showing the center pole of the 160M dipole on the left, tower & OptiBeam on the right, with the R8 Vertical to the farright of the tower & beam.
and here's the big OB 16-3 TriBander which is doing a fantastic job!
The projects for the past year included adding three beverages (EU, JA & SA) and the major addition of a second tower on another ridgeline about 450ft away from the OptiBeam. This antenna is a 41ft boom 40M yagi, made from three Force 12 linear loaded 46ft elements. The linear loading wires were replaced with one size larger to add some strength to the elements.
So, the process of putting up the 90ft tower was the same as above, using the big rock anchors again. The beam was "trolleyed" up to the top with the driven element removed. Thanks to the help of many friends, including N2IC, who did the lion's share of the tower work, it's up there and performing well. So, here's a few pictures of the erection fo this monster!
I've had a few neighbors mention the reflection on the OptiBeam, so experimenting with sky-blue cammo.
The beam minus the driven element, on the trolley line, about half way up the tower.
With Steve up there getting the final lift accomplished, gives one an idea of the size of that big boom!
Completed project, total height above the shack is about 180ft. Used it in the recent 2014 CQWW CW contest, and was very pleased wth the performance.
So, current antennas (in order of installation) are:
160M Transmit dipole at 25ft (top of 110ft high Ridge #1)
R8 Vertical (Ridge 1)
OPtibeam 16-3 on 38ft tower (Ridge 1)
Beverages (450-550ft) pointing to EU, JA & Caribbean/SA
40M 3ele long boom yagi on Tower 2, at 90ft (Top of 80ft high Ridge #2)
and most recently 80M Vertical Dipole 4-SQ (W7DD style)
Planned for this summer:
X9 TriBander at 40ft w/ring rotator on Tower 2
Ground radials under 90ft Tower 2, then shunt feed it for 160M transmit
Lengthen the EU beverage if I get that far, ha ha!
The two towers are about 450ft apart horizontally and either tribander would almost never be aimed at one or the other, so good setup for SO2R.
....see you on the air (maybe 40M now!) again soon!
1732905 Last modified: 2015-02-26 02:19:43, 10304 bytes
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