- Current MUF Map -
- Current Conditions -
- Current and Past 30 Days -
How it all started - with Antennas
I was always an avid AM DX/SWL listener and home brew wire antenna experimenter as a youngster, from my first AM crystal radio kit days and many nights in the 60's listening in to all the signals on the bands with a "long wire" antenna stretching across the room and then alligator clipped onto my window screen as a kid. I soon learned I could build my own working antennas and then that I could always improve them, usually by trial and error. More was usually better!
Later on in life, I became involved in commercial tower and antenna rigging in the mid 1980's working for an engineering firm in Fort Worth, TX and met several ham Broadcast Engineers while working on projects around the Southwest US who always encouraged me to get a ham ticket.
BACK THEN - 1985
Here is the LPA SW broadcast antenna that finally got me hooked on Amateur radio. I put this up in 1985 for short wave station KJES in S. NM. The RF engineers that were in charge of this job were hams and tested this antenna one afternoon with an Icom. You should of heard the pile up this one caused during testing on the ham bands on 40M with 40 to 60 dB over S9 signal reports and questions about how much power they were running. When asked, they reported 100W and everyone wanted to know about this antenna. How many elements??? You're bending my needle with 100W!!!
That big antenna below is NOT mine, . but I did install it, and it is what got me interested in Amateur radio!!!
It looks big, but wait.
A 19 elem. 50KW 3-30 MHz Log Periodic antenna from back a 1/4 mile
Here is the tower going up, that big pipe in the center is the 18" O.D. mast
That's me hanging off the end of the boom in 1985.
The 100' boom 19 element rotating 3-30 MHz LP antenna at 150'. That's N5SDO out on the end tightening up the rudder I just installed that helps the antenna to turn into the wind in case of high winds. This monster is designed to withstand 100 MPH sustained winds although it automatically shuts down transmission and turns into the wind should the winds reach 75 MPH. That's my helper Sterling on the left acting as a human counterweigh (He wouldn't go any farther out than there, hi hi).
Quite a bids eye view from out on the end of that boom (I always wondered what a bird felt like sitting on a TV antenna).
Anyone who knows the two Ham broadcast engineers from El Paso, TX for SW station KJES (I lost their calls over the years) on this project please email me. I would like to thank them for encouraging me (insisting) to study my code and get my ticket.
I decided to get licensed a few years later and became a 5 wpm novice, and was granted my original callsign KB5ONI, effective 12-31-1990. Upgraded to Technician a couple of months later receiving my current call sign N5SDO on 2-12-91. Finally, I was on HF myself enjoying SSB and CW contacts on 10M.
I first ran a Heathkit HW-101, a Swan 500 and a then a Kenwood TS-520S, and started out on the digital modes with a Commodore 64 and then my first 286 MSDOS machine soon after, and used them both on VHF packet with an Icom HT and 5W.
Soon I wanted to work the lower bands and earned my General class ticket on 8-24-93 and Advanced class 7-9-94. Worked the world with wires on 80 and 40M and 10, 15 and 20M bands with a KT-34XA at 50' using a Kenwood TS-140S and a Henry 2K-4.
I became inactive somewhere around 1998-99 and traveled around the SW working as a contract construction manager on cell projects and build-outs and moving several times and ended up selling off a lot of unused ham gear along the way, until I was back here in the Four Corners region and down to just one active radio, a VHF mobile. So I decided it had been too long since I had been on HF and started pulling some remaining equipment out of storage in the spring of 2011 and started rebuilding my HF station. I still held my Advanced class license.
HAM SHACK NOW - 2011- PRESENT
Started up again after being inactive for a dozen years in March 2011.
Upgrades to the shack continue with the addition of QRO capabilities provided by a Henry 2K-3, a Kenwood TL-922A and Big Bertha, a homebrew 2X 3-500Z originally built by Tom W5QI and friends. Thank you Tom for all your expert help and guidance in the modifications and the rewiring of the power supply!
The main rig here in the shack now is a late serial number Kenwood TS-2000 with an Icom IC-718 as a backup/second rig. My trusty Kenwood TS-140S is in the mobile.
I'm using HRD as my main rig control software and for logging and digital modes with DM780. I like the way HRD exports ADIF and Cabrillo files and updates LOTW and eQSL accounts for me.
Antennas here at present are a home made fan dipole on 40/80M at 30', a 5 elem. 10M Hy-Gain LJ-510 at 32 ft. and a rotatable dipole for 10/15/20M at 35'. The KLM KT-34XA long heavy will go back up again on a new tower at 50' or 60' sooner or later.
The ham shack is always a "work in progress" so never mind all those loose wires running everywhere, hi hi.
Below is Big Bertha, my home brew amp, used mostly on 80 and 40M, at home under the workbench. Below that it is my vintage Henry 2K-3 which also runs a pair of 3-500Z's for a backup. A Kenwood TL-922A is in the radio rack (above) as a backup for the Henry ( Life's too short for QRP !!! ).
A peek inside at the RF decks. here is the homebrew deck.
This is the Henry 2K-3 RF deck .
In my element, up on the tower, at the home QTH. It sure is good to have some tower in the air again. Here is the 30 ft. Rohn 25G with 5 el. on 10M , the guys are Phillystran and don't interact with the antennas.
Installing some Andrew LDF5-50 7/8 Heliax for the 2M long haul beam.
My mobile setup with a BB3 screwdriver built by TJ Antennas (T. J. Wilson - KA7W (aka W5QI) with a 102" fiberglass whip on top.
My other mobile is my vintage H-D Shovelhead, a 1980 FXWG Wide Glide.
HAM RADIO PROJECTS
Recent custom installations in 2011-12 include helping some of my friends.
W5QI (aka KA7W) - Tom, in Hamlin, TX. Removed an existing guyed tower Tom had found in the next town and installed it back at his place with Phillystran guys, replacing a 30' push-up mast with a 50' tower for his wires.
KD5IFN - Helped Harold in Norman, OK remove, transport, excavate and install the foundation steel, pour the concrete and put back up this fine tower and antenna at his home QTH. It's a motorized Tri-Ex LM-470 with a Mosely Pro 67B. We did it all without the use of a crane and without removing that nice white fence and arbor his wife and sister in law built to the right of the house! Everything went through it!
N0SRF - Larry in Durango, CO Tower and antenna maintenance. New segmented guys, coax and a A3S atop the Rohn 25G tower.
K5SOK - Robert in the Natchez Mississippi area had me over to his place for a visit after I left Harold's home and I helped him change out the top section of his 80' tower, add a third set of guys and install his new three element SteppIR (plus sampling some of the finest food I ever put a fork in). That's Rob standing by the tower.
K7ART - And also some counter weighted stealthy wires high in the pines in Northern Arizona at Art's studio "B" station. (No that's not a bear going up that tree)
Atop a mountaintop cell tower in Colorado repairing a lightning damaged strobe beacon in 2011.
Thanks for the lookup, CUL, 73, de Dave/N5SDO
I prefer to QSL with ARRL LOTW and eQSL.cc online.
Last modified: 2013-04-28 21:46:03, 14275 bytes cached
This user has no active logs
Does this page contain inappropriate content? If so, Report this page...