Domestic paper: If you send a SASE, I will return a card.
Foreign paper: I return direct.
LOTW: Yes! I upload every few QSO's or after every new country.
EQSL: Yes, I upload my log. I'm AG. I will get to verifying existing QSOs as time permits.
Contests: I usually do notpaper QSL contacts made during contests, but do LOTW and eQSL.
Mobile and Portable: I usually do not QSL while operating mobile or portable, sorry.
Regarding the swapmeet forum here, so that you know your are dealing with ME:
I will never ask you to wire money.
I will ONLY pay to/ship to our FCC registered addresses. No exceptions ever.
I will not buy or sell out of the USA. (Sorry)
I will comply with any reasonable request to verify I am me.
I will happily offer LOCAL hams as references that you can verify via thier info here.
We WILL talk on the phone or no deal.
October 17, 2012
Here are a few pictures of recent additions to my antenna farm. Included are new VHF/UHF beams, 80/160 meter dipoles and now shunt feeding the tower on 80/160.
Primary HF station:
Due to online criminals impersonating other hams and offering fictitious equipment for sale that is listed in these profile pages, I will no longer list my specific station items.
Collins, Gonset, Hammerlund and National boatanchors.
Mosley TA-33MWarc Tribander at 14 meters (45') with 40 meter add on.
Dipole for 160, 80, 30
Shunt fed tower for 160, 80
Ham Radio Deluxe.
50 year old guy that started with exteme sports (MX, BMX, Skate, Wakeboard, Slolom, etc.) late in life. Wrecked my body and now finding more pain-free things to do.
I live about 35 km south of Minneapolis, MN USA. I have a family, house and dogs. I spend time in the summer at our lake home and do some HF DX from my mobile.
I originally thought to get a ham radio exclusively for emergency use, with no intent to actually use it or get licensed. As I researched amateur radio, I realized there was no way to learn to use a radio for emergency without the practical experience of operating.
From the time I first considered amateur radio until sitting for exam was about 2 weeks. I took and passed both element 2 and 3 at the same time. I had an advantage, however as I had studied for the Novice exam as a young teenager, although never tested. In total about 3 weeks from first considering amateur radio to on the air. (All in April, 2011). On 4-19-2011 my license was granted. On 6-8-2011 I passed Element 4 for the Amateur Extra Class upgrade. I had hoped to get the Extra within a month of first being licensed, but I tried in May and missed it by 1 question. I decided I had better study before trying again. At the next test session, I passed. In all, about 2 months from first considering ham radio to getting the full ticket. I applied for a vanity call sign as I don't like having a zero and "O" next to each other (KD0OHV). The call signs I listed were chosen specifically to be more readable when working weak signal, not for "cuteness".
How I installed a Hustler 5BTV vertical antenna.
First, I just pounded a cheap painted 4' mast into the ground and assembled the antenna onto it. I just laid the coax on the ground and disconnected it at the antenna whenever not on the air. SWR was great and I was able to work a little DX, mostly due to good soil conditions. I did have RF in the house. It messed with the stereo, tv and radios. It was temporary, and I knew it.
Next I decided to make a permanent install. I chose a flatter part of the yard and pounded in a 5' galvanized mast to about 14" left above ground. I added the antenna and made a coax balun from a plastic coffee can. The coffee can is 6" in diameter and I used 10 wraps of coax. Testing at this point showed a reduction in RF in the house. Also, I buried the coax and that helped too.
Next I added a few radials. These were just a few random 10-20 foot lengths of wire laid on the ground and finger twisted on a mounting bolt. I noticed an increase in signal reports. The improved RF ground reduced the RF in the house.
Now for some better radials. I got a 100' length of in ground sprinkler wire. I figured it was designed to be buried so it should work. After stripping the outter jacket to expose the insulated wire, I added about 20 radials. I made sure at least 2 were cut to 1/4 wavelength for each band. The rest I just cut to random lengths about as long as I could and still fit in the yard. These wires were buried about 1/2-1" under the surface. I just wrapped them around the mounting bolts, sandwiched between copper washers. I then blasted the wire ends and washers with a torch and soaked it all with solder.
I added a "tree ring" and wooden edging to discourage the dogs from putting thier noses on the antenna while I was transmitting. It worked great! Big increases in signal reports.
After running this way for a while, I decided to improve the radial system a bit. I added another dozen radials. 2 of the 12 are48 feet long, and the rest are about24 feet. I also added a DXEngineering radial plate.Even though the plate probably makes no difference electrically, I will make it MUCH easier to add or replace radials in the future. I also was tired of grass growing up around the center of the tree ring.
So here's the plate. Theres a folded trash bag under it to keep the grass out. You can see my balun waiting for its new home.
I also added another ground stake. Probably unneeded, but I had it. Here's a closeup of the coax connection.
The brownish stuff is not rust. Its a coppery conductive antiseize compound. It will make the hardware removable in the future as well as reducing oxidation corrosion on the wire ends. NO WAY was I going to crimp ends on all these wires. And its really not needed if you just cake everything in this stuff. The black tape-like stuff is coax wrap. Its supposed to stay flexible in cold weather and give a waterproof seal. I hope it works.
Heres a picture with the tree ring back in place and the balun taped to the mast. The tree ring had to be laid into a cone shape to sit well over the plate and coax. I had to tape the balun so it would sit level. It makes no RF difference, I just couldn't look at it leaning.
Then I added the wooden edging and some hastas that were extra after a project.The edging left a 6" wide ring of exposed grass around the tree ringThe hastas had been dumped in the compost heap 2 years ago and they were happy to keep growing in a clump of dirt on the top of the heap. I figured they could handle sitting on top of the grass until they set some roots.
And here's the antenna from a distance.
7-10-2011 Heres my 12 and 17 meter stub project. I guess I can call my antenna a 7BTV now. I'm calling the project the "Minnesota Cactus" stub project. (I know, the hastas look pretty sad.)
Here's some details on the "Cactus".
All of the parts are commonly found and came from local hardware stores. I did not seek out the cheapest parts, instead paid the high prices at the local True Value. If I dont support them, they wont be there when I need that odd bolt or can of goo. Even at full service hardware prices, total cost was about $60. This is less than half the cost of the "coat hanger and popsicle stick" stub kits from Hustler/DXEngineering.
The parts list, from memory is:
The basic steps were:
-Paint the gray conduit black.
-Cut the coupler in half with a hacksaw. It was too wide to fit between the hanger clamps.
-Drll a big hole about 2" in from each end of the cunduit elbows, on the outside of the curve. This allows drainage and is a place to run the wire out of.
-Put the 2 1/4"x20 bolts through the conduit hangers and use a lock nut to fix them. Slide the conduit hangers near where the coupler will join the conduit.
-Fish a foot or so of wire from the outside of each hole out of the opposite end of the conduit.
-Join the 2 elbows together with the coupler and PVC glue. The wire should sticking out of the tops of the elbows and out the bottom through the holes. It's pretty important to get it straight :)
-Crimp a terminal on each end of the wire.
-Cut 4 1/8-1/4" slots on one end of each 1" diameter tube.
-Drill a small hole about 1/2" in from the end of the 1" tube OPPOSITE the slots. Make it a little big for the 10x32 screws so the heads will "counter sink" a little.
- Attach the top end terminals to the 1" tubing with the 10x32 screws, star washers and nuts. You may want to do this after mounting the conduit to the antenna plate.
-The 1" tubing just gets "stuffed" into the conduit. It pushes in about 4" and fits very tightly.
-The conduit gets bolted to the antenna mounting plate, using existing holes and 4 more lock washers.
-The conduit clamps act like a "tip over" hinge. Its easy to lay the whole thing down on the lawn and add the 3/4" tubing, hose clamps and caps.
-A couple of feet of rope tied around both stubs and the main antenna may help add stability. Not sure if its needed, but I did it.
-Tune and your done.
Things to do or change:
The 17 meter stub really doesn't need 8 feet of bottom tube. If I had done the math first, I may have gotten away with 4'. At any rate, I will cut a few feet off so that it can be tuned in place, without tipping the whole assembly down.
Replace the parts with stainless that I couldn't get.
*** At 4AM last night, the sirens went off. A storm blew through centered right through my back yard apparently. The local weather said we got 60-70 MPH gusts. I watched the antenna really swing, more than I've ever seen it. This morning, it looks fine, no sign the winds ever happened.
The tuning was pretty easy. The 17m stub tuned to resonance in the middle of the phone band with an SWR of 1.2-1.3. The 12m stub I left at X=10 with SWR 1.3. Whenever I got the 12m closer to resonance, it threw everything out of wack, the 17m, 20m and 40m.
By leaving it as is, 40 meters was much improved. On 40, I used to get 2.2 SWR when tuned to resonance inn the middle of the phone band. I had to use a shunt coil to get the SWR down, and that messed up 80m. With the new stubs, I eliminated the shunt coil, got 80 back and got 40 down to 1.2 or better across the whole phone band with pretty much perfect resonance dead center. 20m centered about 75kHz higher than before. Still good, but I'll adjust it more toward center.
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