Thanks for stopping by. Greetings from a small town in southern New Hampshire - - 60 miles NorthWest of Boston
Not me climbing the tower, but a "Helper" from KC1XX / XX Towers.
o 56 years of ham radio operation. Licensed October 1957 @ Age 14 as KN2DWR (Upstate NY)
o Retired in 2010 from the High-Tech industry
o Married 47 years, with 3 "kids" (all in their 40's) and a granddaughter 9 yrs old
o Live in a town of ~ 5,000 people, with 3.5 acres (1.3 hectares) on a hilltop
o Nearby: The White Mountains - - The Green Mountains- -the Atlantic - & - The "Hub of the Universe" Boston
1957 - 1978 The Early Years DX40 and SX99 with End Fed wire antennas
1978 - 2010 Ten-Tec Century/21 (CW-only) with End fed wire antennas
2009 - 2010 Retirement preparation; made major investment :
A tower (my first); Log Periodic for 40M thru 10M; ICOM 756 Pro3 & ICOM PW1 amp
Ant. Pix @ 70 ft ----Ant. Now @ 100 ft..
Picture below taken March 2, 2014
A tiny snow pile is still clinging to life.April 16, 2014. (Picture not available).
Any Old Timers remember ?
"3 Empty Beer Mugs" -- W3EBM and his pals on 40 meter AM @ 7296 KHz, during the 1950's ?
Made a Big impact on me as a youngster, listening with kit-built shortwave receivers.
So, I selected W1EBM in memory of W3EBM
And from the 1950's, who can ever forget.
W2OY"Hello CQ CQ, No Kids, No Lids, No Space Cadets; Class A Operators Only" - What a Character !
Below is our QTH from the Google Earth satellite. To install the tower & LP, we required a very long run of 400 ft. for the "hard-line" and the rotor cable. We have 3.5 acres (1.4 hectares) on top of a small hill ("Bear Hill"). QTH is 700 ft. Above Sea Level & 400 ft. Above Average Terrain. The antenna sees a clear unobstructed path in all directions. And 60 KM to the Atlantic - all downhill
Below is the view from the top of the tower - looking West - at Mount Monadnock
This mountain has been described as "the 2nd most-climbed mountain in the world" - behind Mount Fuji in Japan.
For more info, please click-on the website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Monadnock
Below is the view from the top of the tower, looking Southeast toward Boston. The naked eye CAN see the Boston skyline, about 60 KM away Line-Of-Sight: (2 tall buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center), but the camera can't pick them up.
And the 30M and 40M elements on the Log Periodic antenna can also be seen.
Most of the time on-the-air is operating CW;
SSB operation: ECARS (East Coast Amateur Radio Service) Net Control 7255 KHz & the "7163 Group" 10:00 UTC @ 7163 KHz
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FOC #1966 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -CWops #784
The FOC is the First Class CW Operators' Club, an international organization founded in the UK in 1938. The FOC has 2,000 members and celebrated its 75th Anniversary in May 2013.
During tha Anniversary, I operated as W1FOC, and gave QSO points for the "FOC75" Award.
The FOC members had 60 stations operating around the world, callsigns (xxyFOC) & made >200,000 QSO's
For award info and a beautiful certificate, please see: http://g4foc.org .
Our station is an ICOM 756 Pro3, ICOM PW1 Amp, & a PalStar AT2K Tuner with 2 antennas:
an 8-element LPDA beam for 40M thru 10M, and an Inverted L for 80M and 160M.
The Log Periodic is from M2 in California. www.m2inc.com
The Boom is 30 ft. long; and the longest element is 50-ft. long . . . "Linear Loaded" for 40M
Antenna Spec. is at: http://www.m2inc.com/index.php?ax=amateur&pg=33 - - - Model # 7&10-30LP8
The Log Periodic has the gain of a typical 3-el beam on each band 30M--> 10M, & the gain of a 2-el beam on 40M. (Using dBi & dBd Gain data for M2's mono-band antennas) The LP has 10.5 dBi (8.4 dBd) Gain on 30M -->10M; and 6.5 dBi (4.4 dBd) Gain on 40M.
On 30M--->10M, the Front-to-Back is spec'd at 15 dB. Our on-the-air measurements for 30M--->10M show a F/B of typically 20 dB, and a Front-To-Side rejection between 30 dB - 36 dB. On 40M, F/B was typically 15 dB, and Front-To-Side Rejection was between 24 dB - 30 dB.
TEST PROCESS: The receiving station recorded the base-line (direct heading) signal strength, as the starting point. Then, the beam was slowly rotated and stopped at various headings, and the signal strength was recorded.
By going thru a full 360 ï¿½, we created a composite picture of the beam's general radiation pattern, and we recorded the received signal strength at 90 and at 180 degrees. And we would typically repeat the test, to be sure we recorded the headings and the signal strength correctly. Then, we would use the conversion factor: 1 S-unit = 6 dB; or we used the actual dB readings from the receiver's S-meter.
SOME BACKGROUND ON THE SWR OF THE LOG PERIOODIC ANTENNA
The PW1's (ICOM KW Amp) Automatic Antenna Tuner achieves an SWR of < 2-to-1 on all bands, except for 40M. When we mounted the antenna on the tower, we adjusted the stubs on 40M to minimize the SWR to 1.5-to-1 in the CW segment of 40M. And per Spec., that causes the SWR in the 40M SSB segment to be typically > 4-to-1, making the Palstar Tuner a necessity. We easily get an SWR of 1.0 to 1 in the CW & SSB segments of all bands, 40M - 10M, using the PalStar tuner. Because this Old Timer enjoys twiddling knobs, we use the Palstar Tuner all the time, and love to see the "dual needle" Forward/Reflected meter readings @ "max" & "min."
Our other antenna is an Inverted L for 160M & 80M. It's supported by a rope up at 90-ft., that runs from the tower to a tall white pine tree. The Inverted L has a 90-ft. vertical leg + a 45-ft. horizontal leg, & 40 ground-mounted radials.
Next Spring, we plan to put up a GroundPlane antenna for 160M, with 4 elevated 130-ft. radials. We will evaluate its performance vs the Inverted L for working DX.
3 storms Dec.13-->16, 2013
The beautiful colors of Autumn
Below is the QTH in mid-October of every year.
Had to clear out a space for the 90-ft tower and the guy wires.
Cutting down all the trees was hard work for this Old Timer, but we had to make enough room in the woods for the tower, guy wires, and the antenna. This is our first tower, and it was very exciting to watch the huge concrete base and the "pads" for the guy wires get installed - and then to watch Matt,KC1XX - put up the 90-feet of Rohn 55G tower sections; the 2 elevations of 3 guy wires each; the 22-ft mast 3" Dia. galvanized steel; and the Orion rotor & the Log Periodic antenna from M2 in California. www.m2inc.com. Model "7 & 10-30LP8." Matt erected the Log Periodic using only a tower-mounted winch with its self-contained pipe, the AC power from my garage via my 400 ft. extension cord, and the services from Matt's assistant. Andrew.
Below is the view of the Log Periodic from the driveway
Below is Andrew, from "XXTowers" (KC1XX business organization). The antenna is 100 ft. high, with an unobstructed view to Boston 60 KM Line-Of-Sight.
For "scale"- the antenna's Boom is 30 ft. long and the 40M element is the longest , at 50 ft.
Standing on the top of the tower, Boston's tallest buildings can easily be seen: the "Pru" (Prudential Center) and the John Hancock tower.
The tower can be seen, in the far left top corner, about an inch in from the side border
UPDATE: January 4, 2014 - another storm
For the big storms in late Winter, my Plow Guy has to use his Front-End Loader, to get the snow up and over the big piles from previous storms.
Maybe we've been married too long - HI ! - because the XYL said: "Gary - How about putting a small woodstove & some electricity into the shed & make it into your radio shackso you're not bothering me in the house."
Photo below was taken March 19, 2013 (This big pile was melted & gone on April 20, 2013)
UPDATE: January 4th, 2014 - we already have a pile like this from the storms that hit us a few days earlier.
As a 12-year old boy,, I listened to my Heathkit AR-3 Shortwave receiver and heard "magic". It was ham radio, with local operators in Upstate NY & across the Northeast were talking to hams all over the USA and around the world !
One of the hams that influenced me the most was W3EBM. In the 1950's, I listened to him and his ragchewing buddies (W3DUQ, W3EGC, W3PHL, and many others) for many hours on 40 meter AM, and became enchanted by amateur radio.
So, in October 1957, at age 14, I got my first amateur radio license, as Novice Class KN2DWR.
A year later, my dad drove me to the Federal Building in Syracuse, NY, where I passed the test for the General Class license, and became K2DWR.
I used my call proudly, thru high school and college, during my career and its many re-locations, throughout my marriage, the growth of our children, and into retirement. In 2002, I had the opportunity to choose a new call, and since my wife and I had settled down for our retirement into New Hampshire, I made the decision to get a W1-call, and selected W1EBM
W1EBM is for me a living memorial to W3EBM "3 Empty Beer Mugs" and the strong positive influence that he and amateur radio had on my life.
The ARRL on-the-air Code Practice transmissions, & my CW QSO's during 1958 - 1960, enabled me to earn Code Proficiency Awards for speeds up to 35 Word Per Minute. These awards were earned by listening to the transmission, writing on a pad of paper what is received, mailing the papers to ARRL, and waiting for their official "scoring" of the receiving accuracy.
Some station highlights:
1957 - As KN2DWR (Upstate NY) used a Heathkit DX40 Transmitter and a 1930's era Shortwave broadcast receiver from my grandpa. The radio had no BFO to listen to CW. So I rigged up a switch from the DX40, to turn on-and-off its Crystal Oscillator to hear CW. And the antenna was a Longwire to the top of my mom's clothes pole.
1958 - 1976 As K2DWR (Upstate NY) operated CW 100%, and used wire antennas with the Heathkit DX40 Transmitter and a Hallicrafters SX99 Receiver. (Wow - this receiver sure was an improvement over the Shortwave Broadcast receiver. And it took me 1-year of savings from my paper route to get the $150 to buy it.)
1976 - 2005 Operated CW 100% with a Ten-Tec Century 21 (30 watts) and a G5RV. QTH's included Upstate NY, Minneapolis, and New Hampshire during my high-tech career & a growing familyso there was very limited time for ham radio during this 30-year period.
2006 - 2009 Semi-retired & in NH. Operated CW 99% using a new ICOM IC756 Pro3 & a 160M Carolina Windom.
2010 - Retired, with lots of time to enjoy the hobby, and made some major upgrades to the station:
- ICOM-756 PRO3 now has the ICOM PW-1 Amplifier, for 1 KW
- 90-ft Rohn 55G tower, with an embedded 22-ft mast, and an Orion Rotor from M2
- 8-element Log Periodic covering 40M-->10M; from M2 in California www.m2inc.com. Mounted at 95-ft.
Tower & Log Periodic were recommended & installed by KC1XX, owner of www.xxtowers.com
TNX, Matt !
- And replaced the 160M Carolina Windom with a 160M Inverted L
In 2010, we installed a 14KW whole-house generator fueled by propane, to replace a portable Gas Generator. So now we have no worries when commercial power is lost. The system does an automatic self-test once a week to let us know "all is well." Because of my health problems, it's comforting to have the generator. When the commercial power goes out, "the lights come on" and electricity is provided to the entire house via the generator, and the ham station is on-the-air as well.
On the ground, the LP is a monster. It's bigger than the cross-section of my house. I wasn't sure if I had cleared enough land, and cut down enough trees, to make it fit into the new meadow in the woods. The boom is 30-feet long, and the longest section is the 40M Linear Loaded element, 50-feet long. But with a lot of creativity from Matt, KC1XX, and his tower climber Andrew, we got it up. The XYL (Sharon) even remarked about the antenna's "artistic shape", but that it's "really big".
"Are you related to the famous Czech composer, Bedrich Smetana" ? .Many people have asked.
Smetana is widely regarded as the father of Czech music. He composed "The Fatherland," "The Bartered Bride," and many other beautiful works. Our only similarity with him is our name. He was Czech, highly educated, lived in Prague, and was a Roman Catholic. My ancestors were Russian ("Rusnak"), poor, uneducated, & Russian Orthodox Christians (as am I) & lived in a rural region called Galicia in the Carpathian Mountains, an area which today is at the border of western Ukraine and the Slovak Republic. My grandfathers' tools weren't pianoes & manuscripts, but picks, shovels,& strong backs. They worked in the coal mines & rubber mills in the USA after migrating from "The Old Country" to America in the early 1900's seeking a better life.
AAS: Broome Technical Community College (1963)
BSEE: Clarkson College of Technology (1966)
MA: State University of New York at Binghamton (1973)
1966 - 1998 High tech engineer & leader, & held senior functional management and general management positions with IBM, Raytheon, Digital Equipment, DataCard, & Ampersand. Extensive domestic & international travel, including DL, EA, F, G, HB9, PA, VE, and VK.
1999 - 2010 Executive Recruiter - www.warrenmorrisltd.com/ - now retired. Placed many senior people into high-tech companies in the Boston area & across the USA, and am proudest of my placement of a General Manager in Bejing.
A dependable rig with innovative features is fun to operate;
And the sunshine glistening on the beam at the top of the tower is very beautiful;
But the new friendships created with hams around the world are priceless.
99% of my QSO's are CW.
Rare SSB: Net Control for ECARS - the East Coast Amateur Radio Service - on 7255 KHz; & early mornings on 7163 KHz with WB2REM & "The 7163 group"
Life is too short for QRS ï¿½ . . . . But if asked, I will slow down..
Recently diagnosed with a serious neurological disease, and Ham Radio is a good distraction except . . . . . . .
Fingers & brain get out of synch, which sometimes affects my sending CW with a key paddle, or entering QSO data via the PC's keyboard into the computer log. And pain med's. affect my speech sometimes.
The doctors say the symptoms will get worse. Please be patient in our QSO's. Tnx !
If you hear my signal, give me a call.
Flags for DX Visitors are shown on the opening page.
Here's another shot of the Log Periodic antenna. The boom is 30 ft. long & the longest element is 50 ft. ("Linear Loaded") for the 40M band.
And below is a picture from old New Hampshire..
This is Roy's Variety, an old general store in New Hampshire, with the trademark "Eat Here and Get Gas."
The Store was a landmark and a tourist attraction across New England, nationally, & internationally.
Sadly, It was torn down about 30 years ago
This picture was made by superimposing a photo of the Store onto a photo of the current shopping mall where the Store had been located.
The Store is placed in exactly its old location in the new Mall, where in its place, a bank stands today.
For the "locals" - the Store was located in Merrimack, NH at the corner of Naticook Road and Route 101A,
and today is called "Pennichuck Square"
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