RIG: FLEX 1500 SDR at 5 watts output
AMPLIFIER: 5 watts input 100 watts output
ANTENNA; MFJ 1798 vertical on 10 ft pole all other antennas are down for maintanace.
COMPUTER: Homemade 3.6 Ghz Quad AMD Processor with 4 Gb Ram with 4 monitors
I have never owned a High Power Amplifier as my antennas are designed to be high gain. Once you have the High Power Amplifier, most Hams will use it all the time. I don't want to be one of those Ham's. The antenna is where the fun is and not the amplifier. You will find me talking QRP or now at 100 watts and if you could see my face it will have a BIG smile because you're running 1Kw or more with a StepIR antenna and I'm talking to you with my 1/4 wave ground plane antenna at 10ft and 100 watts or less station..
I was first Licensed in 1978 and have kept the original call sign. Two other friends (neighbors) also got our ham tickets at the same time and as luck would have it we got consecutive call signs WD4OOX,.WD4OOY and WD4OOZ.... This caused a few problems over the years as many 2 meter repeaters were temp.shut down, (denying access) thinking we were bootleggers. I designed and built most of my antennas for HF and VHF thru out the years, and had effective radiated power on VHF of over 4000 watts with only 100 watt input.... Yes that was over 17 dbd gain. I can state db gain over a dipole as I did FCC Type acceptance and antenna testing on the company range. I had the equipment and the knowledge to measure at VHF and UHF frequencies. Many of my antennas on HF worked better than the commercial antennas that my neighbor WD4OOY had which made it easy for comparison. He was constantly accusing me of talking to static. WD4OOY had a 60 ft plus tower with a 6 element triband yagi, and that was 30 to 40 ft above the tallest trees and buildings in the area. My tower was only around 40 ft and was just clearing the trees. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on ham radio equipment prefering to buy used equipment or make my own. I have only twice since1978 purchased a new ham rig....1980 a new Kenwood TS-520se,which is still in my shack today. This is now used only as a reciever to monitor for band openings. This month (April 2012), I purchased a Flex 1500 SDR and have set it up and making contacts (still) on 10 meters while I get ready to put up another multiband antenna, and experiment with other designs.My workhorse radio has been a Radio Shack HTX 100 (purchased used) on 10 meters with 20 watts output and most of the time I forget that I pulled the knob and was only running 5 watts, and having fun talking all over the world. My first contact on ham radio was with my Electronics teacher back in high school on a Collins transciever (he only had collins equipment) and a 80 meter dipole on top of the building. That was 1965 and I have been in the Electronics industry ever since. From Biomedical equipment to VHF/UHF radios at Motorola, to Marine Electronics on commercial ships and private Yachts, to RF design of VHF/UHF radios for government agencies, to S Band Video Transmitters and Recievers along with their antennas. I have moved away from the South Florida area after 30 plus years and have started another antenna farm in the country North East of Atlanta. Although the wife has not objected so far to the Antennas that I have put in the air, I have kept the Idea that the antennas today must be kept as low profile as possible but with the highest gain. I don't live in a HOA but my concern is to maintain peace at home and with the neighbors and to have a radio station that can make the dx contacts with minimum power output. As long as the wife doesn't object and the neighbors don't complain, then ham radio will be a great hobby for many more years. Yes, I would like to have the 100 ft tower and 5 element monoband 80 meter antenna running legal limit, but get real...the old bitty next door would complain about the damage the antenna would do if it fell on her house or the Interferrance that happens to her TV when I am NOT operating or not home, just because she knows that CB's cause interferrence on her TV. Not going that route... I don't interferre with my own TV's, telephones or stereo equipment and I don't have rf beads or chokes on anything other than my ham equipment in my shack,.it's clean rf.
Rig is a Flex 1500 SDR at 5 watts output into a 40 watt amp. Antenna is an 80 meter horiz. Loop at 45 feet in the air at it's tallest point down to 35 ft at it's lowest. The Antenna is shaped more like a triangle with the top flattened with the feedpoint in the flattened area. I purchased the Flex 1500 to see what the Software Designed Radio was like and fell in love with the low power and capabilities of the radio. I had hopes originally of upgrading to the Flex 3000 but I am having too much fun with the Flex 1500's low power that I may just keep what I have. You will find me on SSB, PSK31, and occasionally on CW as I do enjoy a short cw contact once in a while. The Main Bands that I operate are 17 meters , 15 meters, 12,meters and 10 meters although I can be anywhere on any HF band. With the major lobe of the horiz. loop towards Europe and other lobes at other various directions, I can usually get dx contacts on the higher bands due to the gain of the loop and the 40 watts output. But I can't compete on the Noisy lower bands with their high power amps. I have never owned a High power amp before only the 40 watt "toy" but it gets the job done with the gain of the loop antenna. May 2014 all of my antennas are down for maintainace except for my MFJ 1798 1/4 wave ground plane antenna on a 10 ft pole. This is only temporary and by mid summer I hope to have a 80-10 meter vertical at 60 ft and later in the fall modified to include 160 meters. The 80 meter loop will also be reworked and be about 55 ft above ground. The MFJ 1798 will be used as a reference antenna for antenna designing and will stay at 10 ft above ground. I have also done some more work on the small amplifier and it now puts out around 100 watts (and very clean rf).
October 2012 I just built my first computer, a 3.6 GHZ AMD Quad core, 4 g ram and 3 hard drives running vista. One of the hard drives is a solid state hard drive and it will take over as the main hard drive soon, but right now a 320 g 7200 rpm hard drive is operating as primary drive. The flex 1500 and HRD are running at same time with only 10 to 15 percent CPU usage. I have only 2 monitors connected at this time but the video card is available that will increase the it to 4 monitors. At work I have at one computer 16 monitors but I normally work with only 6 monitors in front of me at one time. Yes that was not a typo...16 monitors. So having only 4 monitors on the flex will just cramp my style just a little....LOL... I love to work on Computers and talk on the radio and design and build antennas And with the Flex 1500 I can kill three birds with one stone. What a hobby!!!
I've talked to a few hams that have their ham station under remote control, what a great idea!!! OH NO ANOTHER PROJECT IDEA... maybe another day, got to finish the other 20 projects in progress...LOL I still work for a living so my time is limited...got to retire to have the time to finish all of the projects.......
Catch me on the air and ask me a question, if I don't talk your ear off, I'll be glad to guide you towards a possible solution to your antenna design problem. Every antenna installation is different and what works for Joe down the street may not work for me, but I will find out what will make it work, or find another antenna that will work. I may not have all the answers but I can guide you in the right direction or to someone who will know the answer (from experience). I also believe that a ham radio operator should be involved in his own equipment design as well as the tuning of the antenna and final check out, not a purchased shack. In other words "I'm not going to do it for you but I will guide you in the right direction".
Anyone can talk around the world on a cell phone but a ham radio operator makes that contact around the world with a smile on his face because the radio he built or the antenna he designed and put up makes that conversation an achievement worthwhile.
Good Day and Good DX
the backwards zoo
976459 Last modified: 2014-05-31 10:07:31, 8738 bytes
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