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Ham Member Lookups: 1742


​I had an uncle when I was a young teenager introduce me to Amateur radio WB9BOT Oliver the "manure spreader". I played with 11 meters and found radio to be awesome but 11 meters became a sewer. Unfortunately for my uncle he could never move on to the advanced class because of a stroke, and then later it didn't matter due to heart issues and getting a pacemaker. He became restricted on what frequencies he could transmit on because of the pacemaker, I think that killed him. I look back at those days and I feel bad for him. Amateur radio was such a big part of his life. I will remember his Heathkit radio, amp, oscilloscope and his beam antenna and his 50 foot Hygain vertical and his 75 meter dipole forever, tearing up the tv on the weekend.  I close my eyes and I am still back there in time a near magical world of radio, talking to someone by the rose bowl, or other people in South America. I watched the S meter, his amp and those meters the oscilloscope what a really neat time. I knew nothing of the sunspot cycle then. It was all AWESOME! I wish I was just a little older at the time, to understand more. 

As a SWL I spent years listening to 3 main 75 meter nets, 3849.5, 3898, and 3913, so they corrupted me!  I laughed with them and even got on 3898 one night during a phone patch. I miss those groups as I notice most of the call signs now are likely silent keys, but the 3849.5 guys are now on 3740, I hope to contact them sometime, and thank them. I enjoyed them so much!

When I took the tests I took all 3 exams and passed all of them in one sitting shocking the volunteer examiners. After all the years of SWL and listening to the technical aspects the amateurs would discuss, I feel I should accomplish passing the exams. The Technician exam was easy, the General took some studying, and the Extra exam took a lot of studying, a lot of work! I studied until everything started to ramble together, so it was time to take the exams.

Now being licensed I have not been able to break through the antenna restriction conditions, and everytime in life when something was changing positive for me toward my goal, something else has held me back from my own home QTH with my own HF antenna system. People today look at me and tell me what do you want to do that for? They do not understand the magic of putting out a CQ and getting that reply from anywhere in the world, and the excitement that goes along with it.  

Currently I operate a lot of mobile and portable, and fixed situations. If you hear me let know how I am doing, you never know what antenna system I may be playing with on a given day. My license means EVERYTHING to me, it is everything I ever wanted, so I respect the hobby fully, and I hope you do to. I understand most of you paid a higher price for your license than I did, but I respect all of you for learning CW. I hope to hear you on the air!


Some people have asked me on air about my antenna at my son's shop that he rents. It is a 30 foot ground mounted vertical. To keep the antenna police at bay it is a 30 foot telescopic flag pole. No one bitches in this area about a flag pole, everyone bitches about antennas. It is a temporary set up, and experimental at best. 

So a 30 foot telescopic flag pole, I noticed a fluctuating SWR when in the air, so I put a set screw through each 5 foot section to make electrical contact with each section. It is mounted between two treated 2x4's and can be walked up or down. The flag pole is 2-3 inches above ground at the base. There is a 4:1 Unun at the base with 6 radials 30 feet long. the mount for the flag pole is down only 16 inches due to hitting rock below the surface. I do not hang a flag on it because of this. SWR varies by band, so you will need a decent tuner. During summer months I sit outside 50 feet from the antenna, and during the winter I sit inside 150 feet from the antenna.

I tried the antenna with only a ground rod to test the radial theory. I called CQ steady for 2 hours I was hoarse. No contacts. As you noticed from the picture there is considerable brush around the antenna on all but one side. So the radials sit above ground during the summer, and in the fall I beat some of the brush down so the radials were closer to ground. When I hooked up the first 4 ground radials I called CQ and immediately established contacts. So radials are needed. I currently have six, the one that comes out on the side that has no brush is wound on a wire spool, and each time I use the antenna I unwind the radial for that side, and hook up my coax, and when done I wind it up again and put it away so it doesn't get cut by my son when he cuts lawn. I feed the antenna with RG 8X. Currently, signal reports at 100 watts are 5/5 to 5/9 across North America and into Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Italy for some reason is difficult to contact from here. I received a request from a SWL to verify and send a qsl by e-qsl as the person monitored the qso I had with an amateur in Spain. The SWL was located in Germany with a 5/9 report. I receive the same reports regardless of band 75 through 10 meters. 

The Versa Tuner II from MFJ tunes the Antenna 80 to 10 meters, but not 1.1 to 1 on all bands. The recent purchase of a roller inductor tuner does a much better job. I received signal reports at 20 db over S9 across several bands this fall, this would be propagation and rare in our current times. I am waiting to see how this antenna acts and survives a brutal Wisconsin winter. Maybe I will learn some new tricks out of this.

The first picture I can't correct I apologize but it shows the UNUN for the antenna with the ground rod. My mobile is the bottom picture with the extension I use when operating at a fixed location, I gain 3 S units with it, but the antenna is nearly 22 feet in the air.  I use HAMSTICKS exclusively mobile, and people can't believe the signal! I had a woman in Texas tell me "you're kidding"! It has been embarassing at times.

If I was on my own property in the country, the vertical antenna would be 43 feet probably mine own aluminum pipe, inground coax, and 16 radials 43 feet long with a linear amplifier. My dream for the future, I will ask Santa!


8542197 Last modified: 2017-12-28 23:52:07, 7060 bytes

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