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May 2013 Update

I now have four HF antennas:

Three doublets, each center-fed with 450 ohm ladder line that is matched with a dedicated manual tuner:

1. 52 meters long/ 15 meters high/ Oriented NE-SW.

2. 30 meters long/ 17 meters high/ Oriented NW-SE.

3. 26 meters long/ 21 meters high/ Oriented NE-SW.

One quarter-wave Inverted-L for 160 meters with 20-60 foot radials and fed with 50 ohm RG-8 coax.

I finished the RTTY interface project but have had problems with the Ten-Tec sending the code inverted. I haven't taken the time to figure out why.

Most of my radio time is spent working DX on CW and participating in most of the major contests. My DXCC counts are now: Mixed - 219 Worked/ 201 Confirmed.

July 2012 Update

My main rig now is a Ten-Tec Omni VI. The receiver is nice, especially on CW. It pulls out weak sigs with little problem. This rig has finally made the WARC bands accessible.

I am down to only the zepp antenna now. The 80 meter vertical came down in a storm several weeks ago.

I am working on an RTTY interface between the Omni and my station computer. That project is almost complete. While I have monitored RTTY a little I have never transmitted. I'm looking forward to getting the interface complete.

May 2011

I was first licensed in 1971 as a 14 year old novice with the call WN4UZA. I upgraded to a general ticket in 1972 with the call WB4UZA. In 1980 I changed to the 2X2 call KC4HL and in 2000 to my current vanity call K4NC.

I have been happily married now for 27 years (May 2011) and have three sons. Professionally I'm a consulting electrical engineer. With only one son at home now, I am finally finding more time for ham radio. My favorite mode over the years has been CW. Recently, I have dabbled a little in contesting. With only wire antennas and no amp, contesting has been a challenge to say the least. The recently improved sunspot numbers has me operating 10 meter CW more and more.

The primary rig is a Collins S-line that I acquired in the mid 70's. It just keeps working year after year with little maintenance. I've had little incentive to replace it, though I have been thinking more and more about how cool it would be to have a receiver with DSP. The Collins gear may be taking a backseat soon. My other radio gear includes a Hammarlund HQ 180 receiver, a Hammarlund HQ 110A receiver and a Swan 600T transmitter I used in the 70s.

My antenna "farm" consists of two antennas. A 40 meter extended double zepp (172 feet [52 m] long) hung between two trees at a little over 50 [15 m] feet up in the air. I feed it with 450 ohm ladder line. With an antenna tuner it gives reasonable performance on all bands. With its many sharp lobes on the higher bands, this antenna typically gets me either a very good signal report or a very poor one depending on the other station's location relative to the antenna. The other antenna is an 80 meter quarter wave wire vertical hung from a tree limb. I currently have sixteen 60 foot ground radials installed with plans to install 16 more. Even with a limited number of radials, I have worked many stations on it in Europe and SA. I feed this antenna with 50 ohm RG-8 coax. I have thought about feeding the center point of the vertical with ladder line to give me a vertical dipole on 10-40 meters. This could help with the zepp's lobe issue on the higher bands. Maybe one day.

7664197 Last modified: 2016-10-30 03:51:08, 5017 bytes

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