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What got me into Amateur radio? I've always enjoyed talking on the CB to many of the locals, and in Jan 2008 my brother explained the ‘no code’ requirements for Amateur radio license along with all the possibilities amateur radio presented. At the same time, he presented me with a challenge and made an offer I could not refuse… if I got my ticket by 12/31/08, he would donate his Yaesu FT-7800R with mobile antenna to me. Once I found all the study material and on-line tests, I passed the Tech Exam by Feb 2008 (as KJ4BXO) and upgraded to General by June 2008.


I now have his Yaesu FT-7800r and have added a Kenwood TS-2000, Alinco 235 Mark III, and Yaesu FT-857D, FT-8800 and VX6R. I'm enjoying the learning process for logging contacts, the technical aspects of antennas, computer interfaces and the digital modes. Although I've learned more than I thought I ever would in the last couple yrs,I still have a long way to go.


I recently acquired the call sign K4TJM and plan to keep it. Best wishes to all and hope to catch you somewhere within the bands…


Update - Antennas


My humble beginnings. . . Tech level with simple homebrews for VHF/UHF. These worked for me for over a year. The slim jim (on the right) I still use with the 7800 in the garage. In many ways, this is one of the better VHF antennas I've used, and it is simple to build.



The Next steps. . .


Improvements to the VHF/UHF was a Comet Tri-band. . . 2m/1.25m/70cm. It is also mounted on a 1-inch steel pipe but opposite side of the house, and the wire antenna for HF and the A99 for either CB or 10-12m. The A99 is a nice vertical for 10m. Note all these are resting on the roof to aid in height vs. restrictions I live with. From the street, only the top 3-4ft can be seen, yet they are about 30-32ft height.


At this point I'm on-the-air as a General class operator.



After 2 yrs, another opportunity arose. A tower and rotor became available from my dad's old CB days. The question now was where to install with my limited restrictions? Further research into my housing restrictions found NO LIMIT to antennas, provided they are not more that 10ft above the tallest structure. Of course this was good news but the question remained. . . Where to install the tower to its advantage and what to put on it?


I chose a location between trees in the backyard so the structure would not be visible from the street. I also decided to keep the height at 35ft for the same reasons.


The tower install progress. . .




With the tower location chosen and installation underway, a really good friend I met on ham radio offered me an old Wilson System 3 triband antenna that had been stored outside for many yrs. I gladly accepted and started the re-build process. After lots research, hard work and about 3wks, the antenna was complete. My research provided me another opportunity, the addition of a 3-element 6M section (via a QST article in Sept 2011 issue).






I'm really enjoying the new setup.

6349953 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:31:34, 8725 bytes

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