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First licensed at age 11 in 1954 as a Novice with call KN6ELQ in Glendale, CA. My Elmer was W6STA, a neighbor.

Went through Technician, General, Advanced and now hold an Extra Class with current call. I did it the "old" way where code was a requirement and you had to draw schematics. Those were the good old days!smiley

Ham radio led to a BSEE (Electronic Engineering) degree and after 47 years working in the industry I finally retired in October 2012.yes

I started on 40 meters CW with a home brew 6L6 osc/amp transmitter and a Halicrafters S-20R receiver. My first commercial transmitter was a Heathkit AT-1, which was basically the same as my home brew but in a pretty box. Next came a Heathkit DX-100 and SB-10 SSB adapter with a Hammerlund Super Pro (BC-779B) receiver. These were followed by a string of Heathkits ending with a SB-104 with all the accessory boxes and a SB-230 amplifier. My first modern non-kit radio was a Kenwood TS-820S followed by an Icom IC-701 with a Henry 2KD5 amplifier. Then came the IC-751, 751A and 781. Those were the HF radios. There were a bunch of VHF/UHF radios too, ending with a Icom IC-970H and R-9000. Today I have thinned it out to just two boxes, an Icom IC-7851 and SPE Expert 1.5K-FA amplifier, and two antennas (pictured above), a Optibeam OB9-5 5-band Yagi for 10 thru 20 meters at 60 feet and a Optibeam OB4030 dual-band Yagi for 30/40 meters at 72 feet. I operate 100% CW and at present can be found on the low end of 40 through 10 meters. I am also active in SKCC with number 10250S and can be found on the same bands but up a bit higher in frequency.

When not hamming my other main interest is motorcycles. I've been riding for 48 years and at present I am down to two bikes, both BMWs, a 2016 R1200RS and a 2014 R1200RT. At last count I've had 32 bikes, the last 20 being BMWs. I haven't had a car for thirteen years. Don't need one--it never rains in California--much!


Tony - K6ELQ

2017 Antenna Project (April thru June)

With Cycle 24 on the decline and operation on the higher bands declining and increased activity on the lower bands I decided to upgrade the antenna system with primarily higher gain antennas for 30/40 meters. A 4EL OptiBeam OB4030 Yagi will replace the OptiBeam OB1-4030 Rotary Dipole for a gain increase of 3.6/3.9 dB at a cost of 79 pounds increased weight and greater wind load.  A 9EL OptiBeam OB9-5 will replace the 10 EL Tennadyne T10 Log Yagi. Although the OB9-5 is about 7 feet shorter in boom length than the T10's 24-foot boom, the performance is nearly identical, actually a tad better, and 10 pounds lighter and less wind load. 

My current TX-455 tower is installed on a 3' x 3' x 6' concrete pad (2 sq. yd.), which was spec when installed in 1977. Today's spec calls for 4.5' x 4.5' x 6'. If that weren't bad enough, the new antennas exceed the tower's capability in strong winds so a new HDX-555 tower will be installed. This requires a 5' x 5' x 7' concrete pad so the old pad will have to be jackhammered out and the hole enlarged. To make matters even more difficult, the pad is set into my concrete patio.

First, strip the old tower of everything. Top OptiBeam OB1-4030 Rotary Dipole, bottom Tennadyne T10 Log Yagi.

And deposit the antennas on the roof for partial dismantling. Rotary Dipole is at the far end of the foor.

This shows the size of the new HDX-555 tower base compared to the TX-455 base

Demolish the old pad and dig a bigger hole. The 7-foot tall rebar cage in the background was manufactured off-site. Old tower is at bottom left. New tower was held at the factory until we were ready for the installation.

New 5' x 5' x 7' hole through patio

Drop in the pre-assembled rebar cage. Spacers at the bottom keep the rebar cage above hole floor.

Pump in 7.5 cubic yards of concrete (about 30,000 pounds)

And wait a month for it to cure

Hire the big guns to remove the old tower and install the new one

Out with the old tower (That's Steve, W6SKS, Pioneer Antenna & Towers)

Up and away to his tower trailer for delivery to Frank, K6FW, the new owner

Pick up and lower the new tower into place

Steve tightens the twelve bolts to the tower base

Add the motor drive from the old tower

Cosmetic work on the pad (will paint later)

While all this was going on I built the two antenna skeletons (boom plus initial elements) and element sections. Antennas are too big for my yard so final assembly will have to be done on the roof.

Made some brackets for the support of the two baluns (machined Delrin rods with Heli-Coil inserts). The square U-bolts were courtesy of Tom, DF2BO, owner of OptiBeam

OB4030 Balum mounting

OB9-5 Balun mounting. The wing nuts were later removed and replaced with hex nuts and sealed with liquid tape.

At this time I also added a tower safety stand from KF7P Metalwerks. This made life a whole lot easier. We could do all the work without having to climb the tower. This will remain in place for any future work.

Completed OB4030 on the roof

Steve and the crane company lift the OB4030 to its posotion on the 22-foot chromoly mast, 2.5 feet below the top. The majority of the mast is still inside the tower at this point. The mast raising fixture, MRF, can be seen to the left of Steve's knees.

I used the mast raising fixture to pull the mast out of the tower and install the rotator.

Then the OB9-5 assembly was completed on the roof

Folllowed by another crane lift and mounting by Steve. This antenna was placed 12.25 feet below the OB4030.

OB4030 over OB9-5

On the air! Still need to do some minor element tweaking but it is working great the way it is now.

8596344 Last modified: 2018-01-21 21:28:29, 11432 bytes

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