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Celebrating my 50th year as a licensed ham radio operator ... 62 as of May, 2017... DXCC: 356/337 (need P5 and BV9P, unfortunately being off the air for 19 of the past 26 years meant I missed these 2 ... )

NOTE: CQ and QRZ are NOT the same thing! PLEASE do NOT end a CQ with "QRZ".... and please don't use QRZ as a means of establishing a contact - that is what a CQ is for!!!!

CQ: General Call

QRZ: WHO IS CALLING ME? (i.e. a RESULT of calling and ending a CQ and having had a response to that CQ)

November 2017: We've finished the 160 meter T antenna. The vertical section is not as tall as originally planned as I couldn't get the far end support up high enough (in a tree that is downhill from the tower support base). It is about 85 - 90' tall. There are 36 120' radials ... why 36? It was easier to use a transit to position them. I'd need to double length/amount to gain less than a db so I'm happy with this amount. First runs - worked a few new ones right off the bat on 160. Seems to work well. I've installed the Hi-Z 8/4 array (two 4 element arrays nested with a common center rotated 45 deg to each other). I had to add 8 16' radials to each to 'stabilize' the array ... this seems to have helped. My ground is very poor. The array is only 120' from the main tower and 165' from TX antenna so I fear there are re-radiation issues hindering the pattern on 160 and 80 ... 

July 2017: testing new Anan 8000DLE. So far I'm loving it. The FTdx5000 is a fantastic radio and the Anan its equal re performance - better in noise abatement ... PowerSDR mRX is very powerful and feature rich as well. Also added the 7 element 6 (M2 6M7JHV) to the main tower at 55' ... 3.2+ DB loss through feed at this frequency but I can't miss the openings to EU and the rest of the world while trying to get the planned second tower done. Fun working CN8/Africa on 6 and a few hours later JA!

Eqmt: Anan 8000DLE w/PowerSDR mRX, SPE Expert 2K-FA (160-6 Legal Limit). Antennas: R55 148' rotating tower system with: 6/6 on 15 (15M6DX-125) at 90/45; 5/5 on 20 (20M5LGS-100) at 135/75; 4el on 40 (OB4-40) at 123', rotary F12 Magnum 80/75 dipole at 144'. RX Array: 8 el Hi-Z 60' for 160/80/40. Nothing to speak of on the WARC bands (using driven elements through a tuner at low power which means the coax is ALSO being used - who knows what the pattern is). Currently have one of the 7 element 45' boom 10M M2, 10M7DX, at 11M (37') on the test tower ... 

Planned Eqmt: Second tower planning 7/7 on 10 (10M7DX) at 80/45, SteppIR 3 el with trombone for all bands including WARC at 95', 7 ele 6 at 107', 18 element 2 at 100'. Modeling adding 2 trombones (all short ones) to the SteppIR to make it a 3 element 30/40, 4 element 20 - 10 on a 30' boom. A "DB30" (on a heavier boom as well). Model looks very encouraging.

August 2016 update:

Started, on 40, with an M2 40M4LLDD... because of its interaction to a 15, which when range tested was found to be very significant, I instead put up an Optibeam OB4-40. This 4 element is slightly smaller than the M2. Gut feel the M2 is easily the equal of this antenna... with the exception of its interaction to the 15's. NOTE - interaction is NOT based on SWR! When range tested, the 40M4LLDD at 37', a previously tested 15M6DX at 12' (1/4 wave) the SWR showed very little change when the booms were inline - but the FB on 15 was severely impacted when the booms were inline as opposed to the test done at right angles. 

For the Optibeam the person that had it before me measured the SWR and found it to be 1.6:1 at 7.0. I too found this value when tested at 37'. Also FB checks using the RBN on CW showed only about 10 - 12 db FB at 7.001. So I adjusted ALL elements 3.5" longer to bring it down just a bit (this is about 34Khz). An additional note: Optibeams adjustments - 2 positions available and I believe only on the DE's, will only gain you ±10Khz! This is because this is a tightly coupled antenna - thus there is strong interaction of all elements and one really can't adjust just the DE's. When I did so, adjusted the DE's only, the 3.5" total that I calculated, the SWR center changed very little and the bandwidth got more narrow. It wasn't until I adjusted ALL elements (which only makes sense - you want to bring the WHOLE antenna down in frequency) that I brought the SWR down the ~34Khz and saw the normal wide bandwidth... AND the FB now is 15 - 18 db at 7.001 and is still around 30db at ~7130... still about 12 - 15 db at 7.300 as well. So how does it act at 123'? SUPERBLY! The SWR is now 1.34:1 at each band edge and is very flat in between.

2016 update.... after ANOTHER 4 years off (19 out of the past 27 years we were not on the air) 28 May 2016: finished modifying, building and testing 2 x 6 el 15's, 2 x 5el 20's, and am now testing a 4 el 40. All on a 'test' tower which is 37' high with a "Razor" allowing me to raise and lower them for the testing. Working out very well. Will soon start building the rotating 147' tower to put them on. Looking forward to having (nealy) all bands again after being off since Apr 2012.

2015 update.... as of 23 November we are in our new home! Texas was not the place for us... we're happy here in South Carolina on 11.5 acres. Have 2 'holes' in the ground for 2 towers planned... will update as they progress. OH!: And worked E30FB for country number 355/336 WOOHOO! Only 3 left. [current: 356/337, 2 left]

 2013: update: as of April 2012 I'm once again off the air. Tower is down (:>( and I've moved to -Texas. Now living in a ... oh boy - first time in my life - subdivision. Hope to get back on the air in a couple of years.

History: I passed my novice exam at the tender age of 11... received the ticket 6 weeks later - just after I turned 12. That was in '67.First radio was a borrowed BC348 and a Johnson Adventurer 807 running 50W with one crystal for 80. Antenna was a dipole 15' above the ground... I remember working a station in Garner KS - wrote in my log "WOW 435 miles!". The call was WN9WDP.

Then at the age of 13 I took the bus for a 90 mile trip to the federal building in downtown Chicago - alone! My mom still says she doesn't know why she let me go alone.... passed the general... WA9WDP.

Requested and received K9RX in '76 after passing the extra ('75)... seriously into DXing for some time ... did some contesting with some success... got into astronomy in the late 80's and out of ham radio for a (long) while (I was sick and tired of the "dummy down" principle going on to recruit new hams).

2005: After a nearly 16 year hiatus I am back on the air (off from ~ 1990 through Dec 2005)! We finished a new tower/antenna system and bought all the equipment (boy, expensive to get back into it!). Have been on the air again since 15 Dec 05. Enjoying operating all bands 80-10. Look forward to working old friends and meeting new ones!

After working enough to qualify for Honor Roll in the early 80's I unfortunately didn't persue the cards... now that I'm back in the hobby I FINALLY have submitted for and received Honor Roll status (354/336) and 8BDXCC. update: (9BDXCC, 356/337)

Our other hobby (and our business - www.ServoCAT.com) is amateur astronomy... we have a 12.5" Obsession and a 30" Starsplitter dob and enjoy looking for Hickson group galaxies from our superb 7th mag skies...

160 Meter: 25 Dec 09: added 160 for the first time ever... antenna is a 100' (vertical) inverted L, rcv is Hi-Z 4 SQ. 8 days later 60 countries... 100th country in 89 days.Second season now on 160 - 116 worked/71 confirmed all via LoTW. 9 March 11 update: this season has been TERRIBLE with very few EU heard let alone worked. Now at 122 worked and 81 confirmed (all still via LoTW). November 2011 update: 131 worked and 91 confirmed all LoTW. This season looks promising. Added JW, 3D2, TX7, XU already this season and have heard EU strong a few nights... here's hoping! Another sloooow season BUT managed to get the total up to 140 AND 101 confirmed for 9BDXCC! WooHoo! Took 89 days to work the first 100 countries... and 770 to get the first 100 confirmed... albeit all through LoTW. Last count was 115 countries confirmed on 160 - all from Arizona (12/2015).

QSL: Highly prefer LoTW. Unlike others I don't believe the hobby mandates paper QSLing (I have a job already and this is a hobby!)... we do paper but very slowly - apologies in advance.

8473610 Last modified: 2017-11-25 13:34:00, 9256 bytes

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