Celebrating my 50th year as a licensed ham radio operator ... will be 62 in May of this year, 2017...
November 2016 update: WHOOHOO! Worked XZ1A for #356/337. I was off the air for 19 of the previous 26 years due to - life! ... so missed the previous expeditions to the 2 I still need: P5 and BV9P.
October 2016 update: Well ITS UP! 148' (45.1M) rotating tower ... with the following antennas:
-143' (44M) Rotary dipole for 80/75 meters, 76' (23M) length with 26' (8M) T bar capacitance 'hats', 3 relay box
-123' (37.5M) Optibeam OB4-40 4 element 40 modified slightly to bring the performance a bit lower in the band. See below for details.
-135' (41M) / 75' (23M) 2 x 5 element 20's - M2 20M5LGS-100 (made from a 20M5 antenna) on a 50' (15.2M) boom range tested and modified slightly as a result.
-90' (27.5M) / 45' (13.8M) 2 x 6 element 15's - M2 15M6-125 modifed to their 15M6DX, range tested, modified slightly as a result for improved performance
STILL do not have anything to speak of on the WARC bands (using driven elements through a tuner at low power) or anything on 160 meters.
yet to install the "T" for 160 meters... 100' vertical section with a T on the top to cancel high angles with planned 40 100' radials. It will only be 100' from the main tower and unfortunately in the direction of EU ... modeling shows a couple db drop in that direction.... oh well - that's the only place I have to put it unfortunately...
Eqmt: FTdx5000, 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.
Planned Eqmt: Second tower will hopefully have 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 to the SteppIR to make it a 3 element 30/40, 4 element 20 - 10 on a 30' boom. Model looks very encouraging.
August 2016 update:
Because of the interaction of the 40M4LLDD 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). NOTE further 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 (one station tested was more than this) 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. More testing to be done to confirm FB at this height.
2016 update.... after ANOTHER 4 years off (19 out of the past 26 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.
2013: update: as of April 2012 I'm 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 '75 after passing the extra... 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 12/05)! 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 (now 9B). 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.
7976943 Last modified: 2017-03-19 17:32:57, 8472 bytes
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