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N5ZY USA flag USA

alias for: KF5DVH


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QSL: LOTW, ARRL QSL Bureau

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Premium Subscriber Lookups: 7631

N5ZY since 03/26/2013, formerly KF5DVH (2009-2013) and N5WRH (1991 to 2001).

 

Hello fellow amateurs,

I exchange QSL's using ARRL's Logbook Of The World (LOTW) or through bureau. I'm a member of the Edmond Amateur Radio Society (EARS)www.k5eok.org where we offer license classes and monthly exams to the public as well as operate as a resource to the community.  If you enjoy amateur radio please join a local club and volunteer an hour or two each month to help with the Technician class recruiting!  You could be the person that inspires a future politician or astronaut to get their license! 

Recently:

April 2017:  I have added a DXE-MBVE-5A ground mounted vertical with 20 radials at 40 ft each.  It's on the tilt base so when I'm not using it I can take it down very quickly.  So if I work you in JT65 or JT9 and I say xW VRT 73 that's what I'm using!  DX Engineering made a fine antenna.  I painted it flat gray to help it be less visible to the casual observer.  No guy ropes.

Jan 2017: Out of complete frustration with the solar cycle and lack of propigation for phone mode I realized I need to focus on learning CW again and trying JT65.  Even in this forbidding solar cycle JT65 allows me to continue to make DX contacts and with less power.  I've even dialed down to 10 watts and made many continental US contacts on 40 and 20 meters!  JT65 is really impressive!  Slow, but impressive!  Still just using the double-bazooka dipoles in the attic (25 foot at the peak)!  Using WSJT-X for JT65/JT9 and JTAlertX to log QSO's into HRD Logbook which are then uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog.  Thanks to a scheduled contact in Antartica, with JT65 and LOTW I've finally confirmed 100 DX contacts and joined the DX Century Club (see my photo).

Oct 2016 I had to use the attic antennas for the CQ WW DX.  Results were ok but I wish I could have used my OCF dipole outside.  I also really wish I could put up a spider beam (least expensive directional antenna).  

April 2016 I began studying CW under instruction from CWops.  If you work me I am very thankful for your patience!  Also I hope you understand if I get a callsign and RST then say 73 (stress!)  I started with a Vibroplex Vibrokeyer but I just wasn't happy and replaced it with a very, very smooth action Begali Mono key.  

2016 I also built an OCF 40/20/10 dipole using Wireman 532 wire (18AWG copper-clad steel) and his 4:1 balun and used it for the ARRL DX SSB and ARRL Field Day.  Best cost/watt antenna I've ever made.  I use this antenna during contests if I have time to put it up (photos below).  Otherwise I'm using the attic antennas put up in 2014.

 

In 2014, The most fun I've had was the pleasure of operating as W1AW/5 for Oklahoma.  I've never been on this side of a DX pile-up and it's truely exciting.  This year to work as many W1AW stations as possible I learned RTTY, PSK, and working CW with HRD's DM780 on the IC-7000 and now the IC-9100.  Having lots of fun!  Earlier this year in preparation for Field Day I upgraded the radio to the IC-9100 and began building the moxon 'turnstile' antennas for 2m and 70cm then I had to forgoe FD14.  

Also this summer and fall I tried building a new attic mounted fan dipole to point toward Europe however in the attic I could not find a location where the SWR was acceptable.  After a hundred trips to the attic in my boxers, up and down ladders I finally took it down and bought the RADIOWAVZ Double Bazooka for 20m, 15m and 10m just before the CQ WW Phone contest.  It was interesting that each band most certainly needed to be in a specific spot and height – otherwise the SWR would jump from 1.5 to 3 or more – The earth ground and other conductors in the attic had a very severe effect on SWR in the attic at the new spot.  I also bought a bag of clip-on ferrite cores from Amazon for the speaker wires and other things in the house that the RF energy effected.  Placing one of them on my USB cable for the ICOM 9100 was also very necessary – without it Ham Radio Deluxe kept locking up and losing the USB connection to the radio.  The Double Bazookas perform really well – since then I’ve also bought a 40m, 30m, and 17m but now I need a remote antenna switch… it never ends!  During the CQ WW Phone contest I made contacts in GB, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, etc.. It was really exciting!  These Bazookas are great since they don’t require a balun, they naturally feed with coax, and they are 50 ohm.  For the remote antenna switch I bought a MFJ and within a year I had to send it in for repair.  It's not as sensative and therefore not always automatically selecting the right antenna for the band voltage put out by the IC9100 so I can't operate 'remote' since I'm not comfortable the switch has the right antenna.

Nov 2014

To keep the busy activity going at full speed I popped the question and asked Lisa to marry me while at the OKC art museum rooftop where we met just two years ago.  We received the blessing from our friend Bishop Bruce MacPherson and Fr. Patrick Bright and we were married by Fr. Bright at All Souls Episcopal Church in November!

2015:

Used the ICOM-9100 at Field Day in Edmond for a digital and satellite station.  I have been busy with club activities (spring General class, Fall Technician class), OKC Memorial Marathon, Field Day, and trying to prepare the wife's former home to sell.  Since the HF band conditions have been poor I've started to learn CW.  I also bought a Mobilinkd TNC2 to investigate the use of APRS satellites on field day.  This year at field day I learned a lot about harmonics transmitting from improperly tuned antennas, adjacent stations, etc.  Ladder line is great if your the only station.  It doesn't belong in a multi-station operation.. and the tuner really, really, really should be at the antenna feed point not at the radio (again for a multi-station operation).  I'm just an amateur and I get a lot of education every field day!  

To help our new Technicians get on the air I've hosted a couple VHF 2 meter FM contests.  Everyone has a lot of fun and they learn about simplex, squealch, etc.  Some of them have had enough fun to consider the upgrade to General.  We mandate the frequencies for operation and give points based on power and number of logged contacts total and the number of unique zip codes.  We've had a LOT of folks with the inexpensive Baofeng radios who are really challenged by this contest since these don't really have a VFO mode nor a squalch knob.  I've been suggesting to people in our Technician class to instead buy the Kenwood TH-K20A since it's very easy to program, has a memory/VFO button and a squealch knob.. and the OEM antenna works great.  In my opinion, the Baofeng is not saving people much money and it seems many decide it's too frustrating and they quit the hobby before they get started.  Having never looked at a manual I was able to program a Kenwood on the first attempt.  The Baofeng took me hours.  I have to admit, my Yaesu VX-8 isn't easy either but it's easier than the Baofeng.

2016:

Still the class coordinator and VP for K5EOK.ORG.. and trying to learn cw since our solar cycle is not being very helpful!  To learn CW I'm using the KOCH method and a single paddle electric key on my IC9100.  Fixed the motorcycle antenna issues by implementing a heavy duty mobile - COMET HP-32FHN.  I've not suffered antenna failures since (thanks to Ray KD6FHN of MARC).  Now my SENA PTT module is having issues.  The SENA is not powered by the bike.  The Yaesu VX-8 is not powered by the bike.. but the SENA keeps picking up noise and opening the bluetooth channel to the helmet even while the radio is squealched.  So I put a snap-on ferrite on the PTT wire and the audio wire but it's still happening.. and it is engine noise (occurs more often at higher RPM, almost never at low RPM).  Only the antenna is grounded by groundwire at the base of the antenna.  I finally figured out the noise problem - it was the connector between the Yaesu and the SENA.  I bought the Yaesu hard-wire and the SENA hard wire and soldered them together.  Problem solved.

 

Older history: 2010 and up:

My daughters are licensed as KF5DVG and KF5EGQ. We used to have fun talking on the satellites but that was a few years ago. We began with a handheld Yaesu VX-8DR and a homemade directional antenna. The antenna design is from http://www.wa5vjb.com/references.html, Mr. Kent Britain's "Cheap Antennas for the AMSAT LEO's". This antenna is fairly portable. For a pre-amp I purchased a Ramsey PR40 (a traditional bipolar microwave transistor kit) for $15.00 (plus a couple dollars for Altoids in a nice tin and a couple 9v batteries). The pre-amp boosts signals from S1 to S5. It’s truly amazing. For a splitter I made one using the information on Kent Britain’s site (wrap wire around a pencil and add a few capicators).  In 2014 I decided to upgrade the satellite operation for SSB and I bought the ICOM IC-9100 and built turnstyle antennas.

 
As of Jan 2012 we also have an HF radio, the prestigious ICOM IC-7000. With this radio I’m using electric fence wire (will soon upgrade to copper clad steel antenna wire) in the attic for a multi-band dipole antenna. I’m tuning with an MFJ tuner (most of the bands are perfectly resonant without the tuner) and using LMR-400 coax. In this space using the 17 gauge fence wire I’ve created horizontal dipoles resonant on 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 10, and 6 meter bands. Obviously the 80 and 40 meter bands benefit from the tuner..

March 2012: Burned out the finals in the IC7000 and now I run the MFJ tuner using the 12v power supply – powering it from the radio causes the radio to transmit if I power-off the tuner. Upon doing so the tuner transmits into no load and it makes a pop noise then stops working. ICOM repaired the radio and sent it back.

I've really been bitten by the contest bug simply because contests bring out lots of DX contacts!

 
As of March 2013 I am now attempting EME digital mode using WSJT9 software using an antenna I picked up at a garage sale. I believe it’s an older Gulf Alpha Antenna model 2M 7x7. I was able to see stations in the waterfall but couldn't decode them nor could anyone hear me since I only have the IC-7000.. I apparently need to add another section to the antenna and buy a 2m 300 amp with pre-amp. So I've given up on EME for a while due to the cost of a 2m amplifier.

73.

 

 

 

I need to add photos of the satellite turnstile antennas and revised preamps!

 

 

My daughter (KF5EGQ) and I working satellites.

 

My new bride and I at All Souls Episcopal Church:

She is a graduate of the fine school in Norman and I'm a graduate of the very fine school in Stillwater.  Go Pokes!

 

The current array of antennas in the attic... these are RADIOWAVZ Double Bazookas..  About 1 or 2 dB less noise than the fan dipole I had made.  They are also 50 ohms to my radio.. while the fan dipole was all over the place..  Yes I have a tall attic.. the house is next door to several 2 story homes so they built my roof line to match the others, giving me lots of space.  Below you can see the 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m and 10 meter antennas.  I've put them up in a flagpole fashion.  The pulley at the top isn't actually a pulley, just a rope loop.  The cletes at the bottom allow me to untie a specific antenna to lower or raise it like a flag.

 

The 40/20/10 OCF antenna (short side is about 22 ft and long side is about 44 ft)

 

The long sought after DXCC (mixed mode).

 

The satellite 2M preamplifier, a Ramsey Electronics kit works great! And the mints are not bad either.

 

Latest photo of the antenna and new stand and duplexer.

A picture of the circular polarized 2m pointing to the moon.

 

My Christmas/birthday present to myself. My first HF radio.

 

 

The 'fan dipole' in the attic. A 1:1 current balun and a lot of electric fence wire. The 80 meter is almost a loop snaking around the attic.  I had 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 10, and 6. One of them is resonant for 12m.  Later when I borrowed an analyzer I realized this was a BAD idea.  40 and 15 CANNOT be on same antenna - they are odd harmonics (7 MHz x 3 = 21 MHz).  This causes antenna impedance to create a power divider and impedance will be very low (like a short) and the radio overheats.  The tuner tuned it.. but as I learned that doesn't mean it's a good idea.  Likewise a 17 meter wire is very close to the top end of 6 meters.
Likewise the bottom of 80 meters is in the 17 meter data band.  So - if you make one, just watch what bands you put on it.  There is a reason commercial fan dipoles only have 3 or 4 wires on each side.

 

This photo was taken while it was still under construction obviously.

From bottom to top, the yellow electric fence stand-off's are 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 M. Had to snake around the furnace flueand the hot water tank flue not in the picture and the lightning rod grounding cables which are at all the high places and anywhere else it would have been very convenient to run an antenna element. One thing that is hard to see is the nylon paracord. I use this cord to pull the elements into place and lower them to adjust. And it's also a good insulator since nylon is nonconductive.

 

In this photo you can see the black parachute cord I tied to the ends to pull the elements out and apply tenstion with. I also inserted eyelets so I can untie the cord, lower the element, adjust the lenght then pull it righ back up into it's space without the ladder anymore.

The kids and I working satellite in the back yard again

 

And a picture of me with my Triumph Daytona I ride to work every day (sold the Daytona - I had a real problem obeying speed limits). I now have a Suzuki V-Strom.

 

The kids and I at the K5EOK club station during an event I can't remember the name of. I

Ok, one last picture for fun. This is the free motorcycle safety course taught by the Edmond Oklahoma Police Department every month. Anyone in the surrounding area should spend a morning in this class – it could save your life. They teach road survival skills then have you practice emergency braking and emergency swerving – and bring ibuprofen – it’s needed when the day is finished! It's free for any cyclist, you do not need to be a citizen of Edmond nor the state of Oklahoma.

 

Wife N0CALL and I.

 

Wife and I on the Oklahoma Talimena scenic drive.  One of my favorite motorcycle rides.  http://www.talimenascenicdrive.com/

The Suzuki VSTROM with the heavy duty antenna recommended for any rough duty.  Nothing else lasts long on a motorcycle (loading coils break).

 

 

73

God bless.

Thanks to http://www.ae7q.com for the help with extra class 1x2 vanity!

8087419 Last modified: 2017-05-10 18:53:17, 19479 bytes

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