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Hello from the great frozen north. Located near the small town of Hale, Michigan, on an almost 200 year old Farm, that has been in my wifes family for generations. This is about 180 miles, (air miles), or (290 km), north of Detroit, Michigan, but by car more than 200 miles or 322 km.

This is worlds apart from life in the city. My QTH is located between the two Londo Lakes, halfway between West Branch, Michigan, and Tawas City, Michigan, on the eastern, (sunrise), Lake Huron side of the state.

Enjoying life in the country, each and every sunrise, and sunset, and all that is in between.

My station is semi-automated, and consists of a "Yaesu FT-1000MP MKV" @ 200W, stock "Yaesu" hand held microphone, "TenTec 715 RF Speech Processor", (better than the built in "Yaesu" one), "Stridsberg, MCA102M", ZERO LOSS antenna multicoupler, "West Mountain Radio CLRspkr, ClearSpeech", speaker, "Ameritron RCS-4" antenna switch, (always planning for additional antennas), and a "RF-Space, SDR-IQ" receiver, used as a pan-adapter. Just added a new "RSP2pro from SDRplay". Still getting used to it, and configuring all the software, but in one word, AMAZING!

This is hosted and controled on a computer running "Windows 10", and displayed on three, wall mounted, 32", "Vizio" TV/monitors at eye level above the operating desk. Control and logging are accomplished by using the current paid version of "Ham Radio Deluxe", and HDSDR, for the pan-adapter. All frequencies and control track with one another.

The primary antenna is a full size 80 meter square horizontal loop, (sky loop), which is 280' of stranded insulated #12 AWG copper wire, 70 feet long on each side, suspended at a height of 45' on all four sides, and tuned with a remote, "SGC, SG-230" antenna coupler.

The antenna is located some 350 feet from the operating position, and is in the middle of a field to the west of the house. This is fed with run of buried, 50 Ohm, rigid, surplus, gas filled broadcast hard-line. This has very low losses at HF frequencies.

The antenna is not photogenic at all but, that makes it more wife friendly. It is much much more than a “cloud burner”, and exhibits interesting and unique properties. It follows the sun, nicely, and for the most part, very predictable. I have found this to be a good all around antenna, and have made many contacts, both local and DX from 80 meters to 6 meters.

Working 160 meters I have to float one end of the loop from the coupler, and ground the coupler to a good grounding system. The "SGC 230", is not supposed to tune on 6 meters, but it does.

The “Sky-Loop”, a.k.a., "Loop Sky-Wire", stands up to the Michigan wind and weather, and once the electrical connections were sealed, has not required any maintenance. Good choice of antenna for this QTH and conditions. Not always a 59 signal on either end, but if I can hear a station I can usually work that station. Six years of maintenance free, trouble free service ended over the fall and winter with the arrival of a flock of wild turkeys. The wire and the rope held together, but the stainless steel "S" hooks holding the pulleys didn't. Repairs, re-fitting, and re-positioning have been completed, and now it's fully opperational again.

I will QSL by LOTW, QRZ, and eQSL, and response is almost immediate. Physical QSL cards, have become a lengthy and difficult process, for me at this time.

Operating time varies, as living with Parkinson’s has demands all its own.

Usually on HF most days, weather and wife permitting. The photo is a view of our front yard one Sunday morning in late September, 2016, when a hot air baloon missed its landing site.

Best of 73's, from Michigan

Jack - KW8L



8386007 Last modified: 2017-10-13 13:00:25, 4075 bytes

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DX World Award#5766
Granted: 2017-08-14 14:10:02   (KW8L)

United States Counties Award#3250
Granted: 2016-07-24 13:10:03   (KW8L)

  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
United States Award#1427
Granted: 2015-08-30 03:05:02   (KW8L)

Grid Squared Award#676
Granted: 2015-01-17 20:39:03   (KW8L)

  • 12 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 17 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
World Continents Award#726
Granted: 2015-01-17 20:39:01   (KW8L)

  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    12 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
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