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N4UFO USA flag USA

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Ham Member Lookups: 35187

 

If you are looking for information on any of my portable expeditions, go here:

First licensed in 1977 as a Novice around age 14, I have enjoyed many aspects of amateur radio, including chasing DX & awards. To date, I have been awarded or achieved: 9BDXCC, 9BWAC, 9BWAS-CW, 9BWAS-JT65, 7BWAS-Phone, TPA, VUCC-6m (424 grids), VUCC-Satellite (700 grids) and the AMSAT Century Award. On 11-11-11, I was first listed in the DXCC Challenge standings at 1000. (My most recent DXCC submission has me up to 1880.) Needless to say, I try to keep busy with any free time I have on my hands.

 

My antenna farm includes an MFJ-1835 20-10m Cobweb antenna and an MFJ-1896 6m Moxon on top of a tripod mounted mast that also doubles as a direct fed 40m vertical. Sharing a common radial field with that is a reworked Butternut vertical for 80/160m and a Hy-Gain AV-18VS vertical modified for 30m only. Nearer to the house I have a 5 element, 17 foot boom 'no name' 6 meter yagi.

 

A few have been curious about my location in North Carolina. My home is located on the edge of 'the Piedmont' and the Appalacian foothills. My subdivision is called 'Ridgecrest', but it's not much more than a high spot really. And my house is not at the highest point in the neighborhood. If you walk up onto the crest in the agri field behind my property and look back at the house, you can see that my antennas are almost in a 'bowl'. But turning around reveals a really beautiful view of the foothills just 8-10 miles away.

 

For the higher HF bands, I have a lightweight MFJ-1835 Cobweb antenna at thirty feet on top of a Rohn H-30 mast that is mounted in a 9'4" Rohn tripod and guyed with quarter inch Dacron rope to four 2-3/8" fence posts. The Cobweb is essentially 5 dipoles bent roughly into a square, which means it is more omni-directional than a regular dipole, having no nulls off the ends. The tradeoff is a somewhat narrower bandwidth. At twenty-five feet I have an MFJ-1896 6 meter Moxon which is mounted in a fixed northeasterly direction since my beam gets tremendous noise from home appliances and electronics when pointed towards the NE US or Europe.

 

The tripod is bolted to wooden railroad ties. As a result, the tripod and mast are electrically insulated from the ground. Combining the height of the mast with the top loading capacitance from the antennas plus the addition of a small loading coil made of copper tubing at the base, I was able to hook up a direct feed point in order to utilize the tripod/mast/antennas as a vertical on 40 meters. Resonance is near the middle of the band and SWR measured in the shack is less than 1.1:1 across the band. - Picture on the right shows the coil plus all of the feedlines going to the shack and antennas with toroid chokes to help cut down on common mode RFI.

 

This is a refurbished/reworked Butternut vertical modified for 160m & 80m. On the left you see rope guys and top loading wires while on the right you can see an added coil and larger capacitors. I have laid out a common radial field for all three antennas that averages 32 radials for each. The thick bermuda grass I have in my yard made it slow going. I had to cut through the grass with a trimmer so the wire could be laid next to the ground and then kept in place with wire staples. Note the toroid choke, matching coil and radial connections in the inset. The wire coil, or 'Q' coil, helps with matching the feedline impedence closer to 50 ohms.

 

This is a Hy-Gain AV-18VS that I modified for use on 30m only. I removed the coil that came with it, then added a short section of mast at the base to extend the length as well as aluminum wire loops at the top for capacitive loading. I kept the feedpoint at the same location using a crimp style blade termination and a hose clamp. The SWR is 1.2:1 and it works better than the shortened vertical dipole I used previously. It is connected to the common radial field which is well beyond 1/4 wavelength for this band.

 

This is a 'previously owned' 6m yagi that I acquired. I'm not sure if it's a home brew antenna or some 'yet to be determined' brand. It is gamma fed, lightweight and very well tuned! (SWR is less than 1.1:1 across the bottom 600 kHz of the band.) Despite being a fairly light antenna, the boom is too long for a light duty rotor alone. So I used a longer mast and added a lateral support bearing.

 

My wife N4ICY has spent many hours out in the sun helping with everything from tweaking elements, to pruning wires, digging dirt, untangling ropes, hoisting antennas and general fetching & handing of tools. Yes, my wife helps with antenna work. She also enjoys going to hamfests and chatting with other XYLs. Be jealous, guys, be VERY jealous!

 

And just in case you were wondering, there are two "UFOs" in Statesville, NC: W4UFO

 

Hope to work you soon... 73!

 

 

 

8458872 Last modified: 2017-11-17 19:55:02, 6836 bytes

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