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My interest in things electronic/electrical started at a relatively early age ( I was a baby in my stroller) when I picked up bobby (hair) pins from the floor and inserted them into 120 VAC outlets, cried, and then did it again. (Persistence can be a good trait.)

At age 6-7 I built my first CW key from metal I cut with snips from a tin can. Using large 1 1/2 volt Ignition/telephone dry cells recovered from the trash and my tin can key I controlled a flash light bulb and sent Morse code to my mom across the living room. I used my sister's Girl Scout handbook as the source of the Morse code. Later I graduated to spark gap CW transmitters with poor range but after "mastering?" tuned circuits and antennas my buddy and I could communicate a few miles from one house to the other listening on the shortwave band of the family radios and only interfere with really close TV's and radios. (I think the statute of limitations has run out for whatever laws I broke back then, I hope!)

I had a hiatus in my radio transmitting right after Sputnik went up as I devoted my free time to home brew rockets. Then while a freshman in college at Central State University I had a land lord who was a naturalized citizen from Germany who was given a test at school at age 16 and placed in the German Navy.  He was trained as a radio man and his job was to communicate by Morse code with the U-boats at sea.  He wore "cans" for such long hours that he developed cauliflower ears like a boxer. He was no Nazi and had alternatives to his Naval service, he could have chosen being locked up or shot.  Any way he was a Morse wizard who loved to copy the W1AW Morse transmissions at high speeds  and also was very good at converting US Navy radio gear for amateur use.  He mentored me in ham radio and was active in helping me get my lisc.

Fast forward a couple years and I volunteered for a 4 year hitch in the USAF (1963-1967)during that little fracas called the Viet Nam War during which I let my lisc lapse but after a hiatus I retested and got a Tech lisc missing the 13 WPM code by one question and retested a week later and nailed the general. (Back in the olden times with code requirements and tests administered at the FCC office by FCC employees.)  After the USAF we moved to San Diego for over 30 years before taking early retirement in 1999 and moving to central Oklahoma where we now have a Black Angus ranch on our 160 acres.(Update follows) I am currently starting to phase out cattle ranching in favor of fewer obligations that ninterfere with travel and ham radio.

Now with room for antenna experiments, no home owners CC&Rs, no inspections or permits needed for towers I am in the process of acquiring my first HF beams and towers. I have rebuilt/customized a two section crank-up/tilt-over tower consisting of two 20 ft sections.that I have built a hex beam to utilize. Another tower project in progress

The plan is to acquire a motorized crank-up/tilt-over tower 70 ft tall of sufficient strength and robustness to handle a SteppIR DB-42 Yagi.  A lot of tower makers don't have towers that make decent candidates for my needs but one notable exception is the Tashjian towers.  Karl Tashjian has some really good products.With a re-purposed prop pitch motor by Kurt Andress as a rotator and a NN4ZZ tilt plate the weight of the components added atop the tower really start to add up.  That and nearly 40 sq ft of wind area to deal with calls for a rather robust tower... The Yagi antenna alone weighs nearly 250 lbs. Tilt plate is another 50 and prop pitch rotator is another 50lbs.Luckily the Tashjian tower will hold a dead load of 550 lbs.

I have the SteppIR still in boxes.  I have mis-installed the rebar cage for the crank-up/tilt/over tower and need to do some engineering to fix the oops before installing the tower.

Operating conditions here presently are: Heil PR 40 Mike into Flex 5000A transceiver (a SDR ) into a Tokyo Hy-Power solid state HL-1.5KFX amp and thence to a barn top mounted Hy-Gain Hy-Tower via a LDG AT-1000 Pro II Autotuner.  Antenna is a multiband vertical comprised of a 24 ft triangular section with tuning stubs for various bands attached to the tower and then topped by a series of telescopic aluminum tubes up to a total height of about 53 feet.  Normally installed free standing on a cubic yard of concrete, this installation has 4-way Philystran guys at the top of the triangular tower section so the custom base I welded up didn't have to be as strong as steel reinforced concrete. Another antenna is a Carolina Windom off center fed dipole about 90 ft on one side and about 180 ft on the other.  Similar performance to the vertical on the barn but different takeoff angle so I can sometimes hit folks at different distances rather than shooting over them with the Hy-Tower vertical.


                                                        T H E    P L A N

The plan is to mount a heavy duty Tashjian tower on an 8X10 ft chunk of steel reinforced concrete with 4x4 8 ft deep section in the center holding the rebar cage.  The tower is their model DX-70 and has 2 electric motors to raise/lower and tilt over           and up.

The TashTower telescopes from 23 ft to 70 ft. Included in "the plan" is the desire to assemble this tower's antenna (SteppIR DB 42,  AKA  MonstIR) onto the tower with my boots on the ground.  A NN4ZZ TiltPlate will allow the antenna to hang with its elements horizontal as the tower is tilted over.

Kurt Andress, K7NV, is the goto guy for tower and rotator installation and maintennance.

He re-purposes prop pitch motors as antenna rotators and as per Kurt his size small rotator

will handle the DB-42 which weighs about 250 lbs and has an effective windage of 38 sqft.

The back up beam is a hex hex beam, 6 band hex beam. It is ready to install at 50 ft above

ground on a two section tower I customized,  I put an electric winch on it to raise and lower

and a hand crank winch for tilt over. 


Hear me on any band, just break in and say howdy.


Patrick    NJ5G


7991695 Last modified: 2017-03-26 14:35:03, 7442 bytes

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