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UPDATED (April 2017)

I moved to Fuquay Varina, NC in August 2015. Still setting up the station with a few changes here and there. Main radio is now the Icom IC-7300 with the Elecraft K3 used mainly for portable operation. The antenna is now a doublet fed with ladder line installed as an inverted "V" for 40 meters in my backyard and a HexBeam for 20-6 meter operation. The doublet is installed atop a 30 foot fiberglass telescopic mast and fed with window line. A Palstar 4:1 current balun and the trusty AT2KD matches it to the radio equipment.

I have now added directional capability to NQ9V with the 6-band Hexbeam. The TW2010 shown below will from now on, be used for its intended purpose (portable operation) while the Hex is now in place as shown. The HexBeam is only about ten feet above the ground but it works very well for long distance contacts, something that was missing from this station for a long time. So, not a dream anymore. The HexBeam is in!

Before I forget! The Hex Beam is now about 14 feet above the ground thanks to an additional "green" army pipe and to the efforts of my sons in law as "force multipliers". Hopefully this added height will lower the radiation angle a bit and improve longer range communications.

Thanks to all for visiting my website. Come back soon!

Ramon, NQ9V


A bit of history...

Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 1999. Retired Electronics Engineer from NSWC Crane (Navy) after a stint as a pastor for some 22 years back in my native Puerto Rico and a few more in local English speaking churches. Operating mostly SSB, some CW, and PSK-31. Using a variety of computers including Mac for personal and photography work plus an Acer Predator PC for Ham use. After more than forty years as KP4GE, I decided to better identify with the Hoosier State where I was living, and applied for the vanity call sign NQ9V which I presently have. Since then, I moved to North Carolina but plan to keep the same callsign at least for the time being. I still have difficulty pronouncing "NQ9V" particularly in Spanish. "November-Quebec-Nine-Victor" is not as simple as the old "Kilo-Papa-Four-Gulf-Echo". After all, how many out there know the correct pronunctiation of "Quebec"? So who knows? If I find a new vanity callsign easier to use, I will probably change again!

The station's radio equipment used to be an Elecraft K3, P3 Panadapter (presently residing with its new owner in Holland), Palstar AT2KD matching network, Signalink USB for digital modes, the TW2010 (to be used for portable operation), a doublet in the attic (for 40 meters and below), and the MFJ 1788 Magnetic Loop antenna that I also used for portable operation.  Directional beams were still a long shot. At my age I am no longer "certified" by my wife to begin climbing towers! So I mounted the HexBeam only about ten feet above ground with the assistance of Wonder Woman (my wife Carmen). It works just fine with long distance contacts multiplying in my logbook.


This used to be the station layout at Fuquay Varina, NC. The Elecraft K3 with the P3 Pan Adapter were at the heart of the station. A Signalink USB supported the digital modes, mainly PSK31. The Palstar tuner is the key element in the lower frequency antenna system that consisted of a simple doublet fed with ladder line plus the HexBeam for the higher bands. The Palstar balun is shown on the upper right hand corner. The doublet was installed inside the attic.
This is the TW2010 antenna that I installed in my backyard. For a time, it was my primary antenna for 20 through 10 meters including the WARC bands 17 and 12 meters. It is a very rugged and portable antenna with a dramatic low angle of radiation. Before this one I had been using the doublet inside the attic.  This will be the one I'll be using as my backup or portable. To my surprise, long distance calls began to show up with strong signals as soon as I tested and tuned the TW2010. It is not cheap but believe me, it is well built (I don't own stock in TW Antennas Inc, now owned by DX Engineering.) If you are short on space or live in an antenna restricted area you will find it difficult to find an antenna with this performance and built.  I also have an MFJ-1788 Magnetic Loop but this one, maybe because of its low angle radiation pattern, takes the prize when tested under similar circumstances. The TW2010 has been detrhoned in favor of the HexBeam shown below. Its new home is a gulf bag, ready to be taken out for portable operation with the Elecraft K3.
The photo below shows the newly acquired Icom IC-7300 radio at NQ9V. To be very honest, I am still reading the book, finding my way around the many menus, discovering everything that this marvel can do. The new installation did away with a bundle of interconnecting cables in the back of the K3 I used to have here and replaced all of them with a single USB cable that conects the computer to the back of the IC-7300. It is a very well designed radio and on-air reports say that my audio is superb. Operation of the radio is not "conventional" as its touch screen makes the use of dedicated buttons obsolete. I am still not ready to render a verdict but it seems to me that this one will stay here and the faithful K3 will be used as a portable rig with the TW-2010 antenna. I still  use the Palstar AT2KD matching network with its balun to tune the 40-meter doublet and display the RF power going to the selected antenna or dummy load.


Here's a photo of the HexBeam as it stands in my backyard. Just in case a good soul shows up to assist me to add another "green" military mast, I also bought a thrust bearing for the mast below the rotator. (News flash! Two of my sons in law lifted the antenna and inserted an extra "green" pipe adding four feet to the height of the antenna.) The antenna is well secured with a galvanized pipe driven about four feet into the ground and the tripod at the base. While only at this limited height it is working very well with nice directivity and gain enabling me to make quite a few long distance contacts. No radials or guy wires to worry about. An added benefit is the low noise it picks up, typically one S  unit as compared to about S4 with my attic dipole. 

8089494 Last modified: 2017-05-11 21:05:32, 7220 bytes

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