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CAT 4 HURRICANE MATTHEW SURVIVOR (I am told that I am now officially a Floridian :-)

I access the airwaves via three methods: #1 is my local home station, #2 is my personal remote base (~7 miles from home), #3 is via RemoteHamRadio. See below for details.

#1 Icom IC-7300 through a "Tarheel LT-II" (80m-6m) antenna & HEIL PR-781 microphone; A SDRplay RSP-1 as a secondary local receiver connected to a long wire antenna, various software packages for data modes. The Tarheel LT-II antenna is 7' above ground and is supported by 4x 12' radials at the 7' height. Also have a FLEX- 1500 w/homemade 100W amp.

Note: All WSPR operation is now done from my home using the IC-7300 ~5W ERP with the Tarheel LT-II antenna in TX/RX. PSK31 and JT65 is also via the IC-7300 but at ~60-70W. ALE operation is now being tested @ ~60W on single channels, mainly on 18.106 MHz. No broadband antenna so no scanning for now.

#2 Remote controlled (RemoteRig) Kenwood TS-480SAT through either a GAP Titan DX vertical antenna or a B&W BWDS-90S broadband dipole. Remote is ~7 miles from my home at EL97qx. As you can see below, the main antenna is the vertical and the secondary is a Barker & Williamson BWDS-90S broadband dipole in an inverted V with the apex at around 50 feet. These two are also connected to a remote controlled Ameritron ALS-600S 600W amplifier and ARI-500 combo. I typically run the system at around 500W.

A third antenna is a M2 6M HO LOOP 6m antenna at around 20 feet above ground. It's fed with a 20' run of RG214 coaxial cable and connected to Antenna Port #2 of the TS480-SAT. This port feeds up to 100W into the 6m antenna.

The M2, 5-element 17m monobander (no traps) you see is used by Allan, K4SFP. I can use it when he is in the UK (see below for my remote control capabilities)

#3 As I don't have the pleasure of being able to setup and run big antennas and high power, I subscribe to the www.RemoteHamRadio.com system. From there, I can use one of several USA-based sites located on both coasts (No, I did not take the $$$$ premium option as I haven't won any lottery yet LOL). Some sites offer high gain antennas and 1kW power while others are more modest. So if the QSO I had with you was via this method, I will identify myself as /2, /6 etc., and note it on the eQSL (preferred) or QSL. In these cases, I will use the transmitter's location as my QTH (NY, California, etc.) and not my Florida home. This makes it honest as I am not lying about my QTH.

Other items ...

V/UHF, D-STAR & DMR - ICOM ID-5100A & ID-51A. The ID-5100A runs through a Diamond X-200A antenna. These are located at my home QTH. Non D-STAR portable is a Yaesu VX-8R. Mobile is with a 50W dual band ICOM IC-2730A.

On the UHF-DMR side, I have a Hytera MD-782 at home and a Hytera PD-782 as my handheld.The MD-782 runs through a M2 440-6SS 6-element beam pointed towards Orlando and the D-MARC systems.

I also use "DV4home" at my home (DMR/DMRplus, Brandmeister, D-Star, FUSION, NXDN, P25) and a "DV4mini AMBE" for my laptop when I travel. Although relatively new to the game it's fun to play with. I also have an OpenSPOT hotspot which is similar but not as flexible (no D-Star-to-DMR cross mode).

Backup antennas --> I have one Hi-Q 4/80 Piranha and two MFJ loop antennas, the MFJ-1788 40m-15m and 1786 30m-10m. They are swapped when I feel like it for experimentation (stored in the attic for now). I also have my CHA-250bx broadband vertical as a backup also in the attic. Some say the latter is a "radiating dummy load", but it does work and in an emergency, it can be assembled in 30 minutes and covers the entire HF spectrum.

Remote Rotator & Management: In addition to the RemoteRig pair, I am also using an IP based remote AC Power switch (8-outlets) and the RemoteRig 1216L and 1216H to remotely manage a HAM-IV rotator and various relays via the Internet link.  

ALE: It's running on occasion in single channel mode from home. My next plan is to get the TS-480SAT up and running on ALE using PC-ALE software and the BB dipole. The computer would be at my home and it would be running the ALE software through the radio at the remote site.


Over the years, I built and used homemade HF transmitters (15W to 100W), built a Knight Kit T-150 transmitter, an Heathkit HW-12 (used it mobile), HW-32 (used it as alternate mobile), HW-101 (base - which I heavily "enhanced" back then with a RIT, a digital LED display and other features), HW-7 (QRP) and HW-8 (QRP) radios, owned a Yaesu FTDX-400 (great 400W radio for those days), a Kenwood TS-520S, a Yaesu FT-107DM (the white model - had all the line), a Kachina 505DSP, along with many V/UHF voice & data radios.

Non-ham hobbies are Martial Arts (Tai Chi / Kung Fu @ Wah Lum Kung Fu in Melbourne), hacking Android super-phones (Current phone is a 64GB+256GB Samsung Galaxy S8+ on T-Mobile) and building high performance computers. My present system is a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-3770K (Unlocked) | Cooler Master Seidon N120M liquid cooling, ASUS P8Z77-V-Pro motherboard, 16GB (Kingston KHX1600C10D3B1k2/16G) RAM, ASUS GTX-1070 OC Strix (w/8GB DDR5) video. My boot drive is an OCZ Vertex4 512GB SSD (SATA-III) and my data drive is a Seagate 3TB, 7200 RPM (SATA-III). All running just fine in Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 w/current "Anniversary update".


My "Antenna Farm" (more like a small garden ;-) As you can see below, one lives with the antennas one can install (thanks to CC&Rs). The left antenna is the TARHEEL LT-II with the capacitive hat.The second mast holds the Diamond X-200A V/UHF for V/UHF FM & D-Star while the lower antenna is a 6-element UHF beam aimed towards Orlando and the DMR repeaters in that area (~50 miles away). As Florida is "flatland" that beam works just fine at ~10 feet AG. The Orlando repeater's antenna I am aming at is at ~400 feet AG .

Above - Tarheel LT-II w/capacitive hat at my home station and the M2 6M LO LOOP for 6m at the remote base

Current setup: Tarheel LT-II HF, 6-element UHF beam aimed towards Orlando (DMR), X-200A V/UHF for FM & D-Star

HF signal getting ready for take-off. This one will be the "long path" time delay wise  :-)

This is what the antennas see ;-)

Part of our house's front... This is Gisele's garden (W6GVH ;-)


                W4AFK Desktop - My Setup


What follows are pictures of the GAP Titan DX, the beam and the broadband dipole antennas at the remote site.

Performance is MUCH better with the GAP ;-)

GAP Titan DX... other views

Remote Base - GAP Titan DX to the left and 5-element 17m beam to the right

You can see part of the B&W BWDS-90S BB dipole antenna configured as an inverted V and tied to the tower.

The center of the B&W is moved from the tower to a tree behind it when the tower is lowered.

This antenna is not the most efficient BUT it's frequency agile which makes it ideal for ALE and EMERCOM use.

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8126301 Last modified: 2017-05-30 01:51:42, 11579 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - W4AFK
Latest Contacts for W4AFK at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
AI4GK 2015-10-08 20m SSB EL97qv United States Daniel B Fisher
G4AKC/PM 2015-08-24 17m SSB England
S58WW 2014-12-07 12m SSB JN76hd Slovenia Primoz - Pibo Habic
9Y4LAS 2014-11-16 12m SSB FK90gd Trinidad and Tobago Andy Samlal
KH2L 2014-11-16 12m SSB QK23ji Guam Edward H Poppe Jr
TG9AHM 2014-11-09 12m SSB EK44ro Guatemala EMMANUEL H. MIERES G. Manny
SP2Y 2014-11-09 17m SSB JO93lr Poland MAREK KLONOWSKI
ZS6BAF 2014-10-05 12m SSB KG43at South Africa ANDREAS SONDEREGGER
LZ9W 2014-09-13 40m SSB KN12kr Bulgaria Contest Team
KC4TVZ 2014-08-03 10m SSB EM84be United States Todd
CE4WJK 2014-08-02 17m SSB FF45ou Chile Gustavo Velasquez R.
LZ2KV 2014-07-07 17m SSB KN33gf Bulgaria MIROSLAV MIRCHEV
UA3KW 2014-07-05 17m SSB KO91nr Russia Vladimir A. Kovalev
F5CAC 2014-06-22 17m SSB JN37lk France Christian Rebout

Book Totals: 31 qso's   16 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

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Fri Jun 23 03:25:43 2017 UTC
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