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ZL4IG New Zealand flag New Zealand

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I am a telecommunications engineer, previously responsible for building telecommunications networks in both of New Zealand's remaining dependancies- Ross Dependancy (79°S) and Tokelau (8°S), and in between at Milford Sound (45°S) involving satellite earth stations and microwave radio. Since 2008 I have also been involved with space operations as "Dishmaster" of the Awarua Satellite Ground Station, which is used for LEOPs and satellite operations.

On phone I am probably using the 1962 all-valve Hallicrafters SR-150 I restored that used to belong to my father, Eugene ZL3BU (SK), which is a really nice rig to use. On CW I generally use a Kenwood TS-530s, which is a great performer. I sometimes use my 1963 vintage Heathkit SB-300 / SB-400 twins. A refurbished Heathkit SB-200 provides a bit more power, getting 400W PEP output on a good day, though I haven't used it for quite a while.  My usual DX antenna is a restored "Trick-House" pre-WARC Butternut vertical.

I take a Yaesu FT-817nd tramping for remote and mountain-top QRP fun with a roll-out 80m dipole and home-made Z-match. Best DX with the FT-817nd so far is Europe on 40m SSB with 5Wpep and 20m SSB 1/2Wpep. (My best DX ever was 2:57 lightminutes to Venus Express when I visited ESOC in 2010, but that wasn't using ham radio!). At the home QTH, a Ten-Tec 405 linear provides useful 10dB gain for the FT-817.

I enjoy working on vintage gear and have rennovated a Ten-Tec Century/21 CW transceiver for QLF operation and a Kenwood TS-820s. A Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 is the last completed project.

Lighthouse Weekend, Waipapa Point Lighthouse, 2010. The 11m vertical is just lengths of aluminium tube stuck into the top of a soft-drink botle and stayed with builders' string. The radials are a mixed assortment of every spare scrap of wire found lying around the shack. We worked a lot of good DX with it.


















The FT-817nd and homebrew Z-match in a Southland backcountry tramping hut ('Tramping' is a tougher version of hiking/bushwalking/trekking unique to ZL).

Me tramping in Mt Aspiring National Park with my FT-817, tent and 5 days' food in my pack.

Sometimes you get beginner's luck, especially if no-one else enters in the same category!

Here is the ancient "Trick-House" vertical antenna that works fine on Long Path into Europe. It has about 30 random radials that the baleage contractor sometimes rips up by accident.

6660678 Last modified: 2015-08-23 10:13:00, 3304 bytes

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