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W0BTU shack 1-3-2014



Although my interest in electronics goes back before this, I was
first licensed in August, 1976 as WN8BTU. (Formerly WD8BTU)


  • I'm more of an experimenter than an operator. My enjoyment of amateur radio comes from various technical aspects of the hobby; when I do get on the air, it's usually to test a new modification, antenna, etc. I have a soldering iron in my hand FAR more often than a key or microphone.
  • I've enjoyed weak signal work on 144 MHz CW/SSB, 160 meters, and other bands.
  • Self-employed, operate Internet-based mail-order business.
  • Avid reader, "readaholic" since I was a little boy. Still am. :-)
  • XYL Katie is KD0LAJ (4/13/2010). Been happily married since 6/14/1975.
  • We live in a very quiet location (10 acres, 660' x 660') at the end of the power lines, in a rural area surrounded by cattle farms.


Aerial view of property - 660x660 ft - 10 acres


Main Equipment:

  • Modified Icom IC-765 transceiver
  • Modified Contest-grade Drake R-4C receiver, with many mods and Sherwood 1st and 3rd IF filters
  • Modified Collins S/Line (which we have owned since 1979) in CCA "very good condition".
    1. Collins 32S-3 Transmitter, modified from 32S-1 (S/N 11343) by Paul Pagel N1FB himself (ex- Technical Editor of QST magazine).
     - Has all the standard, important 32S-3 enhancements (such as the recommended circuit changes published by Collins Radio Corporation in their service bulletins).
     - 30 meters added.
     - Classic DX Engineering RF speech processor (model LC-1-32S, S/N 6125) with the essential low-distortion dual HP2800 hot-carrier diodes modification. (I consider the 32S-3 incomplete without this unit. To a man, everyone prefers hearing it with the processor on).
     - Individual PA plate current monitor switch.
     - VFO is FSK capable via RS-232 or TTL input
     - Fan cooled, noiseless.

     - Includes alignment loads.
    - Winged emblem.
  • 2. Electronically-regulated transmitter power supply, CCS (RTTY) rated, very heavy duty, weighs ~150 lbs, on wheels.
    3. Collins 75S-3 Receiver (S/N 14198), with Collins 200 Hz CW filter; adjustable modified Heath SB-104 Noise Blanker; and all the other important standard enhancements (mostly the ones published by Collins Radio in their service bulletins). Winged emblem.
    4. Collins 312B-4 Station Console / Wattmeter / Phone patch, S/N 61447. Round emblem.
  • Collins S/Line Photos



  • Dual, Two-wire switchable-direction 580' Beverage receiving antennas, NE-SW and NW-SE, 10' high.
    • For many months,my NE-SW Beverage was set up for TX and RX (unterminated). I was amazed at how well it worked as a broadband (80-10 meters) transmitting antenna. It favored the NE USA and Europe, but there are minor lobes that let me work into some other areas.
  • 75 meter dipole, 12' high, oriented N-S. Balun at the feedpoint. Fed with RG-6 coax.
  • 150' Inverted-L for 160 meters, two elevated radials 10' high. Using it on other HF bands as well. Will be back up soon!

Other equipment:

  • Astatic D-104 microphones, almost exclusively.
  • Homebrew iambic key, designed and made about 1980 back when I was a tool and die maker (photo below).
    EDIT: I gave that key to Sam, KD0APS.
  • Heath µMatic keyer (SA-5010) with capacitive-touch paddles; external Bencher iambic key
  • Heath SB-200 amplifier (40-10 meters)
  • Homebrew legal-limit Dual 833C triode linear amplifier (160 and 80 meters).
  • Homebrew VHF and UHF transverters, preamps, amplifers, and custom proprietary noise reduction system
  • Other homebrew and commercial equipment; misc. test and lab equipment
  • Shack computer runs Linux Mint 18.2 MATE.

I also made the key below for another ham, about 1981, working as a machinist at another company. The contacts are solid silver; base is laminated SS and brass. More photos

Iambic key made by WD8BTU for WW8N



QSL Information

  • I really don't collect QSL cards, and we're not really into awards or certificates. However, if you would like a QSL card, I will gladly do direct (as time permits) or via eQSL.cc. We are way behind on returning non-SASE QSLs. Sorry.
  • No LOTW at this time, sorry. (Maybe someday, when we can figure out how to use LOTW on our Linux computer here in the shack).



Web site: www.w0btu.com



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8515599 Last modified: 2017-12-16 03:17:52, 9030 bytes

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