2022 ARRL 10 Meter Contest K5ZD

Call: K5ZD
Operator(s): K5ZD KW1X
Station: K5ZD

Class: M/S HP
QTH: W1
Operating Time (hrs): 24.2

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Mults
-------------------
   CW: 1152   146    (81 DX, 65 states/prov)
  SSB:  849   123    (62 DX, 61 states/prov)
-------------------
Total: 2001   269      Total Score = 1,693,314

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments

A casual multi-single effort.  Wanted to give Mark KA1YQC a chance to use the antenna system he had helped me build over the summer.  Mark did a lot of the CW operating while I covered phone.

Mark just received his new call – KW1X – on Friday.

Bands opened to Europe within minutes of sunrise on both mornings.  Things got slow in the afternoons when it was all South America and stations in Colorado and Texas.  Weird that the opening to the Pacific Northwest never seemed to get very good.

We did well on chasing multipliers.  Best QSO of the weekend was having JE1CKA call in on Sunday evening after dark.  Another thrill was getting a very weak VY1JA through a huge pileup. With the 6-el, I really have to move it to work JA, KL7, and VY1.

Nice to see the sunspots bringing higher MUFs.

No big monster rates.  Just a continuous stream of callers or S&P QSOs.

We used N1MM+ for the weekend at Mark’s request.  First real contest I have used it. Definitely some challenges due to keystrokes and software behavior not being like my usual software, but we lived through it.

Very happy with how the 10m array was working all weekend.

6-el @100′
4-el @63′
4-el @32′

Spent most of the time running Europe on the lower two antennas.

By Continent

         10M CW 10M PHO   Total      %

    NA     629    606    1235    61.7
    OC      11     12      23     1.1
    EU     473    165     638    31.9
    AF       5      5      10     0.5
    AS       4      1       5     0.2
    SA      30     60      90     4.5

Rates

QSO/Sec+Dx by hour and band

 Hour       CW     SSB    Total     Cumm    OffTime

D1-0000Z  24/15  112/26  136/41    136/41  
D1-0100Z  57/10     -     57/10    193/51     33
D1-0200Z  11/2    28/2    39/4     232/55  
D1-0300Z   3/1     3/0     6/1     238/56     49
D1-0400Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-0500Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-0600Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-0700Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-0800Z  --+--   --+--    0/0     238/56     60
D1-0900Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-1000Z    -       -      0/0     238/56     60
D1-1100Z  20/9      -     20/9     258/65     48
D1-1200Z  63/18   15/10   78/28    336/93  
D1-1300Z  73/13     -     73/13    409/106 
D1-1400Z 150/8      -    150/8     559/114 
D1-1500Z  83/6      -     83/6     642/120 
D1-1600Z  46/10   49/17   95/27    737/147 
D1-1700Z  12/7    93/16  105/23    842/170 
D1-1800Z  26/6      -     26/6     868/176    38
D1-1900Z  43/9    36/10   79/19    947/195 
D1-2000Z  69/8      -     69/8    1016/203 
D1-2100Z  29/2    54/2    83/4    1099/207 
D1-2200Z   5/1    36/3    41/4    1140/211 
D1-2300Z   3/1     1/0     4/1    1144/212    46
D2-0000Z  --+--   --+--    0/0    1144/212    60
D2-0100Z   3/0     1/0     4/0    1148/212    54
D2-0200Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0300Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0400Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0500Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0600Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0700Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0800Z  --+--   --+--    0/0    1148/212    60
D2-0900Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-1000Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-1100Z    -       -      0/0    1148/212    60
D2-1200Z  35/3    44/18   79/21   1227/233    17
D2-1300Z  69/2      -     69/2    1296/235 
D2-1400Z  49/3    48/5    97/8    1393/243 
D2-1500Z  16/2   107/8   123/10   1516/253 
D2-1600Z  50/1    24/1    74/2    1590/255 
D2-1700Z  36/0      -     36/0    1626/255 
D2-1800Z  36/0     7/0    43/0    1669/255    33
D2-1900Z  71/0     8/0    79/0    1748/255 
D2-2000Z  12/4    96/2   108/6    1856/261 
D2-2100Z  14/3    64/2    78/5    1934/266 
D2-2200Z  35/1    23/1    58/2    1992/268 
D2-2300Z   9/1      -      9/1    2001/269     20

Total:  1152/146 849/123

Most worked entities

         10M CW 10M PHO  Total

     K     566    560    1126
    DL      95     20     115
    EA      36     27      63
    VE      40     21      61
     I      29     26      55
     F      31     17      48
    PY      10     37      47
    PA      28     17      45
     G      29     15      44

Audio – V47T CQ WW SSB 2022

V47T (op. K5ZD) in the Single Operator Category, High Power. Read the post-contest write-up.

This was an SO2R operation. The audio is the same as that heard by the operator. When headphones are ‘split’, the left channel is from the left side radio and the right channel is from the right side radio.

Click here to view a copy of the log.

Use the links to the right of each hour to access the recording for that hour of the contest.

Hour   160M     80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm    Audio

0000Z  --+--   --+--   --+--  302/57    1/2    --+--  303/59    303/59  <listen>
0100Z    -       -       -    302/14     -       -    302/14    605/73  <listen>
0200Z    -       -    142/26   85/3      -       -    227/29    832/102 <listen>
0300Z    -       -    268/18     -       -       -    268/18   1100/120 <listen>
0400Z    -     37/20  152/31     -       -       -    189/51   1289/171 <listen>
0500Z    -    165/39   29/4      -       -       -    194/43   1483/214 <listen>
0600Z   7/10   84/11   54/5      -       -       -    145/26   1628/240 <listen>
0700Z    -     35/2    86/8      -       -       -    121/10   1749/250 <listen>
0800Z   3/3    11/2    37/3     1/1    --+--   --+--   52/9    1801/259 <listen>
0900Z  12/2      -     21/5     9/2      -       -     42/9    1843/268 <listen>
1000Z    -     41/2      -    115/15   38/26     -    194/43   2037/311 <listen>
1100Z    -       -       -       -    258/40    3/6   261/46   2298/357 <listen>
1200Z    -       -       -       -       -    290/44  290/44   2588/401 <listen>
1300Z    -       -       -       -       -    287/13  287/13   2875/414 <listen>
1400Z    -       -       -       -       -    266/13  266/13   3141/427 <listen>
1500Z    -       -       -       -    109/7   126/4   235/11   3376/438 <listen>
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--  247/10    5/2   252/12   3628/450 <listen>
1700Z    -       -       -       -       -    240/9   240/9    3868/459 <listen>
1800Z    -       -       -       -       -    227/2   227/2    4095/461 <listen>
1900Z    -       -       -       -    285/7     1/1   286/8    4381/469 <listen>
2000Z    -       -       -       -    306/9      -    306/9    4687/478 <listen>
2100Z    -       -       -     40/3   182/4    10/5   232/12   4919/490 <listen>
2200Z    -       -       -    217/14     -       -    217/14   5136/504 <listen>
2300Z    -       -       -    233/2      -       -    233/2    5369/506 <listen>
0000Z  --+--   --+--   --+--  242/4    --+--   --+--  242/4    5611/510 <listen>
0100Z    -       -       -     63/1     4/2      -     67/3    5678/513 <listen>
0200Z    -       -    199/4      -       -       -    199/4    5877/517 <listen>
0300Z    -       -    193/3      -       -       -    193/3    6070/520 <listen>
0400Z    -    105/5    63/1      -       -       -    168/6    6238/526 <listen>
0500Z  18/4    98/4     3/1      -       -       -    119/9    6357/535 <listen>
0600Z    -       -    126/3     2/2      -       -    128/5    6485/540 <listen>
0700Z    -       -      9/0     3/0      -       -     12/0    6497/540 <listen>
0800Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    6497/540  
0900Z    -     40/2     1/0      -       -       -     41/2    6538/542 <listen>
1000Z    -       -       -      2/0   169/6      -    171/6    6709/548 <listen>
1100Z    -       -       -       -     97/3   135/3   232/6    6941/554 <listen>
1200Z    -       -       -       -       -    237/5   237/5    7178/559 <listen>
1300Z    -       -       -       -      7/0   188/5   195/5    7373/564 <listen>
1400Z    -       -       -       -    182/2    28/1   210/3    7583/567 <listen>
1500Z    -       -       -       -     23/1   169/1   192/2    7775/569 <listen>
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--  244/1   244/1    8019/570 <listen>
1700Z   1/1     1/1     1/1      -       -    214/4   217/7    8236/577 <listen>
1800Z    -       -       -       -       -    262/2   262/2    8498/579 <listen>
1900Z    -       -       -       -     48/0   168/0   216/0    8714/579 <listen>
2000Z    -       -      1/1    44/2   179/1      -    224/4    8938/583 <listen>
2100Z    -       -       -    166/7      -       -    166/7    9104/590 <listen>
2200Z    -       -       -      6/0   188/2    11/0   205/2    9309/592 <listen>
2300Z    -       -       -    177/4    16/0      -    193/4    9502/596 <listen>

Total: 41/20 617/88 1385/114 2009/131 2339/122 3111/121

2022 CQ WW SSB Contest V47T (K5ZD)

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB - 2022

Call: V47T
Operator(s): K5ZD
Station: V47T

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: 
Operating Time (hrs): 45.2
OpMode: SO2R

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
------------------------------
  160:   41     6       14
   80:  617    17       71
   40: 1385    26       80
   20: 2009    34       97
   15: 2339    29       93
   10: 3111    25       96
------------------------------
Total: 9502   137      459  Total Score = 13,526,816

Club: None

Comments

The contest began a week before on Saturday with a 3am departure from home to make a 5:45 am flight out of Boston. Met up with N2NT in Miami and on to St Kitts. We got right to work and in 3.5 days had fixed some antennas and added new ones. It was warm and humid. We then spent another day getting the shack arranged with new antenna switching automation from Green Heron Engineering. I dropped Andy off at the airport on Thursday at noon so he could fly home and then join the K3LR team for the contest.

I spent the rest of the day fighting software conflicts and peculiarities. Things that seemed simple at home are not the same once you have taken them apart and tried to reassemble them in a new environment. One discovery was that the Green Heron server needed to be started before the Microham router.

I had to use DXLog because it worked with the Green Heron switching. I took a crash course in learning the software the week before I left home. It worked flawlessly. The main issue was the op not being able to type fast enough or falling asleep between QSOs.

I got good sleep during the week but was feeling the effects of the station-building efforts as the contest approached. Decided to power through the first night and then make the decision if I would sleep the second night. In retrospect, I could
have skipped two slow hours for a 90-minute nap and made up for it during the high rates on Sat morning. I started to get loopy on Sat evening around 0100z. I kept zoning out in the middle of a QSO. Even so, it looks like I worked more than a hundred QSOs that I don’t really remember.

Bands were slow to open on Sat so got to spend an hour or so on 20, then 15, and then finally to 10m. Kept working between 10 and 15, but probably should have committed to the endless stream of stations on 10m. Sunday was better with 10m open just 30 mins after sunrise.

Rates were incredible. QRM was the biggest limiting factor. Had a great frequency on 10m Sunday morning until TM0DX decided to land about 5 Khz away with his 10 Khz of splatter.

Some line noise had appeared as we were setting up on Wed afternoon. The power company came out Thu (amazingly!) and was able to cut the lines until they found the source. It was down the road, but the noise was radiating the most from the dead-end pole closest to the station. The noise was annoying on all bands except for a period on Sunday morning, but I could usually find an antenna that could hear. This did make me a bit of an alligator on 20m.

Always amazing how many YB stations call in. It seems that path is open across all bands at any time. Even worked one on 75m.

Even though I had two radios, DXLog reported only 120 S&P QSOs. I was almost entirely in run mode and used the second radio to scope out frequencies for band changes.

On Sunday morning I was starting to feel pain in my throat from all the talking. Tried to use the voice keyer more, but still had to say all the callsigns.

Where were the Africans? Mostly worked EA8 stations + CN3A and a 5R. That was it!

One of the new antennas we put up was a Double L for 160m. We had hoped to hang it from an 80′ tower but discovered the top of the tower was too rusted to safely climb. Decided on hanging from 60′. The SWR curve was perfect. We did work two Europeans on Wednesday evening. But, conditions on 160 during the contest were terrible. I worked all multipliers that I heard but did not feel loud. Need another contest to determine if this antenna is a keeper or not.

Hard to complain or make excuses about a contest where you make 9500 QSOs! Even so, sure would like to have made it to 10k. A bit less line noise and it may have been possible. High level contesting is all about hearing the weak guys and it was tough at times.

Thanks to Andy N2NT for allowing me to use the station. He has done an incredible amount of work to build and maintain the place. It is a dream radio location on a 1200′ hill just a mile or so from the ocean with a horizon view from North to East.

The station is very isolated. After the contest, I packed everything up and was ready to come down to town, but the jeep would not start. V44KAI saved the day by driving up and cleaning the corrosion off the battery cables. Whew. Would have been a tough place to get AAA…

Looking forward to seeing other single-op scores from the region to see what I may have missed. Doing 45 hours of running, you get a very small view of the full contest activity and propagation. I had a blast doing the contest and will be very happy with any result. Thanks to everyone that called in.

The full contest was recorded and is available at the link below. You can enjoy my struggles with the QRM and line noise while hearing how your station sounded on my end.

Recording

Audio recordings of the full operation are available here.

Statistics

QSOs By Continent

          160M    80M    40M    20M    15M    10M   Total      %

    NA      37    371    981   1519   1314   1559    5781    60.8
    EU       0    228    334    363    920   1462    3307    34.8
    SA       3     10     22     62     35     30     162     1.7
    AS       0      1     25     28     37     31     122     1.3
    AF       1      4      5     11      6     16      43     0.5
    OC       0      3     17     25     26     12      83     0.9

Rates

QSO/ZN+DX by hour and band

Hour   160M     80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm    Off

0000Z  --+--   --+--   --+--  302/57    1/2    --+--  303/59    303/59  
0100Z    -       -       -    302/14     -       -    302/14    605/73  
0200Z    -       -    142/26   85/3      -       -    227/29    832/102 
0300Z    -       -    268/18     -       -       -    268/18   1100/120 
0400Z    -     37/20  152/31     -       -       -    189/51   1289/171 
0500Z    -    165/39   29/4      -       -       -    194/43   1483/214 
0600Z   7/10   84/11   54/5      -       -       -    145/26   1628/240 
0700Z    -     35/2    86/8      -       -       -    121/10   1749/250 
0800Z   3/3    11/2    37/3     1/1    --+--   --+--   52/9    1801/259 
0900Z  12/2      -     21/5     9/2      -       -     42/9    1843/268   11
1000Z    -     41/2      -    115/15   38/26     -    194/43   2037/311 
1100Z    -       -       -       -    258/40    3/6   261/46   2298/357 
1200Z    -       -       -       -       -    290/44  290/44   2588/401 
1300Z    -       -       -       -       -    287/13  287/13   2875/414 
1400Z    -       -       -       -       -    266/13  266/13   3141/427 
1500Z    -       -       -       -    109/7   126/4   235/11   3376/438 
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--  247/10    5/2   252/12   3628/450 
1700Z    -       -       -       -       -    240/9   240/9    3868/459 
1800Z    -       -       -       -       -    227/2   227/2    4095/461 
1900Z    -       -       -       -    285/7     1/1   286/8    4381/469 
2000Z    -       -       -       -    306/9      -    306/9    4687/478 
2100Z    -       -       -     40/3   182/4    10/5   232/12   4919/490 
2200Z    -       -       -    217/14     -       -    217/14   5136/504 
2300Z    -       -       -    233/2      -       -    233/2    5369/506 
0000Z  --+--   --+--   --+--  242/4    --+--   --+--  242/4    5611/510 
0100Z    -       -       -     63/1     4/2      -     67/3    5678/513   23 
0200Z    -       -    199/4      -       -       -    199/4    5877/517 
0300Z    -       -    193/3      -       -       -    193/3    6070/520 
0400Z    -    105/5    63/1      -       -       -    168/6    6238/526 
0500Z  18/4    98/4     3/1      -       -       -    119/9    6357/535 
0600Z    -       -    126/3     2/2      -       -    128/5    6485/540 
0700Z    -       -      9/0     3/0      -       -     12/0    6497/540   50
0800Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    6497/540   60
0900Z    -     40/2     1/0      -       -       -     41/2    6538/542   45
1000Z    -       -       -      2/0   169/6      -    171/6    6709/548 
1100Z    -       -       -       -     97/3   135/3   232/6    6941/554 
1200Z    -       -       -       -       -    237/5   237/5    7178/559 
1300Z    -       -       -       -      7/0   188/5   195/5    7373/564 
1400Z    -       -       -       -    182/2    28/1   210/3    7583/567 
1500Z    -       -       -       -     23/1   169/1   192/2    7775/569 
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--  244/1   244/1    8019/570 
1700Z   1/1     1/1     1/1      -       -    214/4   217/7    8236/577 
1800Z    -       -       -       -       -    262/2   262/2    8498/579 
1900Z    -       -       -       -     48/0   168/0   216/0    8714/579 
2000Z    -       -      1/1    44/2   179/1      -    224/4    8938/583 
2100Z    -       -       -    166/7      -       -    166/7    9104/590 
2200Z    -       -       -      6/0   188/2    11/0   205/2    9309/592 
2300Z    -       -       -    177/4    16/0      -    193/4    9502/596 

Total: 41/20 617/88 1385/114 2009/131 2339/122 3111/121

Best 60 mins: 312 between 29-Oct-2022 19:37 and 20:36

Worked on 6 bands

AA3B AB3CX AG4Q D4Z FM5KC K1LZ K3LR K3WW K4AB K4ZW K8AZ K9CT KP3DX KP4AA N2LBR
N5OT NA2U P40L PJ2T PJ4G VE3EJ W3LPL WA2JQK ZF1A

Most Worked Countries

          160M    80M    40M    20M    15M    10M   Total
     K      26    336    885   1364   1217   1447    5275
    DL             27     38     58    146    242     511
     I             27     49     27    113    158     374
    VE       2     11     64    126     72     84     359
     G             15     18     34     70    160     297
    EA             17     30     23     58    118     246
     F             25     25     19     68    105     242
    PA              8     11     21     39     83     162
    SP             10     10     13     49     54     136
    OH              9     17     14     33     31     104

2022 CQ WW RTTY Contest K5ZD

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY - 2022

Call: K5ZD
Operator(s): K5ZD
Station: K5ZD

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36.5
OpMode: 2BSIQ

Summary:
  Band  QSOs  State/Prov  DX   Zones
------------------------------------
   80:  287       48      39    14
   40:  654       50      63    18
   20: 1148       51      80    28
   15:  926       44      78    24
   10:  119       19      30    17
------------------------------------
Total: 3134      212     290   101  Total Score = 4,386,825

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments

I was looking forward to this contest.  Conditions are improving as the sunspot numbers rise.  And it was a good chance to evaluate the results of 6 months of antenna work (new 2/2 stack on 40m).  Very happy with the results – the antenna seems to work better than my old 2-el.

The contest started well.  After a nap in the wee hours, woke up to bands that seemed broken. 15m was really a struggle to work anything.  Almost quit, but took a break and decided to get back in the game.

Conditions improved dramatically through Sat afternoon.  Sunday was very good with even a 30-minute opening on 10m to southern Europe.  Nice to work so many loud JA on 20 and 15m.

Spent (wasted) a lot of time calling HS5NMF on 20.  Couldn’t get through the European pileup.

I had intended to sleep from 02-04z on Sunday, but when the alarm went off, I decided sleep was more fun than grinding QSOs. I woke up late, worked an hour, then went back to bed.  So I felt great on Sunday but gave up some low band points and mults.

Enjoyed watching the scoreboard race between AA3B and K1LZ.  I could keep up with them for QSOs, but they just kept getting farther and farther ahead for multipliers.  Shows the value of having access to spots.

I was CQing as much as possible.  Often on 2 bands when there were two open. That really helped the rate although I never had any giant hours. It is kind of like playing a video game with the occasional mangled callsign to figure out.

My biggest surprise was working a KL7 on 80m.  Followed by having VJ5W call in.

The only state that I missed was MT.  Never heard one.  Thanks to K1AR for moving to 10m to give me NH on that band.  Missed CT on 10 and 15.

I continue to be impressed by how RTTY operating is becoming more and more efficient.  Except for those loud guys that insist on sending their call 6 times (all of them printing perfectly…).

Personal best score ever for me in this contest.

Rates

QSO/Zn+Dx+St by hour and band

Hour    80M      40M      20M      15M     10M    Total     Cumm    Off
                                 
0000Z  --+--    --+--    68/42    42/25   --+--  110/67    110/67  
0100Z    -      63/49    43/26      -       -    106/75    216/142 
0200Z  44/36    65/19    12/6       -       -    121/61    337/203 
0300Z  55/17    66/12      -        -       -    121/29    458/232 
0400Z  26/8     64/12     3/3       -       -     93/23    551/255 
0500Z  52/14    38/5       -        -       -     90/19    641/274 
0600Z  25/15    50/6       -        -       -     75/21    716/295 
0700Z   1/0     28/3      1/0       -       -     30/3     746/298  29
0800Z  --+--    --+--    --+--    --+--   --+--    0/0     746/298  60
0900Z  10/3      5/7     27/9       -       -     42/19    788/317  29
1000Z  21/2      3/0     86/14      -       -    110/16    898/333 
1100Z    -       6/0     58/8     18/21     -     82/29    980/362 
1200Z    -      13/1     54/2     18/9      -     85/12   1065/374 
1300Z    -        -      23/0      5/4    16/17   44/21   1109/395 
1400Z    -        -      57/3     16/11    2/0    75/14   1184/409 
1500Z    -        -      15/3     24/7     2/3    41/13   1225/422  36
1600Z  --+--    --+--    --+--    66/7    26/15   92/22   1317/444 
1700Z    -        -      28/1     54/10    2/1    84/12   1401/456 
1800Z    -        -      66/4     10/2      -     76/6    1477/462 
1900Z    -        -      81/2     53/9      -    134/11   1611/473 
2000Z    -        -      59/1     19/1    23/4   101/6    1712/479 
2100Z    -        -      55/6     15/2    12/6    82/14   1794/493   1
2200Z    -        -        -        -       -      0/0    1794/493  60
2300Z    -      31/4     14/3       -       -     45/7    1839/500  32
0000Z  --+--    40/3      9/3     16/5    --+--   65/11   1904/511 
0100Z  23/4     36/3       -       4/3      -     63/10   1967/521 
0200Z  10/0      5/1       -        -       -     15/1    1982/522  47
0300Z    -        -        -        -       -      0/0    1982/522  60
0400Z    -        -        -        -       -      0/0    1982/522  60
0500Z    -        -        -        -       -      0/0    1982/522  60
0600Z    -        -        -        -       -      0/0    1982/522  60
0700Z   6/2     17/4       -        -       -     23/6    2005/528  22
0800Z   3/0      7/0     --+--    --+--   --+--   10/0    2015/528  44
0900Z   2/0     10/0      5/0       -       -     17/0    2032/528  35
1000Z    -       2/0     39/0      3/1      -     44/1    2076/529  20
1100Z    -        -      49/3     38/4      -     87/7    2163/536 
1200Z    -        -      24/0     53/4     3/4    80/8    2243/544 
1300Z    -        -      33/5     83/5      -    116/10   2359/554 
1400Z    -        -       8/0     78/2    11/9    97/11   2456/565 
1500Z    -        -       6/0     63/2     9/4    78/6    2534/571 
1600Z  --+--    --+--    23/0     68/1    --+--   91/1    2625/572 
1700Z    -        -       6/3     31/0     8/2    45/5    2670/577 
1800Z    -        -      18/1     28/3      -     46/4    2716/581  45
1900Z    -        -      37/4     51/2     2/1    90/7    2806/588 
2000Z    -        -      46/0     29/2     3/0    78/2    2884/590 
2100Z    -        -      46/0     29/3      -     75/3    2959/593 
2200Z    -      54/0     20/2     12/1      -     86/3    3045/596 
2300Z   9/0     51/2     29/5       -       -     89/7    3134/603 

Total: 287/101 654/131 1148/159 926/146 119/66 

Best 60 minutes

138        @ 19:01 24-Sep-2022

Worked on 5 bands

AA3B CR3DX CR3W EC2DX HI3MM IQ4FA IZ4BOY K0TG K1LZ K1SFA K7BTW KP2B KS9W KT7E N6WM NJ4P W7RN

Most worked countries

           80M    40M    20M    15M    10M   Total
     K     157    283    281    216     56     993
    DL      29     65    175    135      1     405
     I       8     44    115     92      5     264
     G       8     23     47     46            124
    PA       4     15     53     27             99
    VE      21     32     18     14      3      88
*
    UR       1      4      6      7             18

Improving connections on 40-2CD loading coils

The Cushcraft 40-2CD and XM-240 use identical loading coils on the driven and reflector elements to help shorten the overall element length. The original design of the loading coils used a sheet metal screw to attach the wire coil to the aluminum element. Even though it is covered by heat shrink tubing, it becomes a point of failure when the sheet metal screw begins to corrode.

I recently rebuilt two 40-2CD antennas and had the need to renew the loading coil connections.

View of a corroded sheet metal screw when the heat shrink is removed
Another sheet metal screw that is in better condition

The first step is to remove the screw and clean everything up.

Element and wire cleaned

Drill a hole through the element. This will allow use of a stainless steel nut and bolt for a much more secure connection. I used a washer to help hold the wire. Also applied a dab of SS Jet-30 to improve conductivity.

New stainless nut and bolt attachment

I then used some rubber liner tape to wrap the connection point to make it as waterproof as possible.

Tape over the connection to make as waterproof as possible

I then used some 1.25″ heat shrink tubing to cover the complete loading coil.

Heatshrink tubing covering the loading coil

Simply repeat this process for each loading coil. This small effort will prevent a common failure point for the 40-2CD antenna.

Sorry I didn’t record all the part sizes that I purchased at the local hardware store, but here they are in a photo.

For reference, here is a loading coil with all of the shrink wrap tubing removed.

Loading coil with shrink wrap tubing removed

Tower Replacement Project Part 2

This is a continuation of the story of my project to replace one of my ham radio towers. Read part 1 first.

July 23, 2022

I got a great deal on some LDF5-50A 7/8″ hardline. It arrived in two pieces, but as luck would have it, they were both perfect for what I needed. The 240′ run got to the base of the new tower. The 290′ run got to the base of the tower with the TH7, A3WS, and 6m beam.

Needed connectors and found some on e-Bay. Minimal instructions. Finally found a manual from Andrews about installing connectors that filled in some of the gaps. Took me a few tries to figure out the proper way to install them. Hoping the hardline will provide a significant improvement in loss over the previous 75 ohm CATV feedline.

New hardline connector and cable entrance

July 24, 2022

I continued working on trying to convert the two and a half used 40-2CD antennas that I had on hand into the making of a new one. The biggest challenge is getting the driven element separated from the insulator (used a hammer), and getting the reflector and boom pieces apart.

Then I washed everything and started reinforcing per the W6QHS article recommendations. Having the extra element pieces was very helpful.

40-2CD parts staging after cleanup
40-2CD parts staging after cleanup

August 13, 2022

Finally got all the bits and pieces together to make a complete 40-2CD with heavy-duty reinforcement. Assembled everything at the 5-foot level on the tower.

40-2CD #2 ready to go

Grabbed the AA-54 to check the SWR and was happy to see it look very similar to how the first antenna did when it was at the same mounting height.

SWR curve for the antenna at 5′

August 14, 2022

Mark KA1YQC and John KF1KI arrived on a beautiful Sunday morning to help with the antenna raising. The first order of business was to remove the 4-ele 10 that had been installed at the 70′ level. After several evenings of studying plots using the HFTA Software that comes with the ARRL Antenna Book, I realized that the 40 needed to be at that height. The two 10-meter beams were better off lower on the tower.

You hate to go backwards on a project, but it seemed easier to take this antenna down rather than try to work around it.

Removing the 4-el 10m (KA1YQC photo)

The next step was to raise the side mount that would hold the lower 40.

Rohn side mount ready to go up

Then it was time to raise the 40-2CD. We thought about using a tram, but it seemed like it might be more trouble to set up than it would save in time. Decided to corkscrew the antenna through the two sets of guys. This was complicated a bit by a close tree that snagged the elements a few times.

K5ZD twisting the 40-2CD around the guy wires and trees (KA1YQC photo)

John and Mark did a great job of lifting and lowering as needed. And watching for times when the antenna would snag something behind my back.

Happiness is finally getting the antenna onto the side mount. The reflector was clear of guy wires and trees, but the driven element was much closer to the guy wires than I had expected. The use of Phillystran for the guys will prevent any performance issues, but we don’t want the antenna rubbing the guy wires in the wind or under snow load. Might have to raise the antenna couple of feet to get more clearance. Something to keep an eye on.

K5ZD attaches the beam to the side mount (KA1YQC photo)

I was anxious to check the SWR now that the antenna was in position. It dipped exactly where I had hoped!

40-2CD SWR curve with the antenna in final position

Nothing like coming down the tower and being able to take that first look back up to see the results.

First look up at the new 40m beam

It was only noon so we moved on to raising the two 4-element 10m beams into position. This was a piece of cake compared to the 40!

K5ZD moves the first 10m beam into position (KA1YQC photo)
K5ZD bolts on the lower 10m beam (KA1YQC photo)

With all the antennas installed, we called it a day. I came back out to the tower later that evening to see a beautiful sunset that really highlighted the full antenna compliment.

Almost done. 2/2 on 40 @109’/69′, and 6/4/4 on 10m @100’/59’/29′

August 21-30

Worked on making the phasing lines for the 40m stack. Will write a separate blog post on that topic.

The stacking switching is fairly simple and uses just coax phasing lines.

Stack switching concept (Source NCJ, issue unknown)

Switching uses an RCS-8V 5-position remote coax switch that I purchased used from W1DXH. The RCS-8V can be easily modified to have any of the switch positions be shorted or open when not selected. Will use some existing rotator cables to get the needed 6 conductors from the box back to the shack.

September 2

Mark KA1YQC came over to help me get the cables and relay box installed for the 40m stack. Not a hard job, but nice to have someone on the ground to send the cables up as needed.

Replaced the temporary coax from the top 40 with a piece to get to the switch box.

Installed the switch box.

K5ZD installing switching and phasing lines (KA1YQC photo)

Installed the phasing lines. For now, they are just coiled up and tied off. Wanted to make sure things were working before tying things off.

I wanted to have equal lengths of feedline for each antenna. And for those lengths to be a multiple of a 1/4-wave. That means the low antenna has about 50′ of extra coax, but it worked out great for getting down from the top antenna.

Temporary mounting of the 40m stack switch and phasing lines

We wired the control line back to the shack and were prepared to see success. The top position worked. The lower position worked. But not both. Argh. Checked the control voltages and they were correct going up the tower.

Climbed the tower to inspect things. Discovered the t-connector had failed. Argh. It is the one that has 3 female UHF connectors that ties the 3 phasing lines together. A new t-connector is now on order. (I should have known better than to use a cheap one I found in my junk box.)

The good news is that listening to Europeans in the early evening shows the low 40m being the best antenna at times. Will be interesting to see if/how this changes as we get into the contest season and operate the whole opening from our sunset to European sunrise.

Checked the SWR on the two lower 10m beams. The middle one looks ok. The bottom one is resonant way below the band. Could be interaction with the metal guy wires that are within inches of the elements. Will do more work with HFTA to see if that antenna can be moved up or down the tower.

September 4, 2022

While waiting for Amazon to deliver, I went up the tower and refactored all the coaxes around the 40m switch box. With a few days of rain in the forecast, I wanted to get all of the connections secured.

Amazon arrived while I was on the tower, so with the sun just going over the horizon, I made one more trip up the tower to install the new t-connector.

Argh. Still a problem with the both-position on the switch. And to make things worse, the high antenna only wasn’t working either.

September 7-9, 2022

Multiple trips up the tower to try to diagnose the problem. I probably made 6-8 climbs to the 70′ level and was up there for several hours. Just couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing.

When checking the wiring, I discovered that a wire had pulled out of the splice junction at the base of the tower. That fixed the antenna 1 problem.

I got some good advice from W2SC and N2NT on things to try for the phasing lines. Eventually tracked the problem down to a missed solder connection on one of the PL-259 connectors! I usually solder the shield and then wait for the connector to cool before doing the center conductor. Somehow I missed doing this one.

Whoops. Forgot to solder the center pin!

When you test quarter wave coax lines, you look for an open on the analyzer. When I checked the cable from one end it looked fine. But, if I plugged the analyzer into the end with the missing solder, it showed there was no cable. I guess you have to test phasing lines from both ends…

Once I found and fixed that, I was happy to come down to the shack and hear all 3 positions of the stack were working. SWR was good from 7000 to 7250. All positions of the new stack are better than my original 40-2CD on another tower. (It must have a problem?) The stack position seemed to be slightly better most of the time. Spent some time on 40 SSB in the WAE contest and the stack seemed to be a winner compared to the top or bottom antenna alone. Thrilled to finally see success after all this effort.

September 10, 2022

Mark KA1YQC came over on a beautiful Saturday morning to help me work on the 10m stacking.

We moved the lower 10 from 29′ to 32′. This got it out of the guy wires and just above the first set.

K5ZD removes the 10-4CD so it can be moved above the guy point (KA1YQC photo)
K5ZD bolts down the 10-4CD at 32′ just above the first set of guy wires (KA1YQC photo)

Then we installed the WX0B Stackmatch box at the 65′ level. Checked SWR on each antenna as I did so. The bottom 2 antennas are resonant below the band. Is this caused by having Rohn 45G going through the middle of the antenna? Something to investigate.

We connected the control cable and headed back to the shack to check out work. All 3 positions could hear band noise. We listened to PT5J work Europeans in WAE. May need to investigate the wiring or the box as it didn’t seem like the right antenna was being selected as I switched through all the options. But, SWR was good across the band on all 3.

The last task was to raise and reattach the 160m shunt feed. This took no time and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the antenna was resonant around 1800 Khz. I had been afraid that adding 10′ to the tower and the second 40 would change the electrical height of the system. Will wait for dark to see if the antenna works.

Really enjoying having Mark’s help to take advantage of the fantastic early Fall weather to get things done before it gets rainy, cold, and windy in October.

September 21, 2022

On what is sure to be the last perfect day of the summer, Mark KA1YQC came over to help debug the 10m stack. We quickly determined there was a broken wire somewhere in the 250′ of cable between the shack and the base of the tower. It was the line that switched the toroid in the Stackmatch out when feeding a single antenna. No wonder the SWR and antenna selection was so weird. We grabbed a spare wire from the control cable to the 40m switching and things started working better.

The SWR on the low antennas was below 28.o Mhz. They resonated higher when tested at the 6′ level, but the extra height, guy wires, or Rohn 45 going through the middle was having an impact. We shortened the driven element on both antennas so they were resonant around 28.2, which kept the SWR relatively low from CW through 28.5 Mhz. Luckily this just meant rotating the driven element so both ends of the element could be reached from the tower.

K5ZD spinning the 10m driven element to adjust the length (KA1YQC photo)

Testing from the shack indicated there was something wrong with the low antenna. It sounded quiet and the SWR was height. We know the SWR was good using the antenna analyzer at the feed point, so it has to be in the coax or the Stackmatch. No amount of wiggling or unscrewing seemed to make any difference. So more diagnostic work needs to be done.

We also tried to find the tap point for the 160 shunt feed. We thought we had it, and then realized we did not have a solid connection from the feed point shield to the tower. When we added that, the R value was around 18 ohms. The tap point needs to be raised, but with sunset approaching, we decided to save this for another day.

October 12, 2022

One more very nice weather day. Mark KA1YQC came over and we attacked the 160m shunt feed. After some experimenting, we determined the shunt wire could not go through the 40. We attached it just below the 40 and were able to get it about 5′ out from the tower to get to 42 ohms. SWR is < 2:1 from 1800 to 1880 with a perfect dip at 1830.

K5ZD attaching the shunt feed (KA1YQC photo)

The First 160m QSO with the shunt-fed tower was with TO2DL in Guadeloupe (FG). At least now I know it can be heard.

Project Complete!

The project is officially done. All new antennas have been installed and the others restored to their previous configuration.

View of the finished antenna system.

Early results show the 40m stack is much better than my previous 40-2CD on the other tower. The 10m stack also seems to be working well. Finding the broken wire may have been all it needed.

Now the fun part – to get on the air and see how it all plays in the contests.

Thank you all for following the journey to this point. It has been a lot of work, but the kind that I really enjoy. Nothing has more hope than a new antenna system!

2022 IARU HF World Championship K5ZD

                    IARU HF World Championship - 2022

Call: K5ZD
Operator(s): K5ZD
Station: K5ZD

Class: SOAB(A)Mixed HP
QTH: W1
Operating Time (hrs): 21.7
OpMode: SO2R

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
-------------------------------------
  160:    18     1      6        5
   80:    94    11     13       18
   40:   264    45     28       35
   20:   788   405     42       41
   15:   641   139     35       40
   10:   141    75     18       26
-------------------------------------
Total:  1946   676    142      165  Total Score = 3,024,257

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments

A very entertaining contest.  Summer conditions always offer a few surprises and this contest had lots of them.

My summer project was to replace one of my towers (see https://k5zd.com/tower-replacement-project/). Things are not completely rebuilt, but I had antennas for all 6 bands.  This contest was to be a test of the new 40 and 10m beams.  Happy to report they appear to be worth the effort.

The contest started well with 10 and 15m open.  It got slow in the mid-day and then just kept getting better as Europe turned its attention to the West.

Our town had its 4th of July fireworks show Saturday evening.  I took a break to walk the 1.8 miles to the show and back.  Was a perfect evening outside and the walk cleared out the contest fatigue.  Lost just over 2 hours of prime low band mult hunting.

15m produced some deep Asians late in the evening and 20m was great all night.

Then 15m really opened the last 2 hours of the contest with the band open deep into UA/UA9!

Station

K3 + AL-1200

K3 + AL-1500

160m: 1/4-wave GP

80m: dipole @90′

40m: tower 1 40-2CD @110′, tower 2 40-2CD @109′

20m: 205CA @100′/50′

15m: 155CA @66′/33′

10m: 6-el @ 100’

South: TH7DXX @ 40′

WriteLog software, MK2R+ SO2R box

Rates

CW+PH/ZN+HQ by hour and band

 Hour     160M     80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm    OffTime

D1-1200Z    -       -     23/4    87/19   27/11     -    137/34    137/34  
D1-1300Z    -       -       -     12/1     9/2    88/22  109/25    246/59  
D1-1400Z    -       -       -       -     77/16   70/7   147/23    393/82  
D1-1500Z    -       -       -      2/0    56/11   22/6    80/17    473/99  
D1-1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   65/5    59/10   --+--  124/15    597/114 
D1-1700Z    -       -       -     39/15   20/3    14/3    73/21    670/135 
D1-1800Z    -       -       -     40/0   107/1     5/0   152/1     822/136 
D1-1900Z    -       -       -     72/1    22/0      -     94/1     916/137 
D1-2000Z    -       -       -     89/2    28/4     5/2   122/8    1038/145 
D1-2100Z    -       -       -     93/12   39/3     2/0   134/15   1172/160 
D1-2200Z    -       -     34/21    7/1    66/0     1/1   108/23   1280/183 
D1-2300Z    -       -     70/13   27/5    42/1      -    139/19   1419/202 
D2-0000Z  --+--   --+--   14/2    --+--   --+--   --+--   14/2    1433/204    54
D2-0100Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1433/204    60
D2-0200Z  10/9    67/22     -       -      9/3      -     86/34   1519/238    21
D2-0300Z   3/1    19/5    65/10    6/1     5/2      -     98/19   1617/257 
D2-0400Z   2/1    11/2    48/4    65/4      -       -    126/11   1743/268 
D2-0500Z    -      3/2     1/1   146/6     1/1      -    151/10   1894/278 
D2-0600Z    -       -      4/2   159/1      -       -    163/3    2057/281 
D2-0700Z    -       -      7/0    86/3     3/0      -     96/3    2153/284 
D2-0800Z  --+--   --+--   25/1    38/0    --+--   --+--   63/1    2216/285 
D2-0900Z   4/0     5/0    12/3    86/1      -       -    107/4    2323/289 
D2-1000Z    -       -      6/2    72/5    30/3      -    108/10   2431/299 
D2-1100Z    -       -       -      2/1   180/4     9/3   191/8    2622/307 

Total:    19/11  105/31  309/63 1193/83  780/75  216/44 

2022 CQ WPX CW Contest AK1W (K5ZD)

                    CQWW WPX Contest, CW - 2022

Call: AK1W
Operator(s): K5ZD
Station: K5ZD

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: W1
Operating Time (hrs): 24.7
OpMode: SO2R

Summary:
 Band  QSOs
------------
  160:    0
   80:    0
   40:  617
   20: 1137
   15:  781
   10:   49
------------
Total: 2584  Prefixes = 973  Total Score = 6,442,233

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments:

Just for fun.  No antennas were available for 160 or 80m.  Just a low tribander for 10m.

Thought we were going to get t-storms on Sat afternoon, but they stopped just before they got to us.

Conditions were mixed. Missed the activity and multipliers from Ukraine and Russia. Worked 2 EW stations, 5 UA, and 1 UA9. The score includes those QSOs and mults.

This will not be a golden log.  Lots of serial numbers I am not sure about.

Station

K3 + AL-1200
K3 + AL-1500
 40m: 40-2CD @110′
 20m: 205CA @100′/50'
 15m: 155ca @66′/33'
 10m: TH7DXX @ 40′
WriteLog software, MK2R+ SO2R box 

Rates

QSO/Pref by hour and band

Hour  160M    80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm   Off

0000Z  -+-   --+--   87/74   --+--   15/15   --+--  102/89    102/89  
0100Z   -      -     63/49   67/41    4/4      -    134/94    236/183 
0200Z   -      -     52/37   67/40     -       -    119/77    355/260 
0300Z   -      -     66/42   46/33     -       -    112/75    467/335 
0400Z   -      -     47/28   58/24     -       -    105/52    572/387 
0500Z   -      -     42/15    5/3      -       -     47/18    619/405  30
0600Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
0700Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
0800Z  -+-   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0     619/405  60
0900Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
1000Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
1100Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
1200Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0     619/405  60
1300Z   -      -       -     66/30   56/21     -    122/51    741/456   7
1400Z   -      -       -     56/17   63/18     -    119/35    860/491 
1500Z   -      -       -      1/1    57/17   33/21   91/39    951/530 
1600Z  -+-   --+--   --+--   29/8    48/20   --+--   77/28   1028/558  21
1700Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1028/558  60
1800Z   -      -       -     79/29   19/3      -     98/32   1126/590  19
1900Z   -      -       -    104/31   11/3      -    115/34   1241/624 
2000Z   -      -       -    103/46   10/7      -    113/53   1354/677 
2100Z   -      -       -     62/19   47/25     -    109/44   1463/721 
2200Z   -      -       -     16/8     9/3      -     25/11   1488/732  39
2300Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1488/732  60
0000Z  -+-   --+--   --+--    3/2     1/0    --+--    4/2    1492/734  58
0100Z   -      -     29/13   26/7      -       -     55/20   1547/754 
0200Z   -      -     79/17   14/8    11/2     5/2   109/29   1656/783 
0300Z   -      -     25/10   36/14     -       -     61/24   1717/807  14
0400Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1717/807  60
0500Z   -      -      1/1    23/4      -       -     24/5    1741/812  47
0600Z   -      -     18/3    51/17     -       -     69/20   1810/832   6
0700Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1810/832  60
0800Z  -+-   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    1810/832  60
0900Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1810/832  60
1000Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1810/832  60
1100Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1810/832  60
1200Z   -      -       -      1/0     1/0      -      2/0    1812/832  56
1300Z   -      -       -      1/0   130/11     -    131/11   1943/843 
1400Z   -      -       -     23/4    72/11     -     95/15   2038/858 
1500Z   -      -       -     12/4   100/16     -    112/20   2150/878 
1600Z  -+-   --+--   --+--   37/12   51/2    --+--   88/14   2238/892 
1700Z   -      -       -     11/7    13/5     4/1    28/13   2266/905  31
1800Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2266/905  60
1900Z   -      -       -     43/13   17/5      -     60/18   2326/923   6
2000Z   -      -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2326/923  60
2100Z   -      -      1/1    30/6    23/8     7/2    61/17   2387/940   3
2200Z   -      -     16/8    55/15   11/3      -     82/26   2469/966 
2300Z   -      -     91/4    12/3    12/0      -    115/7    2584/973 

Total: 0/0    0/0  617/302 1137/446 781/199  49/26

Tower Replacement Project

I want to put up another 40m beam. Not comfortable doing it on the Rohn 25G tower that I have.

Tower 2
Tower 2, September 2018

September 2021

I had the opportunity to obtain 100′ of Rohn 45G from John K1AE. He lives about an hour from me. Making multiple trips and with a lot of help from YCCC club members, I was able to get the tower down over a 4-week span. I also purchased a Cushcraft 40-2CD that he had on the ground. I rented a U-Haul van to transport everything (tower, guy wires, beam) home.

Tower kit
New tower and accessories

October 2021

Took advantage of some nice Fall weather to touch up some rubbed and rusted spots on the tower so it was ready to go.

December 2021

A tree falls over and lands on one end of the stack of 40-2CD aluminum. Argh. The only “safe” place for antennas is in the air!

April 15, 2022

With the 3-day Easter holiday, I solicited help on the YCCC email list. Received a lot of generous responses and offers to help.

Martin AA1ON, Mark KA1YQC, and John NN1SS came down and we got started.  We made much more progress than I expected – removing all antennas and getting down to the 60’ level. 

In order, we removed:

  • 80m dipole (freeing it up from the tree that had captured the feedline)
  • 80m 4-square that was hanging from ropes strung out from the tower
  • 40m sloper
  • 160m shunt feed
  • Two 4-ele Cushcraft 10m beams that were side-mounted
  • 30m dipole
  • 6-ele 10m beam
  • Rotator

We corkscrewed the beams down the tower. 10 meter beams are so easy to manipulate…

Weather was sunny and nice, except for the occasional gusts over 25mph.  Nothing like being 80’ up with the top set of guys removed and the wind deciding to blow harder.

One lesson learned.  When a tower is a bit floppy, it is hard to get the sections to wiggle apart.  NN1SS brought a Tower Jack and that saved the day.  Sections that were more stable close to a guy wire wiggled right apart.

After everyone left, I took advantage of the nice weather to prepare the guys at 60′ for removal and installed the temporary guys at the 10′ level.

Tower at 60 feet
Stopping point

April 16, 2022

When I installed this tower in 1994 I had purchased a 1/4″ wall 12′ steel mast. Weighs just over 100 pounds. Never used it. Has been imprisoned in the tower ever since. I was a bit worried if the two of us would be able to handle it.

Martin arrived about 9am, and we had the last 60’ down in about 2 hours. We pulled the mast out of the tower when we got to the 20′ level. I won’t say it was easy, but the two of us managed it without incident.

Tower base
Tower is down

We were so far ahead of schedule that we had just finished when Ken WO1N arrived. I feel bad for letting him make the drive down.

I am now without antennas for 80, 30, and 10 meters. The crazy things we do to be just a little bit louder.  🙂

April 19, 2022

Made a run to visit Dave K1ZZ and pick up a 40-2CD antenna that he had been storing for Mark K1RO. “Storing” for the past 25 years! The antenna was in great shape and, after some hardware replacement, will soon be at the top of the new tower.

April 21, 2022

My friend Ron brought over his chainsaw and we took on the job of removing trees that had been growing into the guy wires. Always afraid of cutting down trees near a tower, so wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to clear things out a bit. Was perfect weather for getting the job done.

Cutting trees
Ron cutting down one of the trees

These were big trees. Glad to get them down before the leaves came out.

April 23. 2022

Another great day to get some work done.

The original tower base was big enough to support Rohn 45, but I wanted to make the base a bit bigger to provide more support. Let me just say it is a long carry to get concrete from the driveway near the house to the tower base. A 350′ carry that is uphill all the way.

Mission accomplished.

Tower base
Enhanced tower base

May 3, 2022

Spent some time taking the 40-2CD from K1RO apart and cleaning it up.

40-2CD in pieces
40-2CD cleaned up and ready for assembly

May 17, 2022

After two weekends lost due to some international business travel, it was time to get back to work. Started making up the Phillystran portions of the guy wires. Hard to believe DX Engineering gets 270′ of Phillystran on that small spool!

Phillystran and accessories
Phillystran and accessories

Will use Phillystran on the top two sets of guys. 60′ for the top set and 30′ for the middle set. Will go with steel wire broken up every 28′ for the bottom set. Why 28′? Because that is the length the guy wires from K1AE were already made.

May 20, 2022

Mark KA1YQC came over and we hauled a few Rohn 45G sections up to the tower location. Then we put up the first section of the tower and installed the temporary guy wires at the 10′ level. Made everything tight and straight.

First section with temporary guys
First section with temporary guys

Spent the rest of the evening wrangling guy wires. Added the steel portion to the Phillystran. Replaced a few pieces of guy wire that showed signs of age.

Guy wire prep
Guy wire prep

Ready to start stacking tower for real tomorrow.

May 21, 2022

Joe KM1P, John KF1KI, and Spence AB1HO arrived to a cloudy and cool morning around 10 am. We quickly got 4 sections stacked up and the first set of guys attached by a little after noon. The clouds cleared and it became noticeably hotter. We finished tightening the first set of guys and removed the temporaries. By 1:30 it was hot and we had enough.

Up to first guy point
Up to the first guy wire attachment

One thing that slowed us down was guy wire lengths. The steel guys were broken up every 28 feet. When we pulled them out to the North and Southwest guy points, the insulator landed right at the turnbuckle. We had to undo the guy grip and change the length of the final segment from 28 to 22 feet. I probably should have done more math and anticipated this issue in advance…

May 22, 2022

It was a sunny warm day when Martin AA1ON, Mark KA1YQC, and Lars KE1J arrived around 9 am. The forecast was for temperatures into the 90s. I was a bit surprised everyone showed up!

Ground crew at work
Tower view of the ground crew

Each new section was the same dance. Set up gin pole. Ground crew cleans out tower legs and puts in White Lithium grease. Pull up section. Get the sections to mate. Put in the small bolt for each leg (Rohn 45G has a large bolt and a small one for each leg). Then put in the large bolt for each. A drift pin is an essential tool for getting the holes to align. And a hammer to help the bolts power through the holes. Then tighten the bolts for each leg. Reposition the gin pole and repeat.

Drift pin
Drift pin for aligning tower bolt holes

We added 3 more sections, reaching the 70′ level. The second guy bracket was at 65′. The second set of guys had 30′ of Phillystran and then steel broken up with insulators down to the anchor. There were two guy wires where an insulator happened to be in the wrong place and required modification. We methodically made our way around the 3 guy points tightening turnbuckles while confirming the tower was still straight. The Loos tension gauge confirmed the guys were at the proper tension.

We took a short break as it was starting to get very warm.

KA1YQC, AA1ON, KE1J
Mark KA1YQC, Martin AA1ON, and Lars KE1J (l-r)

Back up the tower to do the next 3 sections. We had decided to put the rotator plate and the guy bracket on the top section so I wouldn’t have to assemble them on the tower. Great idea, but the extra weight, and the 90′ pull, almost put the ground crew into the red zone. Of course, when the section got up there, it didn’t want to mate to the previous section. This required another heave to pull it off so I could spin it and try again. Oh, did I mention the wind came up while this happening?! I tried not to notice the subtle rocking that was taking place without the top set of guys in place yet… Nothing better than to get the legs aligned and then hear that satisfying thump when the section drops down to its proper place.

K5ZD on tower
K5ZD digging through the tool bag looking for bolts (KA1YQC photo)

The ground crew did a great job. The breeze I was feeling on top of the tower was not so much down at ground level. The guys were pretty spent when we decided to stop.

100' tower
Stopping point for the day. 100 feet

An empty tower is like a blank canvas. Ready for something great to be created. It was a very good day of progress. Tower only needs to have the top plate installed to be complete.

Looking up the tower
Looking up the tower

June 1, 2022

Finally back to working on the 40-2CD. The main work was to replace the aluminum truss Cushcraft provides with some stainless steel cable and hardware.

Assembly zone
Assembly zone

June 6, 2022

Guy wire day. Focused on keeping the tower straight while also getting each guy wire to the proper tension as measured with the Loos Tension Gauge. Had one guy wire that needed to be adjusted as the turnbuckle had run out of room.

June 7-9, 2022

Rebuilding the 40-2CD. Carefully measured out each piece. Added reinforcement tubing inside the elements as possible. A dab of SS Jet 30 at each joint for long term connectivity. Also a stainless steel sheet metal screw to keep the pieces from coming undone.

I could not get the driven element pieces off of the center insulator. The only way to get the reinforcement piece in was to measure, mark it, then drive the piece of aluminum down the inside of each element. Had to be careful not to push it in too far as there was not going to be a way to get it back out. Added additional reinforcement to the first few element joints. The element is much less floppy than before the modification. It’s not the full W6QHS treatment, but hopefully, it helps with long-term survivability.

Two elements ready to go

June 10, 2022

Hauled the boom and elements up to the tower. Assembled everything to make sure I had not missed anything. The 40 is ready.

40-2CD assembled

Jun 11, 2022

I was up early making final preparations for the 40m beam. Got the choke installed and enough feedline to get just above the top plate. I have learned the hard way not to end up with a coax joint in the middle of the rotator loop!

Trying something different with the choke. K3LR has reported some improvement in the choking impedance if the choke is separated from the boom. I put the choke inside PVC and used some rubber spacers to get it about an inch away. Maybe not quite enough separation, but good mechanically.

Choke mounting and feed point

SWR looks good, but hard to know with the antenna so close to the ground.

SWR with antenna at 5′

Martin AA1ON, Mark KA1YQC, and John KF1KI arrived around 10am. A bit of a delay as I made multiple trips back to the house for forgotten tools or parts. Started climbing around 10:40am.

First order of business was to install the top plate.

Tower is topped out

I had not fully accounted for the size of the rotator when I selected the original location of the rotator shelf. Took a few minutes to move it down one rung.

Then it was time for the mast. The ground crew hauled it up the tower without incident. They said it was much easier than the top section with guy bracket was! It was then that I discovered another engineering error on my part… the clamp holding the rope onto the mast hit the gin pole pulley with another 4″ of needed height still to go. Arrrggh! Luckily it was just close enough that I could lift the mast onto the top plate. After several tries and some colorful language, I was able to lever the mast up to the thrust bearing, then the bolt, then to the rotary part, and finally, with one huge grunt, lifted it over the edge and into the hole. Mission accomplished! I was determined not to make the guys have to lower the mast and lift it again. But, it was probably not the smartest approach. Next time, measure first!

Next up was to raise the 40-2CD. There is a pine tree that reaches in just enough that I wasn’t sure I would be able to easily corkscrew the antenna up the tower. Those capacitance hat rods on each element seem to always find any obstruction. I made the decision to assemble the beam on the tower. We pulled the driven element up first, then attached it to the tower with a strap and carabiner. Then repeated for the boom and reflector. I then attached the elements to each end of the boom.

K5ZD attaching the reflector element to the boom (KA1YQC photo)

Once the elements were attached, it was simply a matter of rotating the antenna to horizontal and dropping it onto the mast. The team on the ground was very impressed with the maneuver and how well it worked out.

K5ZD attaches the completed antenna to the mast (KA1YQC photo)

With the antenna secure, a call went out for the antenna analyzer to be sent up to see some early results. The SWR was very good, with the resonant frequency about 20 Khz lower than expected. Is it worth trying to adjust the driven element length?

SWR curve of the antenna at 100′

Of course, once we think everything is done and are ready to declare success, I noticed a small problem with the way I assembled the driven element. It is shifted about 1/2″ to one side, making the feed point attachment uncomfortably close to the u-bolt. Maybe not a big problem, but the u-bolt was a bit crooked. This will get fixed during a future session when we are ready to raise up the 10-meter Yagi.

June 15, 2022

I was joined by Mark KA1YQC to make the trip up to K1AE to pick up some 7/8″ hardline and the remaining pieces of another 40-2CD. We were met there by John NN1SS who helped load things into the U-Haul.

This is some serious hardline. I just hope there is enough to get a single piece that goes from the shack to the 10m beams that will be on the new tower (250+ feet). And that I can find some connectors!

Hardline and 40-2CD parts

June 18, 2022

I was joined today by Martin AA1ON, John NN1SS, Mark KA1YQC, and Spence AB1HO. It was a very cool day for mid June with a high temperature expected only in the mid-’60s. We had a stiff breeze from the NW once I cleared the top of the trees.

The first job was to fix the 40m driven element mounting. Popped the 40 off the top of the mast and was easily able to get to the feed point and slide it over about half an inch. Then popped it back on.

We brought up the Yaesu G-2800 rotator so I wouldn’t have to untie the rope until it was installed. We then raised the mast. This went very well, except for the few times I made the ground crew back up a bit because I didn’t tie the rope in the right place or forgot to tape the coax as the 40-2CD went up. Once the mast cleared the rotator plate, I was able to insert the rotator easily into the tower. I had a bit of an incident while putting the bolts in. I had left them in the plastic bag as they came from Yaesu. At one point I turned my hand so the plastic back dumped a few bits. They fluttered to the ground and left me one bolt short of having all I needed. Argh!

The DX Engineering thrust bearing to hold the mast at the top of the tower is a thing of beauty. But, the opening is slightly bigger than my 2″ steel mast. This put all of the weight on the 3 stainless steel bolts. Since the mast is so heavy, I didn’t want to take any chance it would slip. I added a safety u-bolt around the mast.

Safety u-bolt to help secure the mast at the thrust bearing

With the rotator secure, I climbed down for a break and to prep the 10m beam to go up. It was mostly ready, but I wanted to check the SWR before we got too far. Pulled the antenna up to about 20′ and the SWR minimum was way below the band. Not sure how that happened since the antenna was unchanged from how it came down 8 weeks earlier. We lowered the beam and started messing with the gamma match at the feed point. In the end, I think we shortened the driven element by 2″ or so on each side and moved the gamma shorting rod about a half inch. Looks much better on the AA-54, but not sure what we may have done to the performance…

The antenna easily corkscrewed up the tower and was bolted to the mast.

K5ZD finalizes installation of the 6-el 10m
K5ZD finalizes installation of the 6-el 10m.
A look down the boom of the 10m beam after installation
The 10m beam is installed and ready for action.

Up came the antenna analyzer and it was great to see both antennas had the expected SWR.

SWR of 40-2CD at 109'
SWR of 40-2CD at 109′
SWR of 10m beam at 100'
SWR of 10m beam at 100′

It’s always nice to come off the tower and get to take that first look up to see the result.

View up the tower with 10 and 40m beams installed
Another milestone achieved!

The heavy work was done so we headed off to the local hamburger place to celebrate.

June 24, 2022

Dragged the rotator cable up the tower and connected the rotator. One continuous 350-foot piece of control cable to reach the shack. Was a bit disappointed to find the rotator would not turn. I had tested the full length of cable before I put it up, but maybe the wiring inside the connector at the rotator lost a wire… disappointed.

June 25, 2022

Field Day weekend. Perfect time to make progress on antennas. I spent some time trying to diagnose the rotator problem. Finally tracked it down to a connection at my cable panel where everything comes into the house. Argh. Very happy to see beams turning!

K5ZD ready to run some cables up the tower
Ready to run some cables up the tower

Inspired, I climbed the tower to run coax cables for the 10m and 40m beams down to ground level. These connected up to the existing cables back to the shack. Field Day offered the perfect test for the new antennas. 40m worked great. Unfortunately, 10m was stone cold dead. Not even an FT8 signal! On Sunday the band was open and the 10m was confirmed to be working.

July 1, 2022

Mark KA1YQC came over to help get the 80m dipole reinstalled. This dipole goes between the two towers and required a bit of rope work to get the antenna tuned to the correct frequency and then worked around the trees. Nice to see a flat dipole at the 90′ level. This gets me back on all bands.

80m dipole going between the towers
80m dipole going between the towers

Mark also brought over a Cushcraft A3WS that he doesn’t need. This is a 12/17 meter duobander. I have never had antennas for those bands so excited to get it in the air and chase some new DXCC band credits.

July 4, 2022

Built the A3WS and made some QSOs on it at the 5′ level to confirm it was ready for action.

Cushcraft A3WS awaiting final installation
Cushcraft A3WS awaiting final installation

July 16, 2022

Mark KA1YQC came over today. The first task was to install the A3WS at the 30′ level on Tower 3. Decided not to put it at the top of this tower due to 1) concern about its wind survivability, and 2) don’t want to risk any interaction with the 10 and the 40.

A3WS fixed NE at 30'
A3WS fixed NE at 30′

That decision freed us up to install the 80m 4 square rigging. This consists of running a rope out from the top of the tower in 4 directions and then using that to hold the top of the verticals. Can’t quite get enough height to make them vertical, but enough so they work.

80m vertical hanging from catenary line
80m vertical hanging from a catenary line

We had just enough energy to confirm the tuning on a Cushcraft 4-element 10-meter beam and raise it to the 70′ level.

K5ZD attaching the 4-ele 10m to the tower
K5ZD attaching the 4-ele 10m to the tower (KA1YQC photo)

This post has gotten a bit long. Continue reading part 2.

Audio – K5ZD ARRL DX SSB 2022

K5ZD (op. K5ZD) in the Single Operator Unlimited (Assisted) Category, High Power. Read the post-contest writeup.

This was an SO2R operation. The audio is the same as heard by the operator. When headphones are ‘split’, the left channel is from the left side radio and the right channel is from the right side radio. The sidetone audio is very low so you may not always be able to hear what is being sent.

Click here to view a copy of the log.

Use the links to the right of each hour to access the recording for that hour of the contest.

Hour   160M     80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm     

0000Z  --+--   14/12    7/7    23/15    1/1    --+--   45/35     45/35    <Listen>
0100Z   3/3    26/13   31/16   30/10     -       -     90/42    135/77    <Listen>
0200Z   4/4     3/2    30/18   11/3      -       -     48/27    183/104   <Listen>
0300Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     183/104    off
0400Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     183/104    off
0500Z   3/3    28/6     8/6     7/3      -       -     46/18    229/122   <Listen>
0600Z   6/6    11/5    63/15    3/1      -       -     83/27    312/149   <Listen>
0700Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     312/149    off
0800Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0     312/149    off
0900Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     312/149    off
1000Z   2/2     4/3     8/4    55/22     -       -     69/31    381/180   <Listen>
1100Z    -       -      1/1   162/13     -       -    163/14    544/194   <Listen>
1200Z    -       -       -    105/9    31/23     -    136/32    680/226   <Listen>
1300Z    -       -       -     11/1   119/32    5/3   135/36    815/262   <Listen>
1400Z    -       -       -       -    145/15   21/8   166/23    981/285   <Listen>
1500Z    -       -       -       -       -      3/2     3/2     984/287   <Listen>
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    5/0     9/6    14/6     998/293   <Listen>
1700Z    -       -       -       -    123/3    31/16  154/19   1152/312   <Listen>
1800Z    -       -       -     51/2    66/3     6/3   123/8    1275/320   <Listen>
1900Z    -       -       -     88/8    15/6     9/0   112/14   1387/334   <Listen>
2000Z    -       -       -      1/1     2/1     4/0     7/2    1394/336   <Listen>
2100Z    -       -       -      3/3     6/3      -      9/6    1403/342   <Listen>
2200Z    -       -       -     28/1    15/1    11/4    54/6    1457/348   <Listen>
2300Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1457/348    off
0000Z  --+--    2/1    --+--   10/1    --+--   --+--   12/2    1469/350   <Listen>
0100Z   1/1     5/1     6/1     3/2      -       -     15/5    1484/355   <Listen>
0200Z    -      4/1     4/0      -       -       -      8/1    1492/356   <Listen>
0300Z   8/3     4/0     9/2      -       -       -     21/5    1513/361   <Listen>
0400Z   4/3    27/7     6/3      -       -       -     37/13   1550/374   <Listen>
0500Z   4/1    40/6     2/0      -       -       -     46/7    1596/381   <Listen>
0600Z   2/0     8/0      -       -       -       -     10/0    1606/381   <Listen>
0700Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1606/381    off
0800Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    1606/381    off
0900Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1606/381    off
1000Z   1/1     3/1     3/0    51/1      -       -     58/3    1664/384   <Listen>
1100Z    -       -      3/0   104/5      -       -    107/5    1771/389   <Listen>
1200Z    -       -       -    120/3     7/0      -    127/3    1898/392   <Listen>
1300Z    -       -       -     53/1    23/2     1/1    77/4    1975/396   <Listen>
1400Z    -       -       -     45/2    36/4      -     81/6    2056/402   <Listen>
1500Z    -       -       -     17/0    21/0    12/1    50/1    2106/403   <Listen>
1600Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--  151/1     8/3   159/4    2265/407   <Listen>
1700Z    -       -       -       -    106/4     1/0   107/4    2372/411   <Listen>
1800Z    -       -       -     14/0     9/1     7/1    30/2    2402/413   <Listen>
1900Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2402/413    off
2000Z    -       -       -     58/2     9/1     7/1    74/4    2476/417   <Listen>
2100Z    -       -       -     17/4    21/1    15/0    53/5    2529/422   <Listen>
2200Z    -       -     84/6     1/0     2/0     1/0    88/6    2617/428   <Listen>
2300Z    -      6/0     6/1    13/0    19/1      -     44/2    2661/430   <Listen>

Total: 38/27  185/58  271/80 1084/113 932/103 151/49 
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