James T. Lee
Saint Paul, MN
QCWA # 16284
Aeronautical Jihad at 14,000 feet
NK7B descending, 125 mph
* Jihad (Arabic) means "striving, applying oneself, struggling, persevering"
FCC licensee continuously, Amateur Service, 1957-present
Professor of Surgery (retired), University of Minnesota
FAA Private Pilot certificate, SEL rating 1971
United States Parachute Association, member
Operating mode nowadays is ~ 99% CW
XCVRs: Icom 756 Pro III, Elad FDM-DUO, Elecraft K3, Flex 6500
Alpha 8410 amp (used in Vermont only)
Elecraft KPA500 amp (used in Minnesota only)
Favorite rig for CW work is a toss-up: Flex or K3
QRP using the ELAD rig is a religious experience
Favorite CW key currently the Begali Intrepid
Icom 2730 mobile FM, 2 meters/440
Alinco 235T mobile FM, 1.25 meters
HF operations 80-10 meters, 99% CW and 1% SSB
QRO winter operation from rural Vermont
Summer portable operation from rural Wisconsin
CWops # 1774
NAQCC # 3064
SKCC # 7052
OMISS # 1906
A versatile antenna used in Vermont is my sloping 73-foot wire (12 AWG copper braid, insulated) worked against 50 radials (each 30 to 50 feet, insulated copper) on the dirt. The high end of this non-resonant antenna is suspended at 55 feet and the low end at 6 feet above Earth. The wire is oriented roughly east-west. My nifty MFJ 998-RT autocoupler lives in a large Rubbermaid storage box sited right below the wire's low end and interfaces that radiator with a 230-foot run of 50-ohm coax that meanders up the mountainside from the shack. The 12-volt DC supply for the 998-RT is injected on the coax in the shack. I lose some RF power warming up all that coax during transmissions on some bands, but in theory never terribly much because the distal end of my coax "looks into" Z values darned close to 50 ohms resistive at the 998-RT after each auto-tune cycle. The 998-RT tune target SWR is < 1.5.
Another antenna used daily around sunrise in Vermont is my 40-meter delta Loop. The equilateral triangle of 12 AWG insulated copper wire, 47 feet per side, has an apex suspended 55 feet above Earth. I feed the loop precisely 14 feet above a lower corner using a 2:1 balun, and 50-ohm coax runs downwhill to the shack. The plane of the delta loop is oriented with its presumed major radiation lobes aimed ~ 255/075 degrees true. This loop has been a reliable antenna for DX operations.
A ridiculously simple antenna that is just gang-busters for daytime NVIS work on 40 meters is my RLL ("Real Low Loop"). This horizontal full-wave wire (12 AWG insulated) is traditionally the first erection in Vermont every year. It hangs at 15-17 feet above Earth, using seven available trees. The resultant is an irregular, more-or-less horizontal wire heptagon fed with 50-ohm coax using a 2:1 current balun rated for 5 KW. The RLL emits a solid omnidirectional regional signal. I was pleasantly surprised in recent years to work both Australia and Japan several times on sideband using that antenna. On March 4,2016 I received a 59 signal report from HK1NA in Colombia (LSB contact on 40 meters, 700 watts on the RLL, non-contest QSO). I modestly pose a suggestion: Ignore "experts" who preach the tired canard that low horizontal loops used at their fundamental frequency are impotent except for NVIS contacts.
April 20, 2017