an appreciation by Dave Bell, W6AQ
Don loved DXing and contesting and showered the Northern California DX Foundation with support. Not only that, he loved everything about ham radio and supported the ARRL so the hobby would be sure to expand and grow and survive. He even urged other hams to do likewise, including me.
I got the contesting bug from Don and spent many happy hours in his huge, well engineered shack chasing points. But what those get-togethers were really about was camaraderie. Don loved being the host, whether for a few of us running a contest, or a huge gang from all over Southern California for a big barbecue. For several years, Don had his own hamfest, right out under the patio roof and around the pool. It wasn't unusual for 150 hams to show up. Don was always smiling.
Some folks thought that Phyllis Doughty had to put up with a lot, but to me, Phyllis always seemed to be a happy participant. One of Phyllis' good friends, Helen Luttringer, Ron, K6XC's wife, helped Phyllis in the kitchen, feeding the hungry hoard of contesters who showed up with regularity to go for a clean sweep or a top ten finish. If Phyllis wasn't having a good time, she sure fooled me. Here's to you, Phyllis.
I first met Don at the International DX Convention in Visalia. I'd come into the bar of the Holiday Inn by myself and it was full of hams, as usual. A guy I'd seen but didn't know was sitting with a bunch of hams from the Northern California DX Foundation. He waved me over to an empty seat next to him. "Hi," he said, "I'm Don. What're you drinking? I told him a Saffire martini, very dry, up with a twist, and Don said, "I like that." A waitress appeared as if by magic and within a moment my drink was in front of me. I learned that night that Don's drink was a perfect Rob Roy, a concoction even more exotic than mine. I liked Don from that very first moment and I've liked him ever since. Don Doughty will live in my memory and will bring a smile to my lips for the rest of my days. Thanks Don and 73.
W6EEN Contest Radio Story:
Don placed a deposit on his 4 plus acre Bermuda Dunes site in April 1989 and immediately filed with the Riverside County planning department for a variance. About $5,000 and 18 months later, the Board of Supervisors passed his variance and then he started working with the Building Department for the actual permits. Many wet signed calculations later he had his permits in the Spring of 1991 and started pouring anchors and foundations for 4 towers. The towers, designed to withstand 129 mph winds and an 8.0 magnitude earthquake were assembled on the ground complete with rotators and poles, and then stood up one Sunday morning with the help of a sign crane and about 10 local hams to tie off, etc., all the loose guys.Don then started burying feedlines and control cables and gradually got all 4 antennae up.
Before purchasing this site, Don looked at many ranches and Date Groves further out with an eye to 40 plus acres, maybe up to several hundred. But considerations of View, security, travel time to hospitals and available houses, kept him from getting serious. However, after finding the current location, checking out the up angles toward europe, listening for local noise at several different times of day, meeting with the neighbor and talking to the planning department convinced Don to go ahead with the contingent deposit.The Antennae:
10 Meters - 10 Meter Stack (6x6x6) at 38 feet, 74 feet and 110 feet.
15 meters - 15 Meter Stack (6x6) at 35 feet and 85 feet.
20 meters - 20 Meter Stack (6x6) at 50 and 115 feet.
40 meters - 4 element rotary at 103 feet with plans for a fixed 2 el on JA/Carib.
80 meters - 3 element rotary at 110 feet plus 2 dipoles.
160 meters - Vertical "T". Future plans for 4 square array.
14 - 30 Mhz log periodic at 60 feet and other various and sundry wires.
Don has done considerable computer modeling as well as experimentation that has resulted in the antennae playing quite well. The antenna overhaul is about 95% completed.
The Feedlines: W6EEN has nine hardlines coming into the shack and various other coax lines for the antenna setup. Don uses stack switches on 10, 15 and 20 meters for the side mounts. The hardline is 1/2" copper for 10 through 40 meters and the log periodic plus 1/2" aluminum hardline for 80 and 160 meters. He buried about 11,000 feet of multiconductor wire and 3500 feet of hardline.
The radios and other gear: W6EEN uses Heil headsets/mikes, Vomax speech processors, Kenwood 950's, Alpha's, high level scopes and at present, manual switching of antennae. However, he plans to go to relays and antenna switches in the near future. IRC filters were added to the Kenwood radios and they make a big difference. Also there are about $500 worth of ferrites in the system to quiet everything down.There is no intermod! The radios are running with computers and a special switching arrangement for 2 radio contesting. Ct and TR contest logging programs are used depending on the contest and mode (and number of operators). There are interlocks and headphone switching as required. The station runs single op, multi single, multi-two and occasionally multi multi. The W6EEN packetcluster node is located here with a 440 mhz path back to W6KK via a Snow Peak X1J node. Packetcluster activity in the Coachella Valley is starting to pick up.