AA4GA Station Description

Current Setup

I'm running a TH-7 at the top of 80 feet of Rohn 55G. The guys are at 35 feet and 70 feet. For 40m, I'm using 40-2CD on a ring rotor just above the 70 feet guy set. On 80m, there is a dipole up about 50 feet or so. I still don't have an antenna up for 160m.

Since I don't have a lot of antennas, here's a closer shot of the ones I do have. This is a closeup of the ring rotor with the optional truss. I'm sure it's overkill; the 40-2CD probably doesn't need any additional support at all with the ring rotor's cradle mount. But, I sleep better...

For equipment, I'm using a pair of Yaesu FT-990s. I'm using a Top Ten DX Doubler for the two radio switching, with a WX0B Six Pak taking care of the antennas. The antenna situation still isn't the best for two radio use yet, but I'm working on it...slowly! The computer monitor is on the operating table, with the radios on either side, raised about 4 inches.

Contest software is TR. I especially like the way it handles the sprints - it properly sends the exchange whether you are the CQing station or the S&P station. (If this comment doesn't make sense to you, you don't understand one of the most important things you need to know about operating the sprints...contact me for more information). Both rigs are interfaced for frequency control and CW sending.

I finally wired up a 220v circuit and am now occasionally using the old Heathkit SB-1000 at 500 watts. So far, only in the IARU and sprints, as I generally operate low power categories when possible. However, as more folks operate the sprints using low power, and the IARU is rumored to have a low power class beginning in 2004, I probably won't be using the amp for contesting any more.

Future Plans

I've had these plans for a long time, but "Procrastinate" is my middle name!
I've got a second TH-7 - now assembled at 5 feet on the tower. It will go up 40 feet on a side-mount one of these days. The plans were to build up a couple of matching transformers similar to the WX0B stack-match so that either single antenna or stack can be selected by either rig. However, I got a good deal on a DX Engineering Universal stack switching box, and will use that I suppose. I really want to be able to split the antennas between radios, but being tribanders on the same tower, the QRM may eliminate the possibility. I've gota Dunestar filter box and will probably build a set of stubs out of CATV hardline, but the only way to find out how bad the interference will be is to actually try it...so, I will, eventually.

Also, for the higher bands, I'd like to put up some verticals (or a triband vertical) for quick switching and 2nd radio use.

On 80m for DX contests, I may put up a vertical (more probably an inverted-L).

On 160 meters, I'll either try to shunt-feed the tower, or put up an inverted-L. I'm leaning toward the L for a little more separation, but may try the shunt-feed just to satisfy my curiosity.

I don't have a lot of room for receive antennas, but could manage two-wire Beverages for NE/SW and NW/SE of around 350 feet. I'll probably try these...they should work OK for 80m and, while not killer RX antennas, should help the S/N on 160 as well. If I want to trespass, I could get extra length on both of these antennas by using the woods behind my house...but, it's pretty swampy back there, and I really don't want to get shot! More likely I will probably put up some K9AY RX antennas.
I've actually taken care of most of the inside stuff!