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N1LN Tower sprouting

I spent the day with a group of folks over at N1LN’s QTH. Bruce now has hisfirst 105 foottower up and guyed. Per Bruce, this tower will hold antennas for 40 and 10 meters.

N1LN Antennas Sprouting

N1LN and his XYL N1YXU have been busy since the last visit. All three towers are complete, and several antennas have already gone up. This past weekend we helped raise a 2 element 40 meter yagi to the ring rotor at 66 feet on the 40 meter tower. This station is going to rock.

Bruce and Laurie have done a great deal of work since the last gathering. There are now coax runs from the house out to the remote panel, and some of the trenching is done for the runs to the towers. There is still a lot of work to be done, but its beginning to come together for them. I’m glad to get a chance to see it up close, as I’m learning a lot about the process.

The next time I go, I’ll try to remember to bring the camera so I can get a few snapshots from the top.

Almost Done

I spent much of Saturday “hanging around” on N1LN/N1YXU’s 40m tower. After a couple of false starts, we got the top 40m antenna cranked up and seated in the rotor. We then trammed and mounted a Tennadyne log periodic onto the mast about 12 or 15 feet below the top 40m antenna.

That just about wraps up most of the initial construction. Bruce has a 10m monobander that he plans to install on the lower 40m antenna on the tic ring rotor. But with 10 meters as exciting as watching paint dry….well it just doesn’t seem like a hot priority. (except maybe to be able to say “done”. But does the term “done” ever actually apply to a radio station?)

But it sure will be interesting to operate from there when the bands are in better condition.

TA-33jr, Ground Crew, College Football, RFI, and CAQSOP

Spent some time over the last week re-conditioning an old Mosley TA-33 jr, courtesy of N4YDU. The date on the box is 1979. Gotta wonder if 30 year old aluminum is ready for metal fatigue, but its a novelty project. Some of the hardware was shot, so I decided to replace most of the u-bolts. Got a quote from Mosley on those parts, but since I needed some other hardware bits for other projects, I instead went with parts from DX Engineering. The u-bolts available from DX engineering were slightly shorter than the original parts, but seem to be a good fit. Spent some time cleaning everything up, and used a scotchbrite pad to remove some of the oxidation and crud around the joints and at the trap connections. Got all of the elements assembled on Friday evening without burning any of the chicken on the grill.

That project will likely languish after testing the elements for resonance. Might assemble the whole shebang for an on the ground SWR check, but it looks like some moderately serious tree trimming would be required before it could ever actually be put to use at the QTH. More likely to use it for Field Day. The TA-33jr is a versatile bit of kit. It is light weight for a three element yagi. If space or weight were a problem the driven element and reflector can be used to make a ta-32jr, the two element version. The driven element can also be used by […]

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ARRL DX SSB 2010 – Who Is The Competition

This year N1LN has been able to find enough operators to be able to host a M/2 effort for the ARRL DX SSB contest. Â I am fortunate enough to be part of the SSB team this year, and I’m excited about the opportunity. Â This is a great DX contest, as the DX stations are seeking to work the US stations. Â If we are fortunate enough to have good operating conditions, it should be a blast. Â Good 15m or even a chance 10m opening would just make everything better. If the conditions are anything like this past weekends’ DX CW, we are going to have a great contest and a lot of fun operating.

Looking at the 2009 results, it appears we have a real shot at creating ripples in the M/2 pond. Â For 2009 the top 10 in the W/VE M/2 class were:

1 WE3C 6,019,992 4,167 484 EPA 2 N3RS 4,507,461 3,461 441 EPA 3 W4RM 3,431,106 2,857 406 VA 4 K8AZ 2,759,328 2,308 402 OH 5 NR4M 2,565,171 2,170 399 VA 6 KB1H 2,518,431 2,191 391 CT 7 NE3F 1,984,140 1,861 365 EPA 8 K0TV 1,793,412 1,623 372 NH 9 W5WMU 1,654,044 1,459 388 LA 10 NK7U 1,312,464 1,491 296 OR

Operating during the CQ WW SSB contest, we managed just over 3000 QSO’s. In better conditions, it is likely we can do better than that. But so will everyone else.

After looking at the descriptions of some of the other stations[see links […]

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Finished Product Of A Year Long Effort

Here is a before and after of the N1LN/N1YXU antenna farm:


The photo on the left was taken in the spring of 2007, the one on the right on April 23 this year. The 40m tower is still incomplete in this photo, and it is the tower on the right of the shot. To finish it off, the top antenna was raised to make room for a Tennadyne T-10 on the mast. A 4 element 10m monobander was also installed by N1LN above the 40m antenna on the tic ring.

This is what the finished 40m tower looks like:

A Flock of Buzzing Cable Ties

Part of the ARRL DX SSB weekend was spent lending a hand at N1LN/N1YXU. Bruce and Laurie’s aluminum farm has sprouted a nice shiny new 5 element 15m monobander at about 95 feet. Really nice. That gives them three choices on the 15m tower, or beaming more than one direction for contest runs. Way cool.


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One More Up, Five To Go

The past weekend included hoisting a 4-el 20m yagi at the growing N1LN antenna farm. This was the last yagi(I think) for the 20m tower. Bruce still has a lot of work ahead before the towers are filled. Next up is a 5-el 15m yagi to top off the 15m tower. There is also work left to be done on the 40m/10m tower, including pulling the mast, rotor, etc. for the top of the 40m tower.

Its going to be a real hoot to hear this station play at the top of the sunspot cycle. I am sure it will ruin me forever. I’ll spend the rest of my radio daze pining away for lack of such a set up. -sigh-

A PVRCNC “Night Before Christmas” de Will, AA4NC

The following poetic adaptation is by Will, AA4NC. I’m just preserving for posterity.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through PVRC, Not a creature was stirring, on CW or eS eS Bee; The antennas were strung from the chimney with care, In hopes that some sunspots soon would be there; The contesters were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of Top Ten scores danced in their heads; And ‘QPL with his Orion, and I with my FT, Had just settled down for a QSO on 40, When on the bottom of the band there arose such a clatter, I tuned the VFO to see what was the matter. Into the pileup I flew like a flash, Fired up the amp, sent a dot and a dash. […]

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