May 96 QST out

Tue Apr 16 13:33:42 EDT 1996

Nice cool spring day here in Raleigh.  Severe thunderstorms and a tornado
yesterday and last night washed away all of the tree pollen so the air was
clear and it was great for walking down to the PO box.

Isn't it strange that the front cover of QST also has a photo of a 48 ft.
dish (this one is bigger than the one on CQ's cover; wonder if this means...,
nah, must be a coincidence).  This one belongs to N2IQU and, WOW!, there is a
feature article inside on it!

CONTEST-related items:  Results of 95 November Sweepstakes and 19th Int'l EME
Competition; A High Performance AGC/IF Subsystem (wonder if it is better than
the latest DSP rigs?); New Life for Dentron MLA2500s; Explore Ham Radio's
Software Bonanza; How to Buy Military Surplus (a way for the little pistol to
get some really "big guns"?, HI); and Behind The Diamond - NF1J, Assistant
Contest Manager.

Other interesting items:  From Scrap to Glory (cover photo story); Product
Review of 7 tiny 2 meter HTs; Technical Correspondence on feeding
off-center-fed dipole and surplus wattmeters; Hints & Kinks on walking CW
keys, 28 volt coax relays, and installing ground rods; and MORE...(even a
letter re QSLs by yours truly!).  

Trivia question: What do N6EL and N5EL have in common.  Hint, it's not
related to ham radio.

Note: My subscription copy of CQ still has not arrived!

73 and good reading,
Henry Pollock - WB4HFL
henrypol at

>From Jim Lowman <jlowman at>  Tue Apr 16 17:53:48 1996
From: Jim Lowman <jlowman at> (Jim Lowman)
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 09:53:48 -0700
Subject: What!CQ late!
Message-ID: <08534893701800 at>

At 06:47 PM 4/15/96 -0400, you wrote:

>I finally gave up my subscription to CQ this year due to the ever increasing
>occurance of being able to buy the mag off the bookstand long before it
>showed up at the door. I figure I can get the four or five worthwhile issues
>cheaper than a subscription. CQ better figure out who their main support is
>or they may get more and more people like me dropping them.

Same reason I quit TV Guide.  Ours was arriving as late as Friday, when 
copies were in the supermarket as early as Monday.

Apparently, in their greed, many magazine publishers have forgotten that 
their subscribers are the preferred customers.

73 de Jim - KF6CR

>From k5na at (Richard L. King)  Tue Apr 16 18:02:58 1996
From: k5na at (Richard L. King) (Richard L. King)
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 12:02:58 -0500
Subject: Beginner Contest Stns (was: Contest Catagories - Necessary?)
Message-ID: <199604161702.MAA06232 at>

>At 15:39 4/14/96 -0400, Frank Donovan wrote:
>>Hi Jim!
>>Since you were discussing the beginner stations of current contesters, I
>>thought I would kick in a description of my beginner stations!  There have
>>been a few upgrades in more recent years...
>>It will be interesting to hear descriptions of the beginner stations of
>>some other CONTESTers!

Well, here is the early K5NA story.

Dec 1957 - I am 15 years old when I pass the novice exam at the Jasper (TX)
high school radio club.

Jan 1958 - My mom (a school teacher) goes in hock to buy me a "good"
receiver on the time payment plan. It was a used SX-100 from World Radio
Labs. A Heathkit DX-20 kit is also ordered.

Feb 1958 - An 80 foot  long wire is installed running from my bedroom window
to a homemade wood mast in the backyard and it is about 15 feet high. I have
barely enough wire to reach the SX-100 receiver and I have to stretch the
wire across the top of my bed when using the antenna. At night it gets
rolled up and stuffed between the bed and the window. Later, I learn to warn
my friends and family not to sit on the bed when I am operating.

My license arrives. At the post office I open the envelope and the first
thing I say is "Piffle?". The call is KN5PFL.

Mar 1958 - I have to take the assembled DX-20 transmitter kit to my Elmer's
(W5NIY, and later N5BJ)  house to get it de-bugged. It doesn't take him long
to get it working.

I finally have the station QRV with my 21120 KHz crystal and my first QSO is
made with a local novice across town.

Apr 1958 - I discover DX by working my first DX station, LU1DEN on 15
meters. As a matter of fact, all my novice DX gets worked on 15 meters. 

May 1958 - First European QSO is with GW3LJN.

June 1958 - I am turned on to DXing after working about 30 countries and
decide to build a 2 element 15 meter monobander. The elements are made out
of electrical conduit and the boom and element supports are made out of 2x4
lumber. The conduit is mounted onto the 2x4 supports by driving large nails
into the wood at angles to make an X cradle, setting the conduit on the
nails, and wrapping extra wire around-and-around the nails and conduit to
secure it together. It is a seriously heavy antenna.

My family moves me to a bedroom in the back of the house and I install the
antenna on a 50 foot slip-up mast outside my window. It is turned using the
"armstrong method". 

I make friends with a little green lizard that keeps coming in through the
open window and I name him "George".

I buy a 21102 KHz crystal to use as my band-edge secret weapon.

July 1958 - The new antenna is working like a champ and I am logging ET2US,
many 5As, FU8AE (figure that one out you old-timers), VKs, ZLs, ZB1, VQ2,
KG6, EL, CN, and many others to build up my country total.

 We live in a TV fringe area and TVI lifts its ugly head. I discover that
neighbors can be pretty nasty. One even threatens to shoot the antenna down
with his rifle. To keep the peace, my family makes me observe some "quiet
hours". The TV sets from those days used 21 MHz IFs and receive my 50 watts
input signal pretty well. 

Aug 1958 - George now has some little tiny lizards following him around. I
re-name him "Georgette".

Oct 1958 - Made WAC when 4X4JU answers my CQ DX.

Nov 1958 - My Elmer encourages me to try Sweepstakes CW and in those days
the SS was two weekends long. I am turned on to contesting by discovering
the thrill of running stations using my 21102 KHz crystal. My "quiet hours"
hurt a lot but I still manage a nice novice score. Check out the photo of
KN5PFL with the 1958 SS results in April 1959 QST to see what a young K5NA
looked like.

Late in November, I make the trip to the FCC office in Beaumont and pass my
general class license.

Dec 1958 - I make my first JA QSO with JA6BC.

Jan 1959 - I am getting geared up to attack the Novice Round-up but,
horrors, my general class license arrives the week before. I think seriously
about "losing" the license for a couple of weeks, but the lure of 20 meter
CW is too strong.

I put together the heathkit VF-1 VFO that I had ordered the day after
passing my general exam and I buy a WRL LA1 linear (200 watts) from a local
ham. No more QRP for me. 

My buddy K5DEG (ex. VP2VM and now KV5S) drops by for a visit and I show him
the antenna that has worked so well for me. He looks at my homemade 15 meter
yagi, and asks, "why isn't the reflector conduit connected together in the

My answer is, "Huh, it has to be connected?" 

73, Richard - K5NA

>From Gary Nieborsky <k7fr at>  Tue Apr 16 18:47:43 1996
From: Gary Nieborsky <k7fr at> (Gary Nieborsky)
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 10:47:43 -0700
Subject: antennas,stubs and others
Message-ID: <199604161747.KAA00603 at>

As I mindlessly wander back and forth across Antenna Farms fixing irrigation
problems I keep thinking about how to improve the antenna situation.


My top set of guys are just over a 1/4 wave on 160.  Would it be feasible to
use them as 1/4 wave slopers?  Does the steel cause a problem (can't see how
since most BC towers are steel).

I keep playing around with tuned stubs vs. ICE/Dunestar filters for the M/M,
M/S arrangements.  I question the cost/benefit ratio of filters vs. the
inexpensive coax stub option.  On 20/15/10 the antennas are 150' apart on
seperate towers.  160/80/40 are on the same tower.  Potentially a KW on
each. It is a nice convenience to have auto-select filters but I have a
limited radio budget this year (new furniture for the YL) and really want to
run a couple more 9913's out to the big tower.  Can I achieve adequate
attenuation with stubs?

The VOACAP program, and others, use soil resistivity and/or conductivity as
an input field.  What is the real effect of these values on horizontally
polarized antennas?   If it is significant, should I use a generic value for
my area or should I conjure up some test method to find a real value?
Basically my site is 3' of sandy loess (wind blown topsoil) over 141' of
granular blacksands (left overs from the Great Missoula Floods of 10,000 BC
and the Great Grand Coulee Ice Dam of 9,998 BC).

Grounding has always been a problem here.  When I build a substation I
routinely drill wells at the four corners of the station to get the ground
grid below 1 ohm.  Here on the Farm my domestic water well is the best
ground rod around at about 0.8 ohms.  I've been toying with the idea of
running a piece of 4/0 copper from my tower to the well casing (150')  and
calling that my single point ground (which it is for all intents).  Would it
be beneficial? Or should I invest the time and effort to install a ground
grid at the tower ala Polyphasor ?

Thanks in advance and please respond directly.  I'll summarize if sufficient

73 Gary K7FR
Antenna Farms

"I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from the top of my

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