AB-577 Military Mast / Tower for Sale!

The UrbanBeam sold last week – all I have left is the AB-577, a superb tower for sale

Semi rare AB-577 – that has the original 8 sections plus the 4 tube extension kit. I also have a spare cable kit for the crank, and extra worm drive gear box and Mastrant rope guy lines. It also comes with the carrying “cage”. Total height is just under 65’. I also have the top tower to mast adapter and a really great heavy duty double walled mast for a yagi or hex beam. I had an UrbanBeam on it for 3 years and it was perfect.

I do not have the original wire guy kit, ground stakes or hammer that some of these have. I’ve used mine as a fixed tower.

Will ship if you arrange and pay for freight pickup.


PayPal only – I can arrange a safe “social distance” pickup.

Please contact me at ky6r at arrl.net


41′ Vertical

The 41′ Vertical Wins the “Retirement Antenna Shootout”

I compared the EZnec plots of a 40M monoband mag loop, a 44′ and 88′ doublet up 50′ and the Inverted Vee up 60′ at the apex, and they all have their pro’s and con’s. The Doublet at 50′ squeaks by an Inverted Vee with apex at 60′. The doublet has the most gain on 40M, but the takeoff angle is not great. It does get a lot better starting at 30M.

The vertical is the most consistent low take off angle antenna – but with no gain. I’m confident that with my buried radials (128) that it would have low loss.

For convenience sake, the vertical is the easiest, and since I am only barely remaining in the hobby, the 41′ vertical is what I will put up. When we get high winds I won’t have to worry about a tall tower or even wire in the trees. I’ll be on QRP auto pilot . . . .

I even have a 4:1 Balun Designs UNUN at the base where I used to have a vertical, so the KX-3 probably will match it with its auto tuner.


The KY6R “Retirement Antenna Challenge”

A Doublet up 50′, an Inverted Vee up 60′ and a 20′ Circumference Mag Loop Walk into a Bar . . . 

I won’t be retiring for about 5 years – but I guess in a way I am retiring from Ham Radio as far as having a “serious” station and antennas. However, I am more or less back to where I was in 2001 – when I had 100 watts and a ladder line fed doublet up 40 or 50′. After a while I upgraded to 200 watts, and worked almost 300 entities with that. I might have upgraded to a Cushcraft MA5B mini beam by then – if I remember right. I also remember getting more serious with a Force-12 LPT tower and C3SS and then an amplifier by about 300 or so entities – and it kept growing after that.

Today, the whole thing seems like a “Long, Strange Trip”. But I have no regrets – I really do think that starting in 2001 gave me access to entities on the DXCC List that I am 100% sure now will never be activated again. I truly feel like I was part of the end of an era DXCC Wise.

Of course, Ham Radio (by far) is NOT DXCC, so don’t let anyone tell you that. I may have switched interests back to music, but I have to admit, I like this KX-3 a LOT better than the K3 as far as how the rig sounds listening to the “Only Mode That Matters” (to me) – CW.

OK – enough repetitive, meandering old man reminiscing – lets get to the good stuff – antennas.

Just for laughs, I wanted to see how three antennas would model next to each other (actually superimposed over each other). The ladder line fed doublet up 50′ wins over an Inverted Vee when you compare them on 40, 30 and 20M, and the Mag Loop wins for Lowest Take Off angle, but the Mag Loop has no gain – whereas both wire antennas up in a “decent” height wins by a mile. The other issue – the Mag Loop is ONLY good on 40M.

So, because the Inverted Vee at 60′ and I can easily shoot a ladder line 44 or 88′ doublet up into the trees, the 88′ doublet wins.

Welcome me back to 2001 – but this time 100% solar battery charged QRP.


40 Meter Full Wave Loop

A 40M Full Wave Loop would be better than the Inverted Vee that I have

In the same space as my Diamond 80/40M Inverted Vee – I can have a much better antenna, and one that takes up the same space.

The antenna would favor N – S, which isn’t optimal, but I’m only in the hobby with one pinkie toe left in it – so it doesn’t matter. I’d rather have a 15 degree takeoff any direction compared to the 40 or 45 degree take off you get with an Inverted Vee.

No goals any more – except the occasional QRP CW QSO. DX with QRP is more exciting than with QRO – that’s for sure. I think I will put one of these up – it models well on 80M too – but not great above 40M.

When The Idea of The Thing is Better Than The Thing

Special Delivery! Yet another rock wall that I rebuilt this summer . . . 

I’ve learned that many times the idea of a thing is way better than that thing. For me – in the 80’s the idea of playing in a band on stage was way more than when I actually accomplished that goal. In fact – I really didn’t like playing gigs – I loved practice studio time where my friend and I collaborated on and wrote some really good songs.

Lil’ Shitler . . . . a blob of mud makes my legless gnome look like Hitler . . . Google Shitler – its hillarious . . . 

In Ham Radio – the idea of going on a DX-pedition was always better than actually going (for me). I enjoyed helping make VK0EK happen. I know without me – it would NOT have happened – but I truly wasn’t seeking anything more than maybe appreciation for helping make it happen. I did get the kudo’s and the “15 minutes of fame”. After that – I was good – that was my one and only. I live by the Talking Heads “Say something once, why say it again?” credo. At least I try to – I have repeated myself on this blog – YIKES!

Also in Ham Radio – the idea of making Honor Roll was WAY more exciting than actually making it. I finally figured out why – the fantasy was the “journey”. The “vision” was the fantasy. Once you “make the grade” – there is little left to do – your journey is pretty much cut short.

OK – music will last my lifetime – I have so much work to do to be a better musician and song writer . . .


The Elecraft KX-3 Sounds Better than the K3

To my ears, the Elecraft KX-3 sounds much better than the K3

I’ve noticed this in the past, but now that I have gone through another “cycle” of having a K3 and KX-3 in the shack, the KX-3 is way more “comfortable” to listen to than the K3. The receiver just seems quieter.

Is it just me?

The “Lowly” Inverted Vee

Turns out – at 65′ up, the Inverted Vee is “OK”

At 65′ on 30M, its a really decent antenna

The Inverted Vee is just about my least favorite antenna – but I’m learning if its high enough – its “OK” and even pretty good – depending on band. Even a lower flat top dipole is better, but we all have to do what we can given our compromised suburban lots.

For the lower bands – its a tough decision between a quarter wave vertical – which is a better DX Antenna (if you have a good radial field) or an Inverted Vee. When I was in High School the common combination for most hams was a tri band trapped yagi and a trapped Inverted Vee for 80 and 40M. I did not know anyone on 160M, and this was before traps became a bad word.



Goodbye K3 and UrbanBeam

The new KY6R Station

The new antenna – Diamond 80/40M Inverted Vee up 60′. The KY6R Magnetic Loop to the left – waiting for me to have the time to finish that project

The AB-577 stays (for now)

I’d be super surprised if the KY6R Magnetic Loop performs (nearly) as good as the Inverted Vee, but that’s not saying too much. Inverted Vee’s have not been my favorite antennas, but I finally did get all 12 sections of the AB-577 mast up yesterday – after taking down the UrbanBeam.

The K3 and UrbanBeam left the premises today – and so now I am truly a QRP CW guy, with no plans on ever getting back into higher power or other modes. My DXCC chase is also done – I’m very pleased that I did what I did – but time moves forward, and I have new interests.

At least I am keeping one pinkie toe in the Ham Radio Pool. I do admit – the Win4K3Suite and KX-3 are a super fun combo – in fact, I was pleased to be back with the “less is more” approach.


Solar Powered QRP – KX-3

KX-3 with Begali Adventurer

Last Thanksgiving, on vacation, I brought the KX-3 and threw a wire I the trees. It was very casual and fun.

The things I will keep are the KX-3 and my Begali keys and the AB-577 tower. I will put up an 88′ ladder line doublet, and it will be up 65′. It will be oriented NE and SW. I will also play with the magnetic loop – but that is more an experiment. I will A – B test it with the doublet. This is similar to the antenna I started with in 2001 when I got back into ham radio and when the DXCC bug hit.

CW + Solar + QRP + “decent wire” = staying in the hobby with my “pinkie toe”

If Elecraft comes out with a KX-4, I would be interested.

My Last Sunspot Cycle?

If I’m lucky, I’ll make it 2 more Solar Cycles. But I expect that my interest as I age means Cycle 25 will be it for me.

At this point, my enthusiasm is about where it was in 1976, right as I switched from Ham Radio to girls and cars.

I’m hanging in there by a thread. The Mag Loop experiment is a way to test a simple antenna since where we will move prolly has HOAs.

I get just a tiny bit interested when I hear Bouvet in the Fall, but I’ll believe it when I see it.