My SteppIR UrbanBeam Two Year Anniversary

During the recent ARRL CW DX contest, my old thinking that 40M is the best band during the bottom of a cycle was thwarted. 20M was the star of that show. 40M was “OK”, but it went against my usual thinking I’ve had the UrbanBeam for 2 years now, and because I was able to get 65′ of AB-577 mast this past year, my…

Spring Has Sprung

New life in wintering trees is now in full swing. There are cotton candy white and pink blossums everywhere. In other news, it looks like Credit Karma will be snapped up by Intuit. Intuit is valued at 77 billion, and Credit Karma at 4 billion. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

The UrbanBeam, 3Y0I and Me

“If you can get a dipole up a half wavelength on 40M, and a 2 element yagi up more than a half wavelength on 20M, you will be able to earn Top of Honor Roll”. That would have been my advice to me back in 2001, when I started DXing. Of course, there was no UrbanBeam or SteppIR, so I used wires, then yagis…

The KY6R Curtain Array(?)

I need to start paying attention to VP8PJ. Why? Because of 3Y0I. I agree with Mike, KJ4Z, that here in the Bay Area we do get a decent daily opening to the Southern Atlantic, after all, a fellow named Bob – a VP8 from the Falklands used to pound into the Bay Area daily. While my favorite band is 40M, lately 20M has been…

VK0EK Four Year Anniversary

The 2016 VK0EK Heard Island DXpedition Wow – its been 4 years since the VK0EK Team were on their way to Cape Town to get the gear and ship fumigated and ready to make the long 11 day voyage to “almost” the South Pole – and way out there in the south of the Indian Ocean. I spent 3 years working with Bob, KK6EK…

ARRL DX Contest @KY6R

20 Meters was a huge surprise today – I worked 3 new QRP New Ones . . .  There was a great late afternoon opening – to both the Caribbean, and to Southeast Asia at the same time. I was very excited to be able to test the loops on 20M vs. the UrbanBeam – and guess what? The loops now perform the Diamond…

Key Learnings From My RX Antenna Project

1. For Receiving and eliminating man made noise, magnetic loop antennas are the way to go. While my Delta Flag modeled better in EZNec, the KY6R Big Mag Loop ran rings around it (bad pun intended). 2. Wellbrook offers a very nice set of different RX preamps, and while my favorite used to be the smaller ALA1530LNP, I can say without hesitation that my…

Wellbrook: My Favorite RX Antenna Preamps

When I say nothing beats a Wellbrook RX Preamp, I mean a remote preamp that is installed at the feedpoint of a magnetic loop antenna. The preamps in the NCC-2 are also very good as part of the NCC-2 architecture. However, I’m finding that the only preamp that is a must are the Wellbrooks. For weak signals I can’t use the preamps in the…

What I Want in a KX-4

After a walk in the Ham Radio wilds, I’m again a 100% Elecraft fanboy. The reason? “Extensibility and Versatility”. No other manufacturer comes close as far as being able to customize the radio to your requirements. If the KX-3 had two receivers as my new (used) K3 does, I wouldn’t have bought the K3. However, the K3 with KPOD and with the Xonar U7…

KY6R Big Mag Loop RDF = 9 dB

Two KY6R Big Mag Loops result in an RDF of 9 and a nice null off the back(s) Here is a nice chart of receive antennas and their RDF – https://www.k7tjr.com/rx1comparison.htm A classic loop pattern – this is with both antennas in line – pointed the same direction These larger loops do model better on 160 and 80, but are still OK on 40M.