N9TF Ham Station Photos
My other hobby, Amateur Radio. This album is here mainly for my ham radio friends around the world to come and see my station. These are only a small fraction of my journey through amateur radio. Most are from the 1990's forward. I have been an active ham since 1976.
80 meter OCF dipole feed point at 35 feet apex
Feed point of 80m OCF Dipole at 35' apex. Foreground is 90 foot leg that slopes down to 13' off ground out to 75' from tower, then turns about 100 degrees to due north for the last 15' sloping down to 5 feet above ground. The 45' leg coming towards camera slopes down to 18' above ground across house roof, tied off at gutter line 30' from feed point, then turns 90 degrees for the last 15', tied off to maple tree in front yard about 15' above ground. Kind of a Zig/zag sloping OCF dipole.
80 meter OCF dipole 90 foot leg turning about 120 degrees last 15 feet
90 foot end of 80m OCF dipole. Makes about a 100 degree turn at 75', 13' off the ground. The last 15' ends about 5 feet above ground. As of October 2014, the antenna seems to be performing better than expected on 80m. I have logged two DXpeditions, VK9DLX and T30D so far on 80m.
N9TF station antennas July 2014 with 6m added
"Short Stack" Triband V/UHF vertical at top, 7 element M2 2m SSB, 11 element M2 432 SSB, D3W 12/17/30m rotatable dipole, A50-3S 3 element 6 meter beam, HyGain TH2MK3 2 element triband 10/15/20 meters. Two wire antennas under triband. 160 meter half sloper and 80m OCF dipole.
N9TF Antennas May 25th 2014 009 copy
Latest and greatest antenna system at N9TF, as of May 25th, 2014. Top down, CX333 440/223/146FM vertical, M2 7 element 2mssb/cw, M2 11 element 432ssb/cw, D3W 12/17/30 (and 6m) rotatable dipole, TH2-MK3 triband, DX-LB 40/80/160, and W8AMZ reduced 160 half sloper. To top of tower 36', 13' of mast above tower.
N9TF W8AMZ reduced half sloper 2013 December
Approx. 36' at apex, sloping down to 4' off ground at a 60 degree azimuth. It slopes just over the DX-LB 160/80/40 Alpha Delta short dipole which is broad side 45 degrees/225 degrees.
N9TF Hanging the W8AMZ 160m half sloper
Putting the final touches on the W8AMZ 160M Reduced Half Sloper antenna. To my left is the Alpha Delta DX-LB 160/80/40 dipole. Above me is the D4 rotatable dipole, M2 11 element 432, and D3W rotatable dipole. December 27th, 2013.
N9TF Inverted sloping U from the tower base
Radiator going vertical about 33 feet to 3' spacer arm near top of tower. then radiator going horizontal for about 75 feet to maple tree at ENE corner of lot. Radiator angles down to about 20 feet off ground in the tree.
N9TF Inverted sloping U
December, 2012. Approx. 33' vertical, three feet out from tower. Approx. 75' horizontal sloping down to about 20' above ground. The remaining approx. 32' of wire, 20' vertical down to neighbors fence 4' off ground, to 15 turn loading coil, and approx. last 8' of wire stretched out along neighbors fence, heading back to tower.
N9TF Inverted sloping U loading coil.
Radiator coming down out of the tree to fence post. 21 turns around coil form (caulk tube "full") and then the remaining 8' of wire dressed along fence back towards the tower.
N9TF antennas CX333 triband at top, 2m HO loop stack, D3W, D4, M2 432 11 elements, 80m dipole
After downsizing and simplifying. Want to focus more on 30/40 and 80m. Wanted to get something up in the air, in the clear, rotatable for 30 and 40. I have since taken down the 80m dipole and replaced it with a Alpha Delta DX-LB 160/80/40 short dipole, and added a 160m short sloper. I plan to take down the DX-LB sometime in 2014 and replace with OCF 80m dipole, or possibly a short vertical. May 2012 - May 24th 2014.
N9TF Lots of wires and aluminum!
Before the downsizing began in the spring of 2012. On the tower mast from bottom up. MA5B, 224WB, A50-3S, 13B2, 719B, CX333 triband vertical. Wires: 30m inverted V, 40m 1/4 sloper, 80m 1/4 sloper, 160m 135' wire snaking around back yard. Bless my neighbors for putting up with my hobby!
N9TF Early 2000's antennas, from 160 meters to 23 centimeters, inclusive.
At the peak of my V/UHF contesting. 12 elements on 2m, 18 elements on 432, 7 elements on 222, 23 elements on 1296. The 4 element beam on the side of the tower was fixed s to receive a DX packet cluster, before I was connected to a telnet connection on the internet. For HF, that's a Hy-Gain TH2-MK3 2 element triband and a DX-B half sloper 160/80/40 with an added wire for 30m.
N9TF 160m lazy inverted L from the 35 foot point of the tower 2009
Another prior inverted L in 2009. Vertical 35 along side tower, about 2' out from tower. sloping down to the corner my lot about 70' away from tower to a 10' mast, then taking a sharp 90 degree turn to a tree to finish off the remaining 30'. I had buried 5, 50' radials in the back yard just after this installation.
N9TF 160m inverted L November 2009 010 copy
This view gives you some perspective of how tight an area I have to string anything for 160m. In this "lazy sloping" inverted L, the sloping horizontal part of the wire ends at the SE corner of my lot, approx. 75' from the apex. The wire then makes a sharp left turn to the North for the last 30', and is tied off in the maple tree in the NE corner of my lot. The front yard of my lot has been deemed off limits by my XYL. We have lived in blissful harmony for the last 35 years with this simple rule! The
... View More wire under the 160 sloper is the east leg of the DX-LB. It is tied off in the maple tree at about 25 above ground. The west leg of the dipole goes 35' to the front peak of the roof, then turns north and runs down the roof line for another 12', takes another turn back east on the roof line back towards the tower. I was able to work KL7RA with this antenna to finish off WAS on 160. My current DX-LB configuration has one leg going SE now, sloping down to 15' above ground. The other leg goes NW to the front roof peak
N9TF DX-B 1/4 sloper. Peak of mini contest station.
Alpha Delta DX-B. Peak of my contest antenna array. Beams on the tower are, from bottom up, MA5B, 224WB, A50-3S, 13B2, 719B. The other multiband dipole was a Alpha Delta DX-DD, which I had added a 30m wire to. The other wire above the DX-B was a 130' 1/4 wave wire for 160 that snaked through the maple tree in the NE corner of my lot and then turned 90 degrees and angled down to about 3' off the ground in the SE corner of my lot. Back then, the DX-B was my transmitting antenna, and the 130' wire was mostly listening, but I did use it on occasion to TX.
WB9VTF R5 vertical used in 1996 ARRL 160
The capture date is not correct here. This is early 90's. Not to long after we moved into this house (1990). My first 160 contest was in 1996 in the ARRL 160. I used the R5 vertical tripod mounted, with an MFJ 949E tuner. No more than 50 watts, or the tuner arced! I worked 44 states, including KH6 with this antenna! K9AY was responsible for my nutty interest in 160. This is where it all began on 160 for me. In the foreground is a 25' push up mast with a 40m inverted V. The diamond shape antenna is a home brew egg beater for 2m SSB, and on top is a dual band V/UHF FM vertical.
WB9VTF Mundelein, IL. Before tower went up.
Early to mid 90's. Still warming XYL up to putting my small Rohn 25g tower back up. R5 vertical up on top of roof, just over 30' at base. 30' push up mast back side of house with 40m inverted V, 2 meter egg beater, and dual band vertical. That R5 vertical had a nice sweet spot on 3.650, and loaded OK with a small antenna tuner to play on 160m. Worked 44 states on 160 with this antenna and 50 watts!
Worked grid square EM14 to SW with 25 watts during big tropo in July of 1995.
WB9VTF Lake Zurich 1977, first ham sation
TH3JR triband, 40m inverted V, 11 element Cushcraft horizontal beam. My current tower in Mundelein uses the same two top sections of Rohn 25G as in this installation.
WB9VTF Lake Zurich 1977 FT101
FT-101 and Regency HR-2B 2m FM rig. This was my third rig after receiving my license in the mail in August of 1976. Prior to the FT-101(no suffix), I had a Heath Kit HW-101, and prior to that a Siltronix 10-11C, 10 and 11 meters! I spent hours listening to nothing but static hiss on 10 meters from August of 1976 to the end of September 1976, when I purchased a used HW-101 at radio expo. WOW, was I missing a lot!!
Palatine apartment closet shack, 1978-1980
3' X 5' coat closet functioned as my ham shack for about 2 years, August 1978 to September 1980, when we lived in a 10th floor apartment. Antennas were hustler mobile resonators attached to a mobile mount outside our apartment window. Best DX from this location was 20 meters to KC4AAA on SSB, 100 watts!
Coat closet ham shack. 3' deep by about 5-6' wide. Our coats were hung behind my back!
Palatine apartment 10th floor antenna. 1978-1980
From the 10th floor, facing SW to SE. Horizontal antenna attached to mounting bracket outside window is 2m 5/8 collinear. With a matching network inside it also worked on 10 and 15m. for 20 and 40, I would lean out the window (at night) and slide the 2m collinear coil off and slide one of the other hustler resonators on to work the other bands. The vertical antenna inside the window is a 2 meter GP with only one radial attached. The other three would not fit in the bedroom window! XYL (just married at time) was not too happy with my aluminum hobby!
Palatine apartment antenna 10th floor, 1978-1980
Close up of the trunk lip mount, mounted to mobile radio bracket, which is mounted to metal housing of air conditioning unit, outside of window. I would slip either a hustler 20m, 40m resonator, or 2m collinear onto the 19" radiator. Band changes were usually done at night while hanging out the window! This is actually the bottom portion of the Hustler 5/8 wave collinear 2 meter mobile antenna.
Arlington Heights 1980 just moved in
Arlington Heights, IL. First house after apartment, 1980. Just moved in and got the TH3JR assembled on a short roof tripod. It will be another year before the tower goes back up.
Arlington Heights 1980's
TH3JR tribander, 11 element 2m beam horizontal, and 5 band trap vertical right side of roof. That's a Hustler 5/8 wave collinear 2m. antenna on my (would have been classic!) 1975 Chevy Nova 4 door. That was the same antenna used during my 2 years living in the apartment in Palatine, dangling out the 10th floor apartment window.
Butternut Butterfly HF5B
Late 80's sometime in Arlington Heights. Gave it a try. Didn't last very long. Not worth the effort!
Arlington Heights early 1980's FT101ZD
Early1980's sometime, in Arlington Heights, IL Just after moving into new home. FT-101ZD. This rig was a real work horse. Took a lot of abuse. Got it's revenge on me once when neutralizing the final tank. Accidentally brushed up against the plate cap and had a hard time letting go!
Arlington Heights early 1980's
Before memory keyers! Yaesu FT-101ZD, Bencher iambic paddles and MFJ "NON" memory keyer. Ahhh, the days of preselector and plate/load tuning. Band switching is much easier now!
Some time in the spring of 1991. Just moved into new house in August of 1990. First antennas sprouting up before grass is planted in back yard! 5 band trap vertical and a dual band vertical (V2) above TV antenna.
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