Category Archives: K9ZW Built

Building a Portable FT-8 Vertical Antenna

Taking much inspiration from recent posts on the US Islands group.io reflector and his previous articles I’m endovoring to emulate John KL7JR’s efforts to use Wilson FTG-2 CB antenna tuned to useful ham band frequencies.

A0F2EE63-11E3-4167-80A5-18AE782B6AC1

FTG-2 with the 20m whip

A quick ordering spree at Amazon and a dash to the local Ace Hardware got things going.

What I bought were:

From Amazon:

From the Hardware Store:

  • A 10×32 knurled cap screw to replace the set screw in the FGT-2 antenna ($0.55 plus tax)
  • Several lengths (nominal 72 inch long) 12-gauge “ceiling tile” wire, the galvanized wire used by suspended ceiling installers to hang ceiling grids ($0.99 each plus tax)

For testing I used my SARK-110 analyzer and I used a common fence-pliers to cut & form the wire.

Continue reading

Midnight Design Solutions Phaser 20m FT8 Transceiver Kit Has Arrived

The week of December 9th 2019 I ordered one of Dave Benson’s K1SWL’s newest kit designs, Midnight Design Solutions Phaser, in the 20m version, along with an enclosure kit.

The kits arrived on January 10th 2020, earlier than originally predicted or expected.

Here is look inside a a Phaser:

Midnight Design’s Phaser FT8 Transceiver

These radios are single band designs, and the main FT8 frequency for the band is fixed, while an alternative frequency is defined but can be used modified. Actually it appears that the programming will work out of band, but the filtering & circuits not so much.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Midnight Design Solutions Phaser 20m FT8 Transceiver Kit Ordered

Last week I ordered one of Dave Benson’s K1SWL’s newest kit designs, Midnight Design Solutions Phaser, in the 20m version.

Excited about a kit that also catches the current fad of FT8 by design.

Ordered their neat looking enclosure kit as well.

I’ve built Dave K1SWL designed kits in the past with great success. He does a great job of builder-friendly designs.

Here is look inside a 40 or 80m build:

Midnight Design’s Phaser FT8 Transceiver

 

These radios are single band designs, and the main FT8 frequency for the band is fixed, while an alternative frequency is defined but can be used modified.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Building on a Good Foundation – Skyneedle Base

Radio towers need a good base to survive.

This is particularly important with a free-standing tower.

I tend to over-specify the tower bases put in for my towers, and the TM-370HD base follows form.

Skyneedle base – The chain is a positioning chain that will come off after a few rains. The team has it spot on level and worried about upsetting that level if it rained before everything was cured.

Continue reading

Building a RCA Bus to Allow Several Radios to Trigger an Amplifier

My friend George W9EVT has a fairly unique hamshack.

Most of the hundreds of radios are easily usable, but he keeps Eight radios on the ready.

Continue reading

The things we do to get a tower in

At our new QTH we’ve been hard at work – actually a whole team has been hard at work – getting the site ready for the first tower.

First a tower site had to be selected.  Topography, trees, and access were special considerations.  Vern K9EME has been hard at work cutting down unneeded trees once the site was picked, and processing the felled trees into firewood.

Continue reading