Tag Archives: DX Engineering

An excellent virtual event

The DX Engineering virtual Hamfest was excellent.

I caught part, as I wouldn’t willingly lose a perfect day of weather to be online. Especially when the event was recorded for future review.

The weather is something to consider for future virtual events, as where a real physical Hamfest be fits from decent weather, the opposite is the case for a virtualized event.

I will review what I missed some rainy day. 

hope we see more of these events!


Steve K9ZW

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Adding a DX Engineering HEXXbeam Mk II

Had an opportunity to buy a DX Engineering HEXXbeam MkII from K0PJ, adding to my Hexbeam collection.

My thoughts were to carefully collapse the antenna and transport it collapsed to my Washington Island QTH.  Later I’ll run a bit of a shoot out between the SP7IDX and Radiowavz antennas.

I’ve included some of the wildlife at the QTH and a picture of the trenching (one is a future ham radio wire conduit):

One of the Gray Foxes

The HEXXbeam on a barrel.

Yard camera caught one of the five bucks that have been visiting.

A Sanhill Crane checks out one of the yard cameras


Trenching. Hitting bedrock eliminated my temporary antenna pole.

Notice the animals digging up the yard – raccoons are doing the most damage, the foxes dig for burrowing critters, and the Sandhills make tent-stake like holes everywhere.

The deer are opportunists grazing on wild apples and other deer treats.

In putting in the undergrounds the plumber hit bedrock only a few inches down.   One pipe is a sanitary drain for the sump pump and rainwater that really should have always have been there, and the second is a conduit for feedlines, control cables and the like for part of my ham station.

I think the near the house yard will drain much better as there was a bedrock ridge that restricted sub surface drainage that he excavated through.

The bedrock is why he couldn’t put in the 6×6 treated post at the end of the conduit run.  I had intended to mount a rotor and a short mast as an interim location for this HEXXbeam.

Looks like I will either end up with a concrete filled barrel as a base, or have a heavy steel tripod type base made up.

Even on the barrel, rotated by hand the HEXXbeam is doing really well.



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K9ZW Shacks Evolve – Proper Dummy Loads, Additional Metering, New Power Distribution, Specialized Headsets and more…

I knew that doing a new station build wasn’t for the faint of heart, and as usual I am loath to miss a chance for upgrading the home QTH station.

Here are a few of the recents adds:

Item                                                                       Home/Island

Alpha-9500 Amps                                                     X X
Rigrunner-4007U Metered Strips                         X X
4o3a Station Genius                                                 X
SP7IDX Hexbeam                                                         X
LMR-400DB Below Grade Feed                                X
LMR-400 Jumpers                                                       X
LMR-400UF Up Tower Feed                                     X
Polyphasers incl two custom multi-units                X
Collins DL-1 Dummy Load                                     X
Station Monitor                                                        X
Bengali Intrepid                                                       X
Alpha-4510                                                                X
Palstar AT-Auto w/Kessler Upgrades                     X
4o3a Antenna Genius Switches                            X X
Nueman BCM705 Microphone                                X
Shure SM5B Microphone                                     X
Behringer MX402A                                               X
Behringer MX602A                                                   X
Recording Grade Audio Shapers                        X X
Collins SM-2 Microphone                                        X
W7FG True Ladder Line Dipole                             X
Alpha-2000 Dummy Load                                  X
RadioSport RS22CR Classic                                   X
KD9SV BOG Beverage Amp & Switch                  X
WD1A Cable – BOG wire                                          X
K1FZ RBOG Reversible Beverage on Ground     X
Zero-Five Custom HD Flagpole Antennas       X X
CAT6eDB below grade control                               X
Radial Wire                                                             X X
Waters 334 Dummy Load                                        X
Helix 1/2 Prepared                                                    X
RG6DB for RBOG Feed                                            X
Tashjian TM-370 SkyNeedle                                   X
New Tower Base, Platform and Coax Arms         X
AlfaSpid Rotor                                                           X

On Order
Flex Maestro                                                            X X

There have also been massive deliveries of the needed connectors and other parts – whew!  I am sure glad I’ve not seen the costs all tallied in one spot – ouch!

All in all the order and assemble is fun other than the bills.  Now in spring the read work begins!




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Can I Hear You? – Exploring Receive Antenna Options

We’re perhaps 6-7 weeks from the likely end of “fun” antenna season, so it sounds like a perfectly good time to decide to add some antennas!

Modest set of plans before the weather sets in (actually it is the very short daylight hours that limits me more until the hard frost comes in):

First to put the Gap Titan DX vertical antenna back on line, including installing the DX Engineering tip-over base that I’ve had for a year now. I’m not looking to use the Gap all that much for a transmit antenna, as I would like the vertical Omni-directional receive as my log periodic is deaf to anything weak that it isn’t pointed directly at. So the Gap would become “receive vertical for 80-6m” in my antenna farm, as well as an occasional transmit antenna – specially for digital.

Gap Titan DX Antenna

Gap Titan DX Antenna

DX Engineering Tilt-Over Base

DX Engineering Tilt-Over Base

Second receive antenna I am considering is a K9AY loop receive four-way array, like the Array Solutions offering. This would be a space effective way to add a topband (160m) and 80m directional receive to put some “real ears” on my lowband efforts. That their Wolf Systems K9AY setup is potentially DXpedition portable seems a plus, though whether I’ll get to use it for a DXpedition is a question.

Unlike the first antenna, I need to order this K9AY unit soon if I am to get it cabled in before the frost hardens the ground.

Array Solutions K9AY Array - General Layout

Array Solutions K9AY Array - General Layout

Array Solutions K9AY Array - Controller

Array Solutions K9AY Array - Controller

Perhaps I will have to settle for getting the underground in for the Gap and getting it sorted out. Those limited daylight hours you know….



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Second Antenna Cluster at K9ZW

It looks like I may have let Autumn slip by and foil some of my plans for a second antenna cluster.

I’ve a GAP Titan DX I’m intending on properly mounting as a Digital Mode Omni-directional HF antenna.

Using a Gift Certificate from DX Engineering I won at Dayton this year, I bought a machined tip-over mount for the antenna and horse-traded for enough direct-bury semi-flex hardline to run from my main antenna switch to a second switch for the remote cluster. DX Engineerings Tilt-Over Base Unit: http://tinyurl.com/ye4xu4n

Tall trees present a great opportunity for a 70-80 Ft high longwire or loop. Now that the leaves have just come down I will have to see if I can get it in before winter.

Photos to follow as I get some work done!



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