Monday, December 28, 2009

Proof is in the puddin' JD1BLY

Decided to give my new set up a workout. When I left the rig last night I was on 40M. This morning I cam in the shack and jiggled the mouse to wake up the computer and checked out SpotCollector to see what was red. Stations I need for a given band are displayed in red. I saw JD1BLY displayed on 80M. I already have Ogasawara on some other bands but not on 80. I double clicked JD1BLY on the Spot Collector callsign data field and my rig and antenna immediately switched to the correct freq. I determined that I could hear him, he was working simplex on 3504.5. I flipped on the diversity function of the F5K and peaked the SNR on JD1BLY. Simultaneously I flipped on the ALS-1300. The amp takes about 3-4 seconds to go through a step start procedure, and I heard the bandswitch in the amp automatically click to 80. I set my keyer speed to match the DX and fired off two quick W9OY's. He comes back immediately and in less than 30 seconds he is in the log.

I sit and listen for a couple minutes as I start to write my experience here and then he is gone. If I had been 2 minutes later, (like waiting for the Acom or the Alpha to warm up) I would have missed him. This is how man was meant to live!


Sunday, December 27, 2009


My ALS-1300 solid state amp came in a couple days before Christmas. I was unable to get to it for all my duties. I unpacked it on Christmas Eve and heard something rattling around in the power supply so I had to crack that open an take a look. A screw and washer had come loose from a standoff, and with 50V at many amps in this box I decided to give a tighten to every screw and nut I could see.

Next on the agenda was to install the 12-10M band pass filter so I could run the thing on those bands. The band pass kit is a purchased item, and you have to send the seller a copy of your license to get the thing. No problem I just burned a copy in a .jpeg and sent it in its electronic way. You can see where the filter goes in the above pic. It goes next to the wire coil board (no toriods) and is secured to the main circuit board by 5 screws. It is trivial install and it took longer to get the lid off the amp than it did to install the filter.

I also installed the ARI-500. This is part of the key to Nirvana. The ARI-500 is a little device that reads band data in from a radio either a Yaesu, an Icom, a Kenwood or a K-3, and turns the ALS-1300 into a frequency agile band following amp. All you have to do to install this device is to plug it into the amp, and plug the "radio" (in this case some BCD data from the LPT port) and you're good to go.

I recently modified my RCS-4 to be band following using the UMS band decoder board and the USB2LPT port that I have described previously. Since the present iteration of DDUTIL basically drives just one LPT port, and both the UMS board and the Amertion amp follow the Yaesu BCD band data, I just paralleled the two data streams from each component to the single LPT port. The result is I now have a 1200 W transceiver, with auto switching antennas. I click 160 and I get 1200 W out on 160. I click 80 or 40 or 20 and all I have to do is hit the key and I get 1200W out of this little bugger on any band. Way cool. The F5K is set up so it remembers the drive level on a per band basis as well as antenna port and amp relay port so, everything just automatically follows.

I use SpotCollector from the DX lab suite as my DX cluster client. All I have to do is click a station and everything is on freq to make the QSO.

Thus far the ALS-1300 seems to be a very credible amp. It will do more than 1200W, but I am running it within spec. Its a little noiser than I like compared to my AL-80B but it is about as noisy as my Alpha 78 so not bad at all. It is basically instant on, it takes about 4 seconds for all the relays and power to boot up when you hit the ON switch but after that the thing is ready to rock and roll. Drive for 1200W is about 75 watts or so on each band with a little variation. THe amp sits on the top shelf of my station out of the way. I just turn it on and let the automation do the rest.

The key to this whole thing is Steve Nance's DDUTIL. It's from his software that the band following data is generated and it is through his program the LPT data is delivered into BCD format capable of running amplifiers and switch drivers that speak Yaesu. It took a little futzing around getting a cable made to match my LPT pin out but the modification was easy and an enjoyable little project. This is literally a 1200W radio station you could hide in the closet. THe F5K can be remoted, the RCS-4 can be stuck out of the way and now the amp can be stuck out of the way. All you need on the desk is a monitor, a keyboard, mouse, mic, head phones and a paddle and you're good to go.

More to follow as I wring this thing out, but so far it works great!!!. I expect to be using this as one half of a SO2R setup. If I had a beam or more antennas it would be easy to turn this into a 10 band extravaganza (including 60M)


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wacky Bands

I got up early this morning to snack on a New Zealand apple (even my food reeks of DX) and to listen to the bands. The bands are very noisy down here in FL today likely due to many heaters being turned on. Down here most people heat their palaces with heat pumps and resistive loads placed in the air handler so even though its only in the 40's lots of noise generators get turned on.

Propadex has been negative for days and is just now turning back green. The first green shoot poked its head out of the red just as I plopped down in front of the radio and now I have 3 greenies to brag about. I've been trying to discern the usefulness of this indicator for a low band DX kind of guy and it seems this kind of pattern is when this index is most useful. If the thing is red not much happening. If the thing is all green the result is variable but if the thing shifts from red to green it seems the bands perk up

My first contact was an OA4 on 160. He was truly loud a good -80 dBm. Nice copy. After I worked him I played with the diversity on him and was able to tame a good deal of the noise using that feature. There always seems to be a sweet spot where the signal sort of "jumps" out of the noise. Only a few south Americans trying to get a rise out of Asia on 160 so I flipped on 80 and heard JT1CO in Mongolia working simplex. I could get him to about 439 in his readability but the noise was pretty bad on 80 as well, but he was definitely copyable. I didn't get into the fray as I find working a DX pileup head to head on a simplex freq tiring to say the least. I heard a VK2 work the JT1 and the VK2 was -70dBm a true S9 now that's what I call a signal!

That's the kind of stuff I hear when propadex goes red to green, VK's S9 on 80M and the terminator is still a couple hours out to sea.

You know it's going to be a good day when you hear Mongolia on 80M


Thursday, December 17, 2009

eznec maps

I'm in the process of brainstorming some antenna changes. Given my lot size I can do 2 x 77 ft verticals spaced 85 ft apart with the axis parallel to the road I live on. The road I live on is at a 15 deg offset south of E-W, so I wanted to be able to see where I would cover on each band 160 80 and 40.

I have a multiband 2 el phasing harness from Array Solutions.

This is a clever solution by W9AD that allows phasing by switching in various coaxial delay lines and a lumped 180 deg element. By judicious choice of line length you can acheive all kinds of possibilities. Here are the possibilities for my proposed 160 80 40 array:

40M 77ft vert 85ft separation zero deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm Road 5.2 dB gain

This is a Map centered on my QTH to help judge coverage:

40M 77ft vert 85 ft sep 180 deg phase 15deg offset

These are the only 2 useful choices for 40M

80M 77ft vert 85ft sep 0 phase 15 deg offset for burkholm

80M 77ft vert 85ft sep 180 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

80M 77ft vert 85ft sep 90 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

80M 77ft vert 85ft sep 270 deg phase 15deg offset for Burkholm

These are the only useful modes for 80M

160M 77ft vert, 85ft sep 0 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

160M 77ft vert 85ft sep 180 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

160M 77ft vert 85ft sep 135 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

160M 77ft vert 85 ft sep 225 deg phase 15 deg offset for Burkholm

Good F/B and a little to a lot of gain depending on solution. I should be able to make this array band following. Not as good as dedicated 4 squares but my property is just not big enough for that


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

F5K meet automatic RCS-4 antenna switch

I modified my Ameritron RCS-4 a few years ago to try and make it auto band switching. I've described the RCS-4 before. It is a cleaver antenna switch that uses 4 states to switch 4 antennas using only the coax as a signal line to the remote switch. What gets sent down the coax is the RF plus +12V -12V 12V AC and no volts. Each of those 4 signals tells what relays to turn on in the switch.

I modified the switch to use with my Orion and had mixed results. Most of the switch combinations would work fine, like going from 160 to 40, but there were some combinations that would blow the fuse. I had a similar experience using the X2 port with my SDR-1000. I was able to defeat this flaw by turning off the power to the control head, do the band switching then power back up so I knew there was a way to make this work using a 555 one shot.

This morning I couldn't sleep. I get some arthritis pain in my hands sometimes and it gets bad enough I have to get up. I recently got the USB2LTP port running on my F5K and I wired up the UMS band decoder board to my shiny new LPT port and did some ohm meter checks using the F5K through DDUTIL as the switching device. No problem. I can easily decode BCD data from DDUTIL and I now have up to 11 possible antennas I can control based on freq i.e up to 11 band following antennas. DDUTIL has another feature that is quite nice. It has a way to manually generate the BCD by clicking a little software switch. What that means is I can auto band follow OR I can choose a particular antenna all the time so for example I can load up my 20M vert when I am on 17M using a tuner by manually choosing the 20M setting on my antenna switch even though my F5K is on 17M. Very handy!!

I tell you what, that Steve K5FR thinks of just about everything!

Now came the acid test. Since I couldn't sleep I reverted to form and decided to see if I could blow some fuses. I have a hand full of 1 amp fuses in the drawer for just such an occasion. I opened up the RCS-4 control box and traced out my modification (I couldn't remember exactly how I wired it) and then hooked up about half a dozen clip leads between the UMS board and the RCS-4 control head.

With the distant relay box disconnected from the control head I was able to band follow perfectly using the F5K. Now came the moment of truth because it was when I connected the remote switch that I would blow them damn fuses. The bands switch and NO fuses blow. No timer needed.

So what is the point of all this? I have an auto band switching radio now, but more importantly we now have a reliable cheap way to get band data OUT of the F5K using DDUTIL, the LPT port and the UMS board, and it works perfectly, and it can be remoted. No need to wait for Flex wire to be developed. Flex wire has many more potential features but for now all I want to do is get some band data out of the radio and this setup does the trick in spades for cheap. Maybe in some future life I will worry about Flex wire rotor controllers. For me now DDUTIL is the nuts. It totally makes my station get up and do the boogaloo.

This will also work with the F3K and any other PSDR radio that works with DDUTIL.

So if you want to let the XYL know what you want for Christmas tell her to get you a USB2LPT port and a UMS band decoder board, and go have a blast automating your station

We are in the process to see if we can get this to become a full fledged SO2R set up that will be able to switch up to 2 banks of 11 antennas, set power, set rotor use band following amps etc etc. There has to be some mods done to PSDR to get that job done but hopefully we can move forward on this and make this radio into the contest, DXing machine it is destined to be. I presently have the hardware working for 2 x 11 antennas, but some software needs to be massaged to get the radio to see eye to eye with my needs.

More to follow


Monday, December 14, 2009

USB 2 LPT update

I bought some of the USB to LPT converter cables. I bought first a kit, which has a very fine pitch leadless IC

I've built many surface mount projects and this particular IC proved to be beyond my capability from both an equipment and expertise prespective. I just don't have fine enough equipment and good enough eyes anymore to solder this chip by hand. Fortunately I know someone who does possess such skills so my investment is saved. My strong suggestion is if you purchase this device buy one already built unless you are a SMD expert. I bought the 1.7 revision, but the 1.6 revision is probably adequate for this purpose and is a lot cheaper either built or in kit form. The kit form looks to be perfectly do-able for the average SMD builder. Here is a shot of the ver 1.6

It has as far reduced part count and the main chip is easily hand solder-able but it does not have USB 2.0 speed. Probably that is not relevant for this application.

The reason I was interested in this cable is because my new computer does not have any hardware for LPT. As far as I can tell this is the ONLY true USB to LPT cable out there. There are a lot pf printing cables but that is a different animal from a true USB to LPT. To get the fully built cable to work was merely a plug and play operation. I just plugged in installed the drivers and put the correctly emulated LPT information into DDUTIL and I was sending out properly coded BCD that follows the Yaesu standard band plan.

It works perfectly with my F5K/DDUTIL set up. I added this board:

from Unified Microsystems, and I now have the capability of having band following antennas. What that means is if I click 40M the 40M antenna is automatically connected, or if I click 80M I immediately switch to 80M. Here is a typical set up using a LPT port and the UMS controller board:

Notice you can run 2 UMS cards off a single LPT port aka 20 antennas. One card is connected to Data 0123 and the second to Data 4567. (In fact the USB2LPT driver can be configured to give up to 20 I/O lines but DDUTIL won't address that many)

for 3 antennas, 80M 40M and a tribander the connections are as follows:

Note how one relay is chosen for each band of the tribander. You could do this as well for some of the 5 band beam antennas or for a Steppir. Soon I hope to be able to switch 2 sets of antennas using 2 of the Unified Micro boards on the same LPT port giving the ability of switching up to 20 antennas in a band follwing format. That will require some diddling with the software but it should be do-able.

Why 20 antennas? Actually what I am interested in is 2 banks of 10 antennas. This will bring out the functionality needed for SO2R. This, plus a couple other software tricks will allow full expression of SO2R using the Flex 5K as the foundation and DDUTIL as the Swiss army knife that hooks everything together. I should be able to rig up any number of up to 20 total antennas to any of the three F5K antenna outputs and have up to 3 amps controlled by DDUTIL, so you merely change the band and the appropriate amp/antenna will be chosen including being able to chose RX antennas on either receiver all automatically according to a predefined look-up table. I'm also hoping to be able to do other band following tasks like automatically adding inductance to a vertical based on its freq. For example if the radio is set to 1800 inductance might be added to the 160M vertical but when the radio passes 1900 the inductance would be switched out. This would be kind of like having a poor man's Steppir. You could do the same with those short 80 and 40M beams to toggle between ends of the bands etc. The hardware is there, and the software is almost there, and you should be able to build this for well under 100 bux per board set to control 20 antennas.

I'm still working on making my RCS-4 antenna switch band following but I think the end for that is in sight as well. I have the controlling relay boards built so there is only a little more twiddling needed. I will publish more on that as it comes to fruition.

I also just bought one of these:

Which can be made band following from DDUTIL using the Yaesu BCD data. More to follow


Thursday, December 10, 2009

SO2R part 2

So what about split?

I described the SO2R behavior, as most SO2R is done in the last post, with stations on the same freq. How does the F5K do split?

The F5K is full triplex, that means all three processes, RX1, RX2, and TX are active all the time. It is not like a transcever that is half duplex. To illustrate this I included a shot of the transceiver on 3 different bands at once:

If you look at the VFO the red box has now turned into a freq readout. This is accomplished by turning on "split" in the VFO control area of the console. MY transceiver is now set up to listen on 40M, listen on 20M and transmit on 80M. As you recall ANT 2 is my 80M antenna and the antenna switch follows my transmitter. If I touch my key now, 1500W gets spewed out on 80M. The antenna screen however allows me to choose other antennas

So I can choose antenna 1 for 40M and another antenna on RX2 for 20M and my transmitter set to antenna 2 for 80M. When would I ever do this? How about if I had a satellite set up that had the upband receiver on one converter, the down band receiver on another converter and the transmitter on a third converter all with different IF frequencies. The point is all three processes can be addressed independently.

So how do I work split in a pileup on 2 bands?

Here I switch on split and set my cursor to red by right clicking. The red cursor allows me to set my transmit freq. Note that the antennas have followed me and I am now ready to transmit a 40M split to work a pile up. Here is how I set up for a 20M pile up. I simply move my red cursor down to the 2nd RX window and click

and I'm ready to let fly 1500W on a 20M pileup. Just one click is all it tick (took)

I can also use the RIT and XIT to offset:

I often use the XIT to send my transmitter off the DX frequency if I want to tune up my amp before commencing in a pile up, or I use the RIT to send VFO 1 off frequency when I am trying to listen only to VFO 2. You can accomplish this with mute as well in some cases

It's this area of freq control and the area of audio management as well as VAC management between the 2 RX's and the TX in terms of digital modes etc. This area is the most rudimentary and ripe for improvements. What I would like to see is some kind of XML parser where you could store prepared files of how you would like these raw variables to behave in different situations. Then I would like to see this turned loose out in the ham community so that people who are SO2R experts could add their 2 cents and people who are nuts over VHF/UHF could all their 2 cents etc etc on how to further expand the interface.

These criticisms are for the most part just quibbles and not criticism of the general system or the hardware. It takes some planning and a little brain work to get all the ducks lined up in a row, but that is part of the fun. When you add the complexity of full triplex to the mix, its like moving from 2 dimensional chess to three dimensional chess, there is a lot more to consider, and as such many economies to be discovered and implemented.

I think, as you think about the power of the system I described its flexibility will become apparent. It is very easy to use. There is a little bit of a learning curve to set it up, but not too much of an energy barrier to get it running. The raw parts are there just waiting to be exploited. While the boys over at Elecraft are all pooping in their boots over their roofing filters and that silly little panadapter screen they came out with, you can see what the awesome power of a true SOFTWARE DEFINED RADIO is all about.

When the F5K was being designed I had some input into this aspect of the radio. Of course the major designer was Gerald, and as you can see from this post on the Flex website he is still interested in providing the best possible radio experience possible to his customers:

Re: [Flexradio] More Flex in contesting

Gerald Youngblood
Tue, 08 Dec 2009 16:41:24 -0800

A logical block diagram of what needs to be integrated would be of great
help. From that we can look at the best way to accomplish the desired
outcome. Input is welcomed.

Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR

FlexRadio Systems

This pretty well sums up where Flex is at with designing this system. He is inviting the expert user to help shape their radio experience. He is inviting the expert contester to provide him with the insight needed to improve the radio. They are not especially interested in spoon feeding you crap like roofing filters and silly little me too panadapter screens. (My panadapter is on a 23 inch monitor) they are interested in selling you the ham radio experience that will rock your world. This is why this radio rocks my world

73 W9OY

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


There has been a discussion on the Flex list about using the F5K in SO2R configuration

Listed here is some of the built in capability for SO2R. To do SO2R the second receiver must be present. Here is a screen shot of the radio on 40M in the first receiver, and the antenna setup for 40M

Note the red square at the base of VFO A, and note that the antenna selector is in expert mode. With this setup my radio will receive on RX1 and transmit on the freq displayed in VFO A. The antenna will be ANT 1 on both receive and transmit.

My station is designed using a patch panel. Presently my patch panel has all 3 outputs from the F5K, the RX1 input and the RX2 input. Any of these 5 ports can be patched to any of my 4 antennas. As well I have 4 amplifiers presently coming out to the patch panel and any of the 4 amplifiers can be patched into the line of any of the 3 outputs of the F5K. Also I have a seperate little patch panel that allows me to hook up any of the 3 TX outputs of the radio to any of the 4 amps. So for example on 40 M I can select my Alpha 78 and put that is antenna line 1 and hook up TX 1 to the Alpha. I then hook the 40M 1/2 wave end fed vertical to the Alpha.

So the hookup is F5K ant1-->Alpha 78---> LP-100 watt meter--> 40M half wave vert

If I hit the code key I will get 1500 watts out on 40M

My patch panel also has output from my Flex 3K my SDR-1000 and one of my antenna tuners that has 3 outputs. I use the coax from my Johnson match box as one of the antennas since that is always connected to the open wire line and is not patch into anything so it basically is one of the antennas. I used to use switches to try and do all this but it is far too complex and the patch panel is MUCH more configurable and I highly recommend it as a solution. For a contest you would simply set up the station before hand how ever you like and forget it.

Here is the shot when I want to transmit on 80

On 80M note the red box is now on VFO B. To get to 80M I simply click this box. The 80M antenna is on F5K antenna line 2. To that line I have connected my Amp supply LK800 TNY. To that amp I have connected an 80M 1/4 wave vertical on another part of the property and the TNY is hooked up to TX 2. The signal path is

F5K ant 2 --> TNY --> a second LP-100 watt meter --> 80M 1/4 wave vertical.

When I switch to this band I have the audio set up in RX2 such that the audio in RX 1 is largely muted. This is done by adjusting the pan control in RX 2 and the relative volumes in each RX. I hear 40M in both ears and 80M in my right ear (mostly)

When I hit the code key 1500W of RF is pumped into ant 2 signal path and out the 80M vertical.

Note all I did to switch from 40 to 80 is click the box under VFO B

If I had a tribander I would click on 20M for example and here is what I would see:

Note the antenna is now on F5K ant 3 and TX 3 line. To this antenna line I would add my ACOM 2000a since it is frequency agile and I would hook up the tribander. Then when I hit the key the ACOM would auto tune to the band I was on and send out 1500W to the antenna of choice. Note to switch to 20M all I did was click on 20M and the system is all set to transmit

This is how the I would set up 20, 15 and 10 in the antenna box of PSDR

DDUTIL has the ability to direct several amps that are frequency agile including the Quadra the Acom the PW-1` and the SPE

Also if I had 3 mono band beams like 20 15 and 10 I could use the LPT port of my computer and this board to direct antenna traffic between beams.

This $19 board from Unified Microsystems turns BCD band data into discrete antenna outputs to run relay boxes. It also links from DDUTIL

If I had a Steppir I could use DDUTIL to run that antenna freq agile

This screen also allows you to use the Microham station control boards using the repeater function displayed here

Of course DDUTIL allows also several programs to talk to PSDR at one time

In addition DDUTIL can limit power on a given band so If I am running the Alpha on 40M and I need 70W to drive 1500 I can set that up in DDUTIL, and if I need 50 W on 20, 60W on 15, and 55 W on 10 with the Acom I can set that up.

So SO2R is already pretty advanced in the F5K and its attendant Swiss army knife DDUTIL. There is much more you can do. DDUTIL allows macro functions to control several things at once, for exaple you could use the some pins on the LPT to control a 4 square or something like that. Presently LPT will run up to 2 of the relay boards. There are a few things that need some refinement like outputting both receivers into a VAC configuration and it might be nice to add XIT and RIT to the second RX and maybe some other muting options but that is just fine tuning

I use this kind of set up often to be able to DX on 2 bands at once, or be in a SSB ragchew on 75 while working DX on 40 or 160

Pretty powerful stuff, and I haven't scratched the surface of what could be possible


Saturday, December 5, 2009

ARRL 160 test

Here is a shot of the ARRL 160 test. Some people think this test is the most brutal of all tests. Except for all the dang key clix I have never found it so, at least since I aquired my flex stuff. The band noise tonight was in the -117dB range, fairly quiet. The weather has finally cleared after over 24 hours of solid rain and there is a bad moon on the rise. There are a few pockets of thunder storms left but they are about 1000 miles off shore. Earlier a Delta rocket blasted off from the Cape 13 miles to my southeast attesting to the weather clearing. It was a beautiful night launch.

I spent a good deal of time listening to K1LT, W8JI, and K9DX's freq to try and hear what they were hearing and quickly trying to adjust diversity to see how well I could do. The band was not in very good shape this evening, but I could hear a great deal of what was coming through for them with my diversity setup. I caught a shot of W8JI and notice his signal is a lot like many on the band these days

Not sure what transmitter he is running but there are several on that have exactly the same signature

Very interesting as always


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interesting band cdx

I was on 40M this evening fooling around with my Alpha 78 amp. I usually run my AL-80B, but the Alpha has a feature that is very nice. It has some broad band output networks so all you do is switch the band switch and if your antenna is half way decent as far as a load, you are tuned. Its a little like my Acom 2K, but manual instead of automatic.

The Acom is finicky about line voltage, and I am out in the country and the line voltage is all over the place especially at night. If my line gets to 248V fergitaboutit as far as the Acom is concerned. The Alpha is not so finicky except for grid current. The grids in these 8874's are gold plated and if you run high grid current even for a few seconds you boil off the gold and you are in the market for new tubes, so you have to be anal, but being anal is my middle name so not a big deal. I work as an anesthesiologist so my anality comes naturally.

Any way the band was basically dead, so I was playing around with this amp checking the drive level sending an occasional dit and adjusting up the drive while hawkishly viweing the grid current and was called by Peter ZS1JX. I was floored. He was a good S9 or a little more the first time he called me and he is probably 2 1/2 hours into his daylight. We had a nice little QSO You can see the condition of the band for yourself by viewing the panadapter and Skimmer

This is why I was floored. No other signals to be seen. Here is a shot of the signal path between me and Peter on my DX view World Map

As the QSO continued Peter started to get watery and decrease in strength but still Q5

SFI was 72 A was 0 and K was 0 and the Propadex was -36 and there was quite a bit of noise coming out of the Gulf of Mexico tonight

I was able to maximize the SNR by adjusting the AGC-T in the RX, and using the diversity setup in the F5K. I now have 4 antennas that are full time hooked up to the F5K, and I can pick and choose virtually any pair just by changing my settings on the console. You can see my antenna choices in the above pic. This choice is my 40M half wave vertical, which was also my transmitting antenna, and a 1/4 wave 40M vertical about 100ft to the east. I don't have a great investment is stack matchers or fancy antenna systems and all that. I basically have 3 verticals and one horizontal, all of which can be made resonant, or are resonant on the bands I like to operate. 4 coaxes to the F5K and so much control through PSDR

It is mind blowing where ham radio has come in my lifetime. All of the information available like the propagation sites and the weather sites and the ability to steer your antenna like some kind of digital beam, adjusting not for peak signal on minimal noise, but with the ability to actually tune the signal to noise. Who knows where we go from hear.

You often read about the death of ham radio. In my mind it's more alive than ever!!