Studio B Operating
On the VHF side, I use an
M-Squared 3 element beam at 40 feet for 6 meter
AM/SSB with the ANAN-200D. In the picture above,
hanging under the shelf is a TYT 9600 utilizing
the open source GD77 firmware for 2m/70cm DMR and
local FM contacts. The TYT 9600 is used with a
Cushcraft 3 element 2m/70cm beam which uses the
armstrong method for rotation. An FT8900 is also
used for local FM communications primarily on 6
meter FM. It is coupled to a Comet GP-15 at 40
feet on an eave mount mast for 6 meter/2 meter/440
FM work. When running portable, I use a little
Radioddity GD77 running the OpenGD77 firmware for
2 meter and 440 contacts using DMR or FM. For
mobile operating I run a Yaesu FT8900 on 6 meters,
2 meters, and on the 440 mhz band or a TYT 9600
which is also running the OpenGD77 firmware.
The upstairs AM operating position with the
III and FRG-7700
Morning coffee on 40 meters with the Johnson Viking
III. What could be better?
antenna farm is shown below. The tower is a very
old EZ-Way 60 foot crank-up and tilt-over
galvanized steel monster. It was spotted by my
good friend Joe, W1AIU, who
tipped me off back in
1987 that it was being retired from
commercial service and was available. Purchasing
that tower was probably the best hundred bucks
I've ever spent in this hobby! It has a 5 foot
nosepiece on top and a 14 foot mast above that,
which parks the highest antenna at slightly more
than 70 feet when the tower is fully extended.
Unfortunately, during the infamous snow and ice
storm of October 2011 the tower was clobbered by a
falling tree. That collision mangled the antennas
at the top and put a lot of stress on the tower.
During the summer of 2012 it took several weeks to
get the tower back into shape along with the 2
meter and 6 meter beams, which were badly bent. A
good friend in a nearby town, Bob - K1AO, also
suffered severe antenna damage in the big storm.
The Traffie Hex Beam that had served him well for
10 years was crushed by several large branches.
Bob decided to replace it with a new Hex Beam and
offered me his damaged one if I would help him
raise the new one. I gladly took him up on his
generous offer and with some expert support from
Mike Traffie was able to rebuild the old Hex Beam.
After some trial runs on a 10 foot pole
in the backyard I placed the Traffie Hex Beam at
the top of the tower and have been enjoying it
ever since. The Hex Beam works beautifully at
heights between 30 - 50 feet so out of respect for
the age of the old EZ-Way tower I only extend one
section of the tower and park the Hex Beam at 50
feet. The rebuilt 2 meter and 6 meter beams are
mounted below the hex at heights of 45 feet and 40
feet respectively. With the big Hex Beam upgrade I
now have directional coverage from 20 meters
through 2 meters. It's been a long time since I've
had so much fun on the upper bands!