A Tour of the Station and Antennas of K5RKS – Roger Simpson
The beam is a Cushcraft MA6B minibeam for 20m thru 6m. I put it up in the summer of 2020. It seems to work OK for a small beam. I run FT8 most of the time which is able to tolerate weak signals so I don’t need a huge beam. I used to run a Cushcraft ASL2010 Log Periodic from 2005 up to the summer of 2020. The ASL 2010 survived OK in the Oklahoma wind and storms but I had a problem with the boom twisting on the mast. It was a lot of work to fix that problem. No matter what boom-to-mast clamp I used nothing had enough holding power to prevent the twisting. So I decided to get a smaller beam and also put a 5/16″ bolt through the mast and into the clamp. Since doing this I have not had any problem. The MA6B survived the huge ice storm we had in November 2020 with no problem.
If you look carefully you can see a couple of sloping wires off the off of the tower. They are one side of a sloping 40m/30m fan dipole.
You can’t see my 80m sloper which runs off the side of the tower that is hidden by the house. I don’t have an antenna for 160m.
This picture shows most of the shack. Just to the left of the Honor Roll plaque is my DXCC Challenge plaque. My DXCC Challenge count is 1280.
The black box on the table is an HP 4500 scanner / printer.
This view shows most of the computer gear in a single picture. I sit in front of this stuff when running FT8.
You can see a couple of windows up on the screen from the WSJTX 2.2.2 software package. Also there is a window with
a homebrew program that controls the rotor. Another window displays queries from a homebrew program that allows me to look in my FT8 log.
I use C# in the Visual Studio to write my own software.
The black box behind the right end of the keyboard is a homebrew keyer that says canned CW messages such as “K5RKS”,
“R R R K5RKS 5NN TU”, etc. It uses an Arduino board.
This is what I see when working SSB or CW. Rig is ICOM 7600. Linear is ACOM 2100. Antenna rotor is Yaesu G-1000DXA. Tuner is MFJ-989D.
This JPG shows most of the radio gear in a single picture.
The box with the light grey front is an HP3336B frequency synthesizer that I use as a reference during the K5CM frequency measurement tests. As I write this we just completed the Fall 2020 FMT. The HP3336B is synced to an external 10 Mhz Thunderbolt GPS box. I run the FMT using homebrew software.
The linear is an ACOM 2100. It is a FB linear for high-duty-cycle applications. I can call a station using F/H mode on FT8 with a few hundred watts all day without any problem with the ACOM 2100. My old ICOM PW-1 would also tolerate this.
I have an MFJ ALS-1306 linear which works FB [not pictured]. However, after about 20 – 40 calls during an hectic F/H FT8 pileup the MFJ ALS-1306 experiences a thermal shutdown. I would have to let it cool for several minutes before I could use it again. I found this to be unacceptable so I replaced it with an old style “brick on key” vacuum tube linear that would tolerate a high duty cycle.
The shack mascot is a dinosaur statute that I found in the street back in the 1980s.
Roger Simpson K5RKS