2020 Station Improvements

Added two new beverage receive antenna – southeast and southwest.

  • Southeast is 580 feet long.
  • Southwest is 480 feet long.

Improved beverage transformer and terminations by having printed circuit boards made, and placing inside enclosures, rather than leaving exposed to the weather. Gas discharge tubes to help protect from surges due to lightning strikes. DC blocking capacitor also included on feed point. Thanks to Steve, VE6WZ for the inspiring YouTube video, along with the KiCad files to get started!

Built a home-brew EZ-Way Wonder Post to ground-mount the EZ-Way Tower that had been on my utility trailer as a portable tower. This 50 foot tower will be used for 6 meters, 2 meters and 70 centimeters. I rebuilt a Ham-II rotator for this project.

From the EZ Way brochure
Home-brew EZ Way Wonder Post, using 6-inch diameter Schedule 40 galvanized pipe. Five feet of pipe is in the ground, with vanes at bottom and just below ground level.
  • 6-meter antenna is a Hygain VB-66DX – 6 elements on a 24-foot boom.
  • Don’t yet know what will go up for 2m and 70cm.
Freshly installed EZ-Way tower on the left. On the right is home-brew tilt-over tower, 45-feet tall with 5-elements on 30-foot boom for 17 meters. At the center, 225 feet way from the camera is Tower #1.
The big project of 2020 was building the 80-meter 4-square.

Implemented an EA4TX INTERLOCK to keep us honest in M/S and M/2 contesting.

2020 July NAQP RTTY – An apparent 1st place M/2

                North American QSO Party, RTTY - July

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 LP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 12

Summary:

Band QSOs Mults

80: 151 38
40: 312 53
20: 429 53*
15: 178 38

10: 11 8

Total: 1081 190 Total Score = 205,390

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Team:

Comments:

And a good time was had by all. 12 hours B.I.C. We had trouble with the
SixPack with 15, 20, and 40 meters. Had to coax jump around the SixPack to use
15 and 40 on the right radio. No time to fix during the contest!

Thanks to all for the QSOs, and especially all the >3 band QSOs.

73, Scott

2020 IARU HF Championship

IARU HF World Championship – 2020

Call: W5EA
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H K5UZ
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/S HP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 19

Summary:

Band CW Qs Ph Qs Zones HQ Mults

160: 12 0 5 2
80: 65 0 14 10
40: 418 0 32 39
20: 474 722 36 39
15: 185 0 15 18

10: 0 0 0 0

Total: 1154 722 102 108 Total Score = 1,219,260

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Comments:

With high anticipation, regular ops W5WZ and WM5H had prepared the W5WZ station
for a serious Multi-Single effort for this contest, with full ability for
in-band S&P at full power using EA4TX interlock. A portable tower set up
700 feet west of the main tower, with KT-34XA at 60 feet, an 80-meter dipole at
55 feet, and 40-meter dipole at 45 feet provided sufficient antenna separation.
First-time guest Dave K5UZ joined the team for the effort.

As always the food was excellent, the station performed well – except the air
conditioning – in the 100 degree heat and Louisiana humiditiy it couldn’t keep
up with the ops and 3 amplifiers.

Thanks to all for the QSOs!
–Scott, W5WZ

ARRL Field Day – 2020

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H
Station: W5WZ

Class: 2E LP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 19:37

Summary:

Band CW Qs Ph Qs

80: 94 0
40: 318 15
20: 791 3
15: 711 172
10: 172 125


Total: 2086 315 2401 Total Score = 8,974

CQWW WPX Contest, SSB – 2020

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ
Station: W5WZ

Class: SO(A)SB20 HP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 6

Summary:
 Band  QSOs
————
  160:
   80:
   40:
   20: 764
   15:
   10:
————
Total:  764  Prefixes = 353  Total Score = 386,182

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Comments:

Weather was so nice, spent as much time outside as possible.  Made good progress
on preparations for my new 80 meter 4-square, soon to be installed.

With the stay-at-home order in place, I felt guilty spending time away from my
family in the evenings, so went inside with them.

2020 ARRL DX SSB

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H K5OF K1DW KA5M
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 HP
QTH: LA – Louisiana
Operating Time (hrs): 45:42

Summary:

Band QSOs Mults

160: 35 32
80: 163 70
40: 298 84
20: 753 107
15: 214 55

10: 4 4

Total: 1467 352 Total Score = 1,500,576

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Comments:

Several “firsts” for the W5WZ station and team for this contest.

First time for Ed, K5OF to join the W5WZ team, flying in from North Carolina.
It was good to have him on the team.

K5OF at Run1, and W5WZ at Run2

First time for Dallas, K1DW to guest op at W5WZ; he operated from his home in
Texas, by remote controlling one of the K3’s at W5WZ.

First DX contest since expanding the beverage receive antenna farm.

First contest since moving the 80-meter dipole from 77 to 105 feet.
First contest with the EA4TX interlock installed, allowing easy Run/S&P on a
single band.

Marsh KA5M also drove in from Shreveport (100 miles) on Sunday.

Special thanks to Sharon KW5MOM for the pot of gumbo and the pot of chili; Bobby
for the usual spread of deli meats and breads; Ed for pre-contest dinner on
Thursday night.

WM5H at Run1

As usual, too much food AND lots of fun!

–73, Scott W5WZ

January 2020 NAQP SSB

Band QSOs Mults
160: 104 36
80: 320 50
40: 573 55
20: 658 52
15: 106 25
10: 0 0
Total: 1761 218 Total Score 383,898

Since last weekend\’s NAQP CW, all the shack Window 7 computers were replaced with Window 10 computers. Added a single Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse – discovered that RF causes problems with – putting both computers in a F1 voice keyer loop. During the 15 meter run in the 2nd hour of the contest, something in the RF path failed, sending the SWR very high, prematurely ending our work on 15 meters. No other problems. Me and Bobby both stayed in the seat.

Our best performance to date in an NAQP!

Thanks for the QSOs, and thanks for those that accepted our invite to move to other bands.

Remodeling the shack

After nearly 10 years, I decided to change the layout of the 3rd and 4th positions in the shack. The mult station had been under the stairs, the the 3rd station on a very small table. Additionally, all 4 computers were replaced. And I decided to identify the stations by letter, from left to right, rather than by number.

I’ve had a Mackie 102-VLZ Pro sitting on a shelf for years. For Christmas 2018, I bought a gift for myself – a pair of powered JBL Control 2P monitor speakers, and integrated the mixer and the speakers into the shack. Connected the K3 at A, the K3 at B, and the computer at B (my main single op and “work” computer) to the mixer. This has really improved my enjoyment of shack time. I can listen the the bands without being tethered to headphones; I can listen to music from my computer; shack guests can hear the action; the list goes on. I’ve told some of my ham friends that this single change has had a bigger impact on my shack time enjoyment than anything else I’ve ever done!

At position A, I added a vertical dual monitor stand. The EA4TX interlock will sit on a shelf between position A and position B. The desk remains unchanged.

Left to right, operating positions A and B.

It was a different story at the other end of the shack. I had a desk that my father had built for me when I was in 4th grade. It was somewhat custom built for a old 19-inch black-and-white TV, my Commodore Vic 20 computer, and an Atari 2600. I replaced the table top when I became a ham, making it longer and deeper. A removable hutch on top was still functional. Letting go of some sentiment, I took the desk out of the shack, but kept the hutch to use on the table top under the stairs.

Several years ago, after I custom-built my L-shaped desk for A and B, my friend WW5RC (ex:KC5WA) had me build a nearly identical desk for him. He recently moved into a retirement apartment, and had to downsize. He offered me first refusal on the desk I built. So, with a modification to utilize what I needed, the desk built by me returned home for position C and position D.

Left to right, operating positions C and D.

Dual vertical monitor stands were added, and new computers also installed. An Astron RS-70M supplies power.

I think the next remodel project will be to epoxy the floor- the bare concrete is constantly dusty and gritty.

2020 Jan NAQP CW M/2

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 LP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 12
Location: LA

Summary:
Band    QSOs    Mults
160:    181    43
80:    289    53
40:    301    56
20:    311    57
15:    72    22
10:    0    0
Total:    1154    231    Total Score    266,574

2019 CQ WW CW M/S HP

First time every for a Multi-Op of any major CW contest. We had fun, and wished for more operators to share the fun and BIC time.

As always, thanks to WM5H for pre-contest work getting the station ready and for good food.

Very glad to have my elmer, Jim W5LA, BIC for the majority of the run workload. We are going to make a serious contester out of him!

Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 67 14 41
80: 168 24 82
40: 256 31 110
20: 775 34 133
15: 89 23 75
10: 39 11 21
Total: 1394 137 462 Total Score 2,210,909

During a post-contest phone call with K8AZ, Tom remarked that a country count more than 400 in the M/S category is a serious competitive effort.