Category Archives: Tower/Antenna

New Tower Project

The new tower project is complete and in use. The 2 meter repeater antenna has been taken down and replaced by several antennas. At the top of 70ft Rohn 25g is a dual band VHF/UHF vertical at 80ft. Below that, a JK Antennas Mid-Tri-40 at 73ft. This is a quad band Yagi with 2 elements on 40m, 3 elements on 20m, 4 elements on 15m and 5 elements on 10m – all on a a 26ft boom. The Yagi is turned by a Yaesu 2800 rotor. Side mounted on the tower, is a stack of 6m Par Electronics Omniangles. Also installed, an arm to support a 80m dipole.

K2ADA JK Mid-Tri-40 – Installed August 2019

MacLoggerDX – Steppir control

I have always been a “Mac” guy, but it has been difficult to do all the things you want to do in amatuer radio and stay in the Mac environment. Running a FlexRadio 6300 has meant a windows computer needs to be the centerpiece of the shack, until recently. I have the Maestro control head and that makes it possible to run the Flex without a pc. However, if using a logging program with rig control, a pc is back in the picture. Now – with the addition of a dynamic antenna that needs band data info to model the elements, additional pc programs are needed (ddUtil) to send band data from the Flex to the Steppir control head.

dpsdrEnter MacLoggerDx and dogparkSDR. Don Agro, VE3VRW, has now created a complete solution for the Mac user that wants to run a FlexRadio, Steppir dynamic antenna and stay in the Mac environment. Logging and station control, including rotor control, all seamless. No PC (windows), no driver nonsense, no windows port configuration, no intermediate virtual software to facilitate comunication. It all works over ethernet.

Ham Radio Mac/Flexradio/Steppir users Rejoice!

mldx_v555

Radio Ranch antenna Upgrade – 3 Ele Steppir

The KIO hex beam has worked well here at the K2ADA Radio Ranch. Now that we are here most days, I began thinking about an upgrade. Since my primary rig here is a Flex 6300, a multi band yagi or log periodic interested me. Both would “listen” to all bands with a single coax run and I could open multiple slices on the Flex. However, both also have compromises. A mono band antenna for every band would of course be the ultimate, but I didn’t want the multiple towers and switching that would be required.

A dynamic antenna. The Steppir has been around for awhile now. The 3 element (w/ 40m option) will not pose a problem for my Universal 50ft tower and Hygain rotor, and after several months of thinking and rethinking, I pulled the trigger.

Assembly is really straight forward but the instructions could use some attention. Steppir has updated the documentation of each option and sends each as an addendum to the basic build. This is a little confusing and requires a lot of extra work to assemble the antenna correctly.  A phone call to one of the Steppir techs cleared everything up and the build took me about 3 days.  Working several hours a day.

Here are some photos (thanks Annie) of the assembly, and the removal of the hex and raising of the Steppir:

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Steppir needs to rethink their assembly documentation

KIO Hex beam
KIO Hex beam.

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Steppir element tubes

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Steppir boom and EHU (stepper motor).

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The entire boom assembly

 

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40m driven element

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a 60ft lift was used to retrieve the Hex antenna and replace it with the 3 ele Steppir

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the completed Steppir is visible in the foreground

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Thanks to help from a neighbor, we raised the Steppir, and attached it to the existing mast

I’m getting use to the time it takes the Steppir to “remodel” itself for each frequency change.  Signals have been strong and reports have also been good.