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Operating 160m contests from W8LRL

Two of Tesla Sparks Wal, W8LRL and Yuri, K3BU teamed up for some serious 160 m contesting. Yuri accepted invitation to operate from the Wal's station, to see how his latest antenna upgrades fare against the competition.

While trying to get the N2EE site operational, K3BU operated from Wal's, W8LRL 160m super station to celebrate 150th birthday of Nikola Tesla by operating as N8T and K8V in 160m contests. Using SO2R setup with Orion and IC781, K3BU TWIN switching system, TenTec Titan Amp and N1MM logger with Wal's antenna system managed to place in top three and beat some US all time records on 160 m. See the results for new US record on CW and Top US and 2nd World on SSB.

Fall 2006 CQ WW setup using W8LRL antennas K3BU operated using his equipment: Orion TRX, TT Titan amp, SDR1000 for band scope and Acer Ferrari with N1MM logger. Worked 104 entities in just over 28 hours - first US.

 W8LRL station antennas

160 m tower is used for transmitting, it is 3/8 wavelength - 200 foot tall, with insulated guy wires, sitting on a small hill. This 3/8 vertical with extensive radial system provides excellent performance at low angles.

Trip on Caddy to inspect the tower base with heavy insulators, radial termination ring and matching unit, guarded by German Sheppard.

Peek inside the LC matching unit and grounding with radial terminating ring which connects 360 radials each 200 ft long, separated at the tips by 22" - can't get any closer to "perfect ground".

W8LRL uses some 12 beverage antennas of various configurations, from single wire 3.5 wave long, to phased and staggered double beverages. The key to successful 160m operating - "if you can't hear'em, you can't work'em"

Wal is inspecting the Beverage phasing and matching box, with Venus playing dead, or laughing her head off?

Beverage distribution panel, away from the tower.

Wal next to his 8 Vertical Circle receiving array phasing unit.
Additional antennas are EWE over the pond, Inverted Vee and phased 2 vertical array.

Guts of the 8 Vertical RX array. This system allows to use two receivers, one using 8 Vert. array and one using Beverages to scan the band while transmitting. Isolation and separation in the field of over 75 acres helps to do that.

All the antenna feedlines and controls are neatly mounted on the closet wall, shielded with aluminum foils. Separation and grounding is a key to maintain directivity and minimize the mutual coupling. Miles of buried coax cables and control lines. Wal used to work as an industrial electrician and his meticulous and neat installation is something to see.

 

Wal, W8LRL and Venus relaxing (waiting for trophy) after Multi OP stint in 2007 CQ WW 160 CW Contest where with Yuri, K3BU operated N8T to #1 place in USA.

Wal was also very active contester, participated in numerous record breaking expeditions to Curacao, but recent health issues prevented him from putting full time effort into contesting. He still enjoys chasing DX and he is on the top of the 160m DXCC standings from one location.

 

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Last modified: 03/07/12