The Antenna Farm

The antenna farm is located on my property which measures approximately 200 X 100 feet.  Shown above is my QTH from the air taken  in early Spring 2006.  Just on the north (top of picture) end of the house you can see my 54 foot foldover tower.   On the right side of the picture you see the little white square on the ground.  That square is the base of  a  50 foot tower.  Just on the north wall of the little white storage shed,  lower left side of picture, stands a short 30 foot tower.  Since this is an early Spring picture you must excuse the green water in the pool.  It does look much better by June!  Also, look a little to the left of the 50 foot tower out back you'll see me standing there waving at the satellite camera. 

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 Above is a picture of the antennas atop the 54 foot tower.  The antennas on this tower consist of a homebuilt 28 foot boom fifteen element 2 meter yagi at 56 feet.  Next is a small  three element Cushcraft  6 meter yagi at 60 feet.  On top, at 62 feet, is a  sixteen element 432MHz yagi from Gulf Alpha Communications.  The Gulf Alpha antennas are excellently constructed and in my opinion the best out there today!    I built the two meter yagi back in 1988 based, on the early optimized designs and a BASIC language software design program, out of one of the ham magazines of the time. .  The boom is thick wall 1.25" square aluminum tubing.  All elements are 3/8" solid aluminum rod.  In all these years the yagi has held up wonderfully.  Most hardware is stainless steel.  I have 35 states confirmed on 2 meters with that antenna and never ran over 150 watts.

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This last picture is a ground level view of the antennas.  On HF I use all wire antennas.  You can just make out the 50 foot tower that is located  on the left side of this picture.  Strung between the two towers is a 75M Double-Bazooka at the 50 foot level.  Ten feet below that is a 80M full-wave horizontal loop.  The loop is supported by the two towers shown on this side and by the 30 foot tower and a tree on the opposite side of the square (actually a 90 X 45 foot rectangle).  The loop is feed with open  ladderline to a Johnson Matchbox for tuning on all bands 10-80M.  160M operation is performed with a transmission line antenna, as described in the N9NB article that appears in Ham Radio magazine May, 1985.  The double-bazooka is coax feed through a Millen 92200 Transmatch and is also tuneable from 10-80M.

The 54 foot tower tilts over at the roof level of my two story home.  Antenna work on the VHF/UHF yagis requires no climbing, except to get up on the roof.  The antennas actually over hang the second story portion of the house and stick out over the single story attached garage.  Working on and removing the antennas only requires standing on a six foot step ladder.  To work on or remove the rotor I sit on the second story roof with the rotor at my side.  Thankfully the pitch of  my roof  is very shallow and one can walk around without any difficulty or fear of sliding off!

Originally I planned on tilting the tower over into the backyard.  After the base hole was dug (Thank you Don, Daniel, Andrew and Mathew for all your hard word!) and the first few sections of tower installed to plum things up in preparation for the concrete, I noticed that the tilt-over point was about 1" above the second story roof line.  So about an hour before the concrete was being delivered we rotated the tower 90 degrees so that the tower would tilt over onto the roof.  Man talk about advance planning, hi.  Once the concrete was poured there is no going back.  It is so nice having it tilt over on the house!

The 30 foot tower  is attached to my garden shed and supports a 144/222/450 colinear vertical antenna that is used for FM VHF/UHF operations.  As mentioned previously this smaller tower also support one corner of the full-wave 80M loop.

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