Hustler 6BTV Vertical Antenna Installation

6BTV AntennaI recently finished building and installing a Hustler 6BTV six band vertical antenna that I purchased from DX Engineering at the Dayton Hamvention. This antenna, which covers 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kHz of 80 meters, has been a reliable workhorse among amateurs for many years, and is a favorite of DXpedition operators because of its simplicity and ease of construction and installation.

For temporary installations, it’s possible to put the pieces together, tune, hoist, mount and guy it, and run out a few radials along the ground in less than an hour. For more permanent installations, there are many augmentations that turn it into a versatile and easy-to-maintain antenna.

In addition to the antenna, I also purchased the SO239 feed bracket, the reinforced lower tube, and an Alpha Delta lightning spark gap from DXE. They also offer two kinds of tilt mounts, but both are designed to mount on a single 2 inch pole driven into the ground. My mount consists of two Unistruts anchored in concrete with aluminum panels mounted across them, which was the mounting arrangement for the 30 and 15 meter vertical which the 6BTV replaces. Continue reading “Hustler 6BTV Vertical Antenna Installation”

New rig in the NF8M shack

TS-590SG_672x372My Kenwood TS-690S has served me well for over a dozen years, but it was time to move into the 21st century and upgrade the HF portion of my shack.

After reading the reviews and consulting with some of the world’s top contesters, I decided on one of the 690’s successors, the highly-regarded Kenwood TS-590SG.

Now that some of the initial bugs have been worked out of the 590, and a few features added, it made perfect sense. Continue reading “New rig in the NF8M shack”