Amateur Radio Station WS6X


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ham radio

The Antenna Farm

Ham radio stations consist of two main parts – the Antennas, often called the Antenna Farm, and the Radio Room, also known as The Shack. In this section we will take a walk outside, looking at the antennas in use at WS6X.

To describe the WS6X antenna system as a "Farm" would probably qualify as the overstatement of the century! When I moved from California to Virginia in 2014, the plan was to downsize significantly from the antenna system in California. The choice of a 6 acre property "way out in the country" was with the hope of continuing my pursuit of low-band DX-ing.

In spite of the downsized antenna farm, that very quiet location, situated at 1400 feet ASL, allowed me to remain fairly competitive. Operating the low-bands from such an electrically quiet QTH gave me a new lease on life on 160 meters!

A second move in 2021 to another VA QTH involved additional downsizing. I am now using a 2-element KIO Hexagonal beam at 42' for 20 - 6, and an Inverted-L with a 58' vertical section for 160 - 40. So even though I fondly remember the "Big Gun" days in CA, I have happily settled into a "Little Pistol" routine and still enjoy competing with the larger stations.

I am still an avid low-band DX-er, and even with my modest setup I have done quite well. I still have the Pixel Loop for RX and with the K3s in full diversity I occasionally manage to put a "new one" in the log!

Current Antennas at WS6X

(In photos below, hover mouse to zoom in.)

Hi-Band Antenna: KIO Hexagonal Beam

Ham Radio Antenna

KIO Hexagonal Beam

2-Elements at 42 Feet
20M thru 6M

Low-Band Antenna: Inv-L (160M thru 30M)

This antenna is my design, consisting of a parallel-fed vertical section made with high-power ladder line. One side of the ladder line connects to the 80M horizontal section, and the other to the 160M horizontal wire. In addition to 160 and 80, the antenna loads beautifully on 60, 40 and 30M.

Ham Radio Antenna
Feedpoint: The electrical box
contains a DXE Tuner Balun
and a static discharge tube.
36 radials and a ground rod connect
to the ground side of the coax.
Ham Radio Antenna
Strain Relief: The spring pictured
allows for a good bit of expansion
when the support trees sway in the wind.
Ham Radio Antenna
Vertical section is 58 feet tall.
It is supported by 2 tall trees.
160M horizontal leg goes one direction;
80M horizontal wire goes the other.