Amateur Radio Station KG4IGC

Summerville, South Carolina EM93va

My Station

My Contesting Gear:

Yaesu FT-DX3000, MD-200A8X,  SP-2000,  FP-1030A,  DVS-6, Bencher chrome plated paddles

NooElec NESDR mini SDR & DVB-T USB stick (R820T) with a Ham it up v 1.2 RF upconverter for software defined radio

Yaesu FT-847, FC-20 automatic antenna tuner, SP-8

MFJ- 969 Deluxe Versa Tuner 2
MFJ-4726 Antenna/Transceiver Switchbox

HF Antennas:

Six Band K4HEX Hex Beam
80 Meter Loop
135 foot Inverted L for 160

 Control point II/workbench

HF Gear:

Yaesu FT-1000MP Field (Damaged due to close lightning strike)

Hiel goldline microphone

Kenwood TS-430S with the LDJ AT-11MP auto tuner; mic is a vintage Shure Brothers Slim X model 777s. Set of unknown maker magnetic paddles for CW

Hammarlund HQ-129-X receiver with a Hallicrafters model R-46 speaker

Rascal interfaces for digital modes

VHF Gear:

Icom IC-V8000 

Clegg FM-28


Vectronics VC300D



MFJ 434 Voice Keyer

MFJ Grandmaster Memory Keyer (CW)

Power Supplies:

Pyramid PS-50

Samlex SEC 1223


Ground Mounted Gap Challenger

Maco V5/8 vertical on a 30 foot tower.

Vintage receiver setup 


Heathkit SB-303
National NC-88

Power Supply:
Home brew 13.8 volt 15 amps

Antenna Farm

Six Band Hex Beam

This is my second attempt to build the K4KIO five band hex beam. This antenna is resonant on 6,10,12,15,17, and 20 meters. My good friend Dave NJ4F was kind enough to give me a bunch of long 3/4 inch thick bamboo stalks. I built the antenna in about two weeks time, first cutting and measuring the wires for the reflectors and directors and gathering all the needed hose clamps and wire ties. 

Once the bamboo was cut to length, assembly was pretty straight forward, especially since I had done this before. My first attempt at the antenna I used PVC pipe for the spreaders, which did not hold up to the hot summer WX and was a total loss after our first ice storm. (You can read about my first attempt at this antenna if you scroll down to former antennas on this page.) 

I put it together in my front yard, using our outdoor table that has a hole in the middle for an umbrella. This came in very useful for holding the mast during assembly not to mention it was a good place for all my tools. 

Once assembled, the SWR readings were borderline, but once I got it atop of two ten foot poles, the measurements were much better.

Broadband Hex Beam SWR Measurements:

6 meters 
 10 meters
 12 meters
 15 meters
 17 meters
 20 meters
 21.000:  1.2
 21.200:  1.4
 21.300:  1.6
 21.450:  1.8


 Antenna Farm Pictures



Maco V5/8 tuned for ten meters( This is a very good vertical for 10 and 12... still in use after 9 years of service)



Ground mounted Gap Challenger



Corner view of my 160 meter W4TWW coaxal Inverted L ( I am currently in the process of relocating this antenna and am going to make some improvements to the radial and vertical sections by enclosing them in a weatherproof  electical box . I plan to terminate each radial by soldering them to a terminal strip inside of the box.This be done for for neatness plus better mechanical and electrical contacts.Right now,all the radials are soldered together in one big mass of wire and solder covered in electrical tape lying on the ground.)



 Feed point and radial connections (8 @ 130') OF 160 meter Inverted L ( Here you can see the ugly construction of the radial system)



                                                      WX Receive

Here is my Tall narrow QHA ( quadrifilar helix antenna)  WX recieve antenna , located in the back yard and is now hanging in a tree.  I use this antenna and WX to Imaging software to download weather images from satelites with my Icom T-81A handi talkie. The software is free and can be downloaded from 


 Here is another link for QHA's:

6 Meters

6 Meter stacked Squalos  (As you can see,  the former Mimosa tree was doing its best to get into this set of antennas as well.  Boy, am I glad that thing is gone!)  

 5/30/09 I just put these antennas back up and instead of using the normal heavy 10 foot poles (you know,  like you get from Radio Shack...I gotta throw this in...their motto...."You have questions?  We have blank stares"   I thought about well, what if I want to go portable someday with these antennas. I needed a support that was lightweight.  Being the cheapskate that I am,  remembered that I had an old extendable pool pole holding up a section of my chain link fence that was messed up after one of my neighbors dead pine tree fell on it in a storm a couple years back.Why I never thought of this before is beyond me. The extendable pole works excellent as a mast and us very lightweight. Whats really cool about it is that I can disassemble the entire setup in about 10 minutes and put it in the truck for easy portability. The pole extends to about 15 feet what is really cool is the fact that I can set it on top of a ten foot section of that heavy TV antenna pole; it is a perfect fit.





30' Tower with my copper 2 meter J-pole, three element 2 meter beam, and 11 element 440 beam. The rotator is an old Archer made for TV antennas. This is a very cheap roter and lasts forever I found one brand new still in the box at a yard sale and paid 5 dollars for it. Come to find out, the guy who sold me this was an inactive ham!

Former Farm Antennas


K4KIO Home brew 5 band hex beam

(Featured in the March 2009 QST page 30) 

This was my first attempt at building the "classic" version of this antenna. I made it for 10,12,15,17,and 20 meters. The only materials that I had to buy for it was PVC (bad idea..looked great, but I wished that I had some bamboo instead),  brown paint, u-bolts, and hose clamps. I already had the rest of the materials needed in my junk pile.  I was very surprised at how lightweight and balanced this antenna was. 

It performed very well for the short time that I had it, plus I only had it at about 18 feet in the air.  I am quite sure that it would have played much better if I would have had it at 40 or 50 feet but that was impossible for me to do. The bottom plate I fabricated out of 1/8 inch aluminum plate and held up very well. I used the U bolts to hold the PVC supports and hose clamps to hold the wire in place. I used some old terminal strips for the attachment of the elements to the center post and fed it from the top.

Wire Antennas

The great thing about wire antennas is that they are very easy and cheap to make. Commercial antennas can cost up to a thousand bucks or more, so I figure why pay all of that money when I can but a roll of  #14 wire and build several antennas for a fraction of the price. Back in 2008, we had the roof redone so all my wires had to come down. Only a couple went back up after the roof was finished.

On the plus side, after taking down all the antennas this gave me a clean slate for all new wire antennas! The Inverted V and Sterba Curtain are history although I am considering building a new multi band Sterba in the future and hanging it in the back yard instead of the front. 

My phased squalo's for 6 meters are grounded for now, and I have to climb the tower to fix the copper j-pole because when the dead Mimosa tree was removed, it took out the coax on the way down. I have put the loop back up and now am experimenting with three 88' doublets in the shape of a triangle with a remote switch box. I will post new pictures and some sources of information on these antennas in the near future. For now, I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Overall shot of the old antenna farm. Here you can see the VHF tower,the Maco V5/8 on its 30' tower,  the 282' Loop,  Sterba Curtain,  squalos,  and extended double zepps


20 meter Inverted V

8 Element 10 meter Sterba Curtain (note the homebrew ladder line to the far left.. I made all the ladder line and phasing lines by hand...... they were constructed out of 3 inch long wooden dowels covered with paraffin wax and number 12 wire.  I wanted to get a feel of how the old timers did it.  I wouldn't recommend this project to anyone!  The results was satisfying and worked very well, but it was a lot  of work.

Plans for construction of this high gain bi-directional antenna can be found in the ARRL publication "ARRL's Wire Antenna Classics" (c)  ( I would recommend this book to anyone)  chapter 6 page 6-9.  This is a great article written by James D. Cain, K1TN.

I have done some research on the internet since building this antenna and have found a few pages on how to build a multi band version of this antenna.  I am seriously considering making a new one because this antenna really kicks butt!  I have given it some serious thought and think that I will use #14 wire instead of # 12 and commercial ladder line to make the antenna a few pounds lighter. The old antenna weighed a ton and was tough to keep in the air on account of its weight.  Who needs an amp when you got one of these in your yard?

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