Amateur Radio Station AB9BH

The following is a QST.

I am an Amateur Radio operator with callsign AB9BH, and I hold an Extra class license. I got my Technician license in 2000, and I upgraded to Extra in 2001, back in the old days when one still had to pass a Morse Code test at five words per minute. I was mostly inactive between 2003 and 2021 aside from some repeater operation and mostly failed experiments with APRS and the International Space Station. I also hold GMRS license WQRM321 (really).

Current station

After moving to Greenmore House in Shoreline, Washington in early 2021, I wanted to set up a real ham radio station, but taking a long term view, I knew that I needed to address the fundamentals first. Thus, I first built a redundant DC power system that is powered both by the grid and by battery so that the function of my station and other critical equipment will be unaffected by power outage. Initial operation during 2021 was made using a Buddipole antenna that I set up occasionally.

In 2022, I started pursuing construction of the station more seriously. I started by having electricians install, ground, and bond an entrance panel for antenna feedlines; then I brought ground inside to a wall-mounted ground bar. Immediately, Buddipole operation was greatly facilitated, for I no longer had to run a feedline out the window to operate, and I could deploy the antenna in dipole configuration in about 10 minutes. Next, for local communications, I installed a 2m/440 antenna; getting that antenna outside greatly reduced noise and improved the quality of received signals on the 2-meter band. After that, I installed an initial end-fed wire antenna for HF and a small, two-element beam for 6 meters (fixed, with no rotator). Using this setup coupled with occasional Buddipole deployments, I was able to complete several operating awards within only six months.

Unfortunately, more construction was delayed due to financial, logistical, mental, and legal reasons. Nevertheless, I continued working with what I had available through 2023 and 2024, first building significantly my VUCC standing. Then by configuring my Buddipole as a vertical (with low band coil and extra length), I was able to eventually complete WAS on 40m and 80m so as to qualify for 5BWAS with eight bands in total. I also started pursuing and completing some phone and CW awards.

Operating awards, endorsements, and totals

[Totals were automatically updated on 2024-06-20.]

Selected contest scores

🏅 2023 ARRL June VHF — SO3B — 1st place Western Washington section — 35,230 points [1.4 MB]
🏅 2022 ARRL June VHF — SO3B — 3rd place Western Washington section — 2,108 points [1.4 MB]

Notable Memberships

Station equipment

🔋 my redundant DC power system
🌐 Palomar Engineers
🌐 Buddipole
🌐 Time Machines Corporation
🌐 KF7P entrance panels
🌐 Morgan Systems
🌐 Alpha Delta

Station photographs

📷 The operating position at AB9BH [3.6 MB]
📷 The station's single-point ground, mounted next to the operating position [2.3 MB]
📷 At AB9BH, safety is taken seriously! [3.4 MB]
📷 Entrance panel and lightning arrestors, connected to ground by two-inch strap [3.7 MB]
📷 Antenna for 2m/440 [4.3 MB]
📷 Two-element beam for 6m (fixed, no rotator) [2.0 MB]

Past stations

My first station was in a campus apartment in graduate school. I had an Icom 706MKIIG connected to an AH-4 automatic random wire tuner (with a 30-foot or so wire running around my ceiling) and an MFJ 969 antenna tuner for a 6m inverted vee on my balcony. I also had a 2m vertical dipole. Since I was on the third floor of three, my antennæ were up about 30 feet or so. Due to excellent propagation in 2001, I worked stations all over South America and Europe and a few in Africa and Asia with that setup.

During the summer of 2001, I lived in Park Ridge, Illinois where I had a bit different of a setup thanks to a tripod and a bit of mast. I had a 2m ground plane at 20 feet, a 6m dipole at 18 feet, and a 20m dipole at 8 feet. I probably should have figured out a way to string up a 20m inverted vee with the apex supported by the mast. With this station, I worked stations all over South America and Europe, several in Asia, one in Africa, a VK, and a ZL on 20m. I also worked a lot of grid squares on 6m.

My friend Greg and I once took over the University of Illinois's Synton Amateur Radio Club, W9YH, one of the oldest Registered Student Organizations associated with the University, founded in 1925.

📷 The operating position at AB9BH (Park Ridge, summer 2001) [774 KB]
📷 Antennæ at AB9BH (Park Ridge, summer 2001) [1.0 MB]
📷 The operating position at AB9BH (Champaign, fall 2001) [776 KB]
📷 Antennæ at AB9BH (Champaign, fall 2001) [741 KB]

Copyright © 2001–2003, 2022–2024 Sidney August Cammeresi IV. All rights reserved.

This content may not be reproduced in any form or manner without the express written permission of the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted.


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