Details and Photos of W5TOM's QTH




The Old Man in his wheelchair.  It is a '97 Miata, that has no radio or top (most of the time), but plays very well on curves..


This is my station.  The radio is a Ten Tec Pegasus running with the latest version of N4PY's software.  The amp is an Ameritron ALS-600 (that actually, really works...I'm not kidding, it really does...cross my heart).  The Watt meter is a Bird peak reading version.  There is an MFJ-1026 phasing box that gives control of two antennas on receive while transmit uses only one.  The antenna tuner (actually a line transformer) is an MFJ-962D that had to be rebuilt new right out of the box.  Since two of my three antennas are resonant, it is usually just used as an antenna switch.  The mics used are the homebrewed mikes from the March, 2003 QST article a RØDE NT3, and a ElectroVoice N/D 468.   The upper shelves sport, two old crystal sets, an Electrovoice 664 (the microphone with a backbone), a Shure 5B (sounds like a Heil #4), a vintage hard rubber horn speaker(sounds like a "Clear Speech DSP" speaker) for use with the crystal sets, and numerous other items of dubious couriosity and value.  On the left is a TV set that is usually on with the sound off.  I think I used the speaker out of it for a project about a year ago.  I like listening to the radio and "watching" the TV.  My favorite is 17Mtrs on the radio and "Bay Watch" on the telly.  The edge of the weezil cage is on the far left side.  I think she is either asleep or dead now; it's hard to tell with a weezil.  Since this was first posted, the TV is now a flat screen TFT, the Weezil has gone to Weezil Heaven, the puter is a tower on the floor, a Yaesu FT-857D has been added, and the rat's nest has been added...see below.

This is my most used Rig these days.  It is the Yaesu -857D mounted on a homebrew ball joint stand with the LDG meter, Collins CW and SSB filters, and the Brown Bros. BTL-A with orthopedic paddles custom made for the left-handed.  This is the best rig for the money of all for SSB and CW...a well kept secret.  In the background and below, you see the Berringer MX 602A Rats Nest that is used for all audio.  Transmit audio is on one buss and the RX audio is on the other.  The following is connected: Mic, Sony Minidisk TX and RX, computer sound card IN and OUT, Pegasus LINE IN and LINE OUT, RX-320, TV audio OUT, Bose Speakers, Ramsey FM transmitter, and Tektronix 222 scope.  You can spend a whole day trying to remember what you hooked to what.



This is what my radio looks like.  The Pegasus panel is the N4PY software.  The analyzer on the left side is a SpectraPLUS and is connected through the sound card to the line out jack and calibrated.  Below it is the Windows sound recorder, which I use to record audio when I want multiple tracks.  Tuning and changing settings on the radio is very fast and easy.  My mouse is really the control operator, and holds an Extra Class ticket he got the old fashioned way with Morse Code


This is my Elecraft K2/100 station SN 5812. It features an 8Ah x12V gell cell, LDG Z-11 Pro tuner, an N3ZN Paddle, model QRP with custom made carbon fiber fingerpieces, and a homebrewed mic.  The mic is made from a plastic utility box, a mic element from a telephone headset, and a modified push-on, push-off switch guessed it, RatShack.  I like to think of it as a push-to-talk switch with a built in mic.  With the new generation SSB board, it sounds very good.  The combination of the LDG tuner and the K2 match up well and function much easier than the Elecraft tuner made for this rig.  Information on this radio and the other wonderful Elecraft rigs can be found at:  Info on the N3ZN paddles can be found at:  They are the best high-end paddles for the money.  


This is my only contact with the outside world.  My antennas are well grounded in several ways.  They terminate outside the wall next to the station.  They are connected to the conventional two prong electrical outlets on the wall. The RG8X coax is soldered directly to the plugs and receptacles.  There is no connection to the outside when the plugs are removed including any station grounding.  The only connection to ground is through the plugs.  The red plug is for the AUX antenna input for the MFJ-1026.  The other two are for switched transmitting antennas.  My 20/40 meter dipole, my SGC fed all band vertical, or my 17mtr loop (in an oak tree) can be preselected at this connection, and switched at the station.  I usually listen on two antennas (phased dual diversity) and transmit on one.  

The use of the electrical outlets and plugs is a bit unconventional, but it works very well, and is more convenient that normal HF connectors.  The connections handle the 600 Watts with no measurable SWR insertion or heating.  I have no RFI on anything in the house, including cordless phones, off the air TVs, phone lines, and stereos.  I'm am worried about the new coffee maker, however, no matter what I do, it allways blinks "12:00".  The two pronged electrical plugs on the 8X will not reach any 110v out lets and are polarity marked.  When I am off the air, the plugs are removed and placed a couple of feet away on a hook.  This disconnects the radios from ground. Why have your radio attached to the best path to ground in the neighborhood?