Ken Harker WM5R
2001 N5TW ARRL International DX Contest, Phone


Band QSOs Mults
160SSB 10 8
80SSB 46 33
40SSB 284 70
20SSB 610 99
15SSB 1432 125
10SSB 1469 120
Totals 3851 455
Claimed Score: 5,177,445

I was invited to operate the 2001 ARRL International DX Contest, Phone with the multi-two team at N5TW. Tom Whiteside N5TW lives in suburban Georgetown, TX, about fifty kilometers due north of Austin, TX. Tom is a recent ham, having earned his ticket in late 1995, after many years as an SWL enthusiast.

The team this year was NA4M, WM5R, K5EWS, KI5DR, W5RQ, K5PI, WQ5G, W5TD, and N5TW. This was my first contest from the N5TW station. Conditions were down from the CW weekend 2001, and our score and QSO totals were slightly lower. Nonetheless, our score was just shy of the W5 record, set in 1989 by N5AU. The N5TW station is not as large as N5AU, but it does have four towers, one each for 10M, 15M, 20M, and 40M, a K8UR phased wire direction array for 80M, a 160M inverted L, and eight directions of beverage antennas. Inside the shack, two transceivers and two high power amplifiers gave us the punch we needed to run up the QSO totals.

I had a lot of fun.

These photos are copyright © 2001-2003 Kenneth E. Harker. All rights reserved.


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Tom Whiteside N5TW, host and team captain!
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The N5TW station, just before the contest. The radio on the left is a Yaesu FT-1000D, and the radio on the right is a Kenwood TS-850SAT. To the left of the Yaesu FT-1000D is a low noise preamp for 80M and 160M. Above the Yaesu FT-1000D is a large Daiwa SWR meter, a Top Ten band deoder, and the Comtek control box for the 80M array. To the right of these are a meter for the 80M array, and two Orion rotor control boxes for the 40M yagis. To the right of these are a Dunestar bandpass filter box and three Orion rotor control boxes for the 20M yagis. To the right of these are the WX0B control boxes for two radios, 10M, 15M, 20M, and 40M. To the right of these is a Dunestar bandpass filter box and three Orion rotor control boxes for the 15M yagis. To the right of these are a Daiwa SWR/power meter, Top Ten band decoder, two Tailtwister control boxes and one Orion rotor control box for the 10M yagis. On the table at the right are two Alpha 87A power amplifiers.
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Another view of the station. The metal things on top of the stacks of control boxes are mainly there for weight to keep the whole thing from falling over. Both stations used Heil Prosets and footswitches.
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Another view of the station. There is a speaker in between the two radios, which we didn't use. Just to the left of the left station monitor, you can see a homemade beverage switching box, giving the left station eight receive directions.
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A view of the station interior from inside the closet. The Yaesu FT-1000D is Tom's main radio. The Kenwood TS-850SAT belongs to Robert Brandon K5PI, one of the operators.
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Each station had it's own Alpha 87A amplifier. One of these is Tom's, the other belonged to Jim Lindley K5EWS, one of our operators. These amplifiers are fully automatic, and can change bands without operator adjustment. They performed very well all weekend long. We managed to trip the one on the left into standby mode just twice on 10M.
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This is the shack closet. It is narrow, but deep. At the far end is is the entry bulkhead for the coax and control cables. The shelves contain spare parts, tools, test instruments, and the other usual station accessories.
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These are all of the rotor control cables for the Orion rotors, cables for the antenna switch boxes and stack switching for each tower, control cables for the beverage switch boxes, and the control cabling for the phased wire array on 80M.
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This is the entry bulkhead for the coax and control cables. As you can see, all of the cables are grounded to the solid copper panel with Polyphaser lightning/NEMP suppressors. The copper panel must easily weight fifty pounds, and is connected to an earth ground outside with 18" wide solid copper strap.
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Phil Duff NA4M on 15M Friday night.
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Scott Pederson KI5DR and Jim Lindley K5EWS in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
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"Captain Midnight" Scott Pederson KI5DR. Scott is in the process of moving from the San Antonio area to Round Rock, a suburb between Austin and Georgetown.
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Phil Duff NA4M on Saturday, probably on 10M or 15M.
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John McColly W5RQ on Saturday.
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Tom Whiteside N5TW turning one of the Orion rotors while Phil Duff NA4M tries to pull out a weak European station.
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Tom Whiteside N5TW discusses operating strategy with John McColly W5RQ.
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John McColly W5RQ and Phil Duff NA4M on Saturday afternoon.
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"Pass 'em to each other! You're doing FB!"
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Robert Brandon K5PI takes charge as around 4:40PM on Saturday afternoon.
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Phil Duff NA4M and Robert Brandon K5PI, Saturday afternoon.
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Steve Runyon WQ5G settles down into 15M on Saturday afternoon.
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Steve Runyon WQ5G on the other radio, after an operator swap.
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Robert Brandon K5PI and Jim Lindley K5EWS prepare to take charge as "Captains Midnight" early Sunday morning.
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Robert Brandon K5PI getting into 40M around midnight Sunday morning.
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Tom DeWitt W5TD takes over 15M at Sunday sunrise.
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Tom DeWitt W5TD and Ken Harker WM5R on Sunday morning.
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Ken Harker WM5R on 10M Sunday morning.
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Tom Whiteside N5TW takes a peek over the shoulder of Tom DeWitt W5TD, while Phil Duff NA4M works more Europeans on 10M.
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Tom DeWitt W5TD, Phil Duff NA4M, and Tom Whiteside N5TW. N5TW is on the third console, watching packet spots and planning strategy for the final hours.
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Tom Whiteside N5TW, cogitating. Tom had maybe six hours of sleep all weekend.
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This is a relay box at the base of the 10M tower. Inside is the WX0B SixPak antenna switch box, the Beverage switching hardware, and Polyphaser lightning/NEMP suppressors. Additional Polyphaser lightning/NEMP suppressors are located in the station bulkhead entry point.
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The 10M tower. This was taken on Saturday morning, when it was misting and drizzly. This is the tower that the K8UR design phased wire array is hung from. The control box is above the fixed beam and just below the middle rotor. The lines connecting to the box are the coax feedlines that go to the centers of each of the four slopers in the array.
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The 15M tower, as seen through the trees.
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The 20M and 10M towers. All of the yagis from 40M through 10M are on their own rotors. The ones below the top of the tower are limited in their rotation, but Tom has arranged things so that the rotors cover all of the interesting directions from central Texas.
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The 20M tower. Each of the towers has a single, smaller fixed yagi pointed at the Caribbean and South America.
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Tom is in the process of building a real 160M foursquare. This plate is going to be the base of one of the four verticals involved. It has 72 connections for ground radials. Tom is still less than a quarter of the way done with the radials, which will take over 10 km of wire to complete.
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The current 160M transmit antenna. It is an inverted L with elevated radials.
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Just a hint of the coming sunset on Sunday evening.

Last Updated 14 April 2016
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