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last updated 18/06/04
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Back through the years ...

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1971 - NANTES Loire Atlantique (FRANCE) After a few years listening to Ham bands on an homebrew REF-design all valve 5 band receiver, I had upgraded with an all solid state Ham receiver Vendee 5SD by LAS France: a nice piece of equipment for that time, though expensive for a student. With Pierre F5PW as CW coach, learning code was not that much of a problem, and time had come to go for the Ham licence. I finally got my ticket in 1971, about same time as buddies like F6AXC, F6BLU, and F6BSW.

Transmitter was homebrew as per F3LG design, with a 50 Watts grid modulated 807 PA: about twice the weight and half the power of a modern transceiver, but built like a rock into an army type steel cabinet. CW was thru a sawblade and antenna a mere dipole in the attic. Also I had experienced with QRP portable op with crystal controled EL84 transmitter into a rotating dipole. My first SSB rig: Heathkit HW32A 20 meter SSB monobander is shown at right.

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ft250.gif (23038 octets) 1972 - SAINT HERBLAIN Loire Atlantique (FRANCE) Moving along with my parents to a new house, there was some room for improvement: it came with a 12 meter mast and various wire antennas. It is about this time that I traded out all HW32A, Vendee 5SD and homebrew transmitter for a "top of the line" Sommerkamp FT250 5 band trcvr. Woooow, whats a change. 

1973 - SARK Isl. (Channel Islands) Just cant remember how this project came out... yet it eventually happened by summer 73: Herve F6BLU, Pierrick F6CMS, Wolfgang DK5XW and undersigned for an early DXP on Sark Island, with QSL via Didier F6BSW: 3 rigs, a 2 el. tribander quad, and a couple of inv. V dipoles on lower bands.

Looking back at this issue and number of QSOs in the log, it was really nothing serious in it, except the strong storm that brought the quad aground in pieces, and the local bier turnover that our team was achieving in local pubs :-)
Click on the pics to enlarge >>
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2 element quad before and after storm.

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1973 - French Forces in Germany Time had come to wear battle dress for that time compulsory 12 month military period that took place in south west Germany. I turned out soon as being the only member and then manager of the local radio club DA2.., later operating under my own callsign DA2VI with still alive FT250 + wire antennas from the base, or with army rigs whenever mobile.  

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1991 - MIRAMONT de GUYENNE Lot et Garonne (FRANCE) When settling back in France after no ham activity since 1976, it happened that the radio bug came around biting again: that made me soon acquire a YAESU FT102, and raise up an homebrew G4ZU tribander wire beam @ 9 m high (super Db/cost ratio) + horizontal loop fed thru a parallel line and homemade matching unit.

2000- PORNIC Loire Atlantique (FRANCE) F6BLQ home callsign is used not more than 2 or 3 months a year due to overseas assignments (just a fact, not an invitation for piracy!).

Ag00180_.gif (6153 octets) Till 2000 only verticals or dipoles have been used as temporary aerials behind FT 1000MP + HL2K amp. Results surprisingly showed above average, with QTH being 15 m. ASL and 150 m. far from seashore, with no major obstacle except toward North. Yet an urgent upgrade was felt necessary, as no serious Ham can sleep well if no proper antenna :-)  
French regulations are that any tower higher than 12 m. and antennas larger than 4 m. do require a construction permit from the township: usually no big worry, at least when erected on owned properties. Much different is when a QTH is within a 500 meter radius from a so-called "classified piece of history": in this case all tower projects (and more generally any construction project) need additional and often cumbersome investigations by environmental/historical protection agencies. Our home QTH was within this category, so the administative venture was expected to last.  
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< Not the shack ! but the neolithic culprit stone 350 meters away from the house, that rules out any large antenna project! A construction permit has therefore been applied in October 2001 for an "11,50 meter" telescopic tower, even though seldom are those who would make the difference between 11 and 15 meters from a simple glance toward the sky! Yet always mind your neighbours, experience says and has proved this time again.

2002 - Pornic (FRANCE)

The "magic paper" arrived by end January 2002, and we soon finalized a deal for a Cushcraft X7 beam with Waters & Stanton UK even though it is obvious that such a yagi can hardly comply with the "4 meter max width" administrative restriction. But which HF beam would do ?  
The tower is a self-supported ADOKIT triangular 40' type made of 3 x 3 meter fixed sections + 3 meter side sliding hazer, that allows the aerial to be easily nested down at 4 m. high whenever necessary, and all during our overseas postings. A 5' x 5' x 3' concrete base makes sure the tower can sustain strong winds that often blow at here. Also for more comfort.
Here are some snapshots of the mini tower project, completed by mid april 2002 (click on the pics to enlarge). foto3.jpg (216925 octets) foto5.jpg (244098 octets) foto2.jpg (334937 octets)
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Late 2003, advantage has been taken of several 16 m. high pine trees to support a 40 meter vertical delta loop (with feeding point at mid base in order to achieve high angle for european traffic), and an inverted Vee on 75 meter, both being rather unobstrusive wire aerials. Also a 6 meter long boom yagi by DXSR is atop the main tower.  foto10.gif (272947 octets)

2003 - Pornic (FRANCE)

Constructed on a mere 800 sqm of "antenna garden", this setup will surely not challenge big gun stations but still offers multiband "better than average" performances, taking into account administrative local restrictions. Also when the neighbourhood will have visually accepted both tower and aerial, it is no reason not to apply next for an 18 or 21 meter extension permit, just enough to give local squirrels a chance for new experiment!

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Pornic harbour under the snow. Pornic lighthouse in same environment.

More antenna pictures ... and more snow.

2004 - Pornic (FRANCE)

Here is the setup as at April 2004:
Station 1: HF only

Both positions are fitted with HEIL HC4 Proset's thru homebrew manual interfaces that control audios to/fro the 2 units, and connect with PC's for digital modes. Voice keyers are extermal, either YAESU DVS-2 or an antique Ventriloquist™ by J-Com.

Ameritron AL-1500 (1 x 3CX1500A)

Station 2: HF backup + 50 Mhz + VHF


Tokyo Hi Power HL2K (2 x 3-500Z)

160 nil Coax are all low loss type either 11 mm Pope or 7/8 Heliax run underground thru PVC channels.  
80 Inverted Vee dipole @ 18 m. + 1 x 80 meter beverage
40 Vertical delta loop @ 15 m. + dito
30 same with tuner
20/15/10 Cushcraft X7 yagi @ 11 m. + backup HF6V
17/12 same with tuner + backup Create 248 A
6 6 élément long boom yagi @ 13 m.
2 4 élément yagi + vertical