Sunday, October 16, 2011

Contest Station 6Y1V

Contest Station 6Y1V

The Location
The 6Y1V contest station is located in the hills just above the sea coast village of Hopewell, in Hanover Parish, on Jamaica's northwest coast, 17km west of Montego Bay and 64km east of Negril.
The location is about 1 mile from the sea at 850' above sea level and has a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea from west through north to east. The photos below show the view the antennas see from the top of the 135' tower. The first photo is looking west by northwest towards the Pacific and Japan, the middle photo is northwest by north toward the United States and the right photo looking northeast to east from Europe to North Africa. In this photo you can see Montego Bay and the airport on the peninsula.

The Shack
The 6Y1V contest station is designed to operate a variety of amateur radio contests in any category, including single operator, SO2R, multi-operator, multi-operator single transmitter, multi-operator two transmitter and multi-operator multi-transmitter.
The station is also designed to be competitive in all power categories including QRP (low power).
The radios are four (4) Icom IC-7800 transceivers, one (1) Yaesu FT-1000MP MK-V fully loaded with filters and mods and a Kenwod TS-2000 used primarily for VHF.
Each of the IC-7800's can be used independently or paired for SO2R operation with EZMaster controllers. (not yet installed)
The photos below were taken during the 2006 CQWW SSB contest, although the full installation was incomplete at this time

Each pair of IC-7800's share an Acom 2000A power amplifier.  The Yaesu can use either a Kenwood TL-922 or a home brew Ameritron AL-80B built by 6Y5GC. The TL-922 and AL-80B will soon be replaced with another Acom 2000A and an Acom 1000 for use on 6 meters.
The sophisticated antenna switching system was designed by K1LZ (Krassy) and employs two main switching controls that permit each antenna to be independently switched to either IC-7800 pair (L or R SO2R) and then selected independently using Acom antenna switches. This will soon be completely controlled using touch screen computers.
Currently, bandpass filters are switched manually, as are the SteppIRcontrollers, however, all of this will be automated. You will simply select a radio, touch an antenna on the screen and operate. Everything will be switched under computer control. Even the SteppIR's will be locked out while they are changing frequency so you cannot apply power to their brushes.
We provide high speed wireless Internet access. The computers are in a Windows domain and connected via a Cisco network with a PIX firewall. Guests simply login and select the logging program of choice and operate. Internet browsing, telnet and checking email is all permitted, however, all computers are locked down to prevent installing software, download viruses, spyware or malware from the Internet. CT Win, Write Log, N1MM Logger and WinTest are all provided for your convenience. Operators may bring their own laptops and plug into the network, independent of our domain.
The entire station can be remotely controlled over the Internet using VPN technology and VoIP. Each piece of equipment can be remotely powered and is backed up by UPS and their is an onsite generator for emergency power.
We currently have a VoIP phone in the shack that is connected directly to our VoIP switch in the US  and permits operators to directly contact the station manager KY1V. Family members can call the station in emergencies as a direct non international call.
For your convenience, log files are automatically backed up over remote VPN to our data center in Louisville, KY.

The Antennas
The antenna system is extensive. We currently have 6 towers and planning a few more. All towers are guyed with Phillystran.
The first tower is a 135' Rohn 45G star guyed tower supporting twoSteppIR MonstIR yagis at 70' and 130'. These huge arrays are turned using K0XG heavy duty ring rotors that generate so much torque the tower had to be star guyed to keep it from twisting as much as 10 to 12 inches.

The Fluid Motion SteppIR MonstIR yagis are stacked and phased and are designed mainly for run station use and are capable of providing 4/4 on 10/12/15/17/20 meters and 3/3 on 30/40 meters. Each MonstIR antenna is configured for master/slave rotation utilizing Green Heron Engineering rotor control boxes. They can also be rotated and used independently of one another for multi-multi operation.
Don't forget...these antennas are great for WARC band operation and are also configured to operate as 6 el yagis on 6 meters.
Tower number two is a 105' Rohn 45G rotating tower. It employs bothRTS rings and K0XG rotor system to turn the tower and is controlled by a Green Heron Engineering control box.

The rotating tower supports 6 M2 Inc. long boom mono band yagis. On 20 meters we have 6/6 on 59' booms at 100' and 50'. On 15 meters we have 6/6 on 44' booms at 65' and 32'. On 10 meters we have 7/7 on 44' booms at 55' and 28'.
The primary purpose for the rotating tower and stacked arrays is for multiplier hunting. These antennas have a razor sharp beam width and provide maximum gain. The top antennas are particularly good for early band openings and long haul DX.
We have four Hy-Gain Hy-Towers extended to 67' for 80 meters. These provide an excellent 4 square with 25+ DB of front to back ratio. In addition to being excellent directional transmit antennas, we hear with them incredibly well.
On 160 meters we have four slopers draped from the top of the 135' tower. One for each direction, NE, NW, SW and SE.
We have two 1000' beverages, one NW and one NE, a K9AY loop and a pennant for low band receiving antennas.

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