K2FX Amateur Radio Page
The RadioWave Net!
K2FX can also be heard every Sunday Evening (except for the summer months of June July and August)
on the "The RadioWave Net" as your Net Control Station.
If you are in the Rochester, NY area, please join us on the 145.655 Repeater System - beginning at 8:30PM Local Eastern Time.
The RadioWave Net is activated for the purposes of:
*Promoting fellowship among Amateur Radio
Operators around the world.
* Providing an opportunity for everyone to test their equipment and net operating skills.
*Bringing new and interesting topics for discussion relating to Amateur Radio and the Sciences.
*Discussing Fringe topics such as UFO's and ET's, Conspiracy Theories, and Government Cover-ups.
The net is beginning to
gain popularity around the country,
as more and more of you are listening via IRLP!
There is also some discussion about taking the Net to HF on 75-Meters.
Would you like to see this net go to HF? Voice your opinion by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just "LEARN THE CODE" and have some CW Fun!
Amateur Radio Station-K2FX
Paul J. Kolacki
2571 Kenyon Road
Ontario, New York 14519-9757
Grid Locator: FN-13if
DX Stations Please QSL Via the Bureau or LOTW
Stateside Direct QSL
K2FX in 1973 (Age 13) as a newly licensed Novice.
My Callsign was WN2SNU. I became WA2SNU in
1975, and eventually K2FX in 1996.
Like most Ham Radio Operators, ever
since receiving my Novice license back in 1973, I've always dreamed of being able to erect
a Tower, but have never owned property that would make that possible. That is up
until the fall of 2001. My XYL Cyndie (K2SKY) and I bought a brand new home in the country
that came with 3 1/2 acres. From that point on, I knew it was just a matter of time
before I would begin such a project. After doing some extensive research on what was
available, I decided that somehow by the fall of 2002, I would make that dream a reality!
K2SKY and I documented the entire process from the first
scoop of soil as the base was being dug, right up to the finished product. We've
assembled these pictures, and have made them available on this site to share with all of
you for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason being the sense of pride it has
brought me, but I've also done this in an effort to help other Hams who may also have an
interest in doing such an installation. Believe me, this was no small project to
undertake, but in doing something like this, it only made sense to do it the right way,
and to make sure that what was being installed would last for many years to come, and
provide trouble free service. Going with too small a tower would limit me in the
future, yet going too big would have made the entire project too cost prohibitive.
So here is what I decided on. The tower purchased was a US Tower Corporation
HDX-555, Heavy Duty, 55 foot crank-up, capable of handling 30 square feet of antenna
windload. This tower required a base hole that turned out to be 6 1/2 feet deep, by
6 1/2 feet square. Next a steel rebar cage was constructed which weighed in at 285
pounds, that was lowered into the hole. From there a frame was constructed for the
pouring of the concrete, which also held the tower base plumb in place while the
square yards of concrete were poured!! Yes, I said
yards! I went with
a 20 foot steel reinforced mast, thrust bearing, coaxial spreader arms, and an
M2 ORION OR-2800 Rotor to turn the whole thing. The HF Antenna that was
purchased is a
Force 12, C39XRN, 14 Element antenna for 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. This antenna
weighs 200 pounds, and has a boom length of 40 feet! The design of this
antenna is incredible, and it's performance is not to be believed! Not much out there compares to a FORCE 12 for design
characteristics, performance, strength, and durability. They are not cheap, but in
my estimation, worth every penny. So lets go take a look. Click here to view the pictures, and
enjoy! If you have any questions about what I did with this new tower installation,
feel free to email me, and
I would be happy to answer any of your questions. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Rick Dechau (KC2EVC) for all of his help with the Tower Installation. His Construction equipment along with his assistance was invaluable, and a great time saver, not to mention, it virtually made this entire process just a three person operation. Hard to believe that a Tower and Antenna this size could go up so easily! Rick's Company is called Readi Construction, and he is the best! Thanks again Rick!!!!
K2FX TOWER PHOTOS
A Mast raising
fixture was added due to the weight of the Force 12 Yagi. If rotor
maintenance should ever be required in the future,
it would be very difficult to get the mast out of the rotor to perform the work. So I've added a US Tower Mast Raising Fixture (MRF)
which will hoist the mast vertical when needed and hold the weight while the rotor is serviced.
I should note that the M2 Orion OR-2800 Rotor has been working flawlessly since its installation, but this is a safeguard that can't be overlooked.
I've also installed a US Tower MD-75 Heavy Duty Motor unit for the HDX-555 Tower. This past Winter, even though mild, turned out to be quite windy,
and I would routinely raise and lower the tower based on weather conditions. Winds to 50MPH were quite prevalent.
With all of the weight on this tower, manual cranking was soon becoming a very big pain. So adding the MD-75 made perfect sense.
Here are some pictures of the project!
The Truck & Trailer that brought in the Boom Lift. Courtesy of Readi Construction and KC2EVC
The great Readi Construction Boom Lift Returns!!!
The LB on the house, and Schedule 40 PVC that is now housing all Coax Feedlines
and Control Lines to the Tower Base Outdoor Box
New 8' Ground Rods driven below ground level. They were later covered and all Ground Cable
was ran underground as well. This makes maintenance around the tower much easier
and the appearance much neater!
One of the new 500' Spools of Genuine Times Microwave LMR-400db. No more crappy
9913, or RG-8 Cable in any of my runs!
A closer look at the custom fabricated PVC Line coming into the NEMA 3R Box.
4 X 4 posts were cemented 4-feet into the ground, and then pressure treated and waterproof
plywood was affixed to support the NEMA Box. Note the Electrical line coming into the bottom
of the box. This supplies power for the Tower Motor Control, GFI Outlets, and Internal Box Light.
The electrical feed has a Master Switch located in the house, and supplies power only as I
need it. This prevents any tampering if anyone should try, and gives me piece of mind knowing that
power is only live when and if I desire. This NEMA 3R Box is water and weather proof keeping
all switches warm and dry.
Feedlines inside the PVC/LB just before they enter the box.
I just needed to install the LB Cover to finish this part off.
George, AG2M (ex KC2SWZ) a nearby Ham who's help was invaluable and Greatly Appreciated! George
spent many hours helping with the trenching, re-cabling, and general
grunt work needed to complete the project!
He showed up one day because he heard me talk about the project on a local VHF Net, and
Volunteered his services!! Thank You George! We need more like you in the hobby.
Control Operator and Tower Owner, Paul, K2FX
A look at the new DX Engineering Remote Coax Switch safely mounted in the box. Note the nicely
done Times Microwave PL-259 Connectors. These are commercial grade Crimp on connectors
EZ-400-UM that are pretty much full proof. EXPENSIVE they are at about $15.00 EACH, and the tool kit to
install them about $375.00!!! However, these will last practically as long as I need them to. ALL
Coax Feedlines at the box, and at the antennas now have these connectors and the LMR-400db Cable.
You will also notice the tied up Poly Line on the left. Poly line was left in the PVC System at both ends
should I ever need to pull more cable into the system, or swap out any runs!
HF/6 Meter Feeds on the left, and VHF/UHF on the right. The Tower Motor Control Switch is
located top Center. A Florescent Light was installed for visibility should I ever
need to lower the tower at night. The NEMA Box is well grounded.
The project is just about finished in this picture. AlI that was needed to be done was to tie wrap the
box coax runs into a neater configuration, and duck seal
for additional weather protection, which is now done.
K2FX Radio Room/Broadcast Center
This Hamshack also doubles as the recording studio where News Anchor segments for the Program
"This Week In Amateur Radio"
are recorded, and sent to the Satellite Center.
(Studio A) Station K2FX as of November 2013
Yaesu FT-2000D (Acquired November 2012)
Heil PR40 Microphone, SM-2C Shock Mount, and PL-2T Microphone Boom
The Henry 3K Ultra
Acquired August 2012
This is one of the last Henry 3K Ultra's to come off of the production line.
It is the 8877 Tube version from the factory. (One of only about 10 ever built in this configuration) You can tell this by looking at the Front Panel.
Any Unit with the 8877 Tube has the Gold and Red print scheme on the Control Panel as compared to the early models with the straight black print.
The RF Deck itself weighs over 250 pounds. It's in pristine condition, and a very welcome addition to the shack.
I had been searching for one for a few years when a Ham in Pennsylvania
contacted me and offered this unit for sale.
It has the Auto Presets from the factory, and a 25-foot Separation Cable.
What a Rare Find!
The RF Deck and Power Supply AC Mains
The Remote Control Unit. It Can be separated from the RF Deck by up to 100 Feet.
New 3CX1500A7 (8877) Tube installed October 2012
The robust RF Deck on the 3K Ultra
Alpha 87A acquired November 2013
The Drake C-Line (Studio C). T-4XC Transmitter (Serial # 29784) , R-4C Receiver (Serial # 27622),
MN-2000 Antenna Tuner (Serial # 8600), and MS-4/AC-4 Speaker Power Supply.
This equipment had been stored away for years before I purchased it,
and came complete with original boxes and manuals that look like they
have never even been opened. The R-4C now has a full compliment of Sherwood Engineering Modifications. (March 2009)
Another K2FX Pristine Vintage Station. (ALL in Collector Condition)
Acquired in October 2008
The Cool Blue Display that the T-4XC and R-4C now have installed.
Drake FS-4 Frequency Synthesizer (FINALLY) Acquired September 2010
The Drake R-4C and the FS-4 have had the Sherwood FS-4 Modification which allows
the FS-4 to remain in line at all times via switching relay. It does not need to be connected
to an empty Crystal Socket to function or disconnected by removing the cable to take it out of line as originally configured by Drake.
Injection ports were added to both units as well as a DC Line to power the relays.
It took me quite a while to find one in collector condition to complete my C-Line Collection
Drake TR-4CW/RIT Acquired January 2014
Serial #45062 (Collector Condition)
The TR-4CW/RIT is another rig I had been searching for. Finding one in
this condition is rare. It came out of N. Carolina from a ham that had two of them. It's probably one
of the nicest, and most well documented Drake Collector TR-4CW/RIT Radios there is.
I have the originally Drake Matching Serial Numbered
Boxes, Original Manual, Quality Control Tags, and Parts Lists for the Radio and AC-4 Power Supply.
The Supply has had the Heath Upgrade, and is also High Serial Numbered at #59825.
Astatic D-104 Silver Eagle Final Edition Serial #00011
K2FX Station Equipment
MAIN HF STATION (Studio A)
Yaesu DMU-2000 Data Management Unit
Yaesu FH-2 Remote Control Keypad for the FT-2000D
Heil PR-40 Microphone with SM-2C Shock Mount, PL-2T Boom Mount, and RS-1 12" Riser
Bencher BY-2 Chrome Base CW Paddle
TouchPaddle CW Keyer with Gold Plated Paddles
W2IHY EQplus Audio Processor
W2IHY 8-Band Equalizer & Noise Gate
Alpha 87A HF Amplifier (Probably The Finest HF Amp ever Built!)
Henry 3K Ultra (HF 1500++ Watt Amplifier, single tube (3CX1500A7/8877) One of the Last off the Production Line in 2005!
Ameritron ARB-704 Linear Amplifier Interface
Ameritron ATP-102 Tuning Pulser II
Palstar AT5K Antenna Tuner (5KW Antenna Tuner)
Palstar DL5K HF/6-Meter Dummy Load (5KW)
SECONDARY HF AND MAIN VHF/UHF STATION
Yaesu FT-991 HF/VHF/UHF (Yaesu's Newest HF Radio released 2015)
Astron RS-70M Power Supply
Tokyo Hy-Power HL-350Vdx VHF Amplifier (350 Watts) (Solid State Amp)
VINTAGE STATION 1
(Heathkit Novice Twins) (Studio B)
Heathkit DX-60B Transmitter (Newly Capped and in Excellent Condition)
Heathkit HR-10B Receiver (Excellent Condition)
Heathkit HG-10B VFO (Good Condition)
VINTAGE STATION 2 (Drake C-Line Series) (Studio C)
Drake T-4XC Transmitter (Late Serial Number) (Collectors Like New Condition)
Drake R-4C Receiver (Late Serial Number) (Collectors Like New Condition)
Drake FS-4 Frequency Synthesizer (Late Serial Number) (Collectors Like New Condition)
Drake MN-2000 Antenna Tuner (Late Serial Number) (Collectors Like New Condition)
Drake MS-4 Speaker and AC4 Power Supply (Collectors Like New Condition)
Bencher BY-1 Black Base CW Paddle
Hamcrafters WinKeyer USB CW Interface
VINTAGE STATION 3 (Drake TR-4 Series) (Studio D)
Drake TR-4CW/RIT Transceiver (Late Serial Number) (Collectors Like New Condition)
Drake MS-4 Speaker and AC4 Power Supply (Collectors Like New Condition)
Yaesu FT-991 HF/VHF/UHF (Yaesu's Newest HF Radio released 2015)
Alinco DM-330MVT Power Supply 5-15 Volt Variable & 32 Amps
Chameleon V1 Portable Antenna System with Hybrid Unit. (Simply Awesome Antenna!)
Alpha Antenna Model-DX 6-60 Meter Portable Antenna System (Rated at 1KW)
US Tower HDX-555: 55-Foot Heavy Duty Crank-Up Tower
MD-75 Motor Unit for the HDX-555 Tower
US Tower (MRF) Mast Raising Fixture
M2 Orion OR-2800 Rotor, capable of 35 Square Feet of Antenna Load
Force 12 C39XRN: 14 Element HF Yagi Beam for 40, 20, 15, and 10 Meters (40' Boom. Antenna Weight Over 200 Pounds. It's a Monster!)
160 Meter G5RV Dipole (Up at 85')
Cushcraft 148-20T 2 Meter Beam (Vertical and Horizontal Polarization) (Tower Mounted)
Diamond X510 HDM (Dual Band Vertical) (Tower Mounted)
Cushcraft 3 Element 6 Meter Beam (Tower Mounted)
DX Engineering DXE-RR8A-HP/CC-8 Remote Antenna Switch & Control Box (HF/6 Meter Antennas)
Ameritron RCS-10 Antenna Relay Switch & Control Box (VHF & UHF Antennas)
Yaesu FT-8800R (Units) (Dual Band Mobile)
ICOM IC-92AD (D-Star Dual Band Handheld)
Wouxun KG-UV3D (Dual Band Handheld)
Comet SBB-7 High Gain VHF/UHF Mobile Antenna
RigExpert AA-230PRO Antenna Analyzer
RigExpert Standard USB Transceiver Interface
MFJ-890 DX Beacon Monitor
Realistic PRO-2006 Scanner (Still one of the best ever produced)
Here are some spectacular pictures taken of an Aurora as it streamed directly over my tower installation.
THIS IS WAY COOL!!
These pictures are of an
incredible Double Rainbow as it illuminated directly over my tower
The shots were taken by my wife (K2SKY) on November 16, 2006 following a day of Heavy Rain.
The Sun decided to make an appearance late in the day!