The N6IE/WQ6K Remote Station

Remote station concept

Due to local antenna restrictions, I decided to set up a station at a nearby ranch that I could operate from home.  I wanted a 'no compromise' operation that would allow for DXing and contesting as if I were operating with all the equipment locally. This was no easy challange and after years of experimentation and tweaking, some 47 pieces of hardware and software (not including the tower, antenna, equipment rack, etc.) are currently employed to reach my 'no compromise' operating goal.  The contol site also doubles as a voice-over studio for commerical radio work.  

The Ranch

The remote station is on a working ranch in Sonoma County with gently sloping hills in most directions of interest for DXing and contesting.  The ranch is home to numerous animals, including an emu named Elmo.  

The ranch offers a much lower noise level than my home in the 'burbs.  Toward JA and VK/ZL, the noise on 20-10 meters is below the AGC threshold of the K3 even with the preamp on.  I often use the preamp on 40 meters...it's that quiet.

Excellent terrain!

In this HFTA graph you can see that the slope of the land causes the signal in EU on 20 meters of the single DB42 at 72' (blue) to be equivalent to that of two stacked DB42's at 70' and 140' (red) over flat land. Click on the graph to see a larger image.

For domestic contests, you can see the same comparison over the US at 75 degrees T on 20 meters with the single DB42 at 72' performing as well as a pair of DB42's stacked at 70' and 140'. The 'lay of the land' is everything!

While I wouldn't mind having two DB42's at 70' and 140', the interesting thing is that located on the same terrain, the stack would only yield 0.3 to 0.4 dB more signal over EU or US on 20 meters than the single beam at 72' which is less improvement than the additional loss from the extra coax and divider.  Go figure...