About ham radio station ZL4KF


ZL4KF amateur radio shack in early 2020.

In the shack (recently re-located to a corner of the garage) the ham radio equipment consists of a Yaesu FT2000D (new in August 2009) along with the  FT2000 speaker and a Heil Pro-Set Plus headset. There is also a Heil HM10 boom mike. Missing is an elderly Heathkit SB220 linear amplifier but we hope to get an amplifier up and running again soon. There is also an MFJ 989D antenna tuner. Normally I use the Heil HM10 boom mic switched to the HC5 cartridge.

The computer is home-brew from 2006 running on Windows 7. I mainly use Ham Radio Deluxe software and a number of other programs, for instance HamCap, VOACap Online, WSJT-X for example.

The present main antenna is a dipole up about 40 feet (12m) above a tree supported by a carbon fibre telescopic pole attached to an alloy extension ladder which is in turn, tied to the tree. Each side of the dipole is made using 16 AWG (1.29mm) insulated wire about 45 feet (14m) long, fed with approximately 100 feet (30m) of 300 ohm TV ribbon and tuned with the Ameritron tuner. It works on all bands 160m through to 10m but obviously it’s very much a compromise antenna. It’s very light weight, no guy wires, no metal parts (except for the copper!) and visually not too noticeable, especially with no end insulators, instead just tied off with monofilament fishing line.

There is another antenna for 20mx, a full size 1/4 wave vertical (16.5 feet – 5.02m), built using a fibre-glass fishing rod with the wire run up the inside of the telescopic tubing . It’s mounted on the shack roof with the ground system being the metal roof and walls of the building. It’s fed with about 25 feet (8m) of RG8U which has two sets of 5 clip-over ferrite cores attached and works fine although, as is the case with verticals it’s rather noisy on receive.

A video taken with my DJI Phantom 4 in 2016. Shows the Waikouaiti Bay and our property about 400 metres from the beach.