Hawaii’s Foremost Contest Station – KH6YY

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KH6OWL, Oct 23, 2019.

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  1. KH6OWL

    KH6OWL Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of the premier Amateur Radio contest stations in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is located on Oahu’s North Shore in the hills of Pupukea.

    The station has been owned and operated by Alex Benton, KH6YY, since 2004 and he
    sponsors the Pupukea Contest Station. Its team of dedicated operators, most from Oahu,
    participate in most major contests year-round. The team welcomes operators from neighborislands, the mainland, Japan and many other countries.

    The home has been longed owned by Amateur Radio operators and previous owners have
    continuously improved the station. Previous owners include KH6XX, N6VI, and KH7R. The home is on the grid but has a backup generator for loss of power.

    A bunkhouse is in a separate building connected to the operating area via a 150-foot long
    covered walkway. This ensures a quiet area where hams can dine, sleep and relax when not operating.

    The team is led by the organizer and station manager Kimo Chun, KH7U, who has been an
    Amateur Radio operator since 1973 and holds an Extra class license. He is also the president of the Koolau Amateur Radio Club, KARC and has been on several DX-peditions to Cambodia, Kure, Midway, Palmyra, Rodrigues Island and Kingman Reef.

    The station has six 90-foot towers. The top antenna on each tower can be rotated while the
    lower antennas are fixed towards specific locations from North and South America to Japan and Australia. In my short visit I only learned about the six main towers:

    · Tower 1 has stacked 8-element Telrex 15-meter mono-band Yagis. The top antenna
    rotates; two below it are fixed on the mainland and Japan.

    · Tower 2 has stacked 5-element Opti-beam mono-band 20-meter Yagi over two 5-element
    Optimized Wideband Array (OWA) homebrew 20-meter mono-band Yagi. The top antenna
    rotates, the other 2 are fixed on the USA and Japan

    · Tower 3 has a rotatable log-periodic used for 10-20-meter and the WARC bands. Under it are a fixed 6m Yagi over a 5-element Telrex 15-meter mono-band Yagi fixed on VK/ZL.

    · Tower 4 has a stack of 5-element Hygain 10-meter mono-band Yagis. The top antenna
    rotates; under it are 3 other beams fixed on USA, Japan and South America.

    · Tower 5 has a 4-element full-sized 40-meter OWA mono-band Yagi, designed and built
    by KH6ND over a 2-element JK402T 40-meter mono-band Yagi. Below is a 5 element
    20m yagi fixed S/SW for any Long Path opening. The tower also has a full size 160-
    meter sloping quarter wave vertical wire with elevated radials.

    · Tower 6 has a 2-element JK 80-meter rotatable mono-band Yagi over an 80-meter
    inverted vee.

    Antennas on each tower can be combined using an Array Systems Stack Match to get the best signals depending on propagation during a contest.

    Since large cranes cannot navigate the twisty road up to the station, climbing towers and
    manually moving the antennas up and down on trolleys is how all maintenance is completed. The 80-meter antenna was raised and lowered by helicopter.

    The station consists of six operating positions for 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160 Meters Depending of the contest requirements, each operating position controls the best tower for each position.

    Each station is equipped with the following:
    · Yaesu FT-1000 MP Transceivers
    · MicroHam MicroKeyers II
    · Begali iambic paddles
    · Windows 7 PCs
    · N1MM Logging Program
    · 2 X 19-inch monitor screens
    · Amplifiers (6 Alpha 1.5kW , 1 Henry 1.5kW , 1 Ameritron 1.5kW)

    New computers, displays and radios are planned.

    It was a pleasure just to get to see this station up close. The amount of time and expertise that went into this station and the effort to keep it in the condition it is in, is truly amazing. The grounds themselves are like a botanical garden and the location is quiet with a Japanese garden on the grounds. It is a gem hidden on Oahu!

    More information about the station can be found at http://KH6YY.net

    Attached Files:

    KC5OMC, WH6OHM, WA7PRC and 13 others like this.
  2. K1LKP

    K1LKP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page




    73 - K1LKP
  3. AD4ZU

    AD4ZU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll make the trip from Florida to work contests. I'll need some significant - about 6 to 9 months notice - to arrange things with work, etc. - But could be available. Please send any details to my email on QRZ. Appreciate you keeping the tradition alive out there.
  4. KE9OL

    KE9OL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


  5. N2RRA

    N2RRA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The more I read the more I started too imagine I was there before imagining the walk through, lol. Maybe it’s because I imagine having a station just like it one day. Gonna have too plan a trip to stay and see for myself. May even have too stay a month cause my wife’s not gonna like I’m giving operating more time than exploring the island with her, lol. Place sounds like an amazing amateur radio wonder land. After reading this I’m sure some one will be operating from there and I’ll be working them with my QRP station all the while once again imagining myself sitting at the helm of KH6YY.

    Appreciate the article and 73.

  6. KI5KT

    KI5KT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That guy can't be married. I'm impressed.
    W5MIL, G3SEA and KD8DEY like this.
  7. NH7R

    NH7R Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's mostly an ego thing. Having lived in Hawaii 12+ years, it's a hell of a lot of money, probably
    $5-8 mil (or more) and for what? Bunch of QSL's and some plaques, really? Pupukea is a great
    location and it's a beautiful property, but the enormous amount of logistics involved is challenging
    and very, very expensive to maintain on a daily basis.

    Don't let that kill your dreams, but just a little reality check, even in paradise.

    Tommy NH7R

    (Now living in and loving central Texas life since 5/19)
    W1TRY, W5MIL and NH7RO like this.
  8. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet he doesn't have everybody on the Island stirring Coconuts to power it though....
    W1TRY likes this.
  9. VU2USA

    VU2USA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just returned from Hawaii. Was in Ko Olina.
    Hope to visit Oahu in my next trip.
    Enjoy the contests from paradise.
    NH7R likes this.
  10. G3SEA

    G3SEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The winter Surf up there exceeds even this Cowabunga station :cool:

    NH7R likes this.

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