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Montana Ranchin’: Building Your Dream Station

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W1DED, Mar 20, 2024.

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  1. W1DED

    W1DED Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Christopher Hurlbut KL9A has plans to get off the contest "travel circuit" and focus on his own station, the "Ranch" in remote Montana. In this eighth episode of the Contest Crew, Chris talks about his plans for the Ranch while crew members Scott Wright K0MD and Daniel Craig N6MJ add commentary about their own stations as well as Dan's contest station go-to, ND7K. You'll hear the decision process these contesters made in designing, building and evolving their stations while making clear that your station depends greatly upon your operating needs, physical limitations and budget. Please join the contest crew for their station building insight and subscribe to the channel if you like what you see and hear. 73, Kevin W1DED

    VA6OLD, KC5OMC, KI6RRN and 2 others like this.
  2. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great overall information. Building a first class station takes lots of planning and good input.

    Know your ground, know your antenna system, know your planned distances and take off angles.

    If you're working the lower bands you definitely want to plan for some low noise receive antennas, even if you're in a quiet location.

    My nearest neighbors are over 2 miles away, and we pretty much control all the property, so there won't be any closer.

    I took my four 200 ft rotating Towers with stacks down years ago. Too much work climbing towers, fixing rotators, and fighting ice and wind storms.

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" miles of wire in the Air & On the AIR daily
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2024
    WD4ELG, N5OT, KC5OMC and 4 others like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    BIG sky, BIG station!
    AK5B, HB9EPC, KI6RRN and 2 others like this.
  4. KC1TXB

    KC1TXB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish I could have a dream ham station,but I live in a city and my ham shack is my computer desk,but I've made it work so far.
    K7LZR, KO2Q, W1DED and 1 other person like this.
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's refreshing. No one complaining about the HOA restrictions which likely they agreed to in writing when they purchased the property.
    W1DED likes this.
  6. KK1J

    KK1J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good information from the contest crew. Thank You- Keep up the great job Kevin and the Contest Crew, we all appreciate it!
    KI6RRN and W1DED like this.
  7. KF5UMC

    KF5UMC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish just more Hams with a simple dipole and 100 watt radio populated this area of western- (Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas, Idaho...) US. I had a devil of a time just getting CONFIRMED contacts out west to complete QRZ awards!
    W1DED likes this.
  8. KD7MT

    KD7MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a ham in Montana with simple dipoles who usually runs 100-200 watts , we are out there. The best time time to get stations in our area ( except for the Dakotas) is the 7QP contest in May. Most of us confirm via LOTW, some directly. I even changed my call to make my location a bit more obvious for those seeking Montana as a multiplier. We also have some super stations with excellent operators n the western part of the state who run up massive contact totals during contests ( e.g. N9RV). However, you have to realize Montana ia a huge state, and your signal has to hit a population center to have the best chance of a reply. Otherwise you are going to be ragchewing with sage brush. That limits things a bit. Now, if we could only license cows......

    Big Sky Contesters
    W1YW, W1DED and (deleted member) like this.
  9. KH2TJ

    KH2TJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hard to find property out here in the west without HOA/CC&R's....
    WH6CPT likes this.
  10. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to live in Bozeman, see my qrz profile, anyways land in Montana is nit very expensive if you're willing to get far away from a city. But anything 30miles in towards a city and well, better hope you hit PowerBall jackpot. It's asanine levels of expensive. And there is almost zero v/uhf activity so count on an HF only setup.

    I now live in South GA and have literally zero restrictions. Blessed with land etc.. I have two shooting ranges on my land, 3 ponds, chickens, and soon cattle and donkeys, and now that I have all this freedom to build a dream station, I don't care to play ham radio anymore like I used too. I'd rather play outside all day long than flap my gums about weather and politics. I guess the moral of my story is, if you can afford it and have the drive to build your dream station, do it while you have that drive or else you may burn out in the pursuit of hoping to one day, and then the day comes and you could care less anymore. So enjoy your dream station and get it done now if you can. To be fair, I have a 760ft loop fed with a palstar bt1500a and no Amp or anything. And that antenna is a dream for 90% of hams and I get on air maybe once a month for 2 hours. Just too many things that having land and farm etc... gives you to do that is far more rewarding. So becareful if you buy lots of acres because the joy of land may kill the joy of ham radio because, who the hell can sit Inside all day listening to people say QSL QSL QSL all day on voice when the sun is shining and your Highland cows need hay. Unless you're disabled and then I fully empathize and understand the limitations. Build your station now while you're in love and hopefully never fall out of love.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
    K2MMO, KF0EUG and K3XR like this.
  11. W6FRD

    W6FRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I LOVE Montana my youngest lived there for a time beautiful state however its just to cold for me anyway California Dreaming W6FRD.
  12. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've known Chris KL9A and Dan N6MJ since the days we operated contests together at the former NK7U mega station. Chris is already proving at this early stage in the development of his Montana station that with skilled operators and even minimal antennas high contest scores are possible. Correctly so he is constructing good receive antennas (including beverages) first. The towers and yagis for the higher bands will come later. With just 2 low spider beams and verticals his station's score in last weekend's WPX SSB was over 12 million points.
  13. JH3QNU

    JH3QNU Ham Member QRZ Page


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