| Welcome to N6NB.com. This site
is about amateur radio. It discusses topics such as VHF/UHF weak
signal operating, roving, contests,
the Quagi antenna design, a
triband cubical quad design,
stations for roving, building a tower trailer
from a kit, measuring antenna gain,
and RF safety. There are also pages about building
the Tehachapi contest station, the
and the problem of ice storms in the mountains.
There are photo albums of 30 years of VHF mountaintopping,
several Southern California Contest Club Field Days,
a Field Day-style DX contest in Mexico, and the
2012 E51YNB/E51TAI operations. Sadly, now there's a page describing
the 2011 fire that destroyed the Tehachapi contest
station. This website is an ongoing project. Most recent
revisions: 7/7/2016. (New or revised: "Roving" and "RF safety"
pages updated, 24
GHz video link added, 2016 SBMS contest rules and results
added, and a new article added about setting world DX records
on 902, 2.3 and 3.4 GHz ).
A personal note: I've been involved
in many aspects of amateur radio over the 59 years I've been licensed.
It's been fun. I did some of the earliest portable e.m.e. (moonbounce)
work--in places ranging from Alaska to the Utah-Nevada border. Early
on I found out I liked radio contests and also building things for the
VHF, UHF and microwave bands. In the 1960s I discovered that "mountaintopping"
made it easier to win the VHF/UHF contests that are sponsored four times
a year by ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. By 1980,
I had finished #1 nationally in the single operator category of 12 VHF
or UHF contests--all while operating in a parked van or camper on various
mountaintops from coast to coast. That resulted in several scoring
records that were never broken under the section multiplier scoring
system. (In the 1980s latitude and longitude-based grid squares replaced
ARRL sections as multipliers and then more categories were added, including
the rover, high power, low power and QRP categories). Under the new
system I won another 20 contests nationally as a rover and seven in the
QRP portable category, setting scoring records for the January, June and
September VHF contests and the August UHF contest.
The Tehachapi Mountain antenna farm (shown
above) was the realization of a longtime dream: to have a good non-portable
station on a mountaintop. Building the buildings and putting up the
towers was a lot of work, but when the weather was bad it was a luxury
to operate inside a building on a good mountaintop, not in a car (until
the fire, see above).
Portable VHF contesting prompted me to look for
better and simpler antennas. With the help of Will Anderson, AA6DD,
I designed the Quagi antenna on a backyard antenna range in 1972.
That led to the ARRL Technical Excellence Award in 1977 and helped me win
the Radio Amateur of the Year award at Dayton in 1980. I also received
the John Chambers Memorial Award of the Central States VHF Society in 1978
and again 37 years later in 2015.
I served four terms as an elected ARRL vice director
in the 1980s and early 1990s and was chairman of the ARRL Contest Advisory
Committee during the 1970s. I've also done some writing about amateur
radio, including a number of articles for QST, CQ and Ham
Radio magazines. I co-authored a book about amateur radio with
Jim Steffen, KC6A, Computer Programs for Amateur Radio (Hayden
Book Co., 1984). I also wrote several college textbooks, including
20 editions of Major Principles of Media Law, and was a university
professor for 37 years, mostly at California State University, Fullerton.
I hold Ph.D. and J.D. degrees and have been a member of the California
Bar since 1975 (now retired/inactive).
-Wayne Overbeck, N6NB