Chaz Cone

Ham Radio and me in the '90s

    As you could tell, if you've read about my ham activities during the '80s, there wasn't much going on.  My business that I started in 1986 used up just about all my waking hours leaving nothing for Ham Radio.  Though I had a tower and antenna up and had a nice enough rig, there just wasn't time.

    I did have a burst of renewed Ham Radio interest around Christmas 1995; I don't remember why or how but I suddenly had to have a more modern radio, one that could work on the (relatively) new WARC bands.  I bought a used Icom IC-765:

    Remember that I didn't have an antenna that could take advantage of the WARC bands; dunno what I was thinking.  Money burning a hole in my pocket, I guess.  I made a few contacts with the new radio and then work interfered (again).  This lasted just about all the way through the decade of the 90s.


    I sold my business in 1997 and started thinking about Ham Radio again.  I went to work for the people who bought my company and they kept me just as busy as I was when I owned the place.

    Gael decided that we needed a larger home.  At the time in our lives when most people are downsizing, Gael wanted more space.  We investigated moving in order to get the space she wanted but it wasn't practical.  Houses of that size were miles farther to the north and my commute was already too long.  "We" decided to remodel our existing home to get the space Gael wanted.

    In the back of my mind I thought I'd get re-involved with Ham Radio some day so I decided to do something about a motorized stand-alone tower while the construction people would be here.

    I did some research and decided on the US Tower Model HDX-572MDPL:

    This tower nests to just over 22' and extends to 72'.  It could easily handle my Classic 36 (now dismantled and "stored" up against the fence in the back yard).  It requires a mounting pad 4'x4'x7' deep and that's a hole I didn't want to dig without a backhoe!

    We began the remodel project on May 27, 1998 and finished May 9, 1999; it took a bit longer than we expected; heck, you can build an entire house in ninety days!  You can read about the whole project in words and pictures by clicking HERE.

    Here are the tower-related photos:

    I picked a spot that would permit the Classic 36 to be lowered to the nested position without hitting the house.  Here's the tower base, all poured:

    Here's the tower being delivered and installed:

    The above photos were taken December 12, 1998 -- and that's where things stood for the rest of the decade (and beyond).  A very nice (and pretty expensive) 72' motorized tower with no rotor or antenna on top.

    Read on for my 21st century Ham Radio experiences.