VA Radio 101

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  • This web page, and future subsidiary pages, are intended to help someone with a Technician Class Amateur Radio License become oriented to the N5VA station at the New Mexico Veterans' Administration Hospital.


10 Meters
    28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
    28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone--Maximum power 200 watts PEP

6 Meters
    50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
    50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data

2 Meters
    144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only
    144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data

1.25 Meters
   222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data

70 Centimeters
   420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data 
  • Below, "HF" means 160 meters through 10 meters
    • That is, 1.8 through 30 MHz.


Station one

N5VA Station One

Station two

N5VA Station Two

Station three

N5VA Station Three

Station four

N5VA Station Four

Station five

N5VA Station Five


  • A radio transmitter needs a good antenna to communicate with distant receivers. It has been said that the antenna is more important than the radio. Clearly, both are important, and N5VA has an excellent selection of both.
    • This temporary description introduces two antennas, and how to connect one to a radio.

Patch panel

Patch Panel
  • There are five antennas for HF operation. There are five HF radios. Each of the radios can use any of the antennas.
    • All the antennas are capable of operating in more than one ham band, but each has a different set of capabilities.
  • The patch panel has labels identifying five radios on the left side, and five antennas on the right side. A short length of coax cable connects a radio to the desired antenna.

Tower beam

Tower beam
  • The tower beam is one of two HF highly directional antennas at the station. The second of them is presently out of service while the new psych ward is being built.
  • The tower beam has a rotor on it, so that it can be rotated in the horizontal plane to any direction.
    • Its transmission signal, and reception sensitivity, are much stronger in the direction it is pointed, so it is used more frequently when a long distance contact is desired with a particular station of group of stations in a particular area.
  • In the picture, there are three other antennas on the tower. Two are about 3/4 of the way up to the beam, and a third is above the beam. Several other "floating white objects" are visible. They are connected to other, long-wire, antennas. They will be described later.


  • The GAP antenna is omnidirectional, and it also has a "polarization" which is perpendicular to the polarization of the tower beam and longwire antennas.
    • For communication with relatively near stations, it is important that the polarization of the receiving antenna be similar to that of the transmitting antenna. For longer distances, that is less of an issue.
  • Like the tower beam, the GAP antenna is capable of operating on several ham bands.

Sommer beam

  • According to the antenna manufacturer, Alf Sommer, DJ2UT (Germany), silent key:
    • The world's most advanced antenna system, with not a single watt wasted in lossy traps!
    • 6-10-12-15-17-20-30-40 m - All in one antenna!
  • Here is a snapshot of his web page from the Wayback Machine: