9H5DX

About myself

Greetings, and welcome to my website. Thankyou for your visit & hope you will enjoy it. Please sign my guestbook & do return your visit from time to time to see my updates.

My name is Michael Galea living in Mgarr, Malta. Born to Michael Galea (snr) & Josephine nee Gauci, on the 20th February 1970, I am the 2nd from the eldest of 4 brothers.

Having attended primary school in the home village of Mgarr, during the year 1978, I upgraded to Stella Maris College in Gzira, which is run by the Brothers of St John the Baptist.

I finished secondary school in 1986, and passed another year at the Higher Secondary to resit for some O level exams.

Amateur radio

My interest on radio was from the mid 80's, when my father bought an Icom M55 marine FM transceiver and used to pass most of my free time listening to fishermen and foreign base station such as Lampedusa radio & Sfax radio in Tunisia. I used to check for propogation and always tried to make long distance communication.

I also recall the good old days listening to stations on my father's old military '19 set'  short wave radio which was purchased some time during the mid sixties & is still  functional today.

I had never heard of Amateur radio, until the mid 1987, when I started attending the AREC, a Maltese amateur radio club in Balzan which has unfortunately closed down.

During December 1987 I started the radio amateur course and passed the June 1988 exam.

As a practice, in those days the Malta Wireless Authority, would not grant you to choose your personalised call sign, and although I asked them to allocate me my initialls, my wish was not granted. So I opted for 9H5DX which was the 2nd in line.  

During December 1988, I purchased my first amateur radio equipment, the FT290R2 + its 25w linear power amplifier from UK, and setup the first station at my parent's home. The antenna was a vertical 5/8 mobile base coil & a 13 element horizontal beam, built by my friend Paul 9H1BT.  These antennas were mounted on 30ft pole with hand steering rotation from inside the shack. Quite alot of 2m activity was done, especially on SSB with stations from Europe & ex- Russian countries.  

In mid 1990, I purchased a Tokyo Hy power HX-240 Transverter. Using a long feed wire antenna, I could listen also to HF bands using the FT290R2+.transverter.  

In 1992, I purchased the Kenwood  TH78E, dual band hand held radio, mostly to work whilst mobile. Unfortunately my radio activity had a sudden decrease, due to impeniatives to work & family.

From the end of year 2006, with encouragement from friends mostly radio hams & my wife, I have re-started to enter the radio hobby in my daily life. As frequency allocaltions have changed for 'B licenced' hams to use HF bands, I restarted using the FT290 + transverter for my initial HF contacts (20W out) but later decided to purchase a suitable transceiver. An opportunity arose on a used Yaesu FT-847 HF, VHF & UHF radio from e-bay.  This was an immaculate condition radio and arrived just in time for the 2007 Father's day. Now this rig is the primary station with the TH78 as my mobile / portable station. 

As from August 2007, I have also joined the only radio ham club in Malta - the Malta Amateur Radio League - MARL in Attard.  http://www.9h1mrl.org/

As my first temporary HF antenna, an inverted V wire dipole was constructed and mounted on an unused TV antenna pole. I had several 20metre band contacts especially with European stations, since the antenna faced East-West.

During the end of October 2007, I decided to construct an aluminium rotatable dipole which could be easily lowered or raised. This replaced the Inverted V dipole and gave me more opportunities of contacts especially from East & West Stations. The pole can be easily rotated by means of a small steering wheel inside the shack.

At the end of November 2007, I purchased the MFJ-993B Antenna tuner to compliment the Yaesu FT-847. Hopefully this tuner will allow me to try various antennas and venture through various bands and work some DX stations!

On the 29th December, finally the Diamond GSV-3000 power supply unit arrived from a Telecommunication shop in Germany. It is a 30Amp PSU with a 25A continous linear transformer which I am really impressed with the quiteness & robustness of the body.

2008:- Working various distint stations mainly on the 20m band with the aluminium dipole & also some wire antennas for other bands, I wished to experiment with different antennas and maybe also a beam in the future. Unfortunately the 1 inch pole cannot take the weight / set up of bigger antennas so I was always thinking of upgrading to a proper mast .

During September, an opportunity roose of acquiring a 6m band 5 element beam from a local ham who was going to go abroad. I dismantled this beam from his premesis and purchaed also the CREATE CR5 rotator which was mounted below.

After this purchase I decided to upgrade my pole system to a proper mast and thus using the rotator. After long consideration, I opted to use the upper part of a 3 segment galvanised 'Versatower' P60 lattice tower which I had been retaining in my father`s premesis for ages. Since this tower is 60ft long, and too much to place on the roof of my house, I used the upper part only.

Constructing a carriage frame to mount the upper part which will hold the rotator was quite easy due to  provision of tools held at my QRL. The triangular mast was also modified to accept  the used winch of the original lattice tower.

Finally on the 1st November 2008, with the help of my brother Edward, we mounted this lattice tower instead of the old 1 inch pole.  The carriage holding the rotator, frame & upper trust bearing can be riased & lowered from the roof of my house & the antenna maintance from the roof of the shack.  Hopefully the 20m aluminium dipole & the 6m beam shall be mounted as the first antennas on this set-up tower.

2009:-  With the desire to explore other bands, I decided to build a Hex beam antenna. This is a 5 band wire antenna in a form of an upsided umbrella. I started gathering goods in December 2008, & was easily built. Until fully wired, I left this frame on the house roof  with no guying and poor base support. Two days later high winds hit our island and the frame toppled & broke 2 spreaders which are made of crappie poles. I repaired the crappies with a longer pvc pipe & brought a bigger support underneath. To be sure this incident will not repeat itself, the antenna was also tied to various sides of the balcony, until we had better days.

I had to abonden the project, since we had nearly 2 months of high wind until the day of 19th March 2009 arrived with a clear, sunny day & NO WIND. During mounting on the cable ties, I managed to break a crappie pole, were it is singular. I placed a white pvc pipe as an exteranl support and the Hex was mounted above the dipole & worked some stations. The day after wind came agian and another crappie pole broke , the same position where it is singular. This beam is now again down on my house roof awaiting repair & enforcing of the crappie rods in their weak points. I had repaired these crappie poles again, but seemed I did not have much luck since they broke again. So next step is to get some real fibreglass poles as replacements.

During May 2009, I had the opportunity of getting some fibreglass poles from the East , and I have since then rebuilt the hexbeam . I had some RF in the shack and thus I purchased 2x RFF-213 ferrites  and one of them was mounted just under the Hex baseplate & the other at the coax near the radio. It has totally cured the RF and I can really enjoy this 5 band antenna with low swr & high performance.

My equipment can be seen in various photos enclosed under the Hobby section.

I will be looking forward to inform you with my next projects in the near future.

Until then, I wish you 73's & good luck to you & your family

My family

During the year 1996, on the 22nd of June, I married Michelle nee  Falzon. Our honeymoon was passed with some days in the Lake district of Scotland, then in the capital Edinburgh and 2 days in London.

On 26th July 1997 we had our first child, Kimberly. On the 15th September 1999, we welcomed another daughter and named her Michela after some family members ..... my father Michael, myself, her mother Michelle, and the grandmother of my wife who was Michelina.

About Mgarr

Mgarr is a typical rural village, and lies in one Malta's most isolated spots around five kilometres from the town of Mosta. It is surrounded by rich farmland and vineyards and most of the local population is still engaged in agriculture. Mgarr's rustic environs embrace several picturesque spots - Bingemma, Wardija, Fomm ir-Rih and Gnejna Bay. The countryside is superb for walks. Here you are likely to come across examples of Giren, circular stone huts used by farmers, natural landmarks such as the characteristic flat-topped hills, ancient rubble walls and typical Mediterranean garrigue, or scrubland.

Mgarr's parish church dedicated to St Mary is a miniature copy of the Mosta Rotunda. It was built in 1912 with donations and voluntary labour from the locals. The church's elevated position offers open views of the fertile valleys and neighbouring villages.

Mgarr is also home to two of Malta's oldest prehistoric sites, Ta' Hagrat and Skorba. Ta' Hagrat, still in a good state of preservation, is the earliest standing temple in Malta and dates from the same period as Ggantija on Gozo. Skorba is an important site as it provides evidence of a prehistoric village which spanned several millennia, from man's earliest times in Malta. The site is of specialist archaeological interest and is not accessible to the general public. Visits can be arranged by appointment.

The village also houses a World War II air raid shelter which is of special interest. 

For more information about Mgarr please visit  www.mgarr.com.mt

The website

I wish to share with you this web site with some information & photos taken by myself showing various aspects of life. Hope that you will enjoy them, and you are welcome to visit this site from time to time.

You are also welcome to sign my guestbook and may leave any comments or suggestions.

Best regards

Michael