Saturday, May 22, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Another week at the KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM news
room is just about over.  There has been plenty of
events to keep this new hound busy--from that BP
oil leak to the latest crisis in the Middle East.  After
the morning shift, I'm more than ready to head for
the shack for some quality radio time.  The 20-
meter vertical dipole is working well.  The antenna
is supported by a 31-foot "jackite" mast and fed
with 450-ohm balanced line.  I've put a bit of top
and bottom loading to compensate for the short-
ness of each element (about 1 1/2 feet).  The
dipole fees well and the old Drake MN-4 seems
to match everything up.  The antenna is usable on
20, 15, and 10 meters.  The performance on 40
leaves a lot to be desired, but I have a separate
40 meter vertical elsewhere in the yard, so that
band is not a problem.  Getting on 80 meters is
a tad difficult from my postage stamp lot, but
perhaps I can erect a homebrew vertical helix
tuned for 80 meters to take care of that band.
The 40-meter loop under the house works very
well for local contacts--its original purpose.  My
antennas are mostly invisible, since I can swivel
the verticals to ground level when they are not in
use. None of these skyhooks will break a pile-up,
but I do manage to get a good signal on the air and
have some fun.  The beam will have to wait until I
get the house built on a 2-acre property south east
of Hilo.  I then will have room to erect some decent
antennas.  For now, I operating and that's good
enough for now.  Have a good weekend, 73 and
Aloha from the Big Island.  KH6JRM.