Sunday, June 27, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Because of work requirements, I was unable to participate
in this year's ARRL Field Day.  From what I could deduce
in casual listening, Hawaii Island Amateurs had fun from
several locations, ranging from the Kamehameha Schools
Hawaii Campus to the stunningly beautiful Laupahoehoe
Point State Park.  In the past, I've participated in the
Laupahoehoe Beach Park operation, since it's only 3 miles
from the qth.  Dean Manley, KH6B, usually runs battery
power with an array of verticals and sterba curtain arrays
cut for 10 and 15 meters.  His verticals do pretty well so
close to the ocean.  Speaking of antennas, the 26 June
installment of the eham.net website has an interesting EMT
vertical by Marcos Antonio Veloz Burgos, HI8MVW.  I've
used variations on this theme several times, and like Marcos,
I've used RG-6 TV cable for the feedline.  Results are quite
good on 20, 15, and 10 meters.  Give this design a try and
see what you can do.  Meanwhile, enjoy the remainder of the
weekend.  73 es Aloha de KH6JRM.

Friday, June 18, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

The news cycle is winding down at KKBG-FM/
KHLO-AM for the workweek.  Only half-days
on Saturday and Sunday remain on the horizon.
The break will give me plenty of time to work on
my spartan "antenna farm" at the Laupahoehoe
qth.  With my tropical climate and salt air, there
is always something to do for the skyhooks.  Be-
sides, the work gives me a break from the rather
dismal series of events that is making everyday
life more difficult than it should be.  I just finished
an excellent article on the eham.net website by
Phil Chambley, K4DPK, entitled "Your First
Dipole."  Phil's article is a basic tutorial on an
antenna that has served me well in the past.
You can expand his idea into a "fan" dipole and
get some added coverage for very little money.
I may even string up one of his simple dipoles as
an inverted vee and see what I can do.  My yard
won't permit a fully extended dipole, hence my pref-
erence for verticals and low slung loops.  The out-
lay of cash and time will be minimal, since I have
most of the materials in my junk box.  This little
project should be fun.  Nothing like a litte therapy
to clear the mind.  Have a good weekend and en-
joy the ESPN news to the right and the Yahoo
news at the bottom of the page.  73 de Hawaii
Island.  KH6JRM.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Things are winding down at the KKBG-FM/KHLO news
room after a peaceful weekend news cycle.  I use that term
loosely, considering the various crises the world is facing.
I'll leave the value judgements to those polically inclinded.
All I do is report the news.  Once the Sunday shift is done
and the story outlines for Monday prepared, I can return
to the home shack for some casual operating before dinner
and a good night's sleep.  I've finished some minor repairs to
the 20-meter vertical dipole and the under the house 40-meter
loop.  Both antennas are working well, propagation notwith-
standing.  Just for a few laughs, I hooked up the loop to one of
my homebrew crystal sets.  Pretty good results.  I was able to
recieve all three Hilo AM stations with ease.  The Hilo stations
are roughly 30 miles away from the commercial station I call
"home" most of the time.  The 20-meter vertical dipole works
for these crystal sets, too.  Crystal sets are fun to make and
provide a little work in circuit design and basic construction
techniques.  You'll find several interesting designs by going to
the "XTAL Set Society" website.  Many electronics supply
outlets, such as Antique Radio Supply, offer the necessary
parts for a basic crystal set.  You might have difficulty in
finding  a high impedance headset, but a looking around
can usually turn up something, even if you have to build a
matching transformer for your usual ham headset.  Have
fun.  Aloha from Hawaii Island.  73 de KH6JRM.

Friday, June 11, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

'Just about ready to wrap up a week in the KKBG-FM/
KHLO-AM news room.  I've had sufficient excitement
for the week with all of the stories on the oil spill, the
Middle East crisis, and assorted local crime stories
The weekend news shift begins on Saturday, but
that shift is only for half-a-day, so the hours won't
be too bad.  At least I have an enjoyable job.  Field
Day beckons on 26/27 June--an event I will probably
miss since I'm working the drag races that day.  I'll
probably operate a bit from the home station, running
1E (emergency power).  While I was reading the eham.net
site today, I found two Field Day articles that may prove
useful to you or your radio club:  "900 Watt Generator for
Field Day" by Mike Higgins, K6AER and "How to Come
Back After Field Day" by Keith Wood, K1LDS.  Both
articles contain some good, basic information.  Have a
good weekend.  Aloha from Hawaii Island. KH6JRM.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a fairly calm Saturday in the KKBG-FM
and KHLO-AM news room.  I need a quiet day now
and then.  Other than the Middle East crisis and the
Gulf oil spill, things are alright. My deepest sympthies
to our Gulf of Mexico friends--what a gawsh awful
mess, both ecologically and economically.  With all
this going on, the hurricane season has just begun.
The station has been keeping Big Islanders informed
on what to do and how to prepare themselves for
what is expected to be an active storm season.  With
that in mind, how well prepared are you? When I get
home after my shift, I'll make sure all batteries are
charged, spare antennas made, and the generator
fully fueled.  I've got a good stock of food and the
ole Tercel is topped off in fuel. Hopefully, the storms
will miss you.  Have a good weekend. Aloha from the
Big Island. 73. KH6JRM.

Friday, June 4, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Now that the Memorial Day celebrations are over,
I can return to some degree of "normalcy" at the
KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM news room.  Of course,
normal has all kinds of meaning in the news business,
ranging from the usual crimes, crises, and weather
changes to the bizarre stuff that crops up during the
day. You wou't believe the number of strange calls
I get before, during, and after holidays.  Anyway,
I'll be able to squeeze in a few hours of operating
this weekend.  Time at the old Swan 100 MX will
provide the needed atitude adjustment from the
near crisis mode that grips the news cycle.  On the
docket for this weekend is further work on the 20-
meter vertical dipole and minor repairs to the under
the house loop that does the majority of local con-
tacts.  I really enjoy getting out in the back yard and
working with wire and portable masts.  I don't know
if I'll be working with the Big Island Amateur Radio
Club during the upcoming Field Day event.  Every year
for the past 3 years, I've been tabbed to run the monthly
points meet at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Perhaps, I'll just put
the old Yaesu FT-7 in the car and work a few mobile
contacts after the track shuts down.  Such is life.  Have
a good weekend.  Aloha from the Big Island. 73 de
KH6JRM.