Now that I've survived New Year's Day, it's ever onward
into the news cycle at the radio station news cubicle. Due
to work requirements, I wasn't able to do much on Straight
Key Night, but I did fire up the the Icom R-75 receiver in
the studio and "read the mail" between news breaks. The
antenna projects slated for the first days of the year are
nearly done. While I'm happy with the 40-meter
loop under the house, the 40-meter vertical still needs work.
The old MFJ fiberglass mast has been battered by the elements.
It needs to be replaced. I have a jackite pvc mast in the garage
that will be standing in the backyard soon. Hopefully, a spare
weekend will be available to install the mast and get a decent
ground screen in place. The old system was a variation of a
33' vertical wire with tuned counterpoise--all this fed with 450-
ohm window line. The setup worked reasonably well and could
work bands from 40-10 meters. No complaints about RFI from
the neighbors and nearly invisible during the day (I lowered the
mast on a swivel when it was not in use). Since my lot is rather
small, I'll have to be creative when it comes to putting in the
radial system. All of this will take some time, so I'll have to
block an afternoon for the project. Meanwhile, the 40- meter
loop is adequate for the limited operating schedule I have. The
project has been delayed by thunderstorms passing through the
various cold fronts that dominate the weather during the winter
months. A while back before the fold down days, one of my
verticals took a hit from Thor's hammer--not much left but
pvc fragments. At least I disconnected the wires and had
them connected to a ground stake. After that close brush
with mortality, I always disconnect everything in the shack,
including the telephone, when the XYL and I are at work.
Now that I'm settled into the normal news routine, I can
arrange a plan to get the little odds n ends taken care of in
the shack. I trust you are facing the new year with a certain
guarded optimism--it doesn't pay to be too negative. Expect
the best and plan for the worst (or is it wurst?--food topics
always seem to creep in after a long day of broadcasting).
Have an excellent weekend. Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.