Friday, April 15, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This week's news cycle is coming to a close.  Two short weekend shifts will wrap up a good, productive week in the newsroom.  Unlike previous weeks, most of the crises have retreated a little more into the background.  That means I can at last spend some time at the amatuer radio station and destress from the week's activities.  I found several useful antenna articles on the 15 April 2011 edition of http://www.eham.net/.  These articles can give you some good "skywire" ideas and several ways to operate successfully from restricted home locations.  K2ZS's article entitled "An indoor HF stealth antenna" is a nice read.  The antenna is a loop fed by ladder line attached to a SGC-230 matching device.  I've used similar antennas in the past.  They do work, considering the space limitations.  Apparently K2ZS has accumulated over 1500 QSOs using this arrangement.  You might want to try his indoor loop if you find there is no space to erect a decent outdoor antenna.  I prefer outside antennas , but this idea is worth a try if there is no other way to launch your signal.  W5DXP's webpage has approximately 20 articles on antennas, some of which could help those of use operating in restrictive circumstances.  And finally, those who maintain W4RNL website have done a good job of orgnaizing the antenna work of the late L.B. Cebik, W4RNL.  The collection is quite extensive, so be prepared to spend some time gleaning the precious antenna gems from this site.  I always learn something new when I visit this site. 

Work on my misicule "antenna farm" continues.  The tropical climate with its rain, salt air, and beasties that enjoy coax coverings surely keeps my hands and weekends busy.  Corrosion is a huge problem on the Big Island, even more so since Kilauea Volcano started its latest phase--the volcano has been releasing lava and gas since 1983.  You can imagine what the combination of sulphur fumes and rain can do.  The effect is most pronounced on vehicles, which suffer greatly after a few years.  So, the weekends with the hose and wax keep the van looking presentable and frequent maintenance on the vertical and loop make for a full weekend.  All of the rigs at the operating table are working alright after the usual routine of dusting, cleaning, and lubricating switches and circuit boards.  Besides, all of this workbench stuff convinces my understanding, patient XYL that I actually know what I'm doing.  Well, maybe some of the time anyway.  Like many things in life, every day is a learning experience.  Thanks to manuals and helpful user groups, I manage to keep out of serious trouble.  I'm not the greatest tech, but I do have fun--I have the soldering iron burns to prove it.

So, it's back to the shack after I finish the news broadcast for the day.  At least for few hours I can remove myself from the "real" world and just have fun bouncing rf off the F layer.  Have a good weekend. 

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.