Wednesday, May 25, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

With Memorial Day weekend fast upon us, activity in the news room will surely be hectic.  The radio station is tied up with a variety of remote broadcasts, including the traditional Memorial Day weekend drag races (I have the job of tower announcer) and the Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Races in Kailua-Kona.  Both of these events won't leave much time to chase down DX or to ragchew with the locals.  At least the racing calendar will keep the weekend full and will provide a break from the normal news cycle.  Some other station members will be working at the Honokaa weekend rodeo, so this weekend won't allow for any slack time.  If I can get home early on Sunday, I may try an hour or two of ham radio.

Presently, I'm in the process of redoing my "antenna farm" in the back yard.  Stringing radials for the 40-meter vertical has always been a compromise affair considering the small lot I call home.  This time around, I will return to the inverted "v" arrangement of a year ago.  I managed to fit a 32' pvc mast and two sloping 33' wires in the cramped space that passes for a back yard. I fed the "v" with 450-ohm twin lead. The arrangement worked well and eliminated the hastle of radial wires.  The performance was a slight improvement over the vertical.  The under-the-house 40-meter loop is my standby antenna.  It does an excellent job for contacts out to around 250 miles.  Most of rf shoots straight up and covers the state with a strong signal.  I suppose one could call this a "cloud warmer".  This NVIS antenna doubles as an antenna for my collection of shortwave receivers.

The ole clock on the wall is approaching bedtime and that means a few short hours before I start the early morning routine once again.  I have never gotten accustomed to hitting the sack at 2000 W and getting up at 0200 W.  But, as the old saying goes, early to bed, early to rise still makes for a long day.

Have a good day and enjoy the DX.   Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.