Thursday, June 23, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

During a brief break from the newsroom this morning I ran across an excellent antenna article by Don Keith (N4KC) in the 21 June 2011 edition of eham.net.  Keith is one of my favorite authors because he mixes a bit of humor with his view of amateur radio.  He never seems to take himself too seriously--which may be a good thing in a world tied to popularity, peer pressure, and political correctness.  His article, "What? You only have ONE antenna?", really strikes home for those of us restricted by space, CCR enforcement boards, and condo HOA groups.  Basically, Keith asks hams to use both vertical and horizontal polorized antennas to get more contacts from your limited radio operating hours.  Keith explains how simple verticals and dipoles can keep your operating productive and rewarding, despite the irregularities of propagantion. I've used both verticals, inverted "vees", and low-level loops to maintain both local and DX contacts.  The best part of Keith's opus is the relative simplicity of the antennas--something even a non-technical type such as I can understand.  Of course, the author (and many of us) would prefer to have a multi-element beam on a 40-meter mast fed by a cool running Alpha amp--but, reality, being what it is, can only allow what is affordable or tolerable to those around us.  The article was a light-hearted attempt to bring in fun at a low cost.  I got a chuckle out of the well-crafted piece.  You might enjoy the article as well.

Are you set up for field day?  That one-day contest, emergency communications exercise, and bug swatting marathon rolls around this Saturday.  If you need to find a field day site near you, just go to the ARRL website and search for field day topics.  My participation this year will be limited since I'm announcing a full day of drag races at the Hilo Drag Strip.  The radio station has a contract to do the races and I'm the one feeding the broadcast reports.  So, there won't be too much time to battle the insects at field day.  I'll probably visit the Big Island Amateur Radio Club site at Hilo's Wailoa Visitors Center Saturday night before I head back to the station and a good night's sleep.  I usually spend the first night at the station, since races run through the evening hours.  There is no sense driving home when fatigue dulls the senses.

Enjoy your weekend and good luck in your field day event.  Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.