Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simple Antennas for the Hawaii Amateur Radio operator, part 7

This week has proven busy for those who call a broadcast news studio "their home away from home."  With all of the debt-ceiling talk and arguments on just how insolvent we are, there is sufficient news to keep this announcer occupied.  There hasn't been much time to relax before the ole Swan 100-MX and enjoy a casual qso.  This weekend will be fully engaged as well with a full schedule of drag races at the Hilo Drag Strip.  I work as the tower announcer, a role that keeps me out of trouble for the entire weekend.  Despite a jammed week, I've managed to pursue a number of antenna articles and related projects.  The August issue of "QST" contains an interesting description of an elevated 40-meter monopole with two-tuned counterpoise wires.  The skyhook seems to work alright, so, if you have a convenient tree or pole in the backyard, you may want to experiment with this antenna.  Of course, those of us without such supports will have to be more creative.  For now, my hastily built 40-meter inverted "vee" fed by 450-ohm balanced line seems to fulfill my casual operating needs.

I received a nice note from G. Brandon Hoyt on 28 July regarding his possible purchase of a Swan 100-MX transceiver.  I've had my Swan 100-MX since 1981.  It has served me well in both a mobile and at-home environment.  As a general purpose rig for casual qsos, the 30 + year-old solid state rig does a good job.  The rig is a straightforward, simple rig that has few "bells and whistles" and no WARC band capability.  Mr. Hoyt asked what I do about maintenance, considering the age of the rig.  I open up the rig every three months, gently blow out whatever dust has accumulated, clean all pots and switches with contact cleaner, and carefully clean all the contacts on the printed circuit boards.  These boards can be pulled out and re-seated without much difficulty.  A few caveats--before you buy the old swan, be sure it works.  I know that sounds weird, but I've been burned a few times on used equipment.  Inspect the power cord, check out the power supply (if it comes with the rig), and look inside for obvious signs of trouble.  Be sure to get a user's manual for the rig.  You can get one by sending an e-mail to WA5BDR@gbis.com.  You can order a manual from Jim's snail mail address--Jim Singleton Publications, PMB 975, Livingston, TX, 77399.  It may be a good idea to join Swan Radio Communications at this e-mail address--www.angelfirecom/ny2/hamradio.  Yahoo also has several groups that promote, preserve, and restore older Swan equipment.  Good luck.

Have a good weekend.  Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM