HOLIDAY IS OVER...IT'S BACK TO AMATEUR RADIO
Now that the Labor Day weekend is over, the news room can return to the normal mix of devious politicians, economic confusion, and the usual helping of local crime, prep football, and the ongoing financial crisis in Hawaii County. Sound familiar? It seems as if every community in the nation is facing pretty much of the same thing. Add a few natural disasters such as raging fires in Texas, drenching rains along the Gulf Coast, hurricanes in the Atlantic, and typhoons in East Asia and you have the ingredients for keeping news people employed. Welcome to the new definition of normal--whatever that is. With a return to the normal work schedule, I can allocate some more time to Amateur Radio and the reheating of the ionosphere.
ANTENNA IDEAS REVISITED
During my lunch break, I paid a visit to eham.net and its always fascinating forums. An antenna article by Craig LaBarge (WB3GCK) caught my eye. In the middle of his website was a section of easily made and deployable antennas that even I could make. One of his antennas he called the "Up and Outer Antenna", which he correctly sourced to an article by Lew McCoy (W1ICP) (SK). Basically, this antenna is a 1/4 wave vertical with a tuned counterpoise--a design that goes back to the 1920s. I've used that design several times with excellent results, especially if it is fed with 450-ohm twinlead. When I had one of these skyhooks, I was able to cover 40-10 meters easily (with the antenna used primarily for 40-meters--33' for the vertical section and 33' for the counterpoise). This antenna fit into my cramped back yard and gave me many hours of fun. Another antenna Craig used in his portable operations was something he called the "Pop Up Vertical". Construction of this project should be straightforward, since Craig has added pictures and several diagrams. These two antennas may help some of you affected by space restrictions or overly nosey neighbors.
BACK TO THE HOMESTEAD
My air shift is just about over for the day. I can't wait to head home for a few hours of ragchewing on the lower 25 Khz of 40-meters. I never thought I would enjoy cw, but I do. After 12 hours of doing newscasts, I'm ready to fire up the old Swan 100-MX and execise my trusty J-38 key. While my system is on the bottom rung of technology, I still have a lot of fun with the old Swan 100-MX and the ancient J-38 key. After 12 hours of reading the news, I'm ready to abandon the studio console and the Shure microphones for something more simple and relaxing. I never thought I would enjoy cw, but I do. I'm not starved for modern technology--the radio station has enough toys to keep me busy all day. For me, amateur radio is cheap therapy and a way to de-stress. My neighbors don't seem to mind the "radio nut" that lives next door. And my XYL appreciates the fact that I spend my free time at home where I'am available for various domestic duties. She has even helped me to erect some of my less than illustrious antenna experiments. I haven't convinced her yet to study for her ham license, but I'm working on that little task. Besides, I'm handy when it comes to fixing "bugs" in her computer and in maintaining our consumer electronic gear. Things could be worse--I could be organized.
Have a good day and get on the air. Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.