On 30 September 2011, I left my post as News Director of Pacific Radio Group (Hawaii Island) to enter a new phase of my life--that of retired senior citizen. After almost 40 years of delivering the news, questioning politicians, and answering thousands of phone calls from the thoroughly sane to those bordering on the truly outrageous, I've turned off the Shure S-7 broadcast micorphone and opted for a more quiet life along the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island. Presently, I attending recertification classes to qualify for a substitute teachers certificate so I can teach at the same school my xyl does. So much for idle time.
The Old Antenna Farm gets a face lift.
With retirement and some teaching time, I'll be able to devote more attention to squeezing every last watt out of my modest range of antennas--the inverted 40-meter "vee", the 40-meter vertical, and the 40-meter loop under the house. In the past, my amateur radio time has been spotty because of my commitments to the radio station. With my retirement, I can participate a little more in local ham club activities such as field day, which I missed again this year because of work requirements. Although I won't be working a regular shift at the radio station, I will be available to cover elections and natural disasters. I'll be availabe as a contract worker for specific assignments. This suits me fine. I can still keep my hand in broadcasting while having more time to spend with my xyl and community. The radio station gave my an excellent send off, complete with a proclamation from Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. I never expected that. I guess my reputation wasn't as bad as I thought. All told, my radio experience was excellent despite the long hours and time away from the xyl. At least I'll be home most of the time. We are also planning to build our final home, which would complete the cycle began when I arrived in Hawaii back in 1959. How the time does fly!
New antenna idea
The September 2011 edition of "CQ" Magazine has an interesting article by Ted Luebbers, K1AYZ, who has set up his amateur radio station in a home trailer in Orland, Maine. He has done a lot with very little space. His suggestions may prove inspiring to those of us restricted by HOAs, CC&Rs, and lack of space. The article is well-written and contains some valuable suggestions for those of us forced to operate with the barest minimum of equipment and antennas. As time permits, I will be offering a few antenna ideas of my own--nothing too technical--just workable and usable with readily obtainable parts. Part of the fun of amateur radio is the building, erecting, and using home brew antennas. In this area, your local hardware or building supply store can offer many items to the antenna enthusiast.
Back to the books
It's time to end this brief update and head for the study hall, aka the living room table. I have a lot of catching up to do before the state of Hawaii allows me to run a classroom. One thing is for sure--life is as exciting and challenging as you make it. One of these days, I hope to meet you on the air. So, if you hear a cq from Laupahoehoe on the lower end of 40 or 20 meters, don't be afraid to respond. There are so many people to meet and so little time to do so....Have a good week and get on the air.
Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM