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Showing posts from December, 2011

Simple Antennas for Hawaii Island Amateur Radio Operators--a continuing series

I trust that Santa Claus was kind to you this holiday season.  I didn't get the new Elecraft K3 I promised myself, but I did enjoy a wonderful break from the classroom and my former responsibilities as a newsman at Pacific Radio Group.  This has been the first time in many years that I didn't have to rise and shine at 0230W and drive through the darkness to Hilo.  Although my former role as a broadcast journalist (and I use that term very loosely) was a thoroughly enjoyable job, I now relish time at home with my better half, working for my local community as a school teacher, and, finally, getting to spend some more time with amateur radio.

Presently, I'm preparing to dive into the ARRL's "SKN" (straight key night) on New Year's Eve.  This should be a fun event with little of the contest pressure that dominates other events.  About the only thing old I'm bringing to the effort is myself, my trusty J-38 key, and the old Kenwood TS-520 and the venerable …

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Simple antennas for the Hawaii Island Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

Merry Christmas to all!  I trust that Old Saint Nick left a few presents under your Christmas Tree.

During the holiday season, I've been  busy with various household chores, visiting friends, and just relaxing until the new school term begins on 04 January 2012.  I'm sure the coming year will be exciting both in the classroom and out in the real world.  The holiday break is also giving me some time to do basic antenna maintenance and general shack clean up.  The December weather has been quite wet along the Hamakua Coast with over 13 inches recorded at the qth since 01 December.  Despite the recent storms, Hawaii Island rainfall totals are about 30 % below normal.  The Kailua-Kona area on the west side of the island  is even more parched, with most leeward areas getting less than 50% of their normal rainfall.

SIMPLE ANTENNAS FOR NEW YEAR'S EVENTS

Three major operting events remain as this year morphs into 2012.  The 2012 ARRL Straight Key Night is set for 01 January 2012, 000…

Simple Antennas for the Hawaii Island amateur operator, a continuing series

SCHOOL'S OUT--TIME TO PLAY, AMATEUR RADIO THAT IS

Today is Thursday, 15 December 2011, the last day of school for the 2011 academic year.  Most of Hawaii's public and private schools will be taking a winter break until 04 January 2012.  For my xyl and myself, the intersession will give us a break from out substitute teaching assignments at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School.  During the two months I've served as a substitute teacher, I'm not sure who taught who.  Both the students and I have learned a lot about each other.  I don't regret leaving the commercial broadcast business for the classroom.  At least I don't have to get up at 0230 W and drive 30 miles to Hilo and sit before an audio board and a computer for 14 hours a day, six days a week.  My radio experience was rarely dull and I got a chance to use some of the most sophisticated equipment in the profession, but, when all is said and done, I don't miss the stress.  My co-workers were some of th…

Simple Antennas for the Hawaii Island Amateur Radio operator--a continuing series

This has been a busy week at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School.  Both my xyl and yours truly have been doing our thing as substitute teachers.  Today, we had a break before resuming our assignments on Friday and Monday.  Never a dull moment in the classroom.

SUNDAY DRIVERS--HOPE FOR THOSE OF US CAUGHT IN THE CONTEST FRENZY

During a few spare moments this morning, I found several interesting and entertaining articles in the December 2011 issue of "QST".  One that caught my eye was a short essay on page 63 by Rick Lindquist, WW3DE.  "Sunday Drivers--contesting in the slow lane can add a little spice to your life."  Being that I only dabble in a few contests and have a rather modest ham station, I found Rick's approach to the contest phenomenon both humorous and relatively stress-free.  Like Rick, I find the last day of a contest sometimes the best time to jump in and make a few contacts.  If you treat the contest weekend as mostly fun and don't care how ma…