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Showing posts from September, 2011

Amateur Radio rides out the storm

WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE OF INSTABILITY

The weekly news cycle is coming to an end.  After a week of generally disturbing economic, political, and international news,  I'll be glad to flee the radio station news room for some peaceful hours at the amateur radio station nestled in the back bedroom of my home.  One thing is for sure in the news business--it is never dull, no matter what you hear and read.  There is always something building that will break out in a banner headline in the days to come.  Keeping up with all of the twists and turns of the current day surely makes for a busy day.  After doing 30 or so newscasts on our four program streams, I am ready to vacate the media circus for the relative calm of my modest neighborhood along the Hamakua Coast.  Sometimes I wonder how things got so out of hand in my country.  Even after 33 years in the news gathering business, I am still amazed how normally decent, intelligent people can be so taken in by the hucksters passing themselve…

Simple antennas for Hawaii Amateur Radio Operators, part 12

NEW ANTENNA FINALLY UP

Over the course of the past few days, I finally added another skyhook to my modest antenna farm.  It took a few days to secure a few sections of 2" pvc pipe and to  assemble the wire, coax, and twin lead for the project.  The antenna consists of 32' of pvc pipe, 32' of 14-gauge housewire, 32' of 14-gauge wire serving as an elevated counterpoise, and 40' of 450-ohm twin lead attached to a 4:1 balun.  Approximately 15' of RG-6 coax runs from the balun to the Drake MN-4 ATU. 

IS THIS BASIC ANTENNA A DX BUSTER?

No.  But it does work and can be used from 40-meters to 10-meters.  The design goes back to the 1920's and has been refined over the past years by many noted amateurs.  Other than buying a few pieces of pvc pipe, my expenses were zero.  Fortunately, I have a well-stocked "junque" box and was able to find nearly everything I needed on site.  I'm enjoying this simple antenna, given the space restrictions of my back ya…

Simple antennas for the Hawaii Amateur Radio Operator, part 11

9/11 REMEMBERED

Hawaii amateur operators joined the rest of the nation in commemorating the tragic events of 11 September 2001--an event that changed this country and affected the lives of thousands around the world.  On Hawaii Island, residents observed a moment of silence at 7 a.m. Sunday to observe the event.

I remember that day very well.  I arrived shortly at the radio station shortly after 3 a.m. and joined my then morning man, D.C. Carlson, in an all-day, total news broadcast.  Our usual Adult Contemporty format was shelved until 3 p.m. as we aired coverage from the Associated Press, ABC, and CBS.  Chris Leonard, the manager of our cross-town rival KWXX-FM, lost two close friends and a cousin in the tragedy.  Many Hawaii  Island residents knew friends and family who perished on that terrible day.  On that day, at least, all of us were one in mourning that dreadful day.  If my memory serves me, I lost my voice shortly after 3 p.m., signaling that I had "run out of gas" f…

Simple Antennas for Hawaii Amateur Radio Operators, part 10

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 o…

More simple antenna ideas for the Hawaiian Amateur Radio operator, part 9

How the time flies--the busy Labor Day Weekend is upon us. For those of us who call a radio newsroom our "home away from home", the next few days will be busy indeed.  While I've got the Labor Day Drag Races to run (I'm the tower announcer), the rest of the staff at KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM will be occupied with remote broadcasts, UH-Hilo women's volleyball games, and a variety of cultural activities.  Hawaii Island may be a large rock in the middle of the Central Pacific, but residents do their best to keep their history and traditions alive.  Once you add some excellent tropical weather,  the Labor Day Weekend will be a genuine pleasure.

With all of the above mentioned activities, there won't be much time for amateur radio until after Monday.  Between all of this activity I'll squeeze in some more antenna research and perform the weekly maintenance on the inverted 40-meter inverted "vee" and the 40-meter loop under the house.  Antenna maintenance and re…