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Showing posts from February, 2012

Simple Antennas for the Hawaiian Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

Those of us who are forced by circumstances to operate with compromise antennas may be interested in a new self-published book by Tom Schiller, N6BT, called "Array of Light" (3rd edition).  I found a review of the book in the February 2012 "CQ", p. 74.  Tom is a co-founder of Team Vertical and, along with his father, co-owned and operated Force 12 Antennas.  Tom's basic idea is that "everything works" to some degree in the antenna realm.  A quick review of the July 2000 issue of "QST" quickly refreshed my memory about Tom's seemingly outlandish experiment using a 150-watt light bulb mounted on a 4-foot fence post as an antenna.  Using his Kenwood TS-850S, he proceeded to work the world using the light bulb as an antenna.  The project was good enough to land Tom a "Cover Plaque Award" for that issue.  Tom easily convinced me that "everything" does "work", even in such a crude model as a light bulb.  Tom goes …

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

I've managed to get a few days off from my substitute teaching position at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School.  The state Department of Education was able to hire a full-time Special Education Teacher this term, thus ending a full-month of my emergency service to the school.  I'm due for another assignment Friday.  Eversince I retired from the commercial broadcast business last September (2011), I've been busy doing substitute teaching at the high school and doing a small amount of special projects for my former employer (Pacific Radio Group).  All told, retirement has been a shift to other work with more amateur radio mixed in.  At least I don't have to get up each morning at 0230W and drive into work.  I followed that routine for 36 years.  The old job was great, but it was time for a change. 

Nowadays, my schedule is a bit more free and my amateur radio pursuits a lot more fun.  As I eased into semi-retirement, I began to reenter the world of ham radio after man…

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

This has been an exciting two weeks.  First, my long-term substitute teaching position has been confirmed until June.  Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School is converting to a charter school, so many faculty associated with the state of Hawaii Department of Education may be transferring elsewhere.  So, until the new school board gets in place, there will be no new hires, and that means substitute teachers such as I will be in demand until the change over at the end of the school semester.  So much for an easy retirement.  The work with special education students is demanding, but, on the whole, very satisfying--especially if a student finally "gets it" and begins to learn on his/her own.  During the past few weeks, I haven't been able to run the old Swan 100-MX very often, with the possible exception of a few hours of cw late at night.

And second, the weather has been unusually warm and dry these past three weeks--a perfect time to work on antennas and maintenance.  Dur…