Thursday, May 31, 2012

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

What kind of antenna will you be using during the ARRL Field Day (23-24 June 2012)?

If you will celebrate the event by going to a club site on that Saturday and Sunday, you may be using anything from a tribander on a portable tower to phased verticals and everything in between.  One of the enjoyable aspects of Field Day is using antennas that you may never be able to afford or build.  Also, your club may be using state of the art transceivers, solar power, or even wind- generated power for this communications exercise.  One never knows what operating system will present itself when you take your place facing a new rig or a new logging system.  That is part of the thrill associated with Field Day.

I will be lucky this year.  The normal 2-day summer drag race set for that day has been shortened to one day, which means my tower announcing duties will be brief.  I will still have time to meet members of the Big Island Amateur Radio Club that Saturday night at Hilo's Wailoa Visitors Center and get a chance to test my cw skills.  I will also be helping newly licensed hams at our GOTA (Get On The Air) station.  As in past years, the club will be able to borrow a tribander from one of our members and get the services of a truck with a "cherry picker" arm that will raise the beam above 40-feet.  Our complement of antennas will also include a 2-element phased vertical antenna for 40 meters.  With the vertical antenna's radials running into a brackish pond near the beach at Hilo Bay, club members should get some decent contacts after sunset Saturday.

Club members will also try for a few satellite contacts and for the points associated with publicity, testing sessions, educational booths, and appearances by county officials.  I believe the Big Island Amateur Radio Club will be running in the 2A category, Pacific Section.  I'm not sure of the callsign to be used.  I'll let you know later.  Over the past few years, the club has used the call of Dean Manley, KH6B, for Field Day.  Dean is one of the established QRP DXers on Hawaii Island.

Although my role will be minimal because of work requirements, I plan to use whatever time available to polish my operating skills and perhaps to get more antenna ideas.  Amateur Radio is a life-long learning experience.

Have a good week!

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM--BK29jx15