Saturday, June 30, 2012

Simple Antennas for Amateur Radio Operators--a continuing series

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog, post 160

NEW USES FOR OLD COAXIAL CABLE

ANTI-THEFT PROTECTION FOR EQUIPMENT

One of the things I enjoy when I'm not behind the key or microphone at my amateur radio station is reading historical material pertaining to amateur radio.  This sub-branch of the amateur radio hobby has given me several ideas on antenna improvement, reusing old materials in new ways, and protecting valuable equipment with a minimum of effort.

What do you do with old coaxial cable?  I tend to follow the advice of E.A. "Whit" Whitney, W1LLD, who wrote a brief article about reusing lossy cable in the 11th Edition of "Hints and Kinks for the Radio Amateur" (published by the ARRL in 1982).  Whit's article is found on page 5-13 of this excellent compendium of practical ideas from past issues of "QST", the official journal of the American Radio Relay League. 

In Whit's own words, coaxial cable "that's become too lossy for use as  transmission line" can be used "for radials in your ground system.  Lengths of the sheathing can be removed from the cable and installed as ground or bonding straps around your equipment, in your boat or on your car.  A length of such cable makes a good shielded lead from your car battery to your mobile radio."  In the past, I've used old lengths of RG-6 obtained as scrap from cable installation companies for radial and counterpoise systems.  In most cases, these old cables work well in this new application.  In my case, I got old cable for free or for just a few dollars.

Another problem amateur radio operators face is the loss of equipment through theft and the identification of such equipment when police recover the stolen radio and station accessories.  As in the previous discussion on coaxial cable, the 11th Edition of "Hints and Kinks for the Radio Amateur" contains a few suggestions on how you can handle the issue of anti-theft protection.  On page 7-4, Paul Zender, AA6PZ, has a few ideas to make the recovery of your lost equipment a bit easier.  Paul writes, "amateurs wishing to protect their equipment from theft shold mark it with the abbreviation of their state and driver's license number.  This makes it easier to trace through police computers than using social security numbers or an amateur radio call."  Check with your local police department to see if it participates in "Operation Identification".  You may be able to borrow engraving tools for marking household valuables, including your radios.  Stickers can be attached to indicate that the property is marked and the identification recorded with local law enforcement authorities.

I've marked my equipment and I hope you will do the same.  Have a good, safe weekend.

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM--BK29jx15