Monday, July 23, 2012

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

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Post #173

Friends remembered and a 40-meter vertical for restricted space

This has been a sad week for many amateur radio operators on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Two well-known hams have died and will be missed in our small radio community.

First, Paul Lieb, KH6HME, passed away last week in California.  Paul was best known for his VHF, UHF, and SHF beacons atop Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii.  When the tropo was in or a rare ducting across the Pacific Ocean and the U.S. mainland occurred, Paul was on top of the 13,000-foot mountain handling a wave of contacts.  Paul was a friendly guy who always was available to help his community and the Big Island Amateur Radio Club.

Second, Joe Day, NH7LP, died this past Saturday morning following his daily swim in Hilo.  Although he was not too active on the bands, he was always willing to talk "radio" and help others with their licensing efforts.  He remained active on echolink, since he was unable to erect decent antennas at his qth.  He designed and built computers, was knowledgeable in coding, and recently had three books published on Amazon.com.  He pursued the mystery-crime genre after he closed his CPA practice and had plans to go on a major book tour within the continental United States.

I knew both of these gentlemen and considered them close friends.  They will be missed.

Now, on to antennas.  While I was reading about stealth antennas, I came across an article written by Robert Houf, K7ZB, entitled "A 40 meter stealth vertical."  The article, originally published in antennex in 2001, was republished by Simone, IW5EDI in dx.com.  Basically, the antenna was fashioned out of collapseable aluminum tubing about 35-feet long.  The vertical was attached to the patio (or lanai if you're from Hawaii) with a homebrew swivel mount.  He fed the 35-foot tube with RG-8 and had two counterpoise wires leading away from the antenna at an angle of about 145 degrees.  The illustrations in the reprinted article are quite good and give you a thorough description of his building process.  At night, Robert would lower the antenna and lie it flat against the floor of the patio.  His bill of materials should be available at most hardware stores.  The antenna apparently does an excellent job and creates a very small footprint on his property. 

My former vertical antenna was patterned after Robert's, using a 33-foot fiberglass mast to support the wire antenna and one counterpoise running from the base of the antenna.  This antenna worked very well, considering the scarcity of space in my back yard.  And, just like Robert's antenna, my homebrew vertical could be nested to the ground by a homebrew swivel.  If you would prefer a more sturdy swivel mount, consider the various swivels offered by DX Engineering.  These mounts have received good reviews.

Until next time,
Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM--Bk29jx15