Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Post #174

Antennas and Contests

Amateur Radio Operators will have a lot to do during August.  In the August 2012 edition of "QST", there are at least 33 contests hams can enter.  These contests range from weekly sprints to the ARRL 10 GHz and up Contest.  There is something for everybody in August, even if you aren't an active contester.  I try to jump in on a few contests (mainly cw and SSB) to see just how good by homebrew antennas work.  Sometimes, my great antenna ideas fall flat--they just don't perform the way I want them too.  As always, contests give us antenna experimenters plenty of "rope to hang ourselves."

Now that I've installed my garage roof 20-meter loop, I'm anxious to see how this skyhook performs. If performance is not up to expectations, I'll opt for the 40 to 10 meter inverted vee in the back yard.  That antenna has always done well, propagation permitting, of course.

Among my selected targets will be the North American QSO Party (cw) on 06 August, the Worked All Europe Contest (cw) on 11 August, and the North American QSO Party (SSB) on the 18 August.  Depending on propagation, this could be fun or a real chore.  Over the past few weeks, 20 meters has been fair to poor in the central Pacific.  Of course, my timing may be wrong, too.  I've had to take care of a few teaching matters during the day, so I may have missed some good openings.

As for new antennas, I'm in the process of redoing my indoor 40 to 10 meter antenna.  I'll remove the random wire and counterpoise I installed as an experiment.  The counterpoise was becoming a safety hazard, since it snaked around the floorboards and under the rugs of my qth.  Most likely, I'll restring a 70-foot loop on the ceilings and feed it with a balun and the Drake MN-4 tuner.  That system worked well a few months ago.  As before, I will run mostly cw and SSB at 10 watts or less to reduce rfi and rf exposure. 

Have a good day and get on the air.

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM--BK29jx15