Posts

Showing posts from June, 2014

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. Improvised Field Day Antennas. Post #283.

The 2014 ARRL Field Day is just about history as more than 35,000 amateur radio operators transmitting from 2,500 emergency sites finish the last action-packed hours in this annual communications exercise designed to test communications capabilities during man-made or natural disasters.

I always enjoy Field Day activity, whether I spend a few hours operating, logging contacts, or even taking down the rapidly assembled antennas used for this part training exercise and part contest.

Over the past few years, I've used some impressive rigs (Elecraft K3) and neatly fashioned antennas, both commercial and homemade.  

This year was no exception.  As usual, I put in a few hours working for my former radio station at a "Moku O Hawaii" outrigger canoe regatta on Hilo Bay before I slipped briefly over to the Field Day site of the Big Island Amateur Radio Club at the Wailoa Visitor Center in Hilo.  I'm on a retainer to work various remote broadcasts and a few sporting events when r…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. An 80-10 Meter Field Day Inverted Vee Antenna. Post #282

ARRL Field Day is right around the proverbial corner--28 June to 29 June 2014, to be exact.  According to the ARRL, more than 35,000 amateur radio operators used 2,500 emergency-powered stations to get on the air in 2013.   A similar number is expected this year.

While many of our fellow amateurs will be heading to a Field Day site, there are a few of us, including yours truly, who will be operating under emergency conditions at home as 1E stations or as mobile stations as 1C.  For those of us home bound or forced by HOAs or CC & Rs to "hit the road" during Field Day, this national emergency communications exercise can be just as much fun and instructive as showing up a your club site.

Before I retired from the commercial broadcast business, I usually worked Saturdays and Sundays in the news room, doing play by play over the radio, or hosting remote broadcasts from shopping malls and craft fairs.  Great work and lots of crazy people, but I often missed a chance to work 2A …

Hawaii County Mayor declares Amateur Radio Week in Hawaii County. Post #281.S

Source:  Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 14 June 2014.
Reporter:  Bob Schneider (AH6J), ARRL Pacific Section Manager.

In tribute to Hawaii Island hams who provide emergency communications for Hawaii County during times of natural or man-made disasters, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has declared 23-29 June 2014 as "Amateur Radio Week" in Hawaii County.  Mayor Kenoi has urged the public to support the American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Field Day events set for Saturday, 28 June 2014, when amateur radio club members will set up and demonstrate emergency communications equipment and skills.

In Hilo, the public is invited to activities hosted by the Big Island Amateur Radio Club (BIARC) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Walmart.  A Field Day station will be operational from 8 a.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday at the Wailoa Visitor Center in Hilo.  During that 24-hour period, local ham operators will contact other amateur radio operators across the Pacific and North America.


In his proclamation…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. On the ground antennas. Post #280

Over the past few weeks, I've become fascinated with antennas mounted on or near the ground. I've even built a few, such as Mike Toia's (K3MT) "grasswire" antenna and a similar "earth" antenna from Australia.  A few months ago, I built a simple beverage antenna for my old Hallicrafters SX-62A receiver.  All or these wire antennas worked very well, especially for the AM broadcast band.

With a few modifications, these wires can be used as a separate receive antenna for amateur radio stations located in noisy or desert areas.  I've used vertical antennas for transmitting and low-mounted antennas for receiving.  

So, what are these ground hugging "long wires?"

According to articles published in the "NASWA Journal" for December 1992 and January 1993 by author Joseph Buch, these antennas mounted on, near, or slightly below ground level are called "wave" antennas because "they extract energy from the wave as it travels down …

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: The "Down To Earth Antenna." Post #279

Image
Are you looking for an inconspicuous amateur radio antenna that is largely invisible, yet delivers acceptable DX and local results?  An antenna idea described by Robert McGregor (VK3XZ) and published in the May, 1993 edition of "Amateur Radio" (Australian magazine) may suggest a few alternatives for hams facing restrictive HOAs and CC&Rs.

A few weeks ago, Dean Manley (KH6B), gave me a copy of this fascinating article for my antenna reference library.  I've built several disguised antennas, ranging from K3MT's "grasswire" antenna to low-lying dipoles running just above my home garden.  But none of this antennas worked as well as "The Down To Earth Antenna" from Robert McGregor (VK3XZ). Here are some pertinent paragraphs from Robert's article.

DOWN TO EARTH ANTENNA

Australia and the African Desert have a common need for radio communication and a mainly sandy terrain. VK5TL's letter, AR Jan. '92 caused me to dig deep into a pile of an…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: The Aluminum Foil Vertical. Post #278.

Image
I knew it would happen.  The time I ran out of antenna wire.  After several years of using old #14 AWG house wire, #18 AWG speaker wire from Radio Shack, and remnants from studio wiring projects at my former employer (Pacific Radio Group), I had finally exhausted my wire supply for homebrewed antennas.  What to do until the next sale at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware?  Give up? Banish the thought!.

With last week's beautiful weekend before me, I needed some cheap wire to erect my latest antenna "masterpiece."  I found my resource in the kitchen in the form of a new roll of "Diamond Aluminum Foil"--the stuff my xyl uses for cooking tasty treats and dinners.  Since there were several new rolls near the stove, I decided to "borrow" a new roll and apologize later.  Besides, I would buy another roll the next time I visited the supermarket.

According to the label on the container, the roll contained 66.66 yards (199.98 feet) or 60.96 meters of alumi…