Saturday, February 28, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: [UCLA EE101] Smith Chart. Post #382.


. This informative and somewhat complex explanation of the Smith Chart from UCLA faculty member Philip Hon explains all you need to know about this useful antenna design tool. Hon illustrates his graphic with an example of a matching network using a single open stub. This video will join my amateur radio reference library. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated frequently. You can follow our blog community with a free e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! If the video fails to load properly, you can use this youtube address: http://youtu.be/neHB0_C1zYE. Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: How to Build a Six Meter Ham Radio Dipole Antenna. Post #381.


Excellent video tutorial from Randy (K7AGE) on how to build a simple, yet effective antenna for the 6 meter Amateur Radio Band. I have a similar antenna mounted on my garage roof. Although there isn't much 6 meter activity on Hawaii Island, some DX comes through when the sun gets active. Now that most lower television channels have moved away from the 50 MHz band (mostly the old analog channel 2), the band is a lot better for amateur radio contacts. Randy's instructions are clear and easy to follow. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. You can find more Amateur Radio happenings at my news site--http://kh6jrm.net. Thanks for joining us today! If you have trouble loading the video, please enter the title link in your browser and try again--http://youtu.be/4K5Vj6wtpE0.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Monday, February 23, 2015

2. Setting up a MESH Node for Amateur Radio - WRT54G firmware install. ...Post #380.


Excellent video from Kevin Reeve (N7RXE) on how to set up a MESH node for Amateur Radio using the Linksys WRT54G wireless router. Kevin says there have been a few changes since the video was produced. In late 2013, a new version of the firmware for HSMM-MESH was released. The name was also changed to Broadband-Hamnet, and there are a few changes from what is described in this video. You can get the changes here: http://hsmm-mesh.org/images/stories/hsmmmesh-step-by-step.pdf. Otherwise, the video is easy to follow and will get you and your MESH Node operating in a minimum of time. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can also follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

HRN 190: CQ 'Comes Clean' (Click Bait on HamRadioNow). Post #379.


Another challenging and desperate year for "CQ" Magazine. "CQ" editor Rich Moseson (W2VU) discusses the future of the troubled publication with HamRadioNow reporter Gary Pearce (KN4AQ). Moseson "comes clean" and admits there are no easy solutions to "CQ's" list of problems. As the amateur radio community has reported, "CQ" has delivery problems, unpaid authors, and a disappointed ham community within the United States. Perhaps, "CQ" needs to better identify its audience and seek readers just outside the amateur radio community, such as electronics enthusiasts, "preppers", do-it-yourselfers, computer techs, and "makers." The magazine could also do some more retro articles, focusing on restoration of old equipment and emergency communications. Perhaps "CQ" has lost its way in the rapidly expanding digital communications explosion. ARRL's "QST" has found its niche in contesting, DXpeditions, and reviews of cutting edge communications technology. With its sister publications "QEX" and the "National Contest Journal" (NCJ), the ARRL covers the experimental and contesting community fairly well. The publications business is a tough path to follow these days. I trust Rich Moseson understands this and will move the 70-year-old publication in to areas incorporating both Amateur Radio and the "maker" community. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Stealth 2 Meter Copper J-Pole for your HOA - Ham Radio Antenna - AF5DN. Post #378.


I like this antenna idea from AF5DN. If you're stuck in a CC&R/HOA situation, this simple copper J-Pole antenna can get you on 2-meters with out attracting notice from nosey neighbors. Many years ago, I used a "homebrewed" 2-meter J-Pole made from 300 ohm television twin lead. It was ugly, but it worked. I also fitted this quickly-made antenna to a collapsable fiberglass fishing pole for portable or emergency use. AF5DN's craftsmanship and disguise routine are much better than my attempt at a "stealth" antenna. This would make an excellent weekend project. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, visit my news site at http://kh6jrm.net. Thanks for joining me today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ham Radio Exam Courses. Post #377.

Ham Radio Exam Courses: Ham Radio Exam Courses
Posted date: February 14, 2015.
Ham Radio Exam Courses
What is it?

Online courses for the U.S. ham radio license exams.
How long does it take?

Depending on your background and memory, most students pass easily after:
Technician (entry-level) class license exam: 10 hours
General class license exam: 20 hours
Extra class license exam: 30 hours
How does it work?

Like books, we provide study materials.
Like practice tests, we drill the actual exam questions and answers.
Our cyber-tutor tracks your progress and focuses on your personal weak areas.
It’s a powerful combination. Just ask our students!
What does it cost?

A 2-year subscription to the Technician course is $24.95. See price list for other courses.
We cost about the same as the amateur radio license manuals, and we provide a lot more value.

How do I know it works?
Read awesome feedback from our students.
We have more 5-star user reviews on eHam.net than all other study methods combined!
Try for yourself — the first 50 questions are free.
Success guaranteed— if you fail the amateur radio license exam, we refund your subscription!


Why an online course?
Better than amateur radio license manuals — our interactive question drill keeps you awake.
Better than practice exams — we teach the materials.
Better than amateur radio classes — available 7/24, whenever you want to study.
All you need is a browser. Nothing to download or install. You are free to login from anywhere.
Always 100% up-to-date with the latest question pool changes.
Our database of over 50 million question responses tells us where to focus your study time!
Why memorize the answers with practice exams, when you could learn about amateur radio!
See More: Link (http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/index.html).

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Comment:

This is one of the newer amateur radio-related companies offering online study for all classes of Amateur Radio License.  The price seems reasonable and the format appears user-friendly.  Online courses covering a variety of science and technical topics are now being offered for the public.  These courses could form the basis of a continuing education program that will increase your skills and value to your employer.  In the Amateur Radio arena, there are many options available, besides the program offered by the above article.  If you can't enroll in an Amateur Radio License Course, you can still tap the resources of the ARRL, the W5YI group, and Dan Romanchik's (KB6NU) "Simple Study Guides."

Good luck in your effort to get an Amateur Radio License.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Folded Dipole Antenna. Post #376.


Here's a nice experimental monoband antenna that is easy to build and provides a bit more bandwidth than a single wire dipole. Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) reviews the basic theory and construction practices used to build this antenna. All you need is enough 300 ohm tv twinlead to build the dipole for your chosen frequency, some additional 300 ohm twin lead for the feed line, and a balanced tuner or a 4:1 balun to tuner combination to connect the feed line to your rig. I've built a version of this antenna for 40 and 20 meters, supported by a single fiberglass vertical mast using a sloper configuration. The folded dipole makes an excellent portable or emergency antenna. The antenna breaks down easily and can be rolled up and stored in a small plastic bag or container. For more information on this antenna, please visit http://www.sciencewriter.net. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebar. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Ham Radio 10 Meter Loop Antenna, Part 4 of 4. Post #375.


This is the final installment of Dave Tadlock's (KG0ZZ) 10 meter loop antenna project. With the aid of his daughter Lisa (KC0OHQ), the antenna was tested in the June 2013 ARRL Field Day. Although propagation at that time wasn't very good, Lisa managed to collect quite a few contacts during the daytime hours. This simple loop antenna would make an excellent weekend project. If you feel more ambitious, you could design a loop for any amateur radio band. I have an 80 meter delta loop fed with 450 ohm ladder line that does an excellent job from 80-10 meters. Good luck in your next antenna project. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebar. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Ham Radio 10 Meter Loop Antenna, Part 3 of 4. Post #374.


Here's part 3 of 4 on how to design, build, install, and use a Ham Radio 10 Meter Loop Antenna by Dave Tadlock (KG0ZZ). Having built the 10 Meter Loop Antenna on the ground, Dave shows us how to install the antenna on a tower and how to check the antenna with a SWR analyzer. Dave's step-by-step assembly procedures are clear and easily followed. Part 4 of this project will be the subject of my next post. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated frequently. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Ham Radio 10 Meter Loop Antenna, Part 2 of 4. Post #373.


Here is part 2 of Dave Tadlock's (KG0ZZ) video tutorial on making a loop antenna for the 10 meter Amateur Radio Band. In this lesson, Dave gets down to assembling the necessary parts for the antenna, including the wire elements, insulators, feed lines, and pvc pipe needed for the loop frame. If you follow Dave's step-by-step plan, the antenna will go together fairly easily. Most of the materials can be obtained from the nearest home improvement or hardware store. This is a fun project. Stay tuned for parts 3 and 4. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated frequently. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Ham Radio 10 Meter Loop Antenna, Part 1 of 4. Post #372.


One of my favorite amateur radio activities is making my own wire antennas out of available materials. Among the antennas in my modest antenna "farm" are full-wave loops for 80, 40, and 20 meters, usually made out of #12 AWG household wire and fed with RG-8X coaxial cable. My 80 meter loop is configured as a delta loop with the apex of the loop set on a Norfolk Pine branch approximately 50-feet/15.24 meters above ground. I can feed this loop with either coaxial cable for single band use or with 450 ohm ladder line, a 4:1 balun, and a transmatch for multiband use. The one loop I didn't have was one for 10 meters. I came across this excellent four-part series by Dave Tadlock (KG0ZZ) on making a loop antenna for 10 meters. I decided to incorporate Dave's ideas in making my 10 meter loop, including the important planning phase, as described in part 1. Although it may appear tedious to proceed this way, I found having a clear idea of what you want the antenna to do is a big help in avoiding mistakes. If you follow Dave's guidance, "Murphy's Law" will not be a concern. Parts 2, 3, and 4 will arrive shortly. Have fun...I did. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. You can find more amateur radio news by visiting my news site at: http://kh6jrm.com. Thanks for being with us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Getting your antenna up in a tree without breaking the wire. Post #371.


An excellent video tutorial by Dave Sarti on how to support your wire antenna in a tree without snapping the antenna elements. Dave uses counterweights on each end to keep the wire taught, allowing trees to move in the wind without breaking the wire. Your choice of antenna wire will also contribute to the durability of the antenna. When I've launched similar antennas into trees, I've used #12 AWG house wire as the antenna elements. That wire thickness seems to hold up under many weather conditions. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my news blog: http://kh6jrm.net. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Study ordered for controversial ham radio antenna. Post #370.

Study ordered for controversial ham radio antenna: " MIKE BLASKY mblasky@napanews.com(9) Comments
City puts curbs on towering backyard antenna

For several residents of Coombs Street in Napa, Jeff Hullquist is their least favorite neighbor – or rather, the 55-foot-tall antenna outside … Read more

Neighbors protest radio antenna in historic district

When Napa resident Kathleen Wolf returned to her Randolph Street home in April, following a three-month trip to France, she was surprised to s… Read more

A yearlong neighborhood dispute over the appropriateness of a 55-foot amateur radio antenna in the backyard of an Old Town home will drag on for at least a few more months.

The City Council on Tuesday asked for a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review to determine what impact – if any – Jeff Hullquist’s tower at his Coombs Street home has on the cultural integrity of the historical Napa community.

“I believe there is some substantial evidence in the record that there may be significant impact under CEQA on the historic district,” Councilwoman Juliana Inman said.

The council on Tuesday heard several appeals: Hullquist appealed a November Planning Commission decision to limit tower usage to overnight and evening hours, as well as lower the tower when not in use; his neighbors appealed an earlier Cultural Heritage Commission ruling that initially deemed the tower suitable.

Any formal decision on the tower’s future will be delayed until after the review, which will decide how the tower affects the quality of life in the neighborhood. And it’s likely that several city boards, including the Planning Commission, will have to weigh in again before the matter returns to the council.

“I do believe that we have discretion in whether to permit the antenna or not, in terms of exceeding our zoning standards. I think we need to look at what impact is,” Inman said.

This dispute has raged since last February after Hullquist, a ham radio enthusiast, constructed the tower on his property at 467 Coombs. But zoning laws limit structures over 30 feet, city officials said, and Hullquist was forced to retroactively apply for the necessary permits.

His neighbors’ initial shock upon seeing the “unsightly” tower has been replaced by resentment, anger and a growing sense of dread that their idyllic, cozy district would be forced to live forever with the stain of wires and cables looming above their heads.

As Hullquist argues his right to broadcast transmissions across the world, communication with his neighbors has ended.

Lon and Linsey Gallagher, who also live on Coombs, brought a lawyer to the hearing. Hullquist did, too.

Linsey Gallagher told the council that Hullquist was selfish, allowing his hobby to destroy his neighbors’ views. She questioned whether the tower was a safety hazard for her two young children.

“I didn’t ask for this, and I have to defend my family against it,” Linsey Gallagher said.

“I can’t escape the gaze of this PG&E substation apparatus from any of the windows in my home, or from anywhere in my backyard, for that matter. It’s massive,” she said.

City staffers told the council that neither side was willing to bend.

Council members agreed that limiting Hullquist’s hours of use likely clashed with federal law, which says radio operators must be reasonably accommodated. Limiting or restricting usage isn’t likely legal.

But “reasonable” is a broad term, said Councilman Peter Mott. The law doesn’t entitle Hullquist to build a tower as high as he wants, even if a shorter tower limits his range.

“A rancher in Nevada might say 200 feet is reasonable for his tower,” he said. “I don’t know if the federal government is saying Mr. Hullquist gets to broadcast to France.”

Vice Mayor Scott Sedgley said he was frustrated that Hullquist built his tower before getting the necessary permits, a classic case of asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

If Hullquist had gone the established route, Sedgley said, it’s possible much of the animosity with his neighbors and ensuing headaches could have been avoided.

“Unfortunately, this has used lots of taxpayer resources to try to get some resolve,” Sedgley said.

Mott agreed.

“You can’t change a lightbulb in a historic district without checking to see if it’s the right lightbulb,” he said.

The council might not be the final word on the dispute, however.

Hullquist said after the meeting that the environment study was a nonsense decision intended to harm him financially. He’s required to pay for the CEQA report, which could cost him thousands.

Depending on discussions with his lawyer, Hullquist said, he might take the matter to federal court."
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Comment:

This tower case has continued to fester for almost a year.  Unfortunately, Jeff Hullquist's neighbors have a point.  Hullquist should have asked for a variance to the city's 30-foot/9.14 meters structure limit before he erected his 55-foot/16.76 meters tower.  The city council was not impressed by Hullquist's request for forgiveness and the after-the-fact application for a zoning variance.  So, the Calistoga City Council asked that a California Environmental Quality Act review be done on the tower.  According to the city council, the purpose of the study would determine the impact of the now illegal tower on "the cultural integrity of the historic Napa community."  By not following the zoning variance procedure, Hullquist opened himself up for needless ridicule and condemnation.  On the other hand, the amount of technical and scientific ignorance displayed by the town's residents is truly amazing.  The NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome is alive and well.  I'm not saying Hullquist would have received permission in the first place to erect a taller tower than the city's law requires, but, at least, he could have spared himself a little grief and a lot of attorney's fees by following the proper procedure.  Cellular phone providers face a similar quandary when they try to erect towers for their digital and phone services. It's sad when miscommunication and ignorance compound a simple issue.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).



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Monday, February 2, 2015

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: Feed-point Connector for Inverted V Dipole Antenna. Post #369.


An excellent tutorial on how to make a waterproof and weatherproof feed-point connector for an Inverted V dipole antenna. Dave Turlock takes you through a simple series of mechanical steps which will give you a professional looking center connector. Of course, you could always buy dipole center connectors if you don't have the necessary materials around your QTH. I have several Budwig HQ-1 center connectors that I keep just in case I need to build a dipole or inverted V quickly. But, in keeping with the homebrew theme of Dave's antennas, an on-site center connector built with a few tools, a pvc cap, and  a few stainless steel eye-bolts will give you the satisfaction of building your own wire antenna from start to finish. Dave's instructions are clear and easy to follow. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).