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Showing posts from May, 2015

Morse Code And Amateur Radio Still going Strong Documentary And History. Post #449.

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Well-done documentary and brief history of the Morse Code and why our oldest digital mode is growing in popularity in the Amateur Radio Community. There's also a nice shot of John Lyon's (K4CNV) amateur radio station in this video. Although I learned enough enough code to pass my novice license back in 1977, I never really used CW extensively until I became an Amateur Extra Class licensee back in 2005. When I retired from the broadcast business and became a substitute teacher, I had plenty of time to sharpen those dulled CW skills. Besides, much of the world's best DX lies hidden in the lower 25 kHz of the ham bands--places reserved for Extra Class license holders. I found CW a great break from the rigors of the day and enjoyed the conversational contacts with my fellow CW enthusiasts. Lately, I've been hanging out in the old novice/technician parts of the ham bands, talking with newly licensed amateur radio operators. Perhaps, I've developed an appreciatio…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Portable HF Ham Radio Antenna. Post #448

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If you have trouble viewing this video, please enter this URL into your browser: http://youtu.be/642N0oWgY5I. A nice, simple tutorial from W0ZF on how to make an inexpensive portable vertical antenna for the 20 meter Amateur Radio Band. I've made a few of these antennas using a fiberglass telescoping mast, some #18 AWG speaker wire, a few insulators, a simple ground radial systems, an appropriate length of RG-8X coaxial cable as feed line, and an antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner") to keep the SWR to a low level. If you wish multiband use of this 20 meter vertical antenna, you can feed the antenna with balanced line (450-ohm window line or 300 ohm tv twinlead). The balanced line would go into a 4:1 balun and then onto your antenna transmatch using a short length of RG-8X coaxial cable. This simple antenna works. 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 communit…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Antenna-Theory.com presents: Reflector Antennas - The Satellite Dish. Post #447.

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A comprehensive, well-organized video tutorial on the popular reflector antenna used in satellite dishes. The video from "Pete's Free Information Center" describes the basic physics and theory involved in this type of commercial and amateur radio antenna. The video discusses aperture efficiency, gain estimates, and a little bit about satellite dish design, along with geometric optics approximations used in the analysis of these reflector antennas. A useful reference for those into EME or amateur satellite operations. 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today!. Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Ham Radio hiking gear. Post #446.

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With the approach of summer and the longer days and warmer temperatures that the season brings, many amateur radio operators will be taking portable stations to the field, local parks, and even along hiking trails to enjoy their hobby in the great outdoors. Often times, many of us go off into the "wilderness" with equipment that is a bit too heavy, needs too much power, and requires sophisticated antennas. If you have to carry a lot of weight in addition to your day pack, your pleasant hike may turn into a chore. Dennis Blanchard (K1YPP) recommends going the low-power route (QRP), with a light rig (Elecraft KX-1, Yaesu-817, or even a homebrew cw rig built into an Altoids mint can), and a few light weight dipoles you can string from a tree or other tall structure. Power can be provided by a set of alkaline batteries or a gel-cell battery. In this well-made video tutorial, Dennis reviews what has been historically popular and shows us what he has found to be a workable, e…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Vertical Antenna for DX. Post #445.

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If you have trouble viewing this video, please enter this URL into your browser: http://youtu.be/aOizaRd3Qtk. Another excellent antenna tutorial by Stan Gibilisco (W1GV). This time, Stan discusses the theory, construction, and use of a 40 meter vertical antenna for DX. Vertical antennas perform well if they are used in conjunction with a good ground radial system. The radial system supplies the missing half of the vertical element. With a decent radial system, this vertical directs most of its radiation toward the horizon. If you cut the vertical and radial wire lengths for a frequency in the lower portion of the 40 meter band (below 7.100 MHz), the antenna will work very well in the SSB portion of 15 meters as a 3/4 length antenna. This assumes you are feeding the antenna with 50 ohm coaxial cable. If you want multiband use between 40 and 10 meters, feed the antenna with ladder line or tv twinlead. The balanced feeders would then go into a balanced tuner and then on to your …

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How to install a Ham Radio Tilting Crank Up Tower and Mosley Antenna. Post #444.

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Excellent tower and antenna installation video from David Mercado (KK4MMD) and his father. It appears David did a good job of preparing the construction site and took the recommending building practices into account before he raised the 40-foot/12.19 meter tower and attached the Mosley TA-53 antenna. Perhaps "it's a stretch" to call this installation "simple" because of the tasks involved. If you decide to erect a tower and antenna, be sure to get some help from people who have installed towers. 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)>

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Stealth HF Antenna for your HOA Yes it can be done! - AF5DN. Post #443.

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Here's AF5DN's antenna idea for a HOA controlled apartment. Where there's a will, there's a way. Excellent video showing how you can get on the air with a little creativity and a few easily available parts. Be sure to use an antenna transmatch (tuner) and a counterpoise system to reduce RF in the shack. 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Tunable Liquid Metal Antennas | American Institute of Physics. Post #442.

Tunable Liquid Metal Antennas | American Institute of Physics: Tunable Liquid Metal Antennas.  Using electrochemistry, North Carolina State University researchers have created a reconfigurable, voltage-controlled liquid metal antenna that may play a huge role in future mobile devices and the coming Internet of Things

From the Journal:Journal of Applied Physics
By AIP News Staff. WASHINGTON D.C., May 19, 2015 -- Researchers have held tremendous interest in liquid metal electronics for many years, but a significant and unfortunate drawback slowing the advance of such devices is that they tend to require external pumps that can't be easily integrated into electronic systems.

So a team of North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers set out to create a reconfigurable liquid metal antenna controlled by voltage only, which they describe in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.

The team's work was inspired by a phenomenon recently observed during studies of liqui…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Homebrew Slinky Ham Radio Antenna. Post #441.

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Here's a nice weekend antenna idea from "Tinker John" (W5CYF). John gives us a step by step look at building a low cost (under $10) dipole antenna for 20 and 40 meters using the popular "Slinky" toy from Walmart. Add a few pieces of PVC pipe, some coax connectors, nuts and bolts, and a suitable length of 50 ohm coax and you're almost ready to go. Trim for the best SWR. I've built a few of these antennas and I've found 450 ohm ladder line into a balanced tuner (or into a 4:1 balun and then into an antenna tuner with short piece of RG-8X coax) works very well for this portable antenna. The slinky antenna works best on the higher HF bands (20 through 10 meters). Have fun! 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my two news s…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Mobile Radio Antennas, Mounting Options, Performance Tips. Post #440.

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Well-produced and clearly explained video tutorial from "Rugged Radios" on mobile radio antennas. The video discusses the right mobile antenna, understanding ground planes, proper mounting locations, mounting options, and basic troubleshooting techniques. A good video to add to your basic Amateur Radio library. 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my two news sites: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).  If you have trouble viewing this video, please enter the following URL into your browser:  https;//youtu.be/Fmm63d2Zyv4.

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Amateur Extra Class Lesson 9.3, Antenna Systems. Post 439.

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Dave Casler wraps up his 3-part series on Antenna Systems with this outstanding video. Although the video tutorial is geared for those taking the Amateur Extra Class License Exam, there's plenty of good, basic antenna information in this program series for the rest of us. In this video, Dave discusses impedance matching of transmission lines to antennas, how transmission lines work, The Smith Chart, transmission line stubs, synchronous transformers, and antenna analyzers. This 3-part antenna series should be part of your Amateur Radio library. 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 e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my two news blogs: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Part 2 of 2, Amateur Extra Lesson 9.2, Practical Antennas. Post #438.

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This is part 2 of Dave Casler's outstanding series of tutorials on Practical Antennas. Although the discussion is aimed at those studying for the Amateur Radio Extra Class License Exam, the material is useful for all licensees. In this well-produced video, Dave looks at Beverage Antennas, Phased Arrays, Satellite Antennas, and Radio Direction Finding (RDF).  Dave offers good, clear, and simple explanations of often difficult to understand Antenna Theory. This video should be part of your 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. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my two news sites: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

PART 1 of 2 Amateur Extra Lesson 9.2 Practical Antennas

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A very well done, easily understood, and most informative video on practical antennas for the Amateur Radio operator. This is part 1 of 3 segments dealing with antenna theory and design of antennas for ham radio use. Dave Cassler's tutorials are designed to help those preparing for the Amater Extra Class License Exam. These videos are excellent reference material and should be added to your Amateur Radio library. For the lates Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can also find the latest news about the Nepalese earthquake and the role Amateur Radio is playing in rescue and recovery operations. You can follow our blog community with a free e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. You can find more Amateur Radio news at my two other web sites: http://kh6jrm.com and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

New Nepal Earthquake May 12. Post #436.

New Nepal Earthquake May 12: New Nepal Earthquake May 12. Amateur radio emergency nets are reported to have been activated on 14205 kHz and 14215 kHz.   On 9N1EMERGENCY Colin Wilson posted:
Following the announcement this morning of further earthquakes in Nepal we have activated 14205 kHz and our primary frequency for Emergency traffic to and from Nepal. 14215 has been activated also as a secondary frequency, stations wishing to assist should call net control on 215 not 205 thanks.

9N1EMERGENCY Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/823876351031939/

On the RAYNET-HF site Greg Mossop G0DUB reports:

At 0705UTC this morning Nepal was hit by a new earthquake of magnitude 7.4. The planned response from the American MARS service with 9N1SP is now in place should support be required. However there is still a large international disaster response structure in the country from the earlier event.

More information when I get it.

73,
Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co…

A Look At The Wonderful Drake 2-C Ham Band Radio Receiver. Post #435.

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Like many hams, I have a modest collection of tube gear, including receivers, some test equipment, and a few 1960s-1970s vintage transceivers (Kenwood TS-520 and a Kenwwood TS-520S). Although I've used the classic Drake 2-C receiver during field days and visits to other shacks, I never owned one myself. So, when I found this excellent tutorial on the beautiful Drake 2-C from Larry (WA0AKX--the Radio Ham Guy), I fell in love with this classic receiver all over again. The Drake 2-C, when used in combination with the companion 2NT transmitter (pictured in this video), formed the basis of an excellent novice station during the 1967-1968 time frame. The receiver is simple, well-designed, and easy to use. The quality of most Drake amateur radio equipment is excellent. The Drake Company got out of the amateur radio business many years ago, but is still around as a maker of LNA's for satellite use. One day, I hope to find a Drake 2-C and add it to my collection of classic rigs.…

Nepal Earthquake - Update May 9 | Southgate Amateur Radio News. Post #434.

Nepal Earthquake - Update May 9 | Southgate Amateur Radio News: This page is brought to
you in association with  The Southgate Amateur Radio Club News and AMSAT-UK.   Page last updated on: Sunday, May 10, 2015.   This final update was received Saturday from Jayu VU2JAU who has been keeping in daily contact with Satish 9N1AA on 20m.   Their scheduled contacts have decreased in frequency over the last few days and closed at 02:30 UTC today. This is the last known formal international link to stop operating following the ending of MARS communications support at 1100z 05 May 15 between T6TM in Afghanistan and Dr. Panday, 9N1SP.

Aftershocks continue in the area but the frequency of those events has reduced quicker than expected, however there are still vulnerable structures which are being worked on and the terrain means landslides remain a possibility.

There are still Radio Amateurs in the country for example Dale, BA4TB and Mi, BD4TR are part of the Chinese rescue team assisting in the a…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How to Build: Ham Radio 2 Meter Quarter Wave Antenna. Post #433.

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Concise, well-organized tutorial from Randy Hall (K7AGE) on how to build a 2 Meter Quarter Wave Vertical Antenna. This antenna is simple, cheap, and fairly easy to build and maintain. If you're going to mount this antenna outside your radio room, please weather proof all connections. This antenna will really boost the signal of your new HT. Most of the materials can be found at the nearest hardware store or building supply outlet. 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. You can also find more amateur radio news at my two other websites: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Amateur Radio Repeater from US Clears Customs in Nepal. Post #432.

Amateur Radio Repeater from US Clears Customs in Nepal: Amateur Radio Repeater from US Clears Customs in Nepal.  TAGS: amateur radio, amateur radio community, amateur radio equipment, amateur radio repeater, ARRL Emergency Preparedness, earthquake disaster, ham radio, ham radio equipment, magnitude earthquake, Manager Mike Corey, Military Auxiliary Radio, Nepal, recovery effort
05/07/2015. Thanks to the efforts of the Computer Association of Nepal-USA (CAN-USA), a repeater that the group had donated to Tribhuvan University in Nepal was released from customs on May 5 and now is at the university in the care of Sanjeeb Panday, 9N1SP. CAN-USA Disaster Preparedness Committee Chair Suresh Ojha, W6KTM, said his organization “sought and received help from the US State Department, the US Embassy in Nepal, and Nepal’s Ministry of Information and Communication.”  “We were especially thrilled that the Minister of Information and Communication, the Honorable Minendra Rijal, personally contacted 9…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--N4LQ End Fed Wire Antenna. Post #431.

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Here's another antenna idea from Steve Ellington (N4LQ). This time, Steve uses a modified end fed wire antenna, measuring 50 feet (15.24 meters) vertically and 150 feet (45.73 meters) horizontally. This antenna requires a good ground radial system to work properly. These random, end fed wires can be used successfully if an adequate ground is used in conjunction with an antenna tuner (antenna transmatch). For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. For recent news of Amateur Radio activity in Nepal following the devastating 7.8 earthquake, you can visit The Southgate Amateur Radio Club News page or check with the ARRL at http://www.arrl.org. You can follow our blog community with a free e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. For more Amateur Radio news, please visit my news sites: http://kh6jrm.net or http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. Both of these sites contain updated  informat…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How To Build A 10 Meter Dipole. Post #430.

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Excellent tutorial from Randy Hall (K7AGE) on how to build a basic dipole for the 10 meter band (28.000-29.999 MHz). Technician Class licensees can use SSB from 28.300 MHz to 28.500 MHz. This simple, easily built antenna will get you on the air quickly. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can find more Amateur Radio news items at my two other blog sites: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. 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! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--What in the world is WSPR? (PART 2). Post #429.

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If you have trouble viewing this video, please enter the title link into your browser: https://youtu.be/ZTXCnaSNEY. This is part 2 of "Calgary Toad's" tutorial on WSPR, a weak signal mode designed for the QRP Amateur Radio Community. This mode is becoming popular with hams experimenting in the 630 meter band (472 kHz to 479 kHz). The use of the mode may increase now that the FCC will release segments of the 2200 meter (137 kHz-138 kHz) and 630 meter (472 kHz to 479 kHz) bands for Amateur Radio use in the United States. There will be power and antenna restrictions placed on these bands, so weak signal modes such as WSPR will find an immediate application. I think it's time for me to order a WSPR kit and see what I can find on these two "basement" bands. For a first time effort, these two videos are quite good. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can follow our bl…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--What in the world is WSPR? (PART 1). Post #428.

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Now that the FCC will soon release frequencies in the 2200 and 630 meter bands for Amateur Radio use, interest in these bands is growing, especially among members of the QRP (low-power) community. Because antennas for these bands are so large, hams are resorting to many digital modes to enhance whatever antennas they can create for these bands. For example, a half-wave dipole for 472 kHz to 479 kHz will exceed 991.ft/302.29 meters. This is where weak signal digital modes such as WSPR come in. This simple video from "Calgary Toad" serves as a short tutorial on WSPR or the Weak Signal Network. WSPR, designed for the QRP enthusiast, sends FSK transmissions and lets the operator see instant propagation reports. This video is part 1 of a 2-part series on the WSPR digital mode. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can also get Amateur Radio news in detail from my two news sites: http://kh6jr…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--A Simple Wire Tuner. Post # 427.

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Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) explains the theory and design behind a basic, but effective and efficient, antenna tuner for feeding random wires, especially half-wave, end-fed antennas. You can buy a similar antenna tuner from MFJ and other companies, but why not build your own and have the satisfaction of saving some money and working stations on a tuner you built yourself? It's important to remember that random wire antennas, including end-fed half-wave wires, need a decent ground radial system to work propertly. Even a minimal number of radials (4-8) for the lowest band of choice will get you plenty of contacts. Good luck and have fun with your own homebrewed antenna tuner. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. You can also find my Amateur Radio news at my news site: http://kh6jrm.net. You can follow our blog community with a free em-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks …

Hello--Welcome to Amateur Radio. Post #426.

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An excellent, new video (02 May 2015) from the ARRL which introduces Amateur Radio and encourages people to get a license and get on the air. This video can be used as an introduction to any Amateur Radio License class. The photography is quite good and the narration nicely paced. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are update daily. You can find more Amateur Radio news at my two other websites: http://kh6jrm.net and http://paper.li/kh6jrm/1430289353. You can follow our blog community with a free e-mail subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thank you for joining us today! Aloha es 7e de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Terminated Folded Dipole. Post #425.

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This antenna from "remingtoncounty100" is a traveling wave or double terminated folded dipole that operates from 1.8 MHz to 54 MHz. The antenna designer claims that the antenna exhibits "a lower noise floor" than a conventional dipole and, in most cases, doesn't require an antenna tuner. I built a similar and somewhat cruder copy of this antenna using some 300 ohm television twin lead I had in the junk box. The elements were made from twin lead as well as the feed line. I ran the feed line into a 4:1 balun and used a piece of RG-8X to connect the balun to my Drake MN-4. The antenna was cut for 40 meters and was able to work 20 meters without difficulty. Some adjustments to the antenna transmatch were needed to get a low SWR on 15 and 10 meters. If you have a spare weekend, you may want to try this much improved design over the rudimentary folded dipole I made on a Saturday morning. If you'd rather buy a commercial version of the double terminated di…