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Showing posts from January, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How to build a Delta Loop Antenna. Post #675.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/QJI3S9x6K_I. Exceptionally well-done video from Hiram Vasquez on how to build a Delta Loop Antenna for 20 meters. Hiram uses a simple Q-Match to make the antenna resonant at approximately 50 ohms--perfect for any 50-ohm coaxial cable you may have around the shack.  Most of the materials can be bought at the nearest hardware store or home improvement center.  The object in back of Hiram is the rope he uses to raise and lower the 20 meter Delta Loop.  The antenna is simple, elegant, and easy to build.  If you want coverage between 20 and 10 meters, replace the 50-ohm coax feedline with 300 ohm television twin lead or 450 ohm ladder line in conjunction with a 4:1 balun and a short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable, which plugs into your antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner").  This Delta Loop is bi-directional and exhibits some gain.  For the latest Amateur Radio…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) Antennas - AS-2259/GR (Part 1)

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/aAshymGZ8Ww.  An excellent, concise video that shows you how to assemble the AS-2259/GR NVIS antenna.  This antenna was designed for military use and provided excellent NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) coverage on the lower HF frequences (below10 MHz). These antenna kits can be found on eBay or on other auction sites.  Those of us who served with the U.S. military may remember several rigs that were used with this antenna;  PRC-74, PRC-104, and AN/PRC-25.  These antennas were used as late as 1990 in Operation Desert Storm.  If you can buy one of these NVIS antennas, please do so.  For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily. Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).  This is post #674.

40 Meter Reversible "String Beam" Antenna. Post #673.

40 Meter Reversible "String Beam" Antenna
(http://www.eham.net/article/35690).
Accessed on 30 January 2016, 04:09 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Bob Raynor (N4JTE).
Please click title link or insert http://www.eham.net/article/35690 into your browser search box.

If you've got some time, a few friends willing to help you, and some basic tools, you can build this 40 meter reversible beam antenna using a basic dipole antenna and a few parasitic elements.  According to Bob (N4JTE), you can get about 3dB gain over a single element dipole with his "string beam" antenna.  This antenna will give you some directivity as well, which is always helpful in contacting that rare DX station.  Place the "string beam" antenna as high as possible for best results.

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.

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Portable Inflatable Antenna and Sensor Tower for Emergency Management, S...

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/hciDq7MYL2U.  This portable, inflatable emergency tower from http://www.itaprojects.com may be the perfect item for radio amateurs working with ARES, RACES, Field Day Committees, or any public service agency requiring a tower to restore communications during or after an emergency.  According to the company's website, this antenna is portable, weighs only 50 pounds/22.7 kg, and takes only 30 seconds to inflate. The model in this video is 37 feet/11.28 meters tall.  The company also markets an inflatable tower that is 60 feet/18.29 meters tall.  This inflatable tower could be purchased by an amateur radio club and used for Field Day or for portable operations in a public park.  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 o…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--5 Min Emergency Antenna. Post #671.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https:youtu.be/XgyH6JQ3XHo.  If you need a simple, effective, and fairly cheap antenna in a hurry, then this homebrew coaxial antenna from K2PFW may be what you're looking for.  The antenna is similar to a "sleeve dipole", where the outer shield becomes the "other half" of a regular dipole in the vertical position.  This antenna will provide an omnidirectional signal and is suitable for both emergency and portable use.  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).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Tuning a CB Whip for use on the 10 Meter Ham Band

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/m3Oho0lcbis.  If you need a cheap, effective 10 meter mobile antenna, a CB mobile antenna may be just what you're looking for.  Tony (KD8RTT) and his brother Andy (KK4LWR) show how easy it is to adapt an inexpensive CB antenna (11 meter band) for the 10 meter amateur radio band.  Tony and Andy discuss how to trim the CB mobile antenna so that its new frequency range falls into to the 10 meter amateur radio band. Tony and Andy trimmed the mobile whip so it resonated at 28.500 MHz, making the antenna usable for both technician and general class hams.  With a little care and attention to detail, your old CB mobile antenna can get a new life on 10 meters. For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.  Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).  This is post #670 of a contin…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--2m Backpack Quad Antenna Follow Up. Post #669.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/FwXq1XkhHU.  This video is part two of Dave Tadlock's (KG0ZZ) 2 meter Backpack Quad Antenna project. In this well-done and easy-to-follow presentation, Dave adds some special features that will increase the efficiency and directivity of this simple quad antenna.  Dave adds two parasitic elements (a reflector and a director) to the driven element to get more gain and directivity from the antenna.  Dave supplies all of the necessary forumulas and design advice needed to cut the wire and assemble this 3-element quad for the 2 meter band.  This antenna can be used for portable, emergency, or at home use. Good luck!  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!…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Ham Radio 2m Backpack Quad Antenna. Post #668

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If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/IAiilzV8NpI.  Here's a simple 2 meter quad antenna you can use for portable, emergency, or even home use.  In this excellent video tutorial, Dave Tadlock (KG0ZZ) takes you step-by-step through the design and construction of this easy-to-make backpack antenna. Most of the materials, such as PVC pipe, spreader rods, PVC caps, and wire can be found at the nearest home improvement store or hardware outlet.  The spreader can be made from many materials, as long as the spreaders aren't made of metal.  In this project, the boom is approximately 30 7/8 inches/78.40 cm long and the spreaders are 30 inches/76.2 cm long.  In part two of this series, Dave shows us how to add parasitic elements to increase the gain and directivity of this simple quad antenna.  For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are up…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--W3EDP antenna illustrations. Post #667

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W3EDP antenna illustrations
(https://www.google.com/search?q=w3edp+antenna+illustrations).
Accessed on 24 January 2016, 01:29 hrs, UTC.
Please click title or URL to view the complete set of illustrations for the W3EDP antenna.
Other resources:
http://www.nc4fb.org/wordpress/w3edp-multi-band-antenna.
http://www.ok1rr.com.

If you're in an experimental mood, try one of these W3EDP antenna projects illustrated by these slides.

The original design was published in the March 1936 issue of "QST" by Yardley Beers (W3AWH).  The antenna was developed and tested by his good friend H.G. Siegel (W3EDP).  The distant cousin of this antenna was patented in 1909 by Hans Beggerow and was later used on Zeppelin airships for a communications antenna.

The W3EDP antenna and its variants are simple, compact, and easy to deploy--a perfect match for QRP portable and emergency operations.  I've used a W3EDP design several times and have found it quite satisfactory with no major problems as l…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Build your own 110 foot multi band dipole home brew ham radio HF antenna

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This is post #666. If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/5B0wCP2Tsdw. Here's another simple antenna idea that will give you hours of enjoyment at minimul expense.  In this video, W5XJ show us how to build a 110-foot/33.53 meters center-fed dipole that covers the 80 meter to 6 meter amateur radio bands.  According to W5XK, "materials are easy to find and inexpensive to the function and fun this antenna brings to the table."  All you need is a small piece of PVC pipe, a suitable length of #14 AWGcopper wire, some 450 ohm ladder line, a balun, and an antenna transmatch (i.e. tuner).  W5XJ uses a nearby tree to support the center of the antenna.  You could also use a telescoping fiberglass mast to support the antenna as an inverted V or as a half-wavelength sloper antenna.  This antenna is versatile, easy to make, covers several amateur radio bands, and is suitable as an emergency or p…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How to turn a vertical into a beam. Post #665.

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If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/FUV4dqhQvYA.  Here's a simple way to get a little more gain out of a 20 meter vertical antenna.  Rob turns his 20 meter vertical antenna into a beam using a reflectorwire from the top.  For 20 meters, he used a wire a little more than a half wavelength on 20 meters.  The vertical portion of the antenna is 5 meters/16.4 feet, with the top wire measuring 5.1 meters/16.7 feet running horizontally.  Rob says not to ground the reflector wire. Keep the reflector wire approximately 30 cm/11.81 inches above ground.  You should see some improvement in the performance of your 20 meter vertical antenna after you make the changes suggested by Rob.  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.  …

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Three-Element Yagi Antenna Dimensions. Post #664.

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If you're unable to view this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/FbYfShh-OAU. This video by Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) provides an excellent tutorial on the design parameters of a three-element parasitic array HFantenna, known as a Yagi Antenna.  Stan provides all of the necessary formulas for the reflector, director, and driven elements of this antenna. If you're considering upgrading the performance of your amateur radio station, a simple yagi antenna may be a cost-efficient and effective way to add more "punch" to your signal.  You can either homebrew your yagi or opt for a commercially available yagi.  Of course, you'll probably need a modest tower and a rotator to direct your signal to the desired areas.  This would entail a consideable expense, especially if you want a yagi for the lower HF bands (80 to 20 meters).  However, a three-element yagi for 10 meters would be within most budgets and would require a less exp…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna -- Home Depot / Lowes Part 3 - AF5DN

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This is post #663. This is the final video on building a homebrew 20 meter dipole antenna from Dave (AF5DN). If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/7Z5DEgQCEmo. In this video, Dave finishes his simple, homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna and mounts it on the privacy fence surrounding his property in North Texas.  Dave lives in an area governed by an HOA and restrictive CC&Rs.  This antenna is mounted fairly close to the ground, so most of the signal will be high angle radiation.  A better location for this antenna would be in the attic of Dave's home, where it could get at least a 1/4 wavelength above ground (approximately 16.5 feet/5.03 meters).  Even a compromise antenna is better than no antenna.  If your restrictions aren't as severe as Dave's, you could use a single telescoping fiberglass mast to support the antenna as an inverted V or a 1/2 wavelength sloper.  For the latest A…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna -- Home Depot / Lowes Part 2 - AF5DN

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This post #662. If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/kyhQMilOwVI.  This is part 2 of  a 3-part series by Dave (AF5DN) on how to design, build, and use a homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna.  Most of the parts can be obtained at Home Depot or at Lowes.  Construction is simple and requires only basic tools.  The only thing I would add would be a 1:1 balun from the dipole connector to your 50 ohm coaxial cable feed line.  Dave doesn't use a 1:1 balun for this project, and that omission doesn't seem to impair his performance on the 20 Meter Amateur Radio band.  Dave adds that he is running QRP (low power) and that may help him manage any excessive unbalanced currents on the antenna.  As a precaution, I would use a 1:1 balun and an antenna transmatch (tuner) to complete the project.  However, if the antenna is properly designed and cut to a length where SWR is below 1.5:1, I wouldn't worry …

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna -- Home Depot / Lowes Part 1 - AF5DN

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This is post #661. If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/P523GAymx7Q.  This is part one of a three-part series describing the process of designing, building, and using a homebrew 20 Meter Dipole Antenna.  Dave (AF5DN) takes you step-by-step in building this simple, inexpensive, and effective amateur radio antenna. Most of the parts are available at Home Depot or at Lowes.  The tutorial is clear and easy to follow.  All you need are a few simple tools, PVC pipe sections, wire, some 50 ohm coaxial cable feed line, and an antenna transmatch ("tuner") to complete the 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. Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--2 element beam for 20 metres from gw0jxm. Post #660.

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If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/IPJV45MbWzM.  Here's a fairly simple 2 element beam antenna for 20 meters that you can build over a weekend or on your vacation.  Andy Davies (GW0JXM), shows us the step-by-step process of designing, building, and using this portable antenna. At the end of this video, Andy gives us a sketch of the dimensions and the approximate cost for the elements and the mast.  Andy says the SWR is 1.11:1 and the 1.5:1 bandwidth is approximately 260 Hz.  The antenna and mast weight about 30 pounds/13.5 Kg, and would require a bit of effort to lift the entire assembly off the ground.  The gamma rod is 15 mm diameter copper rod and is 39 inches/99.06 cm long.  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…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--My portable HF ham radio antenna. Post #659.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please  insert this address into your brower seach box: https://youtu.be/Y4aoKLCF4Kw.  Here's a simple, cheap, and effective antenna you can use for portable or emergency use.  Just add your favorite portable HF rig, an antenna transmatch (tuner), some feed line, a simple ground radial system, and a gel-cell battery and you're ready to go.  The spools can be found in surplus or sports stores under the category of "camping clothes line."  You can also order the spools through amazon.com.  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).
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Ham Radio Shack in a NYC Apartment. Post #658.

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If you're having difficulty in viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/GmrfZqLCWuw.  When I lived in an apartment, I had a several problems:  almost no space for an antenna; station location on a second floor--a nightmarish grounding situation; and a bunch of unfriendly, suspicious neighbors who thought the 2 meter mobile whip on my old VW Karmann Ghia made me some kind of government agent. But, compared to the producer of this video, John (W2IU), who lives in New York City, my problems were minor.  Even in such dire operating conditions, it's possible to operate an amateur radio station and erect a working antenna.  If you follow John's suggestions, be sure to have a decent counterpoise wire to help keep rf out of the shack and to help supply the missing half of the vertical antenna.  Even a compromise antenna is better than no antenna. Hopefully, John's video will give you some ideas.  For the latest Amateur Rad…

How to Install a Grounding Rod The Easy Way. Post #657.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/kpI8PFMYl4. Pounding ground rods isn't one of my favorite chores when I build an amateur radio station or erect a vertical antenna.  A ground rod and its associated radial system are necessary to protect your equipment from nearby lightning strikes, static discharges, and to provide the "missing half" of your vertical antenna system.  Still, ground rods are a genuine chore for most of us.  There may be another way to install a ground rod without all the strenuous effort required.  In this video, we learn a cheap and easy way to drive an 8-foot/2.43 meter copper grounding rod into the ground without "pounding it to oblivion" with a heavy sledgehammer. Pounding a ground rod with a heavy hammer can remove the copper coating from the rod and decrease the effectiveness of the rod.  In less than 15 minutes, you can have the ground rod installed…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Testing a bi-square antenna on 10 metres. Post #656.

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If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/xKNE25ZNgu4. Peter (VK3YE) has come up with another simple, yet effective gain antenna for portable operations.  In this video, Peter shows us how to build a bi-square antenna for the 10 meter amateur radio band.  The antenna is quite simple.  Take two ten meter/32.8-feet pieces of wire; form them into a square; support the top with a fiberglass mast; and tie off the sides to maintain a diamond shape.  Peter use a homebrew L-match to connect the bi-square to his HF transceiver.  You could also connect some 450 ohm ladder line to bottom of the bi-square and run this line into a 4:1 current balun.  A short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable will connect the balun to your antenna transmatch ("tuner").  This design can also be modified for use on the 20 and 15 meter bands.  This is an excellent 10 meter antenna, which will give you some gain without costing…

So Sad. Observations from Larry Makoski (W2LJ). Post #655.

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So Sad
(http://w2lj.blogspot.com/2016/01/so-sad.html?m=1).
Accessed on 11 January 2016, 18:01 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Larry Makoski (W2LJ).

Every once in a while, I find an interesting and somewhat disturbing article related to those leaving amateur radio because of severe peer pressure to become someone other than themselves.

Larry Makoski (W2LJ) does an excellent job of examining this phenomenon as he reacts to news of another radio amateur leaving the hobby because he can't measure up to the expectations of others.  Larry calls this situation "sad", and I agree with him.

Your enjoyment of amateur radio doesn't depend on having the biggest station, the latest rig, or an expansive "antenna farm."  As some of the comments to this article suggest, it's what you put into amateur radio, your interests in the "radio art", and the ability to serve your community in times of emergency that makes the real difference in becoming a radio amateur.

Like Larr…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Doublet aerial for HF amateur ham radio short wave bands

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This is Post #654. If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/8ZmyvtMvEGY.  Here's another well-done, easy- to- understand antenna tutorial from Ray of the "Radio Workshop."  This time, Ray explains the theory, construction, and use of the classic multiband "doublet aerial", which is simply a multiband dipole antenna fed by 300 ohm television twin lead, 450 ohm ladder line, or twin feeders of your own design.  If you cut the dipole for the 80 meter band (i.e. around 3.500 MHz) and use balanced feeders attached to a balanced tuner, you will be able to use the "doublet aerial" on any amateur radio band between 80 and 10 meters.  You can also run the tuned feeders into a 4:1 current balun and then onto your usual tuner with a short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable.  Place the "doublet aerial" as high as you can.  If you have only one antenna support, you can use th…

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--The 40 Meter Stealth Vertical. Post #653.

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The 40 Meter Stealth Vertical.
(http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/48/the-40-meter-stealth-vertical).
Based on an article published by K7ZB in "Antennex", December 2001.
Accessed on 10 January 2016, 04:15 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Simone Mannino (IW5EDI), Firerize, Italy.

If you live in a deed-restricted apartment or home governed by an HOA or CC&Rs, you may find this article by Simone Mannino (IW5EDI) quite interesting.  The original article was published by K7ZB in the December 2001 edition of "Antennex."

Basically, the system uses a collapsible mast to support a vertical wire measuring approximately 33-feet/10.06 meters. The antenna fits on a small porch and is lowered when it's not in use, making the antenna invisible to neighbors.  A simple radial system is used to complete the antenna.  There are several photographs in the article, which explain the step-by-step process of building, erecting, and lowering the antenna.  You can get multiband performance from thi…

Station Grounding for Amateur Radio: Ask Dave Episode 8. Post #652.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please enter this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/Luy8XP8O390.  Another excellent video tutorial from Daivid Casler (KE0OG).  This time, Dave discusses station grounding for Amateur Radio stations.  The video is accurate, clear, free of extraneous detail, and provides valuable, practical advice for establishing a good station ground.  David also cites applicable reference sources, if you wish to pursue the topic further.  A good ground system is needed to protect your station from static electricity and nearby lightning strikes.  This video covers electrical safety grounding, RF signal grounding, and protection from lightning strikes.  A very good tutorial that is easy to understand. 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 f…

Amateur Radio Tower Grounding. Post # 651.

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If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this address into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/6cTdrtJINcw. A concise, well-done, and easily followed tutorial from TomTools99 (N2RGT).  The primary rule for protecting ham radio equipment against lightning strikes is connection of all antenna elements to a single, low impedance grounding point. You can add another layer of safety by disconnecting all of your amateur radio equipment at the close of the operating day.  This video provides useful guidance in protecting your valuable ham radio equipment from nearby lightning strikes.  A direct hit is a different matter.  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).
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