Monday, February 29, 2016

HOW TO BUILD A BALUN 4 TO 1 TUTORIAL. Post #703.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/TI_8msSbpDQ.  This video from "Shlomofir" will show you a simple way to make a voltage fed 4:1 balun for your multiband dipole antenna.  Most of the materials can be obtained from the nearest hardware store or building supply outlet.  The only quibble I have with this otherwise excellent video is the use of a black PVC pipe section for the balun.  Black PVC pipe may contain carbon which could alter the characteristics of the balun.  Stick with a white PVC section for the balun and run low power, and you should be alright.  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).

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Multiband Dipole Antenna. Post #702.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/wH0RNIr9cqE.  Here's another simple, cheap, and easily constructed dipole antenna for your backyard, courtesy of "Daz" 026-PS-001) of the UK.  Working with readily available materials, Daz made a dipole antenna from a wire 108-feet/32.92 meters long, suspended it from supports in his backyard, and fed the antenna with 50-ohm coaxial cable terminating in an air-wound coil (7 turns of coaxial cable).  The coil was then connected to his antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner").  Daz says the antenna works well on all Amateur Radio bands from 80 through 10 meters.  The only change I would make in this arrangement would be to fed the antenna with 300 ohm television twin lead, 450 ohm ladder line, or some homebrewed balanced line. Attach the feed to a balanced tuner (or to a 4:1 balun and then connect the balun to your tuner), and you'll have an easier time tuning the antenna from 80 to 10 meters.  Part of the fun of amateur radio is designing, building, and using your own antennas.  Daz's idea works, and it may work for you!  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).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Radio Club Activity Day: Antenna Building. Post #701.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/zkbWT0MZ3QU.  What a great idea for a club project!  Randy Hall (K7AGE) and his fellow radio amateurs of the Pelican Bay Amateur Radio Club in Brookings, Oregon recently held an antenna building day for those who have never built an amateur radio antenna or have never used a soldering iron for a homebrew radio project.  The activity was a huge success, with participants learning a lot about antennas and having the opportunity to use an antenna they built themselves.  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).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar. Post #700.

Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar: Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar.
Source:  http://www.arrl.org/news/views/receiving-antennas-will-be-focus-of-free-webinar.
Accessed on 27 Februrary 2016, 01;35 hrs, UTC.
Special thanks to Ken Claerbout (K4ZW) and The Daily DX.
TAGS: Carlos, Daily DX, evening, experiences, foundation, free webinar, Jose, Ken Claerbout, low-band receiving antennas, place, Registration, thanks, Thursday, time zones, topic, utc, Waller Flag, Wide Radio Operators, World, WWROF
02/26/2016
“High Performance RX Antennas for a Small Lot” will be the topic of a free webinar by Jose “JC” Carlos, N4IS, and sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF).

Carlos will explore basic concepts of receiving antennas and share his experiences with low-band receiving antennas on a small lot, including the Waller Flag.

The webinar will take place on March 4 at 0200 UTC (the evening of Thursday, March 3, in US time zones). It will run for about 1 hour.

Registration is required. — Thanks to Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, via The Daily DX.

Comment:

This free antenna presentation should be of interest to radio amateurs, antenna designers, and the "Maker Community."  The webinar will last approximately 1 hour.  Contact Ken Claerbout (K4ZW) for more information.

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).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Slot antenna parabolic dish based 2m 440. Post #699.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https//youtu.be/I144kzJxzDA.  How would you like to build a stealthy 2m/70 cm stealth antenna by using the ubiquitous satellite receiving dish?  Thanks to James Sanders (AG6IF), you can convert that unneeded or extra satellite dish into something more useful without incurring the ire of noisy neighbors--namely, a totally disguised antenna for VHF/UHF antenna.  Jim cut a 40 inch/110.60 cm slot within a parabolic dish fed with a SO-239 jumper about 4.5 inches/11.43 cm from the end of the slot.  The antenna is vertically polarized and should be able to work repeaters in your neighborhood. A nice, simple, cheap, and largely invisible VHF/UHF antenna for HOA/CC&R situations. 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).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--4.2 Short Dipole. Post #698.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiVrgq10BFE. A professionally produced video tutorial on short dipoles, prepared for a junior electromagnetics course in electrical engineering at Bucknell University. The video is being used as supplementary course material for future electrical and broadcast engineering students.  The video covers the basics of short or Hertzian dipole antennas with an emphasis on antenna theory, classification of antennas (current and aperture), general properties of short dipole antennas, and design considerations.  Although the mathematics used in this video are a bit complex, the explanation and diagrams are easy to understand.  Understanding the complexities of dipole antennas may involve a learning curve, but, when you do understand the theory behind this simple antenna, you will get a better grasp of why antennas behave as they do.  This video should be a part of your reference 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 email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed. Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

PL259, Install a PL259 the easy way, Coax connector, PL259 with no solde...


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/qPIcT9SXNPs.  This is post #697.  I've always dreaded attaching PL259 connectors to coaxial cable.  I'm not the most coordinated guy, so close-in work like this often leaves me nervous. Now that I've seen this excellent video by Robert Sumpton, most of my fears are gone.  In this tutorial, Bob show us how to install a PL259 coax connector without soldering the shield braid, a proven method used by hams for over 35 years, by an Extra Class radio amateur, who has been a ham for 58 years. In this video, Bob uses copper braid RG-8 coaxial cable.  A nicely done, easily understandable presentation.  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).

Monday, February 22, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--HF Antennas 101. Post #696.

HF Antennas 101
(http://www.sgcworld.com/Publications/Downloads/antennas.pdf.
Accessed on 23 February 2016, 03:07 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Van Field (W2OQI).
Special thanks to Dean (KH6B) for running off a copy of this outstanding article.
Please click title link or URL address to read the full article.

I'm always searching for interesting antenna articles to add to my reference library.  Sometimes, the greatest antenna articles can be found in the "QST" archives.  Such is the case here.

"HF Antennas 101" by Van Field (W2OQI) appeared in the September 2004 issue of "QST" published by the ARRL.

Van's concise, accurate article lists "10 tips and truisms that every ham should know."

Here's the list for easy reference:

An antenna doesn't have to be resonant to work.  According to Van, a non-resonant dipole fed with television twin lead, 450-ohm ladder line, or homemade open-wire and an antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner") "is a great multiband antenna.

Antenna "gain" is derived by shaping and aiming RF where you want it to go. Beam antennas get their name because they concentrate RF energy in one direction.

The function of an antenna "tuner" is to effect a match between the output of a transceiver and the input of the antenna system.  Antenna tuners "are variable-impedance transformers that allow you to transform the antenna system impedance...to  50 ohms for the transceiver."

A wire antenna doesn't always have to be center fed.  Such antennas as the end-fed Zepp or the classic Windom remain popular today.  You'll need an antenna tuner because the typical impedance for these antennas is around 600 ohms.

A dipole antenna doesn't have to be perfectly horizontal.  Your dipole can be sloped, bent, zig-zagged, or used as an inverted V.

Vertical antennas shorter than a half wavelength need a ground radial or counterpoise system.  This "missing half" of a vertical antenna usually takes the form of  a buried or elevated configuration of evenly spaced wires below the vertical element.

With vertical antennas, there is no such thing as too many radials.  Van says, "The more radials you install, the more efficient your antenna system becomes. Of course, you'll reach a point of diminishing returns, "but that number is somewhere around 100."  Commercial AM broadcast stations often use 120 or more buried wires beneath their vertical antennas to establish a decent ground radial system.

Having a 1:1 SWR does not mean you have a good antenna.  All that 1:1 SWR means is that you have an impedance match between your transceiver and your antenna system. Val adds that a 1:1 SWR "says nothing about how well your antenna is working."  For example, a vertical antenna without a ground radial system may show a 1:1 SWR, but most of the antenna's signal is being used to heat the ground.  A vertical without a good ground radial system is a fancy dummy load.

Always use the best feed line you can afford.  Val says "Better (less lossy) coax will cost more, but this is the cable that is carrying your precious RF signal to and from your antenna."

Hopefully, this list of basic antenna "truths" will help you design, build, and use better antennas.

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).



Sunday, February 21, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--$20 HF Portable Antenna Project. Post #695.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/leriedzr1Es.  Here's an easily made and versatile portable HF amateur radio antenna that covers the 20 meter, 12 meter, 10 meter, and 11 meter (CB) bands.  This antenna is based on a design by Frank W. King (KM4IE). Most of the antenna materials can be found at a hardware store or building supply outlet.  Initial SWR data indicate that tuning this antenna shouldn't be major issue:  20 meters (14.300 mHz--1.11:1); 12 meters (24.95 mHz--1.23:1); 11 meters (28.4 mHz--1.01:1); and 10 meters (28.4 mHz--1.0:1). Results are pending for 15 meters and 17 meters.  If you use this antenna, be sure to attach a counterpoise wire or a ground radial system. You can get detailed plans for this portable HF Antenna by visiting this website: http://www.arrl.org/files/Technology/tis/info/pdf/00043033.pdf.  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 es73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Portable 2m yagi antenna. Post #695.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/X6FYQc0vyVw.  Here's another great antenna using common materials found at the nearest hardware store or building supply outlet.  In this video, Cody Kaecker assembles a simple, inexpensive, and portable 2 meter antenna out of PVC pipe and steel measuring tapes.  Like the HF dipole antenna described in Post #693, steel measuring tapes are used for the antenna elements and PVC pipe is repurposed for antenna support.  This antenna is useful for transmitter hunts ("fox hunts"), portable use, and emergency operations.  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. 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).

Friday, February 19, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Open-Wire Dipole Antenna. Post #694.

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If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/WMPk45MVFpY.  In this video, Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) shows us how to design, build, and use one of the simplist, most efficient, and easy-to-make HF antennas for radio amateurs.  With the use of open-wire, ladder line, or television twin lead and a balanced antenna transmatch ("tuner"), you can use any amateur radio band between 80 meters and 10 meters without cumbersome traps, add-ons, or difficult tuning procedures.  If you don't have a balanced tuner, you can run the ladder line into a 4:1 balun, and connect the junction to your antenna transmatch with a short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable.  To cover 80 through 10 meters, each segment of the open-wire dipole antenna should be approximately 20 meters/65.6 feet long.  This antenna is often called a "doublet".  Get this antenna as high as possible for the best DX coverage.  If you don't have two tall supports, then use this antenna as an inverted V, with a telescoping fiberglass mast as the antenna support.  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).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--HF tape measure horizontal dipole antenna. Post #693.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/PiU6x9aZT7A.  Here's another interesting way to build a simple, effective HF dipole antenna covering 6 meters to 40 meters.  The antenna elements are steel measuring tapes, which can be varied in length to control the resonant frequency of the antenna.  KI4PMI and NC4TB do an excellent job of designing and building this antenna.  Most of the materials can be purchased from 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 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).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Of Hyperbands and Hams. Post #692.

Of Hyperbands and Hams
(http://www.radiomagazine.com/deep-dig/0005/of-hyperbands-and-hams-37408).
Accessed on 17 February 2016, 22:45 hrs, UTC.
Author: "The Wandering Engineer."
Please click link or insert address into you browser search box.

Comment:

As a former broadcast news director and part-time broadcast engineer, I still remain fascinated by the communications wonder known as AM radio.  This article by the anonymous "Wandering Engineer"  struck a familiar chord and reinforced a wonderful memory.  According to this experienced radio engineer, not enough of us in the Amateur Radio Community talk about the "hyperband" and its standard medium wave broadcast cousin or the role ham radio plays in our profession.

The author believes it was the "romance" of AM radio many years ago that spurred our interest in becoming amateur radio operators and, eventually, broadcast engineers.  You can get a feel for what the standard broadcast band was like before IBOC (In-band-on-channel), digital modulation, and switching power supplies gradually supplanted tube-powered transmitters and brought in a new age of digital broadcasting by venturing into the expanded AM broadcast band between 1610 kHz and 1700 kHz.

You may have discovered this fairly new band by tuning below the 160 meter amateur radio band (1800 kHz to 2000 kHz) just before you "called it a night." One hundred sixty meter enthusiasts have done a remarkable job of restoring old AM, plate-modulated transmitters so they can work the "gentlemen's band" of 160 meters.  When 160 meters rolls into my home on Hawaii Island, it's a joy to listen to the outstanding quality some of my fellow hams have incorporated into these transmitting veterans.

If you can spare a few moments before you "throw the big switch,"  tune down into the "hyperband" of 1610 kHz to 1700 kHz and get ready for a real treat. Power limitations (10 kW day, 1 kW night), shortened antennas, and uncertain propagation make many of these AM stations a difficult catch, especially in Hawaii.  These stations remind me of my younger days, huddled over an old Hallicrafters S-38 or Hallicrafters SX-62A receiver trying to pull out the "tough ones" on the standard broadcast band (540 kHz to 1600 kHz).

Every once in a while, I fire up the old SX-62A and relive some of those memories by exploring the upper ends of the standard broadcast band and its younger siblings in the "hyperband" of 1610 kHz to 1700 kHz.  My early days as a MW and SWL fostered a keen interest in radio, something that helped me get an Amateur Radio license and a low-paying, but totally satisfying , job in the broadcast industry.  Even though I retired from active broadcasting, I still get a thrill out of working the "hard" ones.

Perhaps it was no surprise that I gravitated to amateur radio, since the engineers who maintained my stations were hams and encouraged me to get a license.  This article is a nice trip down memory lane. Thanks for the memory.

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 16, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--ZS6BKW installation. Post #691.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/rTMMG0AeKMg.  Great video from Alex (PA1FOX) on how to install the popular ZS6BKW antenna on an ordinary city lot. This antenna is an improved and more efficient variant of the G5RV HF antenna.  Alex's instructions are simple, direct, and nearly fool-proof.  Just be careful if your antenna installation will be attached to a steep-sloping roof such as Alex's. 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).

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Ham Shack Part 3, Audio Breakout Cable. Post #690.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/PaxSetTYIh8.  This is part 3 of Randy Hall's (K7AGE) New Ham Shack project.  Randy recently moved to coastal Oregon and has been documenting his efforts to set up new antennas, build a new ham shack, and more efficiently connect all of his equipment.  In this superbly done video, Randy begins the set up of his audio system.  He first shows us how to deal with the DIN connectors at the rear of his Kenwood TS-2000 for audio and input and output.  The connections are made easier by using a homemade audio connector breakout box that he made for his transceiver.  There are lots of good ideas in this video series.  To access parts 1 and 2, please visit https://www.youtube.com/user/K7AGE/videos.  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).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--W5DXP's Antenna Web Page. Post #689.

W5DXP's Antenna Web Page
(http://www.w5dxp.com).
Accessed on 15 February 2016, 03:37 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Cecil Moore (W5DXP).

Cecil Moore (W5DXP) offers the homebrew antenna enthusiast some innovative and cleverly-made antenna projects.  Here are some of Cecil's great projects:

W5DXP's  no tuner All-HF Band Antenna.
Useful modifications to the popular ZS6BKW Antenna.
A multi-Band 33-foot / 10.06-meters Dipole Antenna.
Half-extended Double Zepp Dual Band Antenna.
NoTuner Shortened Folded Dipole Antenna.
Rotatable Dipole for 40 m-6m.
Current Distribution on Antenna Systems.

Cecil also has included several articles on mobile antennas and antenna transmission systems.  Lots of good ideas in this section.

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).