Thursday, June 30, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--New Home Brew Ladder Line Project at N4LQ. Post #822.


If you're unable to view this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?=c1Ays78mwZA.  If you want to add multiband capability to your dipole antenna, use a balanced feeder for your antenna elements. In this video, Steve Ellington show us how to make ladder line from common materials around the home and some 12-gauge "Flexweave 545" from the Wireman.  Steve uses this homebrew ladder line to feed his 128-foot/36.15 meter horizontal dipole.  The spreaders for the ladder line are approximately 6-inches/15.24 cm wide.  Nicely done, easily understandable tutorial from Steve.

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

Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--KK4OBI Bent Dipoles. Post #821.

KK4OBI Bent Dipoles
(http://www.qsl.net/kk4obi/center-fed%20Dipole%20selection.html).
Author:  Dick Reid (KK4OBI).
Accessed on 30 June 2016, 03:37 hrs, UTC.
Please click link or insert URL into your browser search box to read the full article.

Comment:

I found this interesting blog while I was searching for dipole antenna ideas.  It's possible to have a fairly efficient dipole antenna even if you have to bend it around objects to fit your property.  Dick Reid (KK4OBI) does an excellent job of exploring several "bent dipole antennas" suitable for radio amateurs.  His illustrations and explanations are clear, concise, and easy to follow.  Hopefully, this article will give you some ideas on how to build an efficient dipole antenna despite your property limitations.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Ham Radio 40 meter homebrew ground mount vertical


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please enter this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qEQN_FV0Pk. Nicely done video tutorial from K8YIO on how to design, build, and use a basic quarter wavelength 40 meter vertical antenna.  The radiating element is made from interlocking pipe sections, measuring approximately 33-feet/10.06 meters. Be sure to attach a ground radial or counterpoise system to this antenna.  The ground radial system supplies the "missing half" of the antenna.  The number of radial elements can vary from 4 to 120, depending on how much wire and real estate are available.  In my moist tropical environment on Hawaii Island, I've found a radial system consisting of 12 to 16 quarter wavelength wires adequate to produce a low angle of radiation and to keep SWR fairly low.  For the truly adventurous radio amateur, try an elevated radial system.  You'll get the same or better performance using only 4 to 6 radial elements.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Monday, June 27, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--How to Build a Six Meter Ham Radio Dipole Antenna. Post #819


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K5Vj6wtpE0. Summer usually ushers in a fairly good 6 meter season with E scatter and Transequatorial Scatter modes helping get your signals out.  All you need is a simple antenna to explore "The Magic Band" above 50 MHZ.  This band displays both HF and VHF characteristics, so surprises are to be expected.  In this video, Randy (K7AGE) shows us how to make a simple 6 meter dipole antenna that will get you plenty of contacts.  The antenna is easy to make and will give you hours of enjoyment.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--MFJ-1625 80-6 meter window/balcony antenna with built in tuner. Post #818.

MFJ-1625 80-6 meter window/balcony antenna with built in tuner
(http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6876#142223).
Accessed on 27 June 2016, 03:56 hrs, UTC.
Author:  http://www.eham.net.

Please click title link to read the full set of antenna reviews.

Comment:

Back in the mid-1980s, I bought an early forerunner of this antenna from MFJ for use in a rental home on Hawaii Island.  The landlord wasn't too keen on outdoor antennas (television antennas were OK), so I decided to get a simple, easily installed and easily removed antenna for my radio operations.  In those days, the antenna was sold as the MFJ-1622 Window/Balcony Antenna and came with a telescoping steel whip, a tapped coil for the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands, some wire for a "counterpoise" system, a C-clamp for attaching the antenna to a window sill, and a length of RG-58 to connect your HF rig to the antenna system.  While the coil matched the bands fairly well, I used the antenna along with my Drake MN-4 antenna transmatch to keep the SWR low.  I also used the antenna for portable operations at beach parks and mountain campsites. I still have this antenna and the Drake MN-4.  Both work very well given the compromises inherent in a short vertical antenna.  Both pieces of equipment are stored in my minivan for any portable operations I decide to undertake.

The current incarnation of this antenna is the MFJ-1625, which has added an antenna "tuner" to the assembly, along with the tapped coil, collapsing steel whip, C-clamp, counterpoise wires, and a length of coax for the feed line.

As you can see from the attached reviews, most radio amateurs using this portable antenna give it good marks for its overall performance.  The MFJ-1625 could be just the antenna for those living in HOA/CC&R controlled apartments, homes, and condominiums.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Homebrew L-match antenna coupler for end-feds. Post # 817.


If you can't view this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwVuvu-C30c.  Here's another handy accessory for your QRP station from Peter Parker (VK3YE).  This simple L-match antenna coupler (i.e. "tuner") covers all amateur HF bands between 7 MHz and 28 MHz.  The power rating is 5 watts, perfect for QRP operators using random length antennas or end-fed half-wave antennas. This simple device would make an excellent club or weekend project.

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

Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Friday, June 24, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Quick and easy field antenna. Post #816.


If you're unable to view this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH0zKNNGa0s.  If you're "stumped" about a portable antenna to use during the 2016 ARRL Field Day event (25-26 June 2016), here's an idea from Kevin Loughin that may be your answer.  The antenna is simple, easy to build, and does a great job for its size. The antenna use a UnUn (unbalanced to unbalanced) balun to insure a good match between feed line and antenna.  Kevin says this antenna is perfect for QRP operations.  You may want to build one of these antennas for emergency or portable use.  This would make a great stealth antenna as well--easy up and easy down with only a small visual impact.

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

Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Speaker Wire Doublet for QRP Operation. Post # 815.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/sUcO6LrPtmM. Here's another great idea for a nice, inexpensive, and easily-assembled multiband HF antenna.  In this video, Tony (KD8RTT) shows us how 100-feet/30.48 meters of 24-gauge speaker wire can be used to make a simple, effective HF antenna covering several amateur radio HF bands.  Tony uses a LDG Z-100 antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner") to match his transceiver to the antenna.  A 4:1 current balun could be used with a coaxial cable feed line or a 1:1 current balun with ladder line to keep losses low and to protect your transceiver  from damage.  A great antenna for portable or emergency operations.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and information, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.
Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--VK0EK Heard Island video on the web. Post #814.

VK0EK Heard Island video on the web
(http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/june/vk0ek-heard-island-video-on-the-web.htm).
Accessed on 22 June 2016, 20:35 hrs, UTC.
Authors:  Vadym (UT6UD) and Ken (K3EL).
Please click title link to view the video.

Comment:

An excellent video documentary on the recent DX-pedition to Heard Island. Check out the antennas and accommodations.  I'm thankful that I live in a warm climate.

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

Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ )KH6JRM).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--VP8STI South Sandwich Island video on web. Post #813

VP8STI South Sandwich Island video on web
(https://vimeo.com/intrepiddxgroup).
Accessed on 21 June 2016, 19:45 hrs, UTC.
Reporter:  http://www.southgatearc.org.
Please click link to view the video.

Comment:

A well-produced video from the Intrepid DX Group documenting the successful DX-pedition to South Sandwich Island (VP8STI) earlier this year.  Considering the awful weather, high winds, and the unforgiving land mass which served to anchor the DX-pedition, the trip to this near Antarctic island group was quite a success. I just got the shivers from watching this video--that place is very cold and wet even in the Southern Hemisphere's "summer" season.  Although I was unable to contact the VP8 crew, I followed some of the QSOs and was glad the island crew did their best to keep QRM to a minimum.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--A Two Element HF Cubex Quad up at Mx...Post #812

A Two Element HF Cubex Quad up at Mx
(http://www.eham.net/articles/36339).
Accessed on 21 June 2016, 00:53 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Rob Norman (VK5SW).
Please click link to read the full article.
Comment:

Although this is not a "simple antenna", you may want to build a HF Quad just to see how well your station signal improves.  In this post, Rob Norman (VK5SW) shows you step by step how to design, build, and erect a 2-element 20 meter quad. His excellent photographs make construction easy and efficient. This is not a project for a lone operator. You'll need help to build and erect this antenna. Rob was able to mount his 2-element quad on top of a 33-foot/10.06 meter homebrew mast with the help of two friends.  His results have been excellent.  This antenna would make an excellent weekend project.  You could either build it yourself from locally available materials or order direct from Cubex.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Real Time Band Conditions Website. Post #811.

Real Time Band Conditions Website
(http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/june/realtime-band-conditions-website).
Accessed on 20 June 2016, 03:43 hrs, UTC.
Source:  http://www.southgatearc.org.
Comment:

Most radio amateurs that pursue DX, contests, and special events have a variety of propagation tools to help them find the best bands and operating times.

Here is another propagation tool that is simple to understand and easy to use...no complicated mathematical analysis or predictive tools are needed to get the status of propagation in your area.

According to the website, "The information is not based on any software predictions or any kind of satellite based readings."  The tool uses an ionospheric sounding method called "HF Ionospheric Interferometry", which is similar to  the PolSAR system used by NASA.

You can reach the website by going directly to:  http://www.bandconditions.com.

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

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Magnetic Loop Antenna controlled by Arduino and infrared


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/b3hUpQvO38k. This is post #810 in a continuing series on simple ham radio antennas.  Tuning the narrow-banded magnetic loop antenna can be frustrating and time consuming.  Apparently, Ricardo Caratti (PU2CLR) has solved that problem with a magnetic loop antenna controlled by an arduino/infrared control box similar to a television remote. A very nice project which will help you enjoy your magnetic loop antenna without all of the trouble inherent in tuning this antenna. 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).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--100 watt 7 MHz magnetic loop for units and apartments. Post #809.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/Cv_RnLpZ9gw. Another great video tutorial from Peter Parker (VK3YE).  In this program, Peter describes and demonstrates a 100 watt 7 MHz magnetic loop antenna suitable for apartment, portable, and emergency use.  Peter says "there are no hard to get parts or complex workshop skills needed to build this antenna."  Rather than use expensive air variable capacitors to bring the antenna into resonance, Peter uses a length of RG-213 coaxial cable for the task (1.85 meters/6.06 feet). The sliding capacitors measure approximately 6 cm x 8 cm (2.3 inches x 3.14 inches).

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).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Inverted L for 160 meters. Post #808.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/ddbrweVlhCE.  At one time, I was one of many radio amateurs that couldn't work stations on 160 meters because of the large amount of horizontal or vertical space a dipole or quarter wave vertical for this band would occupy. In this video from Stan Gibilisco (W1GV), we learn how an "Inverted L" antenna can help you get on "The Gentlemen's Band."  Stan does a good job of explaining the general theory, construction, and use of an inverted L antenna, which can give you a decent signal, provided you use a good ground or counterpoise system along with the vertical and horizontal dimensions of this antenna.  If you feed this inverted L with open wire, ladder line, or television twin lead, you can get reasonable performance on all amateur HF bands from 160 through 10 meters.  Try to get the vertical element as high as you can and then stretch out the horizontal portion as straight as possible.  Although the 160 meter band has limited range during daylight hours, it can open up for hundreds or even thousands of miles at night.  Excellent range can be obtained if you operate your station during the "greyline" hours just before sunrise and just after sunset.  With many modern rigs offering 160 meter coverage, it would be a shame if you didn't make an antenna, even a compromise one, for this band. Have fun!

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).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--The $4 Special Antenna, Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH). Post # 807.

The $4 Special Antenna by Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH)
(http://www.hamuniverse.com/fourdollarspecialw1gfh.html).
Accessed on 16 June 2016, 05:01 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH) and N4UJW.

With the ARRL Field Day set for 25-26 June 2016, many of my fellow radio amateurs are looking for a simple antenna that can be built, erected, and used for this portable field exercise.  I ran across this article in http://www.hamuniverse.com and found that my own emergency antenna was similar to the one designed by Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH).  I carry this easily made antenna in my van along with an antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner"), a fiberglass telescoping mast, some rayon rope, #14 AWG house wire, some basic tools, a homebrewed 4:1 current balun, and 50 feet/15.24 meters of 450 ohm ladder line.
I use two deep cycle marine batteries and a solar charger to run my portable station.

Joe's instructions are clear and well-presented. If you use locally available materials, you should keep the cost below $30.  When this article was posted in 1997, $4 would get you most of what you needed to make this antenna.  But, times change and costs keep increasing. So, "make do" with what you have and experiment.

Joe's antenna is the familiar inverted vee, making only a single mast necessary for field operations. By using balanced line (open line, tv twin lead, or 450 ohm ladder line), a 4:1 balun, and a well-made transmatch ("tuner"), you will get multiband capability.  Following Joe's example, you can get 80 meter to 10 meter coverage by making each antenna element 66 feet/20.12 meters long.  Joe also provides suggested lengths for the balanced feed line.

This antenna is one of my favorite portable "skyhooks", because it's simple, inexpensive, and easily transportable.  This is the antenna I will be using on Field Day if I don't join my local club in Hilo for the event.

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).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--HF Portable Antenna System 10-80P North Huron Communications. Post #806


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please check insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/PZN7InAUug.  Here's another great antenna for portable or emergency use.  This multiband HF vertical antenna covers all amateur radio bands between 80 meters and 10 meters (3.5 MHz to 30 MHz). This commercial product appears to be well-made, simple to assemble, and easy to use.  The commercial kit comes with brass whip sections, counterpoise wire, tap ring, and coil. According to North Huron Communications, the antenna will work with most HF transceivers and can take up to 250 watts of power.  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).

Monday, June 13, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Yaesu FT897 / FT897D portable with home brew table top vertical


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/CxX-MmiQTxs.  This is post #805 in a continuing series on Amateur Radio antennas.  In this video, Barry Kery (KU3X), shows us how to make a simple table top vertical for his Yaesu FT897 HF transceiver.  This antenna uses a B & W coil found at a HamFest, a small Hustler mast, a 9.5 feet/2.89 meters long collapsable still whip, and a simple four-element radial system.  The assembly is fairly straightforward,  readily transportable, and easily stored for future use.  A simple clamp can be used to attach the antenna system to a picnic table, a porch, or a wooden plank. This antenna is tapped for the 40, 20, and 15 meter amateur radio bands. 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, June 12, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Ham Stick Vertical Dipole Antenna. Post #804.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/CbQwLPVmG70. In this well-made video, Brian Downs (W3ATT) show us how to use two "ham stick" 20 meter mobile antennas to create a vertical dipole for portable or emergency use.  This antenna also could be used as a quickly-erected antenna for those living in HOA-or CC&R-controlled homes or apartments.  Brian does an excellent job of showing just how easy it is to get a vertical dipole antenna assembled and used. With the use of a balanced feeder, such as 450 ohm ladder line, connected to a tuner/balun combination, this antenna could be used on any amateur radio band from 20 to 10 meters.  A nice, simple, inexpensive, and highly portable antenna.  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).

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Tuning a CB Whip for use on the 10 Meter Ham Band. Post #803.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Oho0lcbis.  In this video, Tony (KD8RTT) and his brother Andy (KK4LWR) show us how to convert an old CB mobile antenna into a mobile Amateur Radio antenna.  You can probably find a lot of old CB antennas are moving and garage sales, so you may be able to get one of this antennas for a cheap price.  I've converted several 102 inch/259.02 cm CB whips into very inexpensive 10 meter ground plane antennas for my shack.  My cost was free, since I got them from a garage sale and the owner just wanted to get rid of them.  For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are update daily. Thanks for joining us today!  Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Friday, June 10, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--An ATU aerial tuning unit for short wave HF end fed aerials


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/o43sAF4HwJs.  Another outstanding video tutorial from Ray of the "Radio Workshop."  In this video, Ray explains how to build an ATU (antenna tuning unit) for end fed antennas (aerials).  This ATU is perfect for many end fed antenna configurations.  The L-match ATU in this video is simple and easy to make.  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).

Thursday, June 9, 2016

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


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please enter this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/8ZmyvtMvEGY.  Excellent video from Ray of the "Radio Workshop" on how to design, build, and use a basic doublet/dipole antenna for the HF amateur radio bands.  The doublet is one of my favorite antennas, because it's inexpensive, easy to build, and performs well for both single band and multiband use with balanced feedline and a balun/antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner") combination. A dipole fed with 300 ohm television twin lead, 450 ohm ladder line, and "homebrewed" 600 ohm line can work work all amateur radio HF bands between 160 and 6 meters, depending on which frequencies you select as your lowest band.  If you design the doublet for 80 meters, it can be used on any amateur radio band between 80 meters and 6 meters if you use a balanced feed line and the appropriate balun/tuner combination.  Ray does an excellent job of explaining how to build one of these simple and inexpensive HF antennas, which can be used to monitor shortwave broadcasts as well as transmitting on amateur radio frequencies.  You can use the doublet in a variety of configurations, including flat top horizontal, inverted vee, and sloper.  Experiment and have some fun.  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).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--My Low Cost Magnetic Loop Antenna For 10-12 Meters


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/0Jnp4BDST8U.  An excellent video from the "Radio Ham Guy" on designing, building, and using a low cost magnetic loop antenna for the 12 through 10 meter amateur radio bands.  The antenna is made from commonly available materials and covers frequencies between 20 MHz and 30 MHz.  This would make an excellent antenna for homes and apartments affected by HOAs and CC&Rs.  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).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--PVC Tube Ham Radio Tower Project. Post #799.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please enter this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/GSDJzDYSW-s.  If you need a temporary antenna tower in $50 to $60 price range made with locally available materials, you may want to try this PVC Tube Ham Radio Tower Project from "drez200001."  PVC pipe in lengths from 20-feet/6.09 meters to 33-feet/10.06 meters can be used safely to support lightweight VHF/UHF beams, inverted vees, slanting dipoles, and even full-wavelength loops.  The PVC mast can be painted with Krylon paint to add UV protection for the "tower".  This type of mast would make a great support for portable and emergency 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).

Monday, June 6, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--2 Meter Loop Antenna. Post #798.


If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEzSlUqPEWw.  Sometimes, a mistake can turn out to be something interesting and useful.  In this video from KB3TQO, an experimental 70 cm loop antenna was enlarged by accident and turned into a nice, wide banded loop antenna for 2 meters.  As some readers have pointed out, the antenna may be wide banded because of the ferrite balun used in the antenna.  At VHF frequencies, this balun will serve as a dummy load, leaving only a few watts or less to become a usable signal.  The antenna would be more efficient if the 4:1 balun was made from coaxial cable. However, the antenna tunes nicely, presents a good load to the transceiver, and does get contacts on the 2 meter band. Part of the fun of amateur radio is designing antennas such as this, even if there are significant losses in the design.  We learn from our mistakes. With a few minor changes, this antenna will be a winner.

When I was a novice licensee in 1977, my first HF contact on 40 meters (7.125 MHz) was made using a Heathkit Dummy Load.  I was testing my HW-101 and was trying to adjust the drive and plate current by transmitting CW into the dummy load, not expecting anything unusual.   Lo and behold, a ham a few miles away answered my shaky "CQ" and gave me a 549 report!  I was quite surprised by all of this. I managed to carry on a very slow conversation for 10 minutes or so and got a chuckle from the other ham when I told him my antenna was a dummy load.  One never knows where your signal will go, even if you use a dummy load just to tune up.  So, congratulations to KB3TQO for daring to experiment and having some fun.  His antenna works, despite the ferrite balun.

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, June 5, 2016

Winding a 1:4 Current Balun with 15 turns. Post 797.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/IR-8T0QjUjM.  In this video from N7JFP, we learn how to make a simple 1:4 current balun for connecting your rig to antennas using 300 ohm television twin lead, 450 ohm ladder line, or homebrew feed lines.  Such antennas, used in conjunction with a 1:4 current balun and a well-made antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner"), can give your dipole, vertical, or loop multiband capabilities.  N7JFP uses this current balun on his 40 meter Delta Loop, which allows him to work stations on 20, 15, and 10 meters as well.  Most of the components can be bought at the nearest home improvement outlet, neighborhood hardware store, or through amateur dealer outlets online.  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).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--$20 HF Portable Antenna Project. Post #796


If you're having difficulty viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/leriedrz1Es. Here's another of those "wordless" tutorials that is pleasant to watch and fairly easy to follow.  Well-produced video on how to make a $20 HF Portable Antenna that covers 20 meters, 12 meters, 11 meters (CB), and 10 meters.  This antenna from "mrhighlander2003" is based on a design from Frank W. King (KM4IE). Basically, this is a base-loaded vertical helix with "stinger" wire on top.  I've built a few of these for single band use (usually 20-meters), and they have worked well with a decent ground plane or radial system.  According to "mrhighlander2003", here are the SWR readings for the bands he covers with this antenna:
20 meters (14.300 MHz)--1.11 to 1.
12 meters (24.95 MHz)--1.23 to 1.
11 meters (27.205 MHz)--1.01 to 1.
10 meters (28.400 MHz)--1.00 to 1.
You may want to build one of these antennas for portable or emergency use.
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).

Friday, June 3, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--5/8 wave J-pole antenna for 145 MHz. Post #795.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://youtu.be/fEdy7mbZ5ms.  In this video from Pityu Nagy (YO6PNQ), we learn how to make a simple, inexpensive 5/8 wavelength antenna for the 2 meter amateur radio band.  You can make this antenna for any frequency in the band, although Pityu has chosen 145 MHz for operations in his country. The J-Pole is made from copper tubing, a piece of steel whip from an old CB antenna, and various parts gathered from around his shack.  According to Pityu, the antenna shows a SWR of 1.2 to 1 at 145 MHz.  The antenna is grounded at the bottom, giving the antenna some protection from lightning.  A great weekend project.  For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  They are updated daily.  Thanks for joining us today! Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--Balanced vs Unbalanced Antennas. Post #794.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?=D18019R5W-4. A comprehensive review of two classic HF antennas for amateur radio use:  The dipole and the ground plane antenna.  Excellent video from Stan Gibilisco (W1GV), who covers basic theory, design, and operations of these two simple, easily- made HF 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).

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--The Eggbeater Antenna. Post #793.


If you're having trouble viewing this video, please insert this title link into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9DEoSsgHlE.  Here's an interesting antenna you can use for satellite communications on either the 2 meter or 70 cm Amateur Radio bands.  In this case, John (KB2HSH) designs and builds a two-element Eggbeater Antenna that will bring in plenty of amateur satellite signals.  John provides a materials list, assembly instructions, and design parameters for the phasing line.  All this without a single spoken word. An interesting, if somewhat novel approach, to a video tutorial.  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).