Friday, February 15, 2019

W4EDF Portable Dipole Antenna Center Support. Post 1775.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-cUNs274rU.

If you need a strong, sturdy, and weatherproof center connector for your home or portable dipole antenna, then this video from Ed (W4EDF) is what you need. Ed does a surplurative job of taking us through the design and construction of this center connector, using commonly available parts from the nearest home improvement or hardware store.  This dipole antenna center connector is perfect for the portable antenna described in the video (credit to KF7ETX).

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Goofy Antennas That Work. Post 1774


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzWfeQVdtzY

In this video, Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) explains some of the quirks found in two popular HF amateur/ham radio antennas--the coax fed dipole and the zepp. Although the title of this post is somewhat sarcastic, the basic theory, construction, and operation behind the common dipole and zepp antenna are sound and easily grasped.  Stan pays particular attention to how these antennas are fed and what to expect from voltage and current fed antennas.  These topics are important if you wish to reduce SWR and avoid problems associated with a mismatched antenna system.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these web sites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Mighty Rhombic, the King of Antennas (AD #128). Post 1773.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWlOisao-I.

Every once in a while I like to indulge myself with some of the "classic" antennas that advanced the art and science of radio communication.  One of my favorites of the 1930-1940 era is the Rhombic Antenna, which is still used by some shortwave broadcasters, the military, and even a few radio amateurs.

In this video from Dave Casler (KE0OG), we get a good historical background and basic theory of this remarkably large antenna.  Although most of us don't have the real estate for such gargantuan antennas, it's fun to dream of putting one on the air.  The only time I used one of these antennas was on an ARRL Field Day many years ago, when my local club managed to secure temporary use of a large private property in the Puna District of Hawaii Island.  The antenna was most successful in snagging stations from the east coast of the U.S. mainland, Asia, and even Africa. Those were the days.

According to Dave Casler, the "phenomenal directivity" and extreme "low elevation angle" of the Rhombic made it the "king of antennas" for solid point-to-point HF contacts.  Dave does an excellent job of outlining the history, theory, and general characteristics of this "classic" antenna.  Although I would like to make one for my station, I just don't have the space to do the antenna justice.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these web sites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

All About Baluns (Ask Dave #73). Post 1772.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMeOMwf2DJU.

Sometime in your amateur/ham radio "career" you'll run into baluns and their intricate relationship with antenna performance.  A balun is a device to convert a balanced transmission line to an unbalanced transmission line and vice-versa.  Baluns are vital in coaxial cable fed transmission lines, especially where long wire and off-center dipoles are concerned.

In this video from David Casler (KE0OG), Dave answers questions about baluns, how there're made, the various ratios used (such as 1:1, 4:1, 9:1 and other values), and how baluns enhance antenna performance and ultimately protect your transceiver.  Dave's explanations are clear and easily understood.  This video would make an excellent presentation for a club meeting or an amateur radio licensing class.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these web sites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Monday, February 11, 2019

Longwire Antennas for DXing. Post 1771.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBthATNdcg.

Stan Gibilisco (W1GV) does an excellent job of explaining the general theory behind "longwire antennas."  This video discusses basic antenna theory, construction tips, antenna patterns, ground radial/counterpoise systems, and limitations of long wire antennas.  A good, basic introduction to a versatile antenna which has been used since the beginning of the 20th century.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these web sites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha, Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, February 10, 2019

How to build a simple antenna on top bands...Post 1770


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tONL3eQqnA.

Despite the title, this exceptionally produced video from the Russian Federation (courtesy of RA9FTM) outlines what can be done with the proper site selection, equipment, and personnel.  The video takes you step-by-step through the installation of a sophisticated top band (160 Meters) antenna--a process that is far from simple.  What this video does so well is to outline what must be done to get maximum performance from amateur radio bands in the lower part of the HF radio spectrum.  The key to this antenna is a thoroughly planned process, incorporating the best equipment possible, a decent site for the antenna, and a well-trained crew familiar with tower design and safety.  This antenna could be managed by an amateur radio club, which would draw on the experience of its members.  If you want to install an antenna such as this, be sure to get professional help.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these web sites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news ( a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Burying radials. Post 1769.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za3xQs6wAR0.

An often neglected part of a vertical HF antenna is the installation of a good ground radial or counterpoise system.  The ground screen supplies what is commonly called "the missing half" of a vertical antenna. 

In this video we see how Dominic Smith installed a buried ground radial system for his Hustler 6-BTV vertical antenna.  Even though Dominic lives in a valley, the ground radial system allowed him to increase the efficiency of the Hustler antenna and grab some interesting DX contacts.

Although the number of ground radial wires isn't firmly set in stone, it's probably a good idea to install as many radial wires as you can.  From my own experience on 40 meters, I've found a radial system consisting of 16 to 32 one-quarter wavelength wires seems to improve the performance of my homebrew 40 meter helix antenna.  Many commercial AM broadcast stations use as many as 120 or more radials to cut ground losses and improve their station's efficiency.

As Dominic explains, there are many ways to install a buried radial system, depending on the condition of your lot or property.  In my case, an ordinary pizza slice cutter clears a sufficient groove in my backyard to lay in the radial wires.  You may want to try an elevated radial system to see if that is any better over a surface or subsurface ground radial system. 

I congratulate Dominic for experimenting with his vertical antenna and trying out ways to make it more efficient.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Friday, February 8, 2019

2014 Field Day - Free Standing Painter Pole Fan Dipole with W4EDF. Post 1768.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM6RGiFkdMM.

It's not too early to think about your ARRL Field Day antenna.  A little planning now could result in better scores and more fun when the third weekend in June rolls around.

Field Day Antennas should be simple, easily erected, and entirely portable. In this 2014 video from the Strasbourg, Virginia Field Day event, W4EDF demonstrates how to assemble and deploy a free standing painter pole with only one person doing the work.  W4EDF covers materials, wire, knots, poles. and guying techniques for windy conditions.  This video should give you some excellent ideas for your next Field Day antenna.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
http://www.southgatearc.org.
https://www.eham.net.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Turn your Antron 99 vertical into a DX big gun. Post 1767.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igggHkOQYKQ.

The idea for this video from "N2RRAny" came from a last moment decision to enter the 2011 ARRL 10 meter DX contest. With no 10 meter antenna available, he used his old Antron 99 CB antenna to get on the air.  He added a base plate and 8 ground radial wires to complete this impromptu 10 meter vertical antenna on a cold winter's day.  The Antron 99 seems to work very well on 10/11 (CB), and 12 meters.  So, if you have an old CB antenna in the garage, why not modify it a bit for 10 meters?  At the very least, you get an antenna at no cost. Have fun!

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My recent hf ground radial install.....Post 1766.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4TTT2QwYVc.

One of the drawbacks of using random length wire antennas and 1/4 wavelength vertical antennas is the requirement to have a good ground radial or counterpoise system. Installation of an antenna's "missing half" often involves a significant amount of wire and expense.  For those of us venturing into the 160 meter amateur radio band, your task is just about as daunting as setting up a ground radial system for an AM broadcast station--i.e. you'll need a lot of radial wires to cut ground losses and boost the efficiency of your antenna.

In this video, "uksnipper1" has decided to take the ground radial system seriously by planning and installing an effective ground screen for his hf activities.  He says the time, expense, and effort resulted in much better performance of his end fed wire antenna.

If you're not up to a lot of digging, splicing, and soldering work, try using an elevated counterpoise system or by ordering a sturdy ground plate from DX Engineering.  The DX Engineering metal plate will allow the connection of many radial wires with a minimum of effort.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Modificated RANDOM WIRE ANTENNA with 9:1 UnUn (part 2). Post 1765.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wgdhi__MlU.

This part 2 of Paul's (OM0ET) Random Wire Antenna using a homemade 9:1 UnUn.  In part 1, Paul reviewed the general theory and construction steps needed to make this valuable accessory for random length wire antennas.  In part 2, Paul makes a few minor adjustments based on a few tests conducted at his shack.  The result is an attractive, functional, and portable UnUn suitable for home, portable, or emergency use.  As with most random long wire antennas, be sure to use a good ground radial or counterpoise system along with an antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner").

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Monday, February 4, 2019

RANDOM WIRE ANTENNA with 9:1 UnUn home made (part 1). Post 1764.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M9Aep6DHz8.

Random Length Wire Antennas can be a lot of fun to use if you have a sturdy balun and decent ground radial or counterpoise system to control SWR and stray RF in your shack.  In this video, Paul (OM0ET) shows us how to design and build a 9:1 UnUn for this versatile antenna.  The balun uses a T 130-26 toroid from an old PC Power Supply.  The original design comes from VK6YSF (https://vk6ysf.com/unun_9-1_v2.htm).

In part 2, Paul will test the final antenna design and balun on his Xiegu X5105 transceiver running only 5 watts output.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast with is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Sunday, February 3, 2019

DIY QRP Magnetic Loop Ham Radio Antenna for Beginners. Post 1763.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw1rz0CVn90.

In this excellently presented video, Julien (OH8STN) helps us build our own Man Portable Magnetic Loop Antenna.  The video discusses two different magnetic loop antennas based on Chameleon Magnetic Loop station kits.

According to Julien, the goal of this tutorial is to "build a practical and portable HF field antenna, which won't take up a lot of space, (and) weight, which can be used with our QRP radio on the go."  This video should give you a few ideas for your next portable and emergency HF antenna.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Ham Radio - The simple coax cable emergency prepper antenna. Post 1762.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tafy51yUzQo.

If you need a quick emergency VHF/UHF antenna requiring a minimum of tools and effort, then this video from Kevin Loughin (KB9RLW) is for you.  All you need is a tape measure, some cutting tools, a length of RG-6 television coax cable, a few "F" to BNC connectors, and some imagination to make a fully usable antenna for 2 m and 70 cm.  You may want to make one of these antennas for your emergency "go-kit" or for a spare in case your regular VHF/UHF antenna fails.  A nicely done video with plenty of good suggestions.

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Friday, February 1, 2019

Portable Ham Radio Antenna Deployment. Post 1761.


If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjb3IdYGVNw.

Portable operations in the great outdoors can be a true invigorating experience if you plan ahead.  One of the main problems with going to the "field" is launching your antenna.  Although there are all kinds of homemade and commercial devices to put your long wires, dipoles, and inverted Vees over or through surrounding trees, I've found a simple slingshot, some monofilament fishing line, a used fishing reel, and a collection of clasps and sinkers the simplest way to position your antenna.

In this video, N0KTZ uses a 3.0 Magnum Slingshot and some commonly available fishing gear to launch an effective, simple portable antenna.  N0KTZ's chosen location is approximately 12,000 feet/3,658.5 meters above sea level and presents a stunning backdrop for a weekend of impromptu operating in the "field".

The video is a well-produced, simple tutorial on how the ordinary slingshot can be your best antenna launching tool in your "Go-Kit".

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites:

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info.
http://www.arrl.org.
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon).
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.
https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com.
https://bigislandarrlnews.com.
https://www.eham.net.
http://www.southgatearc.org.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).