Skip to main content

More simple antenna ideas for the Hawaiian Amateur Radio operator, part 9

How the time flies--the busy Labor Day Weekend is upon us. For those of us who call a radio newsroom our "home away from home", the next few days will be busy indeed.  While I've got the Labor Day Drag Races to run (I'm the tower announcer), the rest of the staff at KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM will be occupied with remote broadcasts, UH-Hilo women's volleyball games, and a variety of cultural activities.  Hawaii Island may be a large rock in the middle of the Central Pacific, but residents do their best to keep their history and traditions alive.  Once you add some excellent tropical weather,  the Labor Day Weekend will be a genuine pleasure.

With all of the above mentioned activities, there won't be much time for amateur radio until after Monday.  Between all of this activity I'll squeeze in some more antenna research and perform the weekly maintenance on the inverted 40-meter inverted "vee" and the 40-meter loop under the house.  Antenna maintenance and repair are alway with Hawaii's ham operators.  The combination of tropical sun, salt air, vog, and frequent showers can degrade an antenna quickly.  Coax connectors are fully covered with tape and enclosed in plastic storage boxes.  Bare wires are coated with nail polish and wrapped with several layers of waterproof tape.  This rudimentary precaution keeps out most of the moisture.  Even so, water does sneak in after a few months.  Now that I've shifted to using 450-ohm balanced line to feed my antennas, the coax corrosion problem is reduced.  In most cases, a few feet of RG-8 or RG-6 (whatever I have on hand) is all I need to connect the 4:1 balun to the trusty Drake MN-4 ATU.  Over the past few years, the local rodent population (primarily roof rats) has developed a taste for coax, so I try to avoid long runs of this feedline.  Never a dull moment around the shack.

Over the past few days, I've been researching a few more homebrew antenna ideas for the "antenna farm" in my backyard.  If you're short of ideas, check out http://www.ac6v.com/.  This site developed by Rod Dinkins, AC6V (SK) and Jeff Dinkins, AC6V (possibly his son) is a continuous antenna textbook with 133 pages to fire up the imagination.  If you prefer a more folksy approach, try out http://www.g4ilo.com/. maintained by Julian Moss of the United Kingdom.  He has a nice, friendly web site and amateur radio blog that explores a variety of antenna and qrp issues.  The only suggestion I haven't tried from his site is the magnetic loop, which shows promise for those with severe space restrictions.  I believe MFJ makes a magnetic loop antenna suitable for 40 through 15-meter use.  You may want to check out the latest MFJ catalog to make sure the antenna is still being made.

Have a good Labor Day Weekend.  Drive safely and allow plenty of time for travel.  Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

G5RV Multi Band HF Dipole Antenna. Post #1555.

If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeNHIQ_j4Dk This well-produced and richly illustrated tutorial on the classic G5RV HF Dipole Antenna was presented to the Brandon Amateur Radio Society in Brandon, Florida in 2017 by Bernie Huth (W4BGH).  Bernie does an excellent job of  explaining the pros and cons of this popular HF antenna from the late Louis Varney (G5RV).  Although Varney envisioned his design primarily as a 3/2 wavelength antenna for the 20 meter Amateur Radio band, radio amateurs have used the antenna for multiband use.  The G5RV is an excellent choice for the 20 meter band.  Performance on other HF Amateur Radio bands is good enough to qualify as stand alone HF antenna if you can only erect one 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 wee

Amateur Radio Bicycle Mobile Setup. Post #1554.

If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zWb-KnkGdY. Here's a way to use Amatuer/Ham Radio while you work on shedding a few pounds in useful exercise.  Why not equip your bicycle for 2 meter/70 cm mobile operation? In this short, well-made video, "taverned" shows us how he used a mag mount antenna, a simple C clamp, and a basic ground system to convert his mountain bike into a mobile station.  The project is straight forward, simple, and gives you emergency communications while you peddle down the road. 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://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com. https://bigislandarrlnews.com. https://amateurradionewsinformation.com (Amateur Radio News & Information).

An 80-Meter Vertical Helix

Like many amateur radio operators, I live on a small lot surrounded by neighbors, utility lines, and civic-minded citizens concerned about the "attractiveness" of my community.  Whether by design or outright fear, I've adopted the "stealth" approach to ham radio antennas.  It's the old "out of sight, out of mind" idea applied to amateur radio antennas. The amateur radio press is full of articles describing the struggle of amateur radio operators to pursue their hobby under the burdensome regulations of CC & Rs, HOAs, and other civic minded citizens who object to antenna farms.  So far, my modest verticals, loops, and inverted vees have blended well with the vegetation and trees bordering my small backyard.  Vertical antennas have always been a problem because of the limited space for a radial system.  There are times, however, where a shortened vertical for the lower HF bands (such as 80/75 meters) is necessary where horizontal space is lack