Showing posts from January, 2012

Simple antennas for the Hawaii Island Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

This has been a busy teaching week at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School.  Eversince I landed a long-term substitute teaching position at the school, there hasn't been too much time to chase radio signals.  My position involves working with several special education students--a real challenge.  My heart goes out to parents who are trying to bring their special needs children into the main stream of education.  The job is frustrating at times, but I get a lot of personal satisfaction helping these students get an education.  So much for an easy retirement. As for amateur radio, I manage to get on late in the evening after lesson plans are done and student progress reports are compiled.  The time before my venerable Swan 100-MX and Kenwood TS-520 provides a way of escaping the pressures of the day.  I find cw relaxing.  I never thought I would look at cw that way, but, after all these years, the old J-38 key has become a real tension reliever. On the antenna front, I found an

Simple Antennas for the Hawaii Island Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

While I was perusing the 03 January 2012 update to, I came across an interesting article by Bob Raynor, N4JTG, entitled "Where do we go from here?  Some thoughts on your first HF Antenna."  Bob does an excellent job of explaining the basics of antenna design that even techical neophytes such as I can understand.  Bob belongs to the school of "homebrew antenna design" with a goal of getting on the air with basic, cost saving, and easily built antennas.  I'm all for that, considering my reduced income as a new retiree. WHAT TYPES OF ANTENNAS ARE AVAILABLE AT A LOW PRICE/ Bob explores the design and building of several simple, yet effective antennas that are suitable for the space and financially challenged (that means me and thousands of other hams who are living in antenna restricted areas).  Included in his short article (with pictures) are the familiar center fed doublet fed with twin lead, the fan dipole, the basic dipole and inverted vee, and the

Simple Antennas for the Hawaii Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

Happy New Year's Greetings from Laupahoehoe along the beautiful Hamakua Coast.  This was the first day I could spend some extended time with my favorite pursuit--Amateur Radio.  There are no obligations until I return to the classroom on Thursday.  With that in mind, I checked out the "antenna farm" in the back yard and ran a few contacts in the Straight Key Night event hosted by the ARRL.  I found the 40-meter inverted vee did an excellent job on 40 and 15 meters.  It's good to see some propagation after several years of marginal conditions.  Before breaking for lunch today at around 2057 UTC, I decided to drop in on a "New Year's Net" hosted by Neal, AE1P up in New Hampshire.  His signals were excellent, running between 57 and 59.  It so happens I need New Hampshire for my QSL collection, so I just dropped my call into the roundtable, hoping a puny 5 watts could make the trip.  Wonder of wonders, he and a few others in the net were able to copy my ol