Skip to main content

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

Thanks to a Good Friday holiday and some decent weather, I've been able to re-erect my "antenna farm" in the backyard of my small lot.  Both the 40-meter vertical (with its tuned counterpoise) and the 20-meter vertical dipole went up without problems thanks to the fiberglass poles I used for masts.  The antenna was was replaced because of storm damage.  Fortunately, I had some wire left over from a studio rebuild at my former radio station.  So, I didn't have to make a 30-mile trip to Hilo for wire and connectors.  The under the house 40-meter loop survived the storms and didn't require any repairs.

Once I got my skyhooks in the air on Thursday afternoon, I decided to try 15 meters, since that band is usually busy around 2100 hrs UTC in my location.  As luck would have it, conditions were only fair with considerable QSB and other annoyances.  However, I heard a CQ from Dick, W8PW, in Las Cruces, New Mexico and decided to hit the transmit switch on the old Swan 100 MX.  We had an enjoyable qso for about 10 minutes before atmospheric conditions buried my signal in the noise.  Dick's station can be seen on  It's quite impressive.  He was using an ICOM 7600 and a "4-square" 15-meter antenna.  His signal was peaking from 54 to 56 most of the time.  I was feeding my 40-meter vertical with 50 watts and was able to peak around 53 before my signals were absorbed in the noise level.  Eventhough the band was quite noisy, I heard several good signals.  One never knows what will happen when you launch that CQ.  I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with W8PW and hoped that I could "chew the rag" with him at someother time.  Sometimes all I need to do is enjoy a nice, friendly conversation to brighten up my day.  A good "ragchew" can be a great stress reliever from the cares of the day.

A few days ago, one of the young hams I know asked me where he could get some antenna ideas for his home station.  I gave the usual references, including my haphazard experiences, ARRL and CQ antenna books, and the local ham club.  I also suggested that he go to, where there are hundreds of good, simple antenna designs waiting to be built.  Another good site is the mobile antenna library maintained by Allan Applegate, K0BG (  This site has all kinds of intriguing projects, from installing mobile units to basic stealth designs.  Another good source of ideas are the antenna forums maintained by and  I've always enjoyed "rolling my own" antennas.  Homebrewing antennas is fairly cheap and can teach one the basics of design and theory.  Pair this self-knowledge with a computer antenna design program and you have the recipe for a decent antenna at a minimum cost.  Building antennas is one of the few activities most hams can do.  Of course, the surge of new transceiver kits and accessories bodes well for us do-it-yourselfers.  I surely miss the old Heathkits of yesteryear.  I remember burning my stubby fingers with solder as I tried to assemble a HW-101.  I must have rebuilt that rig several times, correcting the mistakes of a novice builder.  I got an immense sense of satisfaction when I turned on the rig and it actually worked.  I wish I still had the old thing--it brings back mostly pleasant memories.  But, time and progress move on.  There's nothing wrong with the modern equipment available to amateur radio operators...maybe there's too much to choose from these days.  Although most of my equipment is over 30 years old, I plan to get an up-to-date rig when the retirement budget allows.  Presently, I'm looking at an Elecraft K3.  I keep most of my older stuff because I can operate and maintain the equipment myself.  However, as most of you know, replacement parts, tubes, and even filters are getting harder to find.  So, one of these days, I'll have to make the plunge and join the 21st century.

In addition to writing this blog, I maintain a local news blog covering events on Hawaii Island.  I created this blog when I was the news director at Pacific Radio Group (Hawaii Island) and continued the process to keep my mind active and somewhat sane.  The blog has a modest following and, like my amateur radio pursuits, I enjoy the interaction with my former listeners.  You can visit the blog if you wish--

Have an excellent Easter holiday!

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM
Laupahoehoe, Hawaii--BK29jx15


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:

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: (a weekly podca…

Amateur Radio Bicycle Mobile Setup. Post #1554.

If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box:

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: (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon). (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 lacki…