Showing posts from September, 2013

The W3EDP antenna revisited. Post #229

I'm always looking for interesting antennas to build for my expanding antenna "farm" at my new house lot in the Puna District of Hawaii Island.  Unlike my present location, the new lot has an acre of space to design, build, and locate new antennas.  So, when I take a break from clearing the land of brush and scrub trees, I have time to explore antennas for my modest station. A few days ago, I ran across an interesting article by William McFadden (WD8RIF) on his "Field Deployable Field Antennas" website.  McFadden wrote about an old classic half-wave length antenna called the W3EDP, a variation of the "Zepp" antennas that were popular in the 1930s.  The original W3EDP article can be found in the March 1936 edition of "QST".  If you're a member of the ARRL, you can access the archives and read about this fascinating antenna. According to McFadden, the W3EDP antenna is a "Zepp" consisting of a radiator 85 feet/25.91 meters and

Two Amateur Radio Icons remembered. Post #228

This week, the Amateur Radio Community lost two of its most illustrious pioneers. On Friday, 13 September 2013, Wayne S. Green II, W2NSD ("never say die") passed away at age 91 at his New Hampshire home.  Green was editor of "CQ Magzine" for 5 years, founded "73 Magazine", which ran until 2003, and published some of the early computer magazines, including "Byte". Green was an occasional guest on Art Bell's (W6OBB) "Coast to Coast AM" overnight talk show.  Green expounded on many topics, including amateur radio, AIDS, cancer, and cold fusion.  Although he was a constant critic of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), he maintained his membership in the organization, urging the national organization for amateur radio to explore new technologies and include more construction projects in its publications. Wayne was frequently witty, sarcastic, and funny.  Wayne, who was often called a gadfly and an irritant,was one of the early

A 10-Meter Half Square Antenna. Post #227

Over the past few weeks, I've been able to erect several antennas on my wife's property in the Puna District of Hawaii Island.  We are remodeling a small home on an acre of land, so there is plenty of space to plant the "antenna farm." All of my antennas are wire antennas, since I'm at the age where building and climbing towers is out of the question.  I did enough tower climbing when I worked at a commercial broadcast station.  So, my antennas were made of locally procured pvc pipe, #14 AWG housewire, spare coaxial cable and 450-ohm ladder line, homebrew insulators, and few Budwig center coax connectors from Fair Radio Sales. Fortunately, there are several tall trees on our property that can serve as antenna supports. To date, my antenna farm consists of an 80-10 meter flat top horizontal dipole (a doublet with two equal segments of 67 feet/20.42 meters).  The dipole is stretched between two Norfolk Pine trees, 50 feet/15.24 meters above ground.  The anten

In Praise of Wire Antennas. Post #226

Every now and then it's good to stand back and analyze what you've done to your antenna farm.  Is your antenna arrangement fitting your goals? How easy is it to build and maintain the structures that connect you to the world?  Is there a way to make your antenna more efficient without spending a lot of money?  I came to such a crossroads this weekend as I surveyed the rural Puna District home my wife and I are remodeling for our permanent home. After years of living in rental apartments and homes with restrictive covenants, I will at last have an acre of land to build some full sized hf antennas.  I will admit that I've learned a lot about stealth antennas and low power operation during my 36 years as an amateur radio operator.  But now, I have some real space to build antennas with real gain. My main problem was deciding whether to buy a tower, a set of mono band beams, and sophisticated antenna rotating equipment or to stick with my faithful wire antennas which have

An Enhanced 40 meter full wavelength loop. Post #225

When I was first licensed as a novice in 1977, I tried all kinds of antennas.  In the space of a year, I must have built and used 10 or more antennas, including verticals, loops, inverted vees, slopers, and half wavelength horizontal dipoles.  I've always been fascinated with full wavelength loops, but, because of limited space, I rarely built loops except for 15 and 10 meters.  I relied heavily on the standard 1/4 wavelength verticals with ground radials and the inverted vee. Now that my xyl and I are remodeling our future home in the Puna District, I had a chance to build a full wavelength 40 meter loop without worrying about nosey neighbors or lack of space.  Our lot is one acre, giving me plenty of space to experiment with a variety of antennas. Over the past few weeks, I've  built and used a half wavelength horizontal dipole and a half square antenna for 20 meters with outstanding results.  Now it was time to rethink the loop I built 36 years ago as a novice operator.