Hiking, Hams and Hills – Station #6 of the AT Golden Packet

Virginia hikers and hams supported the White Rock Cliffs (Station #6) of the first Annual Golden Packet Event.

Summarized, we were trying to set up APRS relay stations up and down the east coast to cover and service all points along the Appalachian Trail and surrounding areas. Some RF link analysis was performed and is available for viewing at AT_Golden_Packet_Event using the remarkable Radio Mobile program and A LOT of SRTM elevation data.

Of the fourteen stations planned several points were accessible only by foot. The White Rock Cliffs station was no exception.

Read moreHiking, Hams and Hills – Station #6 of the AT Golden Packet

Collinear 5/8 wave J-Pole vs. Collinear 1/2 wave J-Pole EZNEC Shootout

While planning for a ham radio hike into the mountains to support the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet exercise, I asked my club members for ideas about a good portable 2 meter antenna.

One response included a link to this web page showcasing a collinear J-Pole antenna using two 5/8ths wave antenna elements.

Read moreCollinear 5/8 wave J-Pole vs. Collinear 1/2 wave J-Pole EZNEC Shootout

NVIS 80m with 160m Full Wave Loop is less than ideal

Big HF loop antennas provide great performance, but they can’t do everything. 160 meter full wave loops won’t work well for NVIS when used at 3.8 MHz.

BigIR vs. 43 Foot Antenna EZNEC Shootout Conclusions

We have looked at the 43 foot antenna available from DX Engineering and Zero Five alongside the BigIR product from SteppIR. In addition, the BigIR was simulated using the optional 80 meter coil.

Both antenna types approach the vertical HF antenna problem with unique solutions.

Read moreBigIR vs. 43 Foot Antenna EZNEC Shootout Conclusions

BigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 80 meters EZNEC Shootout

As we continue our EZNEC simulation research for the 43 foot and BigIR antennas we finally are looking into the 80 meter band.

Read moreBigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 80 meters EZNEC Shootout

BigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 40 meters EZNEC Shootout

Continuing our NEC Shootout between the 43 foot vertical available from DX Engineering or Zero Five and the adjustable height BigIR antenna available from SteppIR antennas we now analyze them in the 40 meter band.

Read moreBigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 40 meters EZNEC Shootout

BigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 20 meters EZNEC Shootout

Continuing our NEC Shootout between the 43 foot vertical available from DX Engineering or Zero Five and the adjustable height BigIR antenna available from SteppIR antennas we now analyze them in the 20 meter band.

Read moreBigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 20 meters EZNEC Shootout

BigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 15 meters EZNEC Shootout

Continuing our NEC Shootout between the 43 foot vertical available from DX Engineering or Zero Five and the adjustable height BigIR antenna available from SteppIR antennas we now analyze them in the 15 meter band.

Read moreBigIR vs. 43 Foot Vertical Antenna @ 15 meters EZNEC Shootout

1/4 Wave Monopole vs. 1/2 Wave J-Pole EZNEC Shootout

J-pole antennas are an interesting solution to the goal of more gain with a simple antenna. I won’t go into the specifics of what a J-pole is as there are plenty of sites on the Internet with good plans to help you build your own.

However, there seems to be much hype about j-poles that make some folks think they have some kind of magical antenna properties. Indeed many folks report staggering improvements over their previous antennas. Is all the hype warranted?

Read more1/4 Wave Monopole vs. 1/2 Wave J-Pole EZNEC Shootout

The 43 foot vertical – The answer to everything?

The 43 foot vertical antenna is a popular height being promoted by several antenna manufacturers for 160 to 10 meters. Let’s see why and examine some advantages and pitfalls.