Build this Vertical Portable HF Antenna

This antenna fits into a baseball bag except for the tripod.

The Asymmetrical Hatted Vertical Dipole (AHVD) prototype is an easy to build, portable alternative to other freestanding vertical HF antennas such as the Buddipole.

Superbowl HDTV Antenna

Build the venerable Hoverman TV antenna and watch digital broadcast high definition HDTV television this weekend. This version of a HDTV antenna uses amateur radio antenna building techniques to make a lightweight structure.

Installing Ground Rods the Easy Way

Ground Rods… so easy a pre-teen can do it. Presented is a method learned from other hams on how to install a ground rod with minimal or no hammering. Using a watering can, even children can sink an 8 foot ground rod into the ground. All it takes is water and time.

Ladder Line the Old Fashioned Way

A fellow club member is preparing to put up a big 160 meter horizontal loop antenna. Nice. We have discussed many options and conclude ladder line is the best approach to connect the loop to the operating point.

He went shopping online only to find many vendors are low in stock of many items including the 400ish ohm windowed ladder line. We both agree making our own is a viable option.

So here is a photographic step by step we took in 2005 to construct the spreaders of our ladder line fed dipole antenna we use for Field Days, JOTA and other events requiring a simple antenna.

Since our antenna is used for various events it is not in the weather long. We opted to use wood spaces soaked in paraffin.

Read moreLadder Line the Old Fashioned Way

43 Foot Antenna Installation – The Rising

Here are some details regarding the next, and probably last, phase of my 43 Foot DX Engineering vertical installation.

This post is very late. The actual date of the events within it are just before March 2009 in preparation for the Virginia QSO Party.

In the many posts within this site, it is no secret my examination of various vertical antenna solutions with comparison between BigIR and the 43 Foot products a big part of this. Check out all the 43 Foot posts on HHD here…

Read more43 Foot Antenna Installation – The Rising

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

Digital GOTA attracts the Youth

If you are like many ARRL Field Day operations you have a Get On The Air (GOTA) station for guests.

We have done this every year I have been involved with my club’s Field Day and have had mostly good results. We usually have one Boy Scout troop stop by and make a few QSOs each. Also some technicians in our club like to operate the station during the late hours to get a chance to do SSB HF (yes we always have a control operator with valid privileges). Also it seems every year a new ham really enjoys the simplicity of the GOTA station without the concern over band sharing the other stations deal with.

Every year our GOTA is set up pretty much the same…

  • Icom 746
  • HF Antenna – Wire Dipole
  • Microphone
  • Key
  • Computer for logging
  • and that’s about it

Last year I posted observations about what the youth seem to enjoy most about our Field Day 2008…

Read moreDigital GOTA attracts the Youth

Priming Aluminum Antennas

Aluminum envy

If you have been reading this web site you will recall I have paid much attention to the 43 foot antenna manufactured by DX Engineering and Zero Five Antennas.

After much simulation and trading the benefits against pitfalls, I purchased the DX Engineering 43 foot antenna kit with the balun.

However, a shiny aluminum antenna in the back yard would attract the kind attention I just don’t need. Research on the Internet reveals several solutions including:

Read morePriming Aluminum Antennas

Installing a Vertical Antenna Base with no Concrete

Ground Antenna Mount with Antenna Base

Here is a step by step approach for an amateur radio vertical antenna mount using only a hole, gravel and a piece of plumbing pipe. Included is a story about know-it-all relatives.

Young Attracted to PSK31

During Field Day 2008 we carefully observed what operating modes the young teens did and did not enjoy while they operated. Without a doubt the digital modes, especially PSK31, got their attention.

Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.
Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.

The older of the two, KJ4FAJ, in the picture above said this when he made his first PSK31 contact just after midnight during Field Day…

Read moreYoung Attracted to PSK31