In a previous post we promised to analyze the merits of the 43 foot tall tuner-required antenna vs. the adjustable BigIR vertical from SteppIR. We did and here are the results.
Considering a vertical? Among all the dipoles, beams and other types of antennas, the lowly vertical has regained some popularity thanks, in part, to the BigIR SteppIR and, more recently, the 43 foot vertical offered by DX Engineering and Zero Five antennas.
A fellow named Mel gave me permission to share his elegant method to locate the end of the copper tape in SteppIR antennas. The position of that tape needs to be known occasionally during maintenance. To quote…
Your forked over $13 to take the test (some VEs charge nothing… shop around). Perhaps you forked over another $13 for another chance… It happens.
A ham on the local Sunday Night Tech Net reported a technique that improved the reception of CW measurably.
He has a Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver. As time went by he used various adjustments while listening to CW. He was never quite satisfied with the noise levels that came in along with the desire CW signals. Variables adjusted include the RF Gain and AGC response time.
A reader asks for help with rig control interfacing to an Icom 725.
Furthering the discussion of the 43 foot vertical antenna I wanted to report a concern I have with this antenna and the use of any relay based coax switch.
If you install a 43 foot vertical in your back yard, route the coax through a switch and handle the tuning inside your ham shack, you need to ensure you do not exceed the voltage or current limits of the relays in the switch.
Headsets are an excellent accessory for your amateur radio station. There are so many to choose from it might seem overwhelming to pick one. They come in large sizes to small and work with some radios while not with others. This is a description of the process I used to select my headset in the hopes it will help others decide if, when and which headsets they should consider.
There is no better way to think of ways to organize your ham shack than to see how others organize theirs.
With the upcoming solar cycle pushing operations on the HF bands towards success on 20 meters to 10 meters you might be wondering if a vertical antenna may be the right choice for making the most of this time.
Well, to be honest you may well have just as much success with a simple horizontal dipole strung up.
Dipoles are pretty easy to build and don’t cost too much if you would rather purchase one from Alpha-Delta or the Wireman.
However, if you…
FISTS and other amateur radio organizations exist to help you become proficient at CW and get you past your terrifying first CW QSO.
As you begin your adventure sending and receiving Morse code on the HF bands you will almost instantly hear a variety of short hand abbreviations. Many are obvious while others aren’t.
CW works well with these abbreviations and may even lend themselves to cell phone text messaging since both systems benefit from sending fewer characters.
A viewer has a problem powering two radios from one power supply.
This situation is quite likely very common among amateur radio operators who keep a simple shack set up with one large power supply feeding multiple loads.
The topic of lightning protection of our radio equipment and everything else in our homes wisely comes up often in the various ham related email lists on the Internet.
A particular thread on one of these lists spoke of ways to disconnect coax, rotator control lines, etc. at or near where they come into the building. One implementation described by some fellow used relays to disconnect things so he could through one switch and instantly isolate his radios from the antennas.
An amusing video is on YouTube describing the state of affairs of ham radio and its operators.
Note the shifty, or perhaps thoughtful, eyes of Burt.
The topic of balanced to unbalanced converters is broad, detailed and deserving of study to apply them where needed. However, this post will discuss the simplest balun of all… the Choke Balun.
Many balun designs convert impedances 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:9 and up.
If you are fortunate enough to have equipment to measure return loss of your antenna system here is a chart that will convert the return loss in dB to SWR…
The BigIR antenna from Fluid Motion looks like a winner, but there are some concerns about the 80 meter option.
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.
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…