Showing posts from October, 2012

Considerations For A New Antenna - Part 2: Installing a 6m Antenna

In "Considerations For A New Antenna - Part 1" we discussed the criteria and considerations for setting up new antennas in our new location.  In this article, we share how we went about setting up our first antenna in the new location.

We decided our first effort would be to set up a 6m ground plane antenna on a mast mounted on top our chimney.  6m is a wonderful band offering DX possibilities along with access to local repeaters.

For this project we would need:
6m ground plane antennaChimney mast mounting kitStandard 1.5 inch x 5 foot antenna mastLow-loss 50-ohm coaxial cable (we use Bury-FLEX 1.1 dB of attenuation /100 FT at 50 Mhz)UHF connectors8-foot copper clad steel ground rodLightning arrestor (we use ICE coaxial lightning/EMP suppressors)SolderSoldering ironElectrical tapeSelf-sealing silicone rubber tapeLadderRope and bucketCrescent wrenchLeather work glovesPair of HT's (optional) Parts In days gone past, items such as chimney mast mount and masts were commonly a…

CQ World Wide DX Contest

10m opened up world wide to the great enjoyment of hams participating in this weekend's CQ World Wide DX Contest.  We joined in the fun and participated in the contest with our modest station.  The QSO's were plentiful.  We completed 170 QSO's with 97 countries earning a final score of 47,854.

The cold and wet weather provided additional motivation to stay in the shack.  No sense in getting to know "Sandy" the so called Frankenstorm any more than on a first name basis.

We rather liked the Italian IO5O webpage with the club's live streaming video of their participation in the contest.  A unique way to view radio.  Thanks for the contact Ten-Fifty Contest Group.



Warm Glow of Linear Amplifier Tubes

Autumn is wonderful time of year.  No better way to warm up the shack then by powering up the gear and getting on the air.  We didn't need a flash when we took this photo of these Ameritron linear amplifier tubes at work.

Antenna Coaxial Cable Conduit Fill Considerations

Conduit fill is the percent of the area inside the conduit taken up by cables.  Conduit fill is an important consideration when selecting and planning your antenna projects since it is not possible to use 100% of the conduit's area.  There is no sense in going through the expense and effort of trenching, laying conduit, and pulling your antenna coaxial cable only to find later that the conduit is too small to support the area consumed by the cables.
We recently ran across two handy Internet resources related to conduit fill: Conduit Fill Chart and Conduit Fill Calculator.

Here is an example of the conduit fill calculators output:

The conduit fill is: 17.9%
Based On:Conduit Type:Rigid PVC Conduit, Schedule 40 * Conduit Size:2 inch(es) Internal Diameter:2.047 (in.)Conductor #1:3 conductors with an outside diameter of .5 inches. Conductor #2:0 conductors with an outside diameter of 0 inches.
**Warning: There is some probability of jamming.



55th annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is October 20-21

The 55th annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is October 20-21. This 48-hour event runs from 0000 (local time) on Saturday, October 20 (right at midnight Friday) through midnight (local time) on Sunday, October 21. JOTA is an opportunity for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world to experience the magic and excitement of Amateur Radio.

Radio amateurs do not have to be registered to get on the air during JOTA. In addition to the World Scout Frequencies, the BSA has listed a US frequency guide that includes frequencies for 80-6 meters (SSB, CW and PSK31), 2 meters, 70 cm and D-STAR, as well as dedicated IRLP and EchoLink nodes.

In our local Pittsburgh area, the Skyview Radio Society has organized JOTA events including a radio merit badge class.  This is sure to be a wonderful event and everyone involved is looking forward to it.

Be sure to get on the air this weekend and make some contacts with scouts (the future of amateur radio).

Philips Radio Manufacturing 1936

We ran across this excellent 7 minute film from 1936 showing the manufacturing of radios by Philips in Czechoslovakia.  We don't understand the narration; however, this doesn't detract from the film.

Be sure to check out: WWII Film - Hallicrafters: Voice of Victory - SCR-299US Army Signal Corps training film for the SCR-694, BC-1306 field radio1944 US Navy Training Film - Radio Operator Training - Technique Of Hand Sending CW with a straight keyArmy Morse Code Training Film 1966

How To: Lock Together Anderson PowerPole Connectors

Anderson PowerPoles are a wonderfully useful invention for radio amateurs.  They are connecting power to more and more amateur radio equipment every day and have become the defacto standard for 12v power connection.  Interestingly, radio manufactures are still catching up on this trend.

When two Anderson PowerPole connectors are connected together they snap together but are not locked.  This allows quick connect / disconnect and works just fine in many situations.  However, there are several situations where locking the connectors together is required.
The power cable is subject to movement which could work the connection apart.The power cable with a vertical orientation and connection where gravity could pull the connection apart.The power cable and connection is being pulled during routing which could cause a disconnect. There are commercially available retention clips to lock PowerPole connectors together.  These cost around $0.60 / clip.  Hams are nothing if not thrifty.  Why buy e…

Eye Catching Store Front

We stumbled onto an eye catching store front window display in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario recently. 
Loved the stacks of boat anchor gear and brick HT's.  The next day we returned to Sonic Northern Group during business hours and met the manager, Ken.  Not surprisingly, Ken is a ham and collector of classic radio gear.  We had an interesting chat about amateur radio in the area.

By the way this article was composed on an Android device as an experiment. 

EPC Russia DX Contest 2012

EPC Russia DX Contest 2012. The contest starts at 04:00 UTC 06.10.2012 and ends at 04:00 UTC 06.10.2012. The objective of the contest is to establish as many contacts as possible between radio amateurs around the world and radio amateurs in Russia on BPSK63 mode. The Contest is annually held at the first weekend in October in BPSK63 mode on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters bands. Every station can be contacted once per band. The operator may change the bands without any restrictions. The output power should not exceed 10 watts on 160 meters and 100 watts on other bands. Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time.