September 25, 2015

Two things...

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.  -- Hippocrates

September 22, 2015

Finished 20 Meters WAS award from California

Thanks to AB1NJ in Vermont today, we completed the WAS award for 20 Meters (from California) with a JT-65 contact.

Chasing ARRL awards is good fun.  Awards also encourage radio amateurs to stay active which is good for the hobby.  The LoTW makes it easy to keep track of all the contacts for the various awards.  Looking for the next award which will likely be Phone DXCC.  So many interesting and challenging choices...
NJ2X's ARRL WAS Award with 20 Meters endorsement

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 20, 2015

Hiram Percy Maxim Award Recipient Anna Veal, W0ANT

Sunday's are a perfect day for reflection and inspiration.  We were inspired today by Anna Veal, W0ANT, who is the 2015 Hiram Percy Maxim Award Recipient.  This article also appears in the October 2015 edition of QST on page 82.  If you haven't read the article then do yourself a favor and read it now.

Hiram Percy Maxim, c. 1914

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 11, 2015

Who invented ferrite?

Who invented magnetic core material known as ferrite?
  • Dr. Takeshi Takei from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, discovered zinc and iron oxides have special magnetic properties.
  • Professors Kato and Takei applied for a patent in Japan in 1930 for their discovery of oxide magnetic core materials which was granted in 1932.
  • Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo (now known as TDK Corporation) was founded in 1935 to commercialize ferrite cores.  TDK is still making ferrite cores today.
  • Philips applied for a patent in The Netherlands in 1941 for ferrite.

Ferrite Bead

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 6, 2015

Using a Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna as a stealth base antenna

We recently had need for a multiband stealthy antenna covering 70cm, 2m, 6m, 10m, and 20m.  The stealth requirement meant that the antenna had to be near invisible on a rooftop as seen from the ground level.  After evaluating our options (beam, traditional full-size base vertical, wire) we were unsatisfied.  None of the choices seem to meet the prime criteria of invisibility.

This prompted us to consider the use of a multiband mobile antenna which tend to be constructed with a minimal profile.  We eventually settled on the Diamond HV7A as it offered multiband coverage that met our needs in a rather stealthy package.

Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna in its packaging

Diamond HV7A Mobile Antenna unpacked

HV7A Mobile Antenna assembled and ready for mounting

We mounted the antenna on our rooftop and it was amazingly difficult to see from the ground level.  This was exactly what we had hoped for in terms of physical appearance.  We have been satisfied with the HV7A though performance as a stealthy base antenna is a compromise due to its intended purpose as a mobile antenna.

 Antenna_BandFrequency Coverage RangeVertical Antenna GainElement Phasing (wavelength)Antenna Power Rating
10 meters28-29.7 MHz2.1 dBi1/4120 watts
6 meters50-54 MHz2.1 dBi1/4200 watts
2 meters144-148 MHz2.1 dBi1/2200 watts
70 centimeters440-450 MHz5.5 dBi2 x 5/8200 watts

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 5, 2015

A few favorite free amateur radio iPhone iOS 8 Apps and Podcasts

iPhone 6

The iPhone is one our favorite technologies.  It is so amazingly useful.  The iPhone is also an outstanding platform for amateur radio applications.  Here are a few of our favorite free amateur radio apps on our iPhone running iOS 8.

The Apple Podcasts application provides yet another vehicle for enjoying amateur radio through ham radio oriented shows.  Here is our list of favorite Podcasts programs:
  • Ham Nation
  • ARRL Audio News
  • Amateur Radio QSO Show
  • Amateur Radio Newsline
  • QSO Today

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 4, 2015

Vacationing on a motorcycle...

“You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values