Saturday, June 25, 2011

Antenna Work

Last week I started playing around with a stealth like antenna set up for the back yard. After doing some research on the world wide web (sounds cool) I picked up a painters pole from the local Home Depot.

Decided to go with the Mr. Long Arm brand 8-23ft light weight extension pole. This pole is very lite, fits into the car for portable use, and seems well made. I started with a 20 meter ham stick, counterpoise wire, and Mr. Longarm attached to my fence. With my Z-11 Pro antenna tuner hooked up to a FT-857D, a few stations were heard across the band. I was not satisfied so I raised the pole up to the full 23 feet and the extra height made a big difference. Another problem is the antenna was mounted very close to my house, a corner spot in the yard more in the open should help the overall performance. More experimenting is needed to get the most out of this set up. Another choice for an antenna is a simple doublet with some speaker wire and a turner.

I see the sun has made its way back to NJ after a week of clouds and rain, after a few morning chores like cutting the lawn, this afternoon I am going to try and get on the air from the yard. If your interested in checking out Mr LongArm here is the link. You have to admit the is a great name, Mr. Long Arm.

Friday, June 17, 2011

NY Times Space Weather

Here's a link to an article in today's New York Times regarding space weather.

"In 1859, a solar super storm sparked fires in telegraph offices. Such storms are predicted every century or so, and perhaps we're overdue"

Interesting reading.
Enjoy your Friday night!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I finally broke down and purchased a new Ten Tec R4020 QRP radio and UPS delivered in late last week.

Here is a write up from introduction:

The R4020 is small in size, light weight, has provisions for optional built-in batteries, and is especially suitable for travel, picnics, and other outdoor activities. This is a Trail Friendly Radio.

First impressions is the overall super small size of the unit, 3-1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, weight without batteries is 15.8 oz. This transceiver is just begging for outdoor use. It looks like a solid build with sturdy knobs. So far the only time I powered it up was to get the unit to recognize my straight key, had to rewire my 3.5mm stereo plug.

I can already see the R4020 taking a trip to the Jersey shore or along the bay for some sunset operating. Just need to find a small portable antenna to come along for the ride. My Buddi-Pole might be to large to carry around. I was hoping to set up today in the yard and give it a test run but we are having overcast sky's and a very slight misty rain. After temps in the 90 deg + range all week the cooler 70 deg feels nice.

Time to go hook up an antenna and do some on air testing of this little rig.

Will keep you posted how I make out.