I didn’t do any major stuff over the weekend, just working a couple special event stations that I heard, a couple contacts for the Montana QSO Party, and a few more for Winter Field Day. Continue reading
Okay, now for the more extended story concerning the beginning of my true amateur radio operating “career”. Continue reading
I had my 10-foot magnetic loop antenna ready to go for this weekend’s ARRL SSB contest, but realizing that it would only work one band (20 meters) for that contest, at the last minute I decided to build a new loop to finally go on the air as K7HKR. I used this on-line calculator to figure out something optimized for both the 20- and 40-meter bands with the high-voltage variable capacitor I have on hand. This ended up being a 15-foot circumference loop made out of 1/4″ copper coil pipe, which is much easier to bend than the 1/2″ pipe I used for the 10-foot loop. Continue reading
Finally some more ham radio content. After getting my license in May, I passed my General exam in June, achieving my goal of better than a 90% score. I even applied for a vanity call in June and received it after the nominal 3-week wait (K7HKR; “K7 Hiker”). My goal starting out was to use home-brew antennas (except for my handheld). But, I got distracted by the summer FM broadcast band sporadic-E season, and hiking trips, and the fall equinox trans-Pacific AM broadcast band DXing season, and work, etc. Thus, I haven’t been taking advantage of having a large fraction of amateur radio frequencies available to me. Continue reading
The third part of the Superloop antenna series is up on YouTube (and has been for a while, I forgot to announce it here). This part goes into detail on the impedance matching transformer needed to deliver a high percentage of the signal from the high-impedance antenna to the 50-ohm feedline.
Episode 2 of my video blog has been posted to YouTube. This is the second video in the Superloop antenna series, and shows the construction of a decade resistance box to use as the terminating resistance of the antenna. The box allows you to repeatably set the resistance to the value you want, as opposed to trying to make fiddly adjustments of a potentiometer. This part of the project went well, other than it having a 2 ohm offset due to resistance in the thumbwheel switches, wires, and banana plug connectors. Enjoy!
Finally! My first Arizona Signal Watcher video blog episode is now available on YouTube. This is the first of a several-part series on the “Superloop” receiving antenna. This design was developed by Bruce Conti and this is my take on the design and construction. The antenna is very useful and convenient when needing a signal null in one direction and good reception in other directions, and when portability is important. The first video is entitled “Superloop Antenna Part I: Introduction” and gives an overview of the antenna design and some theory behind it. Subsequent videos will detail the construction of the antenna and the electrical/electronic components needed to optimize the antenna performance. Comments here or on the YouTube page are very much welcomed. Enjoy!