02/23/13

Antenna Solutions

I live an apartment complex.  So an antenna is difficult to really get good performance. So far my best attempts are tuned wire dipoles with a Alpha Delta center connector. A very strong device that connector is. Now these dipoles are tree mounted. There 6 to about 9 feet up, which is okay. Really should be about quarter wave high. Also my tree’s I use are about 10 to 12 off the side of the building. The steel and concrete building.

Now I know people in the attics and that works all the time. But I put up one in our apartment and nothing. Absolutely nothing, almost completely dead, highly reflected and just terrible noise. Now my point is my dipoles are right up against our building and I can never get out west. Never. I can go a little south west, but it stops at New Mexico. No California, no Washington State or anything out there.

My solution. A couple things.

I’m still building my fan-dipole, that’s multi-band and portable.

I’m still building a Delta Loop for 20 meters. Maybe even a one for a couple of the higher bands. 4db over a dipole. Just need a 4:1 bulan.

Final part of my plan.

Mounting the antenna. There’s several ways to go about it. Fiberglass extendable poles, metal extendable poles and others. But solution, at least for now is military surplus style. Military antenna mask kits made from aluminium and painted OD green. They come in 4 foot sections and interlock. There’s base kits, ground spikes, guy wire mounts, and other accessories to go with them. Now what I’m planning on buying isn’t true surplus. Plenty of people copy the design and make new ones all day long. Which is great!

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTENNA-SWIVEL-STAKE-USED-WITH-MILITARY-48-MAST-POLE-/360370946820

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-1-4-inch-Mast-Pole-CB-Ham-Radio-Antenna-Guy-Guide-Wire-Heavy-Duty-Support-Ring-/120817013090

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-NEW-Aluminum-poles-4-long-Mast-Poles-Ham-Radio-Antenna-rubber-bag-included-/190800604568

02/20/13

My Resources

Some of the resources I use.

I make and fabricate a lot of the things I use. I make most all of my antennas, at least my none mobile antennas. All my wire antennas and a couple yagi’s. I’ve not made a lot of yagi’s. I made a 2 meter to get into a repeater well and a 6 meter antenna. The rest have been some kind wire antenna. Dipoles and Inverted V’s. I enjoy the challenge and learning aspect of making. As well most of my creations are a little cheaper than commercially available units.

» Ham radio band plan via ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf

» I use this site to calc my dipoles. I know the formula but I don’t always have a calculator on me.
http://www.kwarc.org/ant-calc.html

» After my fan-dipole project is over my next is a Delta Loop for twenty.
http://w5sdc.net/delta_loop_for_hf.html

» Where I buy most of the commercially built products is Gigaparts. At one time I lived in Huntsville, where they are located, so I feel I should help out the home town folks.
http://www.gigaparts.com/radioindex.php

» Ham Radio Practice Tests, this is where I prep before a test. You can choose individual parts to focus on or take an entire test. The feedback it gives on your test is useful in instructing you on what to study.
http://www.w8mhb.com/exam/

» QRZ.com, the goto site for ham stuff. Callsign lookups, forums, and just generally a lot of ham stuff.
http://www.qrz.com/

02/13/13

Fan Dipole Project February 2013 – Update 2

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It’s Wednesday now. I made my plan for the fan dipole yesterday and today I have cut all the bands 10 through 40, expect 40 meters. I’ve got to get some help with that one from the wife cause it’s so long. Plus got to do that outside, not enough space in the apartment. You ask why I cut all the bands? Well, now I’ve decide on two fan dipoles. The first one this weekend with be 6, 10, 20 and 40 meters. Minus 6 meters I’ll use this one the most including in upcoming State QSO Parties, specifically NC QSO Party. I really want a card from NI4BK.

Plus I’ll go ahead and cut my 70.5 delta loop section as well.