Monday, February 29, 2016
I have always thought that ham radio was a fun hobby, but it is even more with friends. My good friends Jordan(KI4HBO) and Austin (about to take his exam) had a great time working portable tonight. While we were out in town we randomly decided to grab all of my gear and take it out to the park in Madison, AL to work portable. It was a little cool, but it wasn't raining. It was extremely nice. We strung up my 80 meter wire dipole and tuned it for each band we worked. Of course it was after 10pm so the only bands that were of any use was 40 and 80.
I managed to work Oregon and Conneticut on 40meter PSK-31. We had a blast hanging out, looking up information on each others laptops, and just discussing how everything works.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Earlier today I decided to stop in at Gigaparts here in Huntsville Alabama. A lot of people are very familiar with their online store but I actually have the pleasure of getting to shop around in person. That is something not many hams get to do. There is very big lack of ham radio shops or so it seems. I usually do my casual talking, skywarn activities, and listening in on scanner traffic on the 2 meter band. I have been using the run of the mill quarter wave mag mount antenna from MFJ which comes at a very reasonable price of about $25. I also had a few other mag mounts on the top of my car from previous use with better weather radio and cb radio coverage, but today those came off.
Below is my newly installed Comet 5/8 wave 2 meter antenna. Yes, my radio is a dual band(2m/40cm) but all I personally need is 2 meter. I just have never really had a use for 40cm. It stands 48 inches tall making it really stand out in a rugged way which I personally love. It is mounted where my rear spare tire mount use to be. When I got the vehicle it was already bent so it has been removed for a while, leaving a perfect sturdy spot to mount a good quality antenna. So far I have gotten great results from this antenna. I have gotten great signal reports all on low power. When I had my simple quarter wave I would sometimes have to bump my power up to 20 watts to get into the repeater clearly. Now, 5 watts is all it takes. I cannot wait to try this out at a longer distance!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
When I first purchased this antenna from MFJ I was worried about my limited amount of height I could reach. After I borrowed an antenna analyzer to really see how well this antenna was performing. I found out my swr was nearly a 6 which is awful. After some testing I got it down to 1.4 to 1 which is very acceptable.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Earlier tonight I stumbled upon some picture by picture instructions on how to rebuild my rotor. This rotor is for small antennas but is perfect for what I need it for. A great friend of mine donated this to me and after a little testing it works really well just has a little noise to it. I think it actually set up for a few years not operational. So after breaking the rotor down I'm going to re-grease it and clean out all of the internal parts. I love working on little projects like this especially older equipment. I find more value in restoring something old to working condition than buying something new. Now that I have all the parts broken down I can clean them do a little sanding and re-grease them before putting them back together. Here are a few images of the rotor broken down: