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Главная » 2021 » Ноябрь » 7 » Foundations of Amateur Radio
Foundations of Amateur Radio

What have you been up to in Amateur Radio lately ... Gary VK2OVA

Recently I exchanged emails with fellow amateur Gary VK2OVA. This was his most recent response.

Hello Onno,

What have you been up to in amateur radio lately, you ask hahahahahahaha.

I hope this gives you a good chuckle.

I decided to construct and erect a full wave 80 meter sky loop. Simple antenna, and I have lots of space to do so with an old tennis court on the block surrounded by existing poles and wire mesh.

The preparation for me was the key to having an easy path to a successful outcome. First step was to measure out the existing poles for the best fit, measured, then stood back and looked, then measured again, yes all is good, this will work. Made up the ropes and pulleys, rechecked the length and height, yep all good, put the ropes and pulleys in place, ready to attach the insulators. I'm going for four corners with an overall measure of 23 meters long by 17 meters wide. Using a corner feed point.

Made up a feed point cockatoo deterrent, 90 mil storm water pipe about 15 inches long, split end to end, then zip tied into itself as it wraps around the insulator and feed point. Cockatoos are in abundance here so I had to come up with something to keep them away from the feed point as that seems to be their favourite chew spot.

Purchased a 100 meter long roll of green and yellow earth wire, thinking to myself, easy as, just cut a measured length off the end and have the correct length left on the reel ready to roll out. Oh but wait, a couple of hams talking on air had a similar situation and it worked out that the roll was shorter than quoted on the label. Best practice here is to unroll it and measure it myself, simple task.

Now I cannot find my 30 meter tape measure, so I put the task on hold till it turns up. Two weeks later it is no where to be seen, so now I have decided to go with the 8 meter tape measure. After thinking about how to best measure 8 meters at a time I came up with a marvellous plan, I'll put a couple pegs in the ground at 8 meters apart and simply loop the wire back and forth 11 times. After all, this is 88 meters in total and I can simply trim the length to my chosen frequency of 3.620 MHz. I'm feeling very good right about now as I have saved myself a lot of walking and bending.

Now, the first error pops its little head. After I've cut the wire to length and attempt to lay it out on the ground inside the poles - designated antenna holders - the copper wire reminds me it has a memory. That memory is very adamant, I'm a circle of loops. So yes I now have a birds nest of yellow and green. Have you ever noticed when something like this has a mind of its own, it is, apparently, right. Took at least an hour to unravel it, then several tent pegs, to get this wire to obey me. So I won that battle.

Because I had measured the wire myself I knew it to be accurate, which proved how wrong I was back when I'd completed the original measure, post to post for potential mast poles. So I reset my ropes and pulleys to the new poles and hoisted the whole lot up in the air, then ran inside to view the antenna analyser. Now something is wrong, I cannot get a meter dip anywhere on HF. Oh dear, I've got a break or bad connection.

So into trouble shooting mode goes whats left of my brain. Track and retrace. As much as I did I could not identify what was wrong. Only one thing for it I will go back to the beginning and start over.

Dropped the wire on the ground, pegged it down so it could not get away again. Still could not find my 30 meter tape measure, so out comes the 8 meter tape. But wait, is that a 6 or an 8 on there. Lets settle this, I'll put on my reading glasses just to be sure. Yep it is a 6 meter tape measure, not 8 so therefore I have only got a 66 meter length of wire, oh gosh! Back to square one, move all the pulleys re-measure everything. To correct the problem I had to add on some wire and solder the 2 pieces together. With my new level of cautious approach I managed to get the length perfect at 3.625 MHz.

I still cannot find my 30 meter tape, nor can I find my 8 meter tape, but the good news is I still have a 6 meter tape measure, actually out of six tape measures that I had it's the only one I can find.

I've decided I should probably wear my glasses when reading small print, from now on.

I've been making wire antennas for years and never had an issue. Having just moved here a couple of years ago I'm in a position where size does not impact my antenna choices, hence the ambitious project which took up way to much time and effort.

And, if this is suitable for sharing please do so.


The only thing remaining is to ask you a question.

What have you been up to in Amateur Radio lately?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

 This article is the transcript of the weekly 'Foundations of Amateur Radio' podcast, produced by Onno Benschop, VK6FLAB who was licensed as radio amateur in Perth, Western Australia in 2010. For other episodes, visit http://vk6flab.com/. Feel free to get in touch directly via email: cq@vk6flab.com

 If you'd like to join a weekly radio net for new and returning amateurs, check out the details at http://ftroop.vk6flab.com/, the net runs every week on Saturday, from 00:00 to 01:00 UTC on Echolink, IRLP, AllStar Link, Brandmeister and 2m FM via various repeaters, all are welcome.

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