KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


This has been a busy month–not much time to operate
on the old Swan 100-MX.  Hawaii just experienced its
primary election with  all the hoopla and news coverage
that surrounds politics in Hawaii….My newsroom was
a busy place for at least a week.  In more pleasant news,
The Big Island Amateur Radio Club and the Hawaii QRP
club hosted Russian QRP (RU QRP) club co-founder Oleg
Borodin (RV3GM) and his XYL, Olga (RA3GKB) on
September 11th at Hilo’s Wailoa State Park.  Oleg, who
serves as the Elecraft representative in Russia, was invited
by Dean, KH6B, to spend a brief vacation on the Big
Island and to  bring local hams up to date on amateur radio
activities in Russia.  Oleg had an excellent presentation on a
variety of Russian QRP expeditions, including the “Moroz”
(Frost or frozen) nose competition held during the winter.
Oleg also passed his U.S. Amateur Extra Exam earilier in
the week (I was part of the VE team).  Oleg is a great guy
and I gained a new perspective of the challenges faced by
many hams outside the United States.  Now that the work-
load is slowing down for the weekend, I just might be able
to squeeze in some ham time before the next week begins.
Have a good weekend….73 de KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Today is a solemn day for those who call a
radio newsroom home.  Nine years ago today
I was on the early shift (in Hawaii) when the
World Trade Center was hit by aircraft, re-
sulting in the loss of approximately 3,000 lives.
From that day forward, nothing in this nation
remained unchanged.  I’ll leave the diatribes and
finger pointing to others, but to me, the event
reinforced the need to be prepared, both in
protecting our communities and in keeping
amateur radio communications intact.  Since
that awful day almost a decade ago, I’ve tried
to have backup plans in place for the shack–
reserve power, spare rigs, extra wire, tools,
and reference material. I’ve also kept a supply
of food, medical supplies, fuel for the car, and
money on hand just in case the integrated society
we inhabit comes apart.  Preparation, training, and
a positive attitude can go a long way in maintaining
your sanity in a world that appears to have lost all
reason and a sense of reality.  Enjoy your weekend.
73 de the Big Island.  KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


As Labor Day winds down, yours truly will be securing the
radio station news room and preparing for the coastal drive
to the qth in Laupahoehoe.  The weekend was busy, with
the usual parades, holiday events, and the drag races at the
Hilo Drag Strip.  I’m the tower announcer for the races, an
enjoyable diversion from the usual gloom and doom of the
news cycle.  When I get back to the shack, I’ll finish the
Novice Antenna Handbook by the late Lew McCoy.  The
book is a useful primer for those of us who want to erect
simple, yet effective antennas at minimum cost.  On my
postage stamp sized rural lot, I’ve erected several of his
proven designs.  Currently, I’m using an under the house
40-meter loop (great for local nets) and a modified vertical,
using one vertical element and one elevated counterpoise.
The system is fed with 300-ohm twin lead through a 1:4
balun for 40 to 10 meter coverage.  Nothing fancy, but
it does work from my Central Pacific location.  I could
surely use more space, but I work with what I have.  Once
the XYL and I get the house built, we’ll have more space
to erect more efficient skyhooks.  Our land has room to
spread out–enough for full-sized antennas, a radio shack
detached from the house, and a garden to help trim food
costs.  Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy what I have.  The important
thing is to get on the air and maximize the station you have.
‘Hope your holiday was enjoyable…73 de KH6JRM.

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