KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, it’s back to the
newsroom routine.  The Sunday news cycle is fairly slow,
so I should be able to wrap up the basic maintenance and
log chores in short order.  After I secure the news room
update the meter readings, I’ll pick up a few things at the
supermarket and head home for some time at the old Swan
100-MX before calling it a day.  Saturday’s inverted vee
project  went well.  The 40-meter vee has provisions to add
33′ of additional wire should I desire to explore the 80-meter
portion of the spectrum.  The 55′ of 450-ohm twin lead seems
to go well with the 4:1 balun and the Drake MN-4 ATU.  I can
get a 1.2 to 1 SWR on all bands between 40 and 10 meters.
The antenna was simple to make and erect.  Not a DX buster
for sure, but it does the job.  You can get other simple ideas
for easy to erect antennas in Doug DeMaw’s “Novice Antenna
Book” by the ARRL.  This book is probably out of print, but
any antenna book should give you some useful ideas.  For those
of us restricted to small backyards, a decently designed vertical
with a good set of radials will get you on the air with a respectable
signal.  My cost was next to nothing, since I had some extra #18
gauge wire around the shack and some 450-ohm in a storage box.
With 50 watts from the old Swan, I could work many stations.  The
delta loop antenna will wait for another day.  If you want to restrict
operations to the 40 and 15 meter bands, you can feed the vee with
a good grade coax, such as RG-8 or RG-8X.  Even RG-6 will work
in a pinch.  Have a good weekend. Aloha de KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Somehow I survived the Thanksgiving holiday.  I didn’t
eat too much at the neighborhood gathering and managed
to squeeze in a few hours of cw to round out Thursday.
Presently, I’m holding down the fort at the KKBG-FM/
KHLO-AM news room.  Other than the usual meter
readings and daily forms to complete, this appears to be
a fairly quiet day.  Following the news shift, I’ll head home
for some antenna maintenance work.  Although the back-
yard 40-meter vertical is working fine, I’m thinking of con-
verting the old MFJ fiberglass mast into an inverted vee or
a delta loop.  Both antennas have served me well in the past.
I have just enough room to squeeze in a 40-10 meter vee
(33′ on  each side).  With 55′ of twin lead, the spare 4:1
balun, and the trusty Drake MN-4 ATU, I’ll be ready in
no time.  I’ve also fed this arrangement with coax, which
largely restricts the vee to 40 and 15 meters.  Purists will
shake their heads at this rough and tumble skyhook, but it
works.  After several days of rain, I need an excuse to get
some sun and fresh air, and this project will give me a chance
fool my neighbors into thinking I’m some kind of expert.  I’m
sure my neighbors think of me as the local radio nut…so be it.
My XYL is tolerant–she’s given up converting me into a normal
human being.  Have a good weekend.  Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Somehow, everyone in my household survived
Thanksgiving.  For once, all of us gathered for
our neighborhood feast ate moderately.  It seems
we had just enough to make a good dinner and to
have some goodies to take home.  The best part
was the good fellowship of our neighbors, the ex-
cellent weather (it rained just after 1900 W), and
the relaxing atmosphere provided by the season.
I surely needed a break from the news room after
this week’s disturbing news about Korea and the
crippled U.S. economy.  I even got a chance to
fire up the old Swan 100 MX for a few contacts
after dinner.  I trust that your feast met your ex-
pectations.  Enjoy what you can while you can. 
Be sure to squeeze in a few hours for amateur
radio–it could keep  you sane in an otherwised confused
world.  ‘Til next time, Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Thanksgiving is fast upon us.  It’s hard to believe the
holidays are coming so quickly.  I guess time seems
to accelerate as one gets older.  Despite all the doom
and gloom surrounding us, there is still much to be
thankful for–the ability to get up in the morning,
good health, decent food, and the love of family.
Others would add the basic freedoms guaranteed
by our founding documents–I agree, but these
freedoms are getting eroded daily by the growing
crudeness, crassness, and lack of respect for nearly
everything these days.  I run into this situation every-
day as I prepare and read the news on the commercial
station I call my home away from home.  Sometimes,
I wonder what kind of society we call these United
States.  Every now and then, I feel we as a nation have
lost our way and have failed to take responsibility for
our own lives.  That’s why I retreat into the amateur
radio universe after a long day.  Despite the well-
known problems on the amateur bands, I’m still able to
meet others who can carry a decent conversation,
impart some valuable knowledge, and enjoy telling
tall tales of misadventure.  Amateur Radio provides
a needed respite from daily grind–a place where the
patients are running the asylum.  Have a good day and
enjoy the holiday with your loved ones.  If you can
break away from the dining room table, squeeze in a
few QSOs before the day is over.  73 es KH6JRM.

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Just when you think everything in the ole radio
shack is running smoothly, there comes a surprise
that rearranges your weekend radio activity.  Last
night was such an event.  A band of intense thunder-
showers rolled past Hawaii Island last night, giving
us Big Islanders some needed rain along with very
strong winds which played games with power lines,
yard furniture, and various loose objects.  Although
I can’t consider my antenna farm a piece of lawn
furniture, the effect of the gusty winds will put me
into maintenance mode for the weekend.  A small
tree limb took out the 450 – ohm feedline, so I have
to restring another 33 feet of line to get the vertical
back into operating condition.  The antenna appears
intact, so it’s back to the wire cutters, the soldering
gun, and insulators for another round of antenna
follies.  At least I can get some exercise before
I warm up the ole Swan 100-MX.  All in a day’s
work.  Before I leave the commercial radio station,
I have to check with our engineer to see if our ailing
FM transmitter can run our rated power before the
day is over.  Last night’s electrical storm was not too
kind to the station transmitter.  It looks as if reduced
power will be the order of the day until spare parts
arrive.  Things could be worse–I could be organized.
Have a good weekend. 73, Aloha de KH6JRM

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


I’ve just finished reading a truly inspiring article by
James Deane, KD7QDG, in the 12 November
2010 edition of http://www.eham.net/.  James penned
a tale of his path from General to Extra entitled
“General to Extra Class–learning a lot.”  James
does a good job explaining why he made the
final plunge into the “Extra” pool.  What moti-
vated his journey was the desire to learn more
about amateur radio from a more technical
point of view.  Many of us have made the same
trip through the license structure.  My 33 years
in this wonderful hobby has visited every license
class except for Tech Plus.  Like James, I wanted
to learn more and took up the challenge to master
the math and regulations necessary to get the Extra.
Besides, I wanted  the Extra for my own sense of ac-
complishment.  Of course, the additional 25 kHz at
the bottom of most bands meant some new DX and
a perfect way to polish my meager CW skills.  If you
want to attain the Extra Class, do it.  Have fun. Learn
as much as you can.  Ignore the nay-sayers.  Aloha
from the Big Island.  KH6JRM

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog


Veterans Day on Hawaii Island has been quiet.
The day provided a welcom respite from the
usual “crisis by the minute” routine found in
the radio station news room.  I even had a
few listeners thank me for my past military
service–that was a surprise, considering the
reception I received when I returned from active
duty in the early 70’s.  Those were the days.
As soon as I wrap up the day’s news coverage,
I’ll head for the home station and some time
“pounding the brass” until my daily jog with the
XYL, dinner, and a slow retreat under the
covers.  I trust your day was a good one.
‘Til next time, 73 es Aloha from Hawaii Island.
KH6JRM.

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