N4KGL QRP: Antenna Books for Amateur Radio

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

I enjoy antennas and want to understand them better. One tool for understanding antennas are antenna books. For some one or two is enough but I have many. The same story may be rewritten many times but one account …

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Informative article by Greg Lane (N4KGL).  Like Greg, I collect antenna books from a variety of sources.  There’s always something to learn from classic antenna studies and experiments.  I agree that “Successful Wire Antennas” by Ian Poole (G3YWX) is an excellent antenna book–well written, easy to understand, and full of valuable antenna tips.   Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.n4kgl.info

Antenna Grounding System : resource detail – The DXZone

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

the antenna grounding system at k3dav that includes 4 coax lines under Technical Reference/Grounding, at Antenna Grounding System resource page at dxzone.com ham radio guide.

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Another excellent article by K3DAV.  This time the topic is antenna grounding systems.  Great reference material for antenna builders.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.dxzone.com


Antenna Lightning and Surge Protection : resource detail

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

protect your radio equipment from lightning strikes under Technical Reference/Lightning Protection, at Antenna Lightning and Surge Protection resource page at dxzone.com ham radio guide.

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Excellent reference for protecting your amateur radio station from lightning and electrical surge problems.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.dxzone.com


Radio Society of Great Britain – 100 Years of Dedication to Amateur …

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

… the Centenary Celebration of the Radio Society of Great Britain. Explore the history of the RSGB and learn of the invaluable contributions British amateurs have made to the world of ham radio. …

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

An interesting historical look at  the Radio Society of Great Britain on its 100th anniversary.  The RSGB is one of the oldest amateur radio groups in the world, only eclipsed by the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) which was founded a bit earlier.  This article contains a wealth of historical information.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.dxcoffee.com


Cote D’Ivoire amateur radio solidarity operation – The Southgate …

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

Ham radio operators Chris F4WBN (ex-TL0A), Paul F6EXV and Jan DJ8NK will be active as TU5AX, TU5XV and TU5NK, respectively, for an amateur radio solidarity operation, taking place until November 30th.

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Chris (F4WBN), Paul (F6EXV), and Jan (DJ8NK) will operate as TU5AX, TU5XV, and TU5NK in the Ivory Coast  through today, 30 November 2013.  The team will be installing equipment and training operators at the Abijan club station TU2CI.  Hopefully, this group of amateur radio operators can revive ham radio in a country torn by civil conflict over the past few years.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.southgatearc.org

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1894 November 29 2013 …

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

Ham radio relief remains an emcomm lifeline in the Philippines United Kingdom FUNcube-1 ham satellite is now on-orbit Controllers ask hams to help in listening for WREN cubesat New 76 Gigahertz record is set in Great …

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Here’s the latest update from the Amateur Radio Newsline service.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.amateurradio.com

Antenna Safety. Post #246

In the excitement of designing, building, and erecting my “homebrew” wire antennas, I’ve often neglected to consider important safety issues which could affect the location of my antenna and perhaps save my life.
A few years ago, I erected a vertical antenna which gave me excellent service until a lightning strike turned my work of art into a mess of shattered fiberglass, pvc pipe, wire fragments, charred coaxial cable, and a severely damaged ego.  Fortunately, I had disconnected the feed line from my shack and had it connected to a ground rod.

Ever since that lucky escape from Mother Nature, I’ve had a firm respect for the weather and “Murphy’s Law” (whatever will go bad will fail at the most inconvenient time).

Over the course of my amateur radio “career”, I’ve followed a few basic guidelines to erecting antennas, whether they be commercially bought or built from my own resources.


I know this sounds pretty basic, but thoroughly outlining your antenna project, assembling all of the parts beforehand, and doing a general survey of your property for hidden dangers can pay big dividends later.

Before I build an antenna, I walk over the area for the proposed antenna site.  I note any safety hazards such as uneven ground (especially dangerous when you have to disconnect your antenna at night), proximity to power, telephone, and cable lines, and visibility concerns (there’s always someone who hates antennas and will tell the world about it).

After I’m done with my initial inspection, I ask someone else (my xyl or another ham) to look around for anything I might have missed.  Another set of eyes is always helpful in picking out questionable objects on the antenna field.

I also draw a rough diagram of the proposed antenna and its placement on the property.  This drawing is filed in my antenna notebook and will be used to make revisions to the design.

Once the basic plan is drawn and the property checked for suitability, I then advance to the second phase of the antenna project.


Assume that everything connected to the antenna structure is conductive.

Assume that the antenna or any part of it, including supporting masts, guy lines, feed lines, and antenna elements will fail or break at the most inconvenient moment.  Be sure your construction is sturdy and can stand up to the weather.

Antennas should be kept far away as possible from utility lines, both from the pole carrying the energized lines and the entrance of these wires into your home and shack.  At my current location in a crowded neighborhood, I’ve had to resort to small verticals and low slung dipoles and loops to maintain a safe distance from power lines.  At my new home in the Puna District, my nearest antenna structure (a 33-ft/10.06 meters fiberglass mast) is about 100 ft/30.48 meters from the nearest utility line or cable entrance.

If possible, lower your antennas to ground level after you are done operating.  This will present less of a target for lightning or snoopy neighbors.

Disconnect all antenna feed lines from your equipment when the operating day is over.  I use a window patch panel to run coaxial or ladder line feeders into the shack.  The external leads are connected to an 8 ft/2.43 meters ground rod at the base of the antenna mast.  A set of four, 33 ft/10.06 meters radials are connected to the ground rod and form a spoke pattern around the base of the antenna.

Be sober when you build and erect your antenna.  Alcohol and antenna building are a bad combination, especially if you are erecting a tower.

If you are uncertain about erecting a mast or tower, get help from your local amateur radio club.  Even if you are working alone on a simple vertical, be sure you have safety equipment for use, including gloves, hard hat, and good work boots.  If your project involves the use of a tower, be sure to get climbing belts and other tower climbing equipment.

If you are using a commercial antenna, be sure to follow all instructions and procedures exactly.

Be sure you have a written outline of how the antenna erection will  proceed. Give copies to your antenna crew if you have one.  Include in your plan the procedures you’ll use to correct any failure of equipment or parts.  Before you erect your antenna, do a “dry run” of the antenna construction and raising.

If at all possible, build as much of the antenna on the ground as you can.

If you’ll be using a mast to support your dipole, inverted v, or vertical, install a simple halyard-pulley system on the mast to raise or  lower the antenna should the need arise.  This system will come in handy for antenna adjustments or to lower the antenna during bad weather.

Avoid bad weather, especially storms with thunder and lightning.  Build and erect your antenna during a calm, sunny day if possible.  The antenna can wait.  Your life won’t mean much if you’re in the way of a lightning strike.


When I get through working DX or some laid back local contacts, I always do the following:

Disconnect antenna feed lines and connect them to the ground rod at the base of the antenna.

Unplug all station equipment.

Install a static discharge system on your antenna feed lines.  While this step won’t protect you from a direct lightning strike, it will “bleed off” static electricity that builds up on antennas.  Some of the newer solid state transceivers are quite sensitive to electrical discharges.

There are probably many other steps you can take to insure a safe, efficient antenna system.  I’ve listed a few articles which explore antenna safety issues in depth.  These essays are worth reviewing.  Good luck in your next antenna project.



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Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

BK29jx15–along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.

FUN cubed | AmateurRadio.com

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

I have just received my first telemetry from the FUNcube satellite, a.k.a. OSCAR 73. It was a piece of cake, one of the easiest things in ham radio I have done. What helped make it easy was that I was using a FUNcube Dongle …

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Julian Moss (G4ILO) provides a simple, step by step method of receiving signals from the FUNcube microsatellite (AO-73).  This soundls like a fun project.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.amateurradio.com


The Skew-Planar Wheel Antenna : resource detail

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

omnidirectional pattern and has circular polarization can be used as a beacon antenna and simulations are for u vhf and upper under Antennas/VHF UHF, at The Skew-Planar Wheel Antenna resource page at dxzone.com ham radio guide.

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

Well-written article on the Skew-Planar Wheel VHF/UHF antenna by Grahame Ide (VE3BYT) and David Conn (VE3KL).  I don’t recall ever hearing about this antenna, but, from what I gather from the article, it performs very well.  Ide and Conn say the antenna has an omnidirectional pattern and is circularly polarized.  The article has many helpful photographs  and data tables to help you build your own version of this relatively unknown antenna.  This looks like an interesting project.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on www.dxzone.com

Skunk Tracks: Amateur (Ham) Radio Licensing Resources

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

Amateur Ham Radio License Study Resources ~ http://t.co/uf990raij1 ~ #HamRadio #AmateurRadio #SkunkTracks

Russ Roberts‘s insight:

This article list some useful resources for those wanting to get an amateur radio license.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on skunktracks.blogspot.fr


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