As Field Day approaches, we’ll be taking many long pieces of cable – coax, extension cords, network cables, even guy ropes – out into the field and setting them up for our annual not-a-contest emergency exercise. Each year, many hams undoubtedly find that the cables they coiled up after last year’s Field Day are a twisted, tangled mess. Some end up broken, frayed or not working. It’s a frustration, for sure, and much can be avoided if the cables are coiled up the right way.
Unless your cable is on reels (either motorized or hand-crank), you’re probably coiling cables by hand. The most expedient method is often to use your forearm as a makeshift reel, coiling the cable between your palm and your elbow. The problem with this approach Continue reading “Cable coiling the right way”
My first antenna as a Novice in the late sixties was a 40-meter dipole strung up in our back yard between my bedroom window and a surplus Signal Corps wooden pole that my dad bought at Silverstine’s. It was fed with RG-58 cable, soldered to the two wires across a white ceramic insulator. I probably still have the insulator somewhere, though the wire and coax has long since been discarded. It was an adequate performer and it even worked on 15 meters, but I wanted something a little more versatile. I had an 80-meter crystal, after all.
Despite the warnings from the older hams in the club about a vertical being “equally bad in all directions,” I saw an ad for the World Radio Laboratories WVG Mark 2 vertical. Continue reading “World Radio Labs WVG-MK2 Vertical Antenna”
The latest project in the NF8M station is The Phaser. No, not the Star Wars kind. This one is a single-board phasing SSB transceiver that puts out about 4 watts and is designed for digital modes. It’s the brainchild of Dave, K1SWL and George, N2APB. (You may recall George and Milt W8NUE are the designers of the NUE-PSK standalone RTTY and PSK31 terminal. I have one of the early units and it’s a lot of fun!) Continue reading “The Phaser”
Used and decommissioned Motorola gear is a common sight at swap & shops and ham flea markets. And hams are always in need of one more 12 volt power supply to run station equipment or accessories.
At the intersection of those two truths is the Motorola HPA3000A power supply. Continue reading “Motorola HPN3000A power supply modification”
A few years ago I built a shielded loop for receiving on 160 meters, but after attending W3LPL’s Contest University session on effective top band antennas, I thought about installing a better receive antenna. The loop does a decent job, with the 15 dB preamp I built to go along with it, but Frank pointed out that a Beverage antenna generally has better gain, directivity, and front/back ratio than a loop. There happens to be some forested land behind and down the block from our house, so I decided to try putting up a Beverage and see how it works. Continue reading “Beverage antenna project”