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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Antennas

Posted by on in Main

 Kudos go to Bruce Gillis, KI6CYT, for this year's effort pulling together the K6QLF Field Day.  ARCA had a full house at the Fire Department Training Facility, and propagation was hot.  So there were a lot of contacts resulting in ARCA racking up more points than any Field Day since 2005. All the action was at 5 watts and on emergency power.

32 people participated,  including Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer and the ARRL's Jim Latham, AF6AQ. The most contacts were on CW and PSK31, which did about equally well.  But the SSB folks put in a strong performance at 5 watts, boosting the total substantially.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Field_Day_2013_592.JPGSetup began at 8:00 am, and operating started at 11:00 am sharp.  With a break for pizza, the action continued until dinner time. All stations ran on 12V batteries.  Additionally Jerry Juhala, KT6CRT,  put together his solar power rig outside the building - one of two demonstating how to sustain activity on emergency power.

The antennas included Al Sweet's (KG6HM) G5RV in the parking lot, Bruce's 40m vertical next to the Red Cross building and my 20 meter antenna on the Training building.

Howard Harawitz, WA6YAG, in what is becoming a Field Day tradition, shot some great photos of the morning activities (available here). I took afternoon pictures, including those of the Mayor's visit (available here - also including Jerry's picture of Jim Latham).

Posted by on in Main

Saturday, June 25th
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
431 Stardust (Alameda Point)
Alameda Fire Department’s Training Center

Help set up antennas.

See HAM radio in action - voice, Morse Code, digital.

Learn how to do it all on emergency power!

Join us for a cup of coffee!


Our Field Day Invitation and flier for you...

Posted by on in Main

Bruce (KI6CYT) and I got together last Thursday to do more Field Day antenna testing.  We met at the Sea View Park on Bay Farm Island. I brought my 10-15-20-40 meter OCFD antenna along with my Max-Gain Systems pushup fiberglass mast.  Bruce brought his lightweight 20 meter antenna.

One goal we shared for both antennas was to make it possible for one person to set them up without requiring additional assistance.  The OCFD had previously used two masts employing 4 foot fiberglass military mast sections. This required lots of rigging, a helper and not a little strength to raise each assembled mast. In contrast the new mast was made up of eight 4' long telescoping fiberglass tubes secured with a plastic clamp on the top of each section.  The plan was to set the first section on a base pegged to the ground, and use guy lines to hold it straight.  Two additional sets of guy lines were pre-positioned with the correct measurements so that support was available when the telescoping mast sections were pushed up.

Geometry works!  The secure base and the pre-positioned guy lines made it easy for me to raise the antenna in the usual afternoon sea breeze from the Bay.  And the measured SWR's slightly bested the antenna modelling.

Bruce also had a good result.  He removed the top section of the push pole to increase mast stability and modified the sliding base which held the "crappie" poles so that they went easily into position.  As a result, he was able to put it up himself.

All in all it was a good afternoon.  We are ready for Field Day!

More pictures...

Posted by on in Main

Bruce (KI6CYT) brought his new Field Day antenna for testing at Shop Night. It is a 20 meter dipole in an inverted "V". He has it mounted on a lightweight pushup fiberglass pole from MFJ. The mast employs two "crappie" poles as spreaders to secure the antenna ends.

Cass (AG6NT) and I helped set it up. One of Bruce's goals was to not only make it very light weight, but make it simple enough to set up so that one person could do it easily in the field.  Achieving the hoped-for single person setup didn't happen on this first trial, but our experience gave Bruce some good ideas about how to improve the mast.

Otherwise the antenna met Bruce's goals.  It was very light and portable.  Three guy lines secured it safely adequately in the evening breeze at the Training Center. A check of the antenna analyzer showed that the whole twenty meter band had an SWR of less than 2.0.  And a radio check showed that it was sensitive and could transmit 100w SSB.

Bruce and I agreed to meet again at the Sea View Park on Bay Farm Island to test his ideas to improve ease of use.

See more pictures here!