Sep 092012

Today marked the first time my harmonic went to a hamfest, and boy did he love it! Not only was he an angel as always, but he was so interested in everything, got some good deals of his own, and even learned a little about capacitors. Not bad for a 4-year-old! I’m quite anxious to take him to the Toledo Hamfest coming up next month.

For some time I’ve had a Kenwood SP-820 speaker but haven’t had it hooked up to the Yaesu FT-817ND. Yesterday I got it up and running with the parts I had in the garage, but needed some simple mono 1/8″ female to RCA male adapters to simplify the connection between the two. I picked up a couple of those along with the reverse (RCA female to 1/8″ male) for just a buck a piece! I also managed to pick up three double-ganged open air capacitors that I will use in building a couple of magnetic loop antennas during the winter months. I’m primarily looking to build my own multi-band (10-40) as well as an 80-meter loop and now that I have all the needed parts, shouldn’t be much work at all.

Aside from that I also picked up a pair of Spi-Ro 80-meter traps for a shortened dipole that I’ll get up in the air in the coming weeks, oriented in a ENE to WSW fashion. With that in place, I’ll have 3 antennas that provide coverage for 10, 20, 40, and 80 meters without much issue.

The final two purchases were a dipole center that I plan on using with the shortened 80-meter antenna and one of those cheapy lock wrench with a 3/8″X24 stud antenna mount welded to it. I have a base-loaded 20 meter antenna and a recently purchased 40-meter hamstick that I was looking to affix to something metal. After watching my father buy one in Dayton this year, and wishing I had, I bit the bullet and bought one too.

Having sold a majority of our brought boat anchors and not seeing anyone new, we packed up and headed home.

In other news…

After pulling up all the wires and mowing the lawn, I used the newly acquired lock wrench mount to affix my 40-meter hamstick to the metal plant hanger that is acting as the other support for my 20-meter Luxembourg dipole. After adding three random length ground plan wires, it matched extremely well to the phone portion of the band. This pleases me greatly as I’m looking to get on the lower bands this Winter to start working on my QRP WAS and perhaps my DXCC. I’d prefer to do each with SSB/Phone AND with digital, but I’ll take what I can get and qualify for first. In the coming weeks I’ll work to get the shortened 80-meter dipole up in the air and give that a whirl.

I hope to update more frequently and perhaps I’ll even start a Winter-months podcast since we’ll all be cooped up inside soon enough (except for those fortunate to live in the South).