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Honolulu ARC

Going to a breakfast meeting of the Honolulu ARC tomorrow.

Remote Switched Coil for 80m and 160m with a 43′ vertical.

As many of you know, I have a Zero-Five 43′ vertical that I–in concert with the Alpha 9500–managed to set on fire. My 43 foot antenna works OK on 80m (good worldwide DX) and even decent range on 160m, but I have a terrible VSWR on 80 and 160. My Palstar and Ten Tec 238 manual tuner can handle it even at 1500, but rather than have such terrible losses in my 150 feet of coax, I decided it would be a fun project to build a remote-switched coil setup…

Finally….toning cables…

After many years dealing with telecom (and using other people’s toning tools), I broke down and got a nice Fluke cable tester and tone tool. The tool is a Fluke Networks MT-8200-60A IntelliTone Pro 200 Kit . This started because I have to tone out a bunch of coax cables from the back of the house and I tend to do those things as time allows without anyone else around. The tester has an F connector on it so I can hook up an F connector to N female patch…

Visiting with Jacek and a Clean Shack!

Jacek SP5APW and his wife came over last night for a visit. Jacek is here in Florida on holiday. It was certainly nice meeting them and having a chance to talk about his ham radio travels. Jacek’s trip also gave me the incentive to get my shack cleaned up and organized a bit. The header picture of this block is a panorama shot I took with my iPhone. The equipment from left to right is as follows: Alpha 9500 HF Auto-tune amplifier Palstar AT-2500 Antenna Tuner (while I await the…

Melbourne Hamfest

Clayton KJ4RUS is driving and I’m riding to the Melbourne hamfest tomorrow. We start out at o’dark:30 via Orlando.

Who was W4AFC?

The Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club callsign of W4AFC was a vanity callsign obtained to honor Marion Shields–one of my mentors/elmers when I got started in amateur radio (along with Don Pablo Bostrom, KI4FI). He was a spanish teacher in Dunedin High School and a great influence upon me to look at things rationally and consider my actions. He was active in the Dunedin VEC program where many people successfully passed their code test using the great headphones in the Dunedin language lab. You can read more about Marion here.…

Your Antenna is on Fire!

I wrote an article for QST that was published in the September 2012 issue. I was fortunate enough to win the QST Cover Award for that article. You can find a PDF of the article here:

Installing Icom DSTAR Gateway Software

Well, I am starting the process to install the DSTAR gateway software on a server for the W4AFC repeater system. I have read different things about this process. Some have said that I should avoid the Icom software and use ircDD ( I think that’s the name). From what I read, there might be some issues with the installation, but honestly, I have to see for myself if that is an issue of people not being able to follow directions, or an issue with the software. I guess I will…

Fun with Heliax Connectors

I finally took the time to learn how to install connectors on Heliax LDF4-50A 1/2″ hardline. I have the Positive Stop right angle connectors as well as older style “solder the tip” connectors. I also have a CPT-L4ARC tool that hooks to my drill. The automatic stripping tool ended up being the most trouble to learn the right way to use that. I learned that the solder connectors are not going to be the easiest ones to use in the field, but they do make a nice joint. The secret…