What is common mode current? It is the current that flows along the outer surface of your coax shield from your antenna back towards your radio. It can cause SWR problems, erratic behaviour of radio equipment and even RF shocks when you touch metal parts of your rig. A coax cable has three conductors! Due … Continue reading How to find out if your common mode current choke really works
Experiments with portable, base station and highly unusual antennas
Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
I have been very pleased with my DIY clone of a Wolf River coil. It has served me well on multiple POTA activations for the last few months. But, there is always room for improvement! And, besides, hams love to tinker with their equipment to make it just that little bit better. The coil is … Continue reading Modifying my DIY Loading Coil
Flirting with Radiation at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
The first of November 2022 was an unusually warm day in Southern Ontario so the urge to go and activate a new-to-me park was irresistible. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (POTA entity VE-0426) is about a one hour drive from my home in Owen Sound but it's a very pleasant drive along the south shore of … Continue reading Flirting with Radiation at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
How to Design and Build a Field Expedient End-Fed Half-Wave Antenna for 20m, 40m and 80m
Field expedient antennas differ from home-based, permanent antennas. At a home QTH there is often plenty of room to install a larger, higher antenna. In the home shack, the radio is often capable of putting out a much more powerful signal than a field radio. Out in the field, for example at a campsite, space … Continue reading How to Design and Build a Field Expedient End-Fed Half-Wave Antenna for 20m, 40m and 80m
To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
Rules? It has been said that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools. Sounds a bit harsh but it may have some truth to it. In our hobby it might be better expressed as "rules are for the guidance of experts and the obedience of novices". What is an … Continue reading To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
3 Days, 3 Activations, 2 Parks
It is getting near the end of camping season for 2022. We have one more trip planned for the beginning of October before we winterize the trailer and prepare to hunker down for the long, cold winter. It won't be long before I'll be switching to local park activations in the snow using my radio … Continue reading 3 Days, 3 Activations, 2 Parks
Vertical Antenna Redesigned
I have posted before about my DIY vertical antenna. It is a rapid deployment antenna that has served faithfully for several POTA activations. But, recently I came to realize it wasn't meeting my needs for all three ways in which I needed to deploy it. Time for a redesign! My vertical antenna is a centre-loaded … Continue reading Vertical Antenna Redesigned
No Antenna? No Problem!
You would think I might have learned from experience. Never rush out to do a POTA activation without first checking that all the necessary parts of my portable kit are packed. The last time I made this mistake it was the power cable that was missing. This time I arrived on site without an antenna! … Continue reading No Antenna? No Problem!
Grounds for Improvement
As I write this post my sophisticated home weather station shows the temperature has just edged over the 30 degree Celsius mark. I call it sophisticated because it synchronizes with the US national time standard in Fort Collins, Colorado by receiving VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio signals - without an antenna! Wait a Canadian corn … Continue reading Grounds for Improvement
80m Band Antenna Fits Into Just 1 Square Foot!
Incredible isn't it? But can it really work? "It must be a compromise antenna, or very low efficiency." "Why don't you just put up a good old-fashioned dipole? "One square foot? Are you crazy?" No, we'll yes, I may be a bit crazy but believe me, the performance of my "one square footer" is no … Continue reading 80m Band Antenna Fits Into Just 1 Square Foot!