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
Experiments with portable, base station and highly unusual antennas
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!
Wires that Stick and Ticks that Bite!
They say problems come in threes; they are wrong. This POTA activation involved four problems and one of them was bad! It was the end of the first week in May 2022 and XYL and I were on our first camping trip of the season with our old friend "Harvey". Harvey is a 19ft KZ … Continue reading Wires that Stick and Ticks that Bite!
First POTA Activation of 2022
Friday 29th April was a mild, sunny day in southern Ontario and I was eager to get outside and play radio. My wife suggested one of our favourite places, Black Creek Provincial Park in Northern Bruce Peninsula and I readily agreed. Most Ontario Provincial Parks are well signposted to make them easy to find. But … Continue reading First POTA Activation of 2022
Random Wire Revelations
Back to QRP I was inspired to dig my old Hendricks PFR3 QRP rig out of the closet recently. I wanted a super lightweight rig with an easy to deploy, but efficient, antenna that I could grab and go without any advance planning. VA3KOT's Hendricks PFR3 QRP/CW radio The antenna I chose was a random … Continue reading Random Wire Revelations
Wire Supports for Solid Ground
One of the challenges of living in the Great White North at this time of year is frozen ground. I was reminded of that just recently when, after a few days of milder temperatures, I optimistically stepped out of the house to probe the ground with one of the stakes I use for supporting the … Continue reading Wire Supports for Solid Ground
The Weird Antenna Wire End Effect
I have been giving some thought to antenna wires recently. I was particularly interested in the reason for them being shorter than we would expect if we simply calculate their length by dividing signal propagation speed by the frequency of the signal. The length (L) of a half wave wire can be calculated using the … Continue reading The Weird Antenna Wire End Effect
A New Loading Coil for the Field Vertical Antenna
There are several reasons for building our own ham radio projects instead of buying commercial products. First, the satisfaction of making contacts using hardware you have built yourself. Second, it usually costs far less to build it yourself. The restrictions, lockdowns and supply chain shortages we have experienced recently sometimes also make it a necessity … Continue reading A New Loading Coil for the Field Vertical Antenna