About Me

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Welcome to my little piece of the cyberworld. I am an Extra Class ham radio operator from Kentucky. This site is focused on two loves of mine--ham radio, and nature. In addition to paddling kayaks and canoes, camping, flyfishing and photography...I am a major Jimmy Buffett fan (fans are known as Parrotheads). But, location, work and finances sort of got in the way of being a beach bum as a career. I enjoy outdoor pursuits, especially being around water. I am also an animal lover and have several pets. There are lots of posts, and some are multi-part. Be certain to look through the older ones before you leave the site! In addition to my Blog page, check out my page at Ham Radio Nation and do a search for KJ4KKI. I also have a Facebook page at steve.kj4kki.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Buddistick/Buddipole vs. Par EndFedz by LNR Precision

Judging from my statistics, a lot of people visit my blog, but don't make comments. Oh Well...

I just bought a new antenna -- the Buddipole. I plan on using it as a Buddistick most of the time; especially until I can mount it high.

I like the fact that the Buddistick allows low angle radiation in a small footprint. That doesn't mean that I am not very fond of my LNR Precision's (Par) EndFedz antennas. I have several. Using my 40m/20m EF antenna on a 31 foot Jackite pole takes up some real estate. It's over sixty feet long. Even the 20 requires the mounting height, pole and a circumference of the 32 foot antenna coming off the wire.

That noted, the EndFedz achieve a very stable 1/2 wavelength antenna. They tune up very easily, with a very low SWR and resonance point at or close to 50 ohms. The 10/20/40 QRP antennas by LNR Precision can have a mono-band resonator of anywhere from 10m-60m in addition to the three-band performance. It's just that you have to get them up in the air...a situation that is not always possible.

This is very different than the Buddistick. It requires an 8 foot tall whip, my Jaws mount or camera tripod, and the counterpoise, which for 20m is relatively short. For small areas or vacations, this offers more options.

By being able to mount it at least 18 feet above ground, the Buddipole performs pretty well. An L configuration is a combination of vertical and horizontal. However, at low heights it mostly performs as an NVIS.

So, you know the basics. I'd like to hear any of your own experiences with this combination, or other antennas.

UPDATE: I recently bought two long arms and a long whip. This allows me 1/4 wavelength height with 1/4 wavelength counterpoise. This equals a 1/2 wavelength vertical antenna. As this is the standard length of a 20m antenna, it serves as a 1/2 wavelength 20m...as such, it performs like one.

This would mean that 40m would resonate at 1/4 wavelength...still a good compromise for a portable or temporary antenna; especially when compared to the stock Buddipole/Buddistick. As it goes up in frequency, the wavelength gets better and better. I haven't tried it on 80m. It would be 1/8th wavelength...finicky to tune and a narrow banded antenna to say the least.

I also purchased a Triple Ratio Switch Balun, only as the kit from the inventor. I put it together and it switches ratios with Power Poles. This allows a better match on lower bands, and still allows a 1:1 ratio on the upper bands.

It was a modest investment, but by going with Buddipole equipment, good quality and appearance matches are assured. The long arms do not fit into the plastic tube. So, you either have to carry it with the cap off or not in the tube at all. Another option is to get the long antenna bag. This is actually the best option for several reasons. It carries all the antenna components, and also has room to store additional supplies much more loosely than the Buddipole tube, which can be a rather tight fit.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cursing Hams -- a truly bad example.

This evening, I was on 80m and 40m, playing around with my FT-857D. It is the accompanying mobile/portable radio to my shack FT-450. Anyway, I'm getting the feel of the menu selections and tweaking it.

On several rag chews, I hear at least one ham, if not the whole group using extremely foul language. They were curing in general; insulting each other and encouraging the group to have more drinks. Others used cursing to express their opinions on topics.

I read the books, articles and journals about what it means to be a ham radio operator. I have always considered myself to be polite and considerate on the air. I've even been as much of an email Elmer as I was able to. Keep in mind that this was on the Extra Class portion of the bands. To have people who are this rude and undeserving of the license truly upsets me. To think that they may be older hams; especially Extra Class...downright makes me angry. My only hope is that they might be preppers who never aimed to have any regard for acceptable radio behavior. It would be great if the FCC could find them and crack down on this type of behavior.

And while I am at it...please do not tune up on frequency during a net or other conversation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep the Nepal Earthquake Victims in Your Thoughts and Prayers

Not a lot to report here on my own ham radio. I have gotten some good DX over the spring, talking to 1st time contacts in countries. But, that is not the point of my post.

My email just notified me of 2 more earthquakes in Nepal. After all they've been through, it is heart-breaking to think what has happened to their lives and general survival. Think about your norm... You get up and maybe eat breakfast. Then, you go off to work or school. Maybe you pick up the kids after school and take them to sports practice. Everybody has supper and maybe watches some television...or you get on the radio to see how the RF is doing.

Now imagine that taken away from you. Your home is gone. Maybe some family members or friends are dead. Your entire way of life is gone. That is what has happened to these people.

I was listening the other night to a rag chew on either 80m or 40m (I forget), and the topic was ham radio's emergency response and assistance in situations such as these. One ham commented that by the time anybody gets around to mentioning our role in the emergency, other agencies have taken over the limelight and we're often forgotten. Lots of times, we seldom get mentioned for the selfless volunteerism and personal cost that we "cheerfully" give. It can be a bit disappointing.

But as I mentioned, that isn't the topic. Let us continue to keep these disaster victims, and the aid workers in our hearts and prayers...and hope something like that never happens to us.