Showing posts from March, 2011

WAS (Worked All States) from the Ranch

  WAS (Worked All States) from the Ranch Filed in Contests on Mar.24, 2011   QSL Finished Product I’ve been a ham since 1976, and never gone through the trouble of collecting the cards to apply for a Worked All States Award. While I was at the ranch in March, I was tuning around 80 meters and came across the Geratol Net on 3.668 Mhz.  This is a WAS net, with the main purpose being to increase activity in the Extra Class band segment of 80 meters.  I found myself logging in and participating on the next 3 nights.  Hey, it beats going to bed early when it’s dark. Anyway, I worked 30 states in 3 days, and combined with what I have logged over the last two years at the Ranch during Field Day, I have worked all states from there.  I don’t have confirmations from everywhere yet, though.  It may take a few more trips to gather the required cards, but it should be pretty easy. I was surprised at the area easily covered by 80 meters with an antenna only 30 feet high.  It was most

Portable Power

  Portable Power Filed in Station on Mar.23, 2011 I like operating from the Ranch, because I have some decent antennas there, and the background noise is nearly nonexistent.  But in the past, that has involved packing all my radio stuff up, including the old Astron 20-Amp linear power supply (= heavy). I decided to make things a little more convenient.  I got a 115 amp-hour marine battery from Walmart, and a cheap 2amp/6amp battery charger from Harbor Freight.   Harbor Freight Charger With these hooked up at the ranch, I can now have the battery charging while the generator is running for other stuff (like construction or cooking).  Then I can turn the generator off and run off battery for a long time.  It’s really nice at night, when I can set the TS-480 up to automatically shut off after 60 minutes (or 120, or 180).  That allows me to go to bed listening to the gents on 80 meters or 160 meters, and not have to worry about running down the battery, or getting up to d

Quick Disconnect for Doublet Antenna

  Quick Disconnect for Doublet Antenna Filed in Antennas on Mar.23, 2011 To finish the job we started in January, I got a 2″x4″ weathertight plastic electrical box from Home Depot.  This was used to mount a permanent set of banana jacks to the house so the doublet could be quickly attached or detached.   Doublet Disconnect To make the box ready, I cut two slots in the hole on the bottom to allow the ladder line to pass easily into it.   Slots in Electrical Box Next, I passed the window line through the slots to make sure it fit.   Window Line in box After that, I mounted the box to the side of the house with some 1-1/2″ screws to the trim.  The window line was fitted with ring terminals and attached to the two banana jacks on the inside.   Connections Finally, a snap ring was attached to a loop of rope to serve as a strain relief.  This is easily snapped to the eye ring at the bottom of the box.  It works pretty well.  I still need to use a ladder to connect/disconne