Sunday, February 2, 2014

This is for those friends who followed Rob, both on his radio and through his online blog. Rob passed away last month after fighting cancer for five years.

His radio is silent now as is the great sound of his voice, his laughter and his joy of living. His heart was just too full for this world. Maybe somewhere, out there in the universe, someone will hear his voice from his radio calls and he will live on, his great heart echoing through time and space.

I will leave this blog here for a few weeks so that anyone who followed him might know.

Joy Mott

Thursday, March 28, 2013

So, Maybe it wasn't a Fluke!

                               Rodrigo, however you say "Thanks" in Portuguese ! 73 Rob

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Joystick Comes Thru

Winter storm took down the W3EDP sloper so the Joystick with its 10 ft lead has become the antenna of necessity! I know this explainable by other means but 4959 Miles at 5W with an indoor antenna is a gas. I personally have a hard time accepting it was just the 10 ft feed-line.

Gracias y 73 Esteban!

73 de Rob

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Joystick Antenna

This is another entry into the Gooch's Law Sweepstakes; "RF's gotta go somewhere."  The common refutation for these high dollar-ultra compact antennas in relation to performance has been the feedline does most of the radiating. The EH, cross field antennas and the like have been the subject of a lot of on-line debate. The magnetic loop has been the exception and many commercial and home-brew examples exist.  I remember the Joystick from my pre-ham childhood as an in-room antenna but hadn't thought of it in years till the possibility limited antenna options arose and I began to look for an option to my W3EDP sloper. A random wire run around a room and a mono-band whip out the window were tried  with some utility but lower bands were not accessible with any degree of efficiency so the Joystick was remembered and a clone cobbled up. An old fiberglass cane pole was used to give a center loaded six feet length and the inductance for the loading coil was extrapolated from several on line plans (~35 micohenerys). Wire strung from each end of the coil was used instead of copper pipe (pricey!) and a ten foot lead was used to the random wire tuner. It tuned up on 10, 20, 40 and 80 meters and contacts were made in the 300 to 600 mile range on SSB and PSK with 42 to 55 reports.

OK, was it just the feed line? 16 feet of wire would not tune below 20M without reversing the transmatch leads to the low-Z configuration. The coil was at least allowing the antenna to load on the lower bands and I was making 40 and 80 meter contacts not available on the wire alone. I suspect the lead is a major radiating element but not alone. Performance was definitely not as good as the sloper.Given the cost was about five bucks I can't complain.

 73 de Rob

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Store Bought Tuner

Retired the homebrewed junque-box special after 60 DX countries, it just would not tune below 40M without a lot of tweaking and not 80M or 160M at all. The new one is as simple as a rock and gives an acceptable or better match 10M to 80M (haven't tried 60M) and I think I need more wire for 160M, or at least measured for a critical length. I have noticed folks are more prone to ragchewing on 80M which means I need to work on the typing.

73 de Rob

Friday, November 9, 2012

HELL I did it again!

Merci Didier!

73 de Rob