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Old February 13th 20, 06:32 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated,rec.radio.amateur.equipment
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Default [W2LJ] It works!


W2LJ QRP - When you care to send the very least!

///////////////////////////////////////////
It works!

Posted: 12 Feb 2020 05:35 AM PST
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Last night I checked into the two monthly ARES/RACES nets that I make an
effort to attend. Both Joseph and Marianne got home late from school/work,
respectively. I ended up checking into the earlier 7:00 PM Middlesex
County ARES/RACES net from the dinner table, using the handheld. Bad
manners, I know, but you do what you have to.

John N2DV, our Emergency Coordinator for Middlesex County, who is a reader
of this blog and was NCS for the net, caught me on the air afterward and
asked me if I had checked in using the new J-Pole. I must have been a
little noisy with the handheld, which is spotty, depending on where I am in
the house, or how I hold it. We talked for a bit and I explained the
situation.

John W2VTV, our Section Emergency Coordinator must have been listening as
well, because when I checked into the 8:00 PM NNJ ARES/RACES net, he told
me upon check in that the J-Pole was doing a good job. I have no idea as to
whether I was dead full quieting or not, but even if I wasn't, it doesn't
matter. Just the fact that I was audible enough to be heard well and check
in and participate from the inside my house was success enough for me.

For the record, this is a KB9VBR J-Pole. It's made from copper tubing and
will last longer upon this earth than I will, in all probability. It's fed
with RG-8X coax. I know, not the best choice for VHF/UHF but it's good
enough. Even with cable loss, there's enough Watts to get the job done that
I need it to do. As per the instructions, I made a choke balun of (5) four
inch (10 cm) windings of the coax and placed them about one foot (30 cm)
from the feed point. A two liter soda bottle is the exact diameter needed
and made a good form to wind the coax around. The antenna itself is being
supported by four sections of surplus military mast. That puts the base of
the antenna roughly at a height of about 24 feet (7 meters). The antenna
itself is about a meter long, so the tip is at 8 meters - roughly. Maybe a
bit more or a bit less.

Buying an antenna does go against my grain a bit. I like to build my own
whenever possible - especially for portable use and Field Day. But this one
is made of really good material and I never brazed/soldered copper tubing
before. I figured by the time I bought a butane torch so that I could do
the job myself, it would probably end up costing more in materials and time
than if I just purchased one. So I'll tell myself that I'm supporting the
economy and am helping a fellow Ham put food on the table for his family.
C'est la vie.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


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