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Messages - Jim Boswell

1
Antennas / Re: Tent Pole antenna - could it work ?
April 15, 2019, 07:52:49 am
Gil has a point about the end-fed antenna. Are you camping where there are trees? Just take a rock, tie a good cord on it and throw the rock across a tree limb. Hoist-up the end fed antenna, add a short ground connection and you are set. On 20 meters I have done low power SSB with a dipole about 5 feet off the ground. Get that same antenna 20 feet off the ground and a lot more people hear me. Antennas work much better when they are higher and longer!
2
Antennas / Re: Antenna wire
April 15, 2019, 07:44:17 am
When joining wire for a HF antenna, use strong, soldered connections. For portable antennas I use 18ga. wire, for long term antennas I use 14ga wire. de KA5SIW
3
Net Activity / Re: Preppers Calling Frequency.
February 17, 2017, 03:59:43 pm
In the Summertime 80 meters has lots of QRN due to lightning from thunderstorms. I think 40 meters would be best, above 7200 because some of us only have General lic.  CW on 40 would be great but my CW skill is almost 0. I will watch and see what you decide, if I hear a good open spot I will let you know. 73'S  KA5SIW
4
General Discussion / Re: Ham Radio ABC's for Preppers
February 17, 2017, 03:55:10 pm
Mary, several good points there. I suggest you mention scanners and shortwave receivers. Scanners to know what is happening in your local area and short wave receivers to hear what is going on in the outside world. Knowing what is going one near you is more important than talking to someone. Consider this, every time you transmit a signal someone could be homing in on your signal. This could be a large factor if a prepper instance extended over 1 month.        Several time I year I warn hams not to discuss personal issues on the local repeater as anyone with a scanner can hear what they say. Something to consider if Joe is leaving town for 2 weeks. Yes, power is a factor, also consider covert antennas. Wire strung through the trees 10 feet off the ground is hard to see. In a prepper instance a big tower just screams RADIOS TO STEAL HERE! Good Luck, 73'S  KA5SIW
5
Gil, I just wanted to say Thank You. You have a good forum here. Over the years I have learned some and hopefully helped others. 73'S KA5SIW
6
Tactical Corner / Re: Gun Show Amateur Radio Demo.
November 08, 2016, 11:34:25 am
Hello, well I did it. I made 15 contacts working 7 states. For the most part nobody cared. A few old vets thanked me for passing traffic back during the Vietnam war.
7
Tactical Corner / Gun Show Amateur Radio Demo.
November 04, 2016, 11:40:17 am
Hello, wish me luck, this weekend I am going to try a amateur radio demo at the gun show in Socorro NM. I will use my Icom IC-7200 and work 20 meters SSB. I will also have a 2mt. station. I plan to have a sign-in sheet to see if there is interest in a amateur biltz class after the holidays. I will try to get some photos, and post them if I can figure how. 73'S  KA5SIW
8
General Discussion / Re: Contest Mayhem.
October 31, 2016, 10:54:39 am
The WARC bands are not to be used for contesting. This past weekend was dense. I want new hams to get on the bands, maybe someone should regulate contests? Here I am cleaning out my shack and trying to get on the air since March and just solid talk,talk,talk. I gave up the did yard work. Guess I need to get a WARC band antenna up. 73'S  KA5SIW
9
Batteries & Solar / Re: Reviving NiCad Batteries.
October 17, 2016, 12:11:09 pm
Most of the time I cycle the battery pack and try to find the cell that is performing the worst, replace that cell and the battery pack is usable once again. I have used a relay to pulse a cell, a short blast of higher rater current and voltage. The application will burn the whiskers that form across the nicad layers. Good to get it going. 73'S  KA5SIW
10
Antennas / Re: Coax Length and SWR.
October 06, 2016, 01:54:52 pm
Most basic SWR meters measure VSWR. The voltage can change with the length of the coax or where you measure the swr, at the radio or at the antenna. I like the reflected power type of measurement like the older TenTec radios used. The byrd meters use this system also.
11
General Discussion / Re: Callsign list?
September 20, 2016, 11:53:41 am
This is a prepper thing, what if the government finds out? I need something to feed my paranoia.
12
Morse Code / Re: Morse Code for Prepping.
September 13, 2016, 12:56:03 pm
Gee, all this time I thought a chirpy CW signal was caused by tube radios, not the jugs of wine, See I learn something new every time I check this forum. Kind'a confusing, how does Gator aid get radioactive?
13
Morse Code / Re: Morse Code for Prepping.
September 12, 2016, 12:40:50 pm
Gil,
     Excellent video, great explanation of the bandwidth difference between CW and SSB. Your video makes me think of breaking out the old CW cd's and headphones working again to get proficient. Considering peoples dependance on fancy phones and computers, preppers do need a back-up system. I enjoy my TenTec Argosy and Icom 703 but the Youkits 4 bander will get the message out if I could get my CW skills up.
      In all honestly I would rather improve my Cw skills than upgrade my license. Why, because I think this nation is under threat. Thank You

      Any news about your boat? Take Care, 73'S  KA5SIW
14
General Discussion / Xiegu X108G
August 08, 2016, 04:09:12 pm
Hello, I have been looking at this radio and wondered if anyone had experience with them? I have an Icom 703 but sometimes I am scared to take it into the field, those 703 are worth a tidy sum of money. What do you think?  73'S  KA5SIW
15
New To Radio / Re: How much power do you need?
August 04, 2016, 11:15:10 am
     Cockpitbob has a good point. These days most hams put too much emphasis on their transceiver because that part of their station is plug and play. In the old days the rule was spend 60% of your budget in the radio gear and 40% on the antenna. HOA and antenna restrictions cause problems for hams in newer subdivisions. You have to consider younger hams and the limitations they have living in apartments.
     When you talk about the Voyager, consider the gain of the earth antennas. NASA used the VLA system to complete the mission. The VLA system has about 200Db of gain. With the VLA you can hear a cell phone on Jupiter.
     Portable opps makes for a totally different conditions. When you consider the VHF and UHF bands where portable opps goes you can do just about anything, handheld antennas, rover stations, that kind of thing.
     The Hf bands just require so much more antenna due to the wavelengths involved. When you compact the antennas you lose bandwidth. I sum up antennas with this statement, most antennas longer that 1/4 wavelength can have gain, any antenna smaller than 1/4 wavelength loses signal and bandwith.
     You are right hams think they need too much power and because of that are "polluting their own world". I just don't see the need for any ham to use an amp over 500 watts. If the band is open, make the contact per the rules, with minimum power needed.
     When I use my Icom 703 or Tentec Argosy people are so amazed I can make a contact at all. QRP CW stations are kind'a common, but low power SSB stations are a real minority.