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Recent Posts

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Morse Code / Re: west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by RadioRay on August 26, 2019, 11:22:00 PM »
Hi Brian,

I don't know whether you know about the group, but Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) hangs aboud 7055'ish and they are desicated to using straight keys, 'bugs' and other non-electronics keying, SOOOO they are a  prime place for slower code with an emphasis on having fun while practicing.  I have several conversations around their hang-out frequencies.  I'm not much of a 'joiner' but I joined SKCC early on, because I like their way of doing thing and how they serve as a platform for people to improve their on the air Morse skills.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Re: Hi from the Baltimoron
« Last post by RadioRay on August 26, 2019, 11:16:11 PM »
"...sail and play radio..."

That sounds familiar.  No more sailing for me, but I have to say, that on the hook in some little out of the way place on The Bay, I could hear EVERYTHING !  I remember being over on the Eastern Shore listening to two station in Africa while they had a regional conversation on 40 meters - not so local for me.  I didn't transmit, just enjoyed hearing them.

Also, there's something reassuring about knowing that you can cast off lines, and run self contained for a very long time - and distance.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Morse Code / Re: west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by bkmoore on August 25, 2019, 11:45:06 PM »
Thanks Gil,

When the solar cycle picks back up, I'll be here. Or I may move back to Germany and you won't need the solar cycle to reach me. But it all depends on how my future career develops.... Right now Germany makes no sense for my professional future.


Morse Code / Re: west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by gil on August 25, 2019, 05:45:57 PM »
I wish the solar cycle was back up again to allow easy contacts with the US!

Morse Code / west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by bkmoore on August 23, 2019, 06:17:35 PM »
I am still learning the code and was wondering if any other beginners here would be interested in having a no-stress, beginner-friendly rag chew on 40 meters? I just want to talk about rigs, antennas, weather, mountains, airplanes, anything.... other than religion or politics. I run QRP portable, so my signals can be weak but I have had good success in most of the western states when conditions are right.

I have most of my QSOs at about 13 WPM and am comfortable at that speed. I can copy much faster if the quality of code is good. And I am happy to slow down too if the other person is also a beginner. We all started out struggling to get all the letters and I am new enough to remember how difficult that can be. Some of the old timers on the air seem to have forgotten what it was like to be a beginner and I have had one or two discouraging QSOs where I had to politely sign off and spin the dial. Also, I will never tell someone to send with a particular device, or use a particular setup. Radio is supposed to be a hobby and every one should use what they like and how they like. If you're on the air and we're communicating, then your setup works and is good!
General Discussion / Re: Just passed the Exra-Class exam
« Last post by gil on August 20, 2019, 03:26:17 PM »
Awesome, congratulations!
General Discussion / Re: Just passed the Exra-Class exam
« Last post by lewisp on August 19, 2019, 11:08:29 PM »
Great Job my friend!
   I suppose I didn't need to be an extra either, but I wanted to try and do it just to say I did it. Don't plan on changing my call sign either. It hasn't helped me do anything different or better with radios, but I guess it is nice to be able to say
   "Yeah. I'm and Extra!"
  Good luck out there
General Discussion / Just passed the Exra-Class exam
« Last post by bkmoore on August 19, 2019, 11:42:12 AM »
Hi All,

After about six months of practice and studying, I passed the Extra exam this past weekend. I was well prepared, but still several of the questions stumped me. I didn't think I passed when I handed it in for grading and had to wait in suspense while all the VEs graded the exam. They had good poker faces. Anyway, went home, didn't get on 80m SSB or anything like that. But thought I'd mention it here. I don't really need the extra for what I do in amateur radio, but thought of it as a challenge and an opportunity to learn more about amateur radio.

Maybe I'll get a 2x2 or 1x2 call sign, but I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble of changing.


Antennas / Re: EFHW observations and radiation pattern question
« Last post by vwflyer on August 14, 2019, 04:52:56 PM »
Hi Dylon,
You have a lot of good questions. I'll try to answer of few of them. I'm not an expert but I can pass on what i think I've learned. I give no guarantee of the accuracy of my answers.

It sounds like you have a good setup. I have found my MTR3b to be a great performing little radio and I have found QRP in general to be very effective. I've also used end fed antennas almost exclusively with QRP and they have worked well for me. That being said, QRP is a lot like fishing, if you don't stack the odds in your favor you may get a bite and you may not. Calling in the blind is the least optimum way of securing a QSO. Some days you snag a good one and some days you get nothing. When you are testing out a new antenna or radio it can be disheartening when your first trip out returns only minos. You have a great SOTA setup. If you self spot a SOTA or POTA activation you will stack the odds in your favor by bringing the fish to you. Now you are being chased by others who would have not know you were there or wouldn't have been interested in a contact with you otherwise. I have gone out on consecutive trips outdoors with my MTR and not had one bite. I started to wonder if my setup works. Then I go activate a summit (spotting myself) and in 20 minutes make 30 contacts nationwide using the same setup.

To address some of your questions specifically:
Half wave wire antennas when in free space (or when more than half a wavelength above the ground) radiate mostly broadside. They also radiate off the ends of the wire but not as much. As the wire is lowered below half wavelength to the ground the horizontal radiation pattern turn more and more omnidirectional. A 40 meter half wave antenna only 20 feet off the ground will have a mostly omnidirectional radiation pattern. As for the takeoff angle, it will be quite high and NVIS will work if NVIS conditions exist for 40 meters at the time and location of your activation. Ground losses will not be too high for NVIS if NVIS  is available. I have used NVIS very effectively with 3 watts. Your takeoff angle will be high, as I said earlier, but it will be low enough for a communication range of a few hundred miles in average conditions. I have found midday 40 meters to usually work well between 300 and 600 miles with my end fed antennas and QRP CW.
Antennas / Re: The Best Antenna Video EVER!
« Last post by Craig on August 14, 2019, 02:52:24 PM »
Sorry for replying to an old thread but I registered just so I could say thank you for the link to the most excellent video.

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