Make Your Own Fox Hunting Antenna!

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The final product of the tape measure antenna. Its tapes are folded into the body to save space.

Click here for More antennas! and fox hunting techniques.

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Step 1: Gather tool and materials. Tools: Small shears or scissors, a soldering iron, pliers, wire cutters, c-clamp, electrical tape or fabric tape, sand paper and a file, black sharpie, a saw, a zig-zag ruler, and a flat heads screw driver. Materials: 1 inch tape measure, 5 foot long PVC pipe, 4 feet or more of 50 ohm coax (RG-58 with a PL-259 connector), 12 AWG copper wire, 2 terminal connectors, 2 stainless steel hose clamps for a 1 1/4 inch diameter hose and 3 1 1/2 inch PVC crosses.

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Step 2: Cut the PVC pipe. Cut one 8 inch PVC for the handle, cut a 7 inch for the spacing from the reflector to the driven element and cut a 11 1/2 inch piece for the spacing between the driven element and the director. Cut 4 small 1/2 inch PVC pieces to keep the Tape int the pipe.

 

 

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Step 3: Cut the tapes. Use shears or scissors for this. Tape measure lengths: Reflector- 41 3/8 inches Driven element- 35 1/2 inches, then cut in half. One half measures to 17 3/4 inches Director- 35 1/8 inches

 

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Step 4: Sand the coating off of the tape measure. Sand the ends of the driven element so you could solder the copper wire onto it. Now file all of the corners and ends off of all the elements.

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Step 5: Assemble the PVC pipes and tapes. Put all of the PVC to gather. First a 8″ then a cross then the 7″ and a cross, last the 11 1/2 inch and a cross. Then put the driven element on the middle cross with the hose clamps. Slide the other 2 elements into the crosses. Wrap the handle with the tape for extra grip.

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Step 6: Keep the tapes in the crosses with the little 1/2 inch pieces. Slide them into the crosses with the CENTERED tapes. Use the c-clamp to push them into the pipe all the way.

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Step 7: Create the wire connections for the driven element. These are the MOST IMPORTANT parts of the antenna because they make the driven elements. Cut the wire and bend it in half with pliers. bend the ends and put the terminals on them. Secure them by squeezing the ends with a pliers.

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Step 8: Solder the connector onto the driven element. Afterward, solder the middle of the coax onto the left driven element and the shield onto the right driven element.

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Step 9: Wire the coax. I ran mine through the pipes because I didn’t need to wrap it. You will need to wrap it if it is not accurate. If you wrap it then you will need to run it on the outside and tape it to the pipe.

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Step 10: test the antenna. This is my brother testing his.

 

 

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Treasure

This is a guide for salvaging electronic parts.

Salvaging electronics is very easy, fun and worth your while. The first thing that you need to do find a good treasure chest or electronic appliance. You can find these on the side of the road,  at a thrift shop and in a Goodwill store for 5$. Printers, outdated computers, VCRs, microwaves, older TVs, DVD burners (normally from computers) and many other things. When you bring the treasure home, try to save the enclosure because you can use it and the case might be worth something to others. When salvaging you will find circuit boards, mechanical parts and many other things. Now that you have your treasure you’ll need to disassemble it. First take all of the screws out of the case. Save these (and everything else)! Then disassemble the case by using a flat head screw driver for leverage to pry the case apart. Careful! You need to be because plastic snaps and metal bends! Once the case is off take out the circuit boards by pulling wires and unscrewing screws. When the circuits are out take the big stuff out like the transformers. To take the components out of the board just use a soldering iron, pliers, helping hands and a solder sucker. Take the solder away with the solder sucker. now gently pry the component off the board. There, now you have your component. Do this for all of the components and then unscrew the big stuff and mechanical parts.  There, now you have your components.

Linear Power Supply “The Muscle”

Heavy Duty Resistors The power supply is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your shack. In this post you will learn the theory and hardware behind one of these bad boys. Basic power supplies are quite simple- just a transformer. But when you get to the consumer brands you need S-A-F-E-T-Y! The big companies don’t want to get sued if a power surge comes and knocks out all of you 13.8 volt equipment so they add in fuses, spark gaps and heavy-duty resistors. If a surge comes and the transformer can’t make it 24 volts AC then the fuse will blow the spark won’t jump and you won’t get the surge. Wait what about the 24 Volts…..? well since these are supposed to be cheap the manufactures get the cheapest transformer-24 volt AC- and by using diodes to rectify the voltage and capacitors to filter it to DC. Now the voltage is DC but still 24 volts. The final step is to use a variable resistor to get the voltage down to 12-13.8 Volts DC. The next post will be on switching power supplies.

My Power Supply

 

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The rusted, corroded circuit board.

I recently inherited a power supply from a deceased ham. He was working on it but then died in the middle of the project. I received it and the casing was rusted and could not be painted . I sanded it down and started to working on the electronics. Almost immediately I encountered several problems. The circuit board was rusted corroded away. A capacitor and IC had blown up. It’s also missing a negative output. There was no continuity at all. I decided that rebuilding the circuit board  would be easier than repairing it. I bought a prototyping board at Radio Shack and just started work. I repainted the casing and painted my call sign on it.

Do you have any projects that your currently working on? Comment below.

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