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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Build A Led Light Cube

 

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What you’ll need:

  • LEDs, 64 for 4*4*4 Cube
  • Arduino 1 per cube, Freeduino
  • Resistors, 16 for 4*4*4 Cube (Use Ohm’s Law to find size, V=I*R) (Arduino output – Voltage drop)/(Max Current) = R.
  • Grid-Style PC Board, Prototyping board

Where shall I find these components?

  • Jameco, sparkfun, digikey, mouser, radio shack

Tools

  • Drill
  • Soldering iron

Starting the Build:

The first thing that you should do is test the LEDs. Yup, it’s not fun but it would be pretty bad if you got the cube together and one LED was messed up. Next solder the LEDs together! Bend the cathode to a 90 degree angle outward. Now solder all of the cathodes together in a graph pattern (Click here to see the graph, where the lines cross there needs to be a LED). Do not let the anodes touch the cathodes. The anodes should be sticking straight into the air because we’ll solder the next level onto them. To help get the cube look  like a cube try using a ruler, spacers or a jig (even blow up my Led Pattern to scale and use that). To construct the jig drill 4*4 holes in a piece of wood around 3/4 of an inch. Don’t take this measurement for granted! Measure your LED leads! Once you have 4 levels solder each them onto the anodes like so. Solder the cube onto a the prototyping board. Now connect the Arduino to the LEDs. Use this diagram. For detailed pictures and explanations of the resistors and connections click here.  Click here for more helpful and annotated pictures.

Code: http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FJQ/7DXS/GNBERGXC/FJQ7DXSGNBERGXC.tmp

Download Other Files: http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FWS/TA8Z/GSUT1S5W/FWSTA8ZGSUT1S5W.zip

Works Cited:http://www.instructables.com/id/My-4x4x4-LED-Cube/, http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-4x4x4-LED-Cube/, http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Funky-Night-Light-The-4x4x4-LED-Cube/?ALLSTEPS

Raising an Antenna

I recently received a10 meter rig and antenna. I got these things at my ham club meeting and as soon as I got home I rose my antenna by driving a piece of wood about 12 feet long into the ground with a mallet. When it was 1/3into the ground or 4 feet and stable I drilled a hole into the middle of it. There I ran ropes that acted as guy wiers into it and then stuck the rope into the ground with tent stakes. When I was ABSOLUTELY sure that the post was sturdy and stuck in the ground I lashed the antenna onto the post. I used a square lashing to secure the antenna onto the post. Another way to get a quick, easy but more permanent “post mount” is to drive a 8 foot piece of wood into the ground half way. Then put a 12 foot piece of pipe onto the post and secure both of them together by drilling a hole into both the wood post and pipe and putting a long bolt and nut onto it. Do this 2 to 4 times. In the middle of the pipe drill another hole and put your coax for your antenna into the pipe. Drill another hole on the top of the pipe and run the coax out. Secure the antenna on the pipe by using U-bolts.

If you have a Yagi to put up use a tower because you can get maximum range(see my next post about BIG antenna raising).
If you have a wire antenna sling it up in between two trees.
If you have a indoor antenna hang it with twine.

The Telephone

Three men made the telephone possible. Two designed the thing and got it working. The third understood it but didn’t do any work on the phone. When the time came to reveal it the two men were asked the simple question “How does it work?” They didn’t know and stammered “um-um-well…..” The third gives the whole explanation and gets the prize. The other two go home. This is a lesson. Know how it works!

The Switching Power Supply

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The switching power is very different than a linear power supply. The BIG difference is that the switching power supply switches out the components that store energy, like capacitors, into different configurations so they will get a break so ‘the converters can theoretically operate with 100% efficiency (i.e., all input power is delivered to the load; no power is wasted as dissipated heat)’ [Wikipedia]. So, basically switching the components makes sure that 100% of the incoming voltage (wall voltage) that is 120 or 240 volts AC goes through the transformer and becomes 13.8 volts DC. This is done so no power will be wasted and theoretically your electrical bill would go down. BUT, there are some disadvantages to this! Because of this switching the switching noise goes back onto the main power line causing noise distortion to A/V devices like radios. To prevent this from happening you may need to buy special snap-on filters called EMI and Radio Frequency filters to cancel out the noise.

Well, how does it exactly work?

In a switching power supply there are four steps. The first is to rectify the electricity input. In most switching power supplies the input is 120 volts so what needs to happen is that AC needs to be transformed into DC. This is done by raising the frequency so the transformer and capacitors and be very small(that means that the power supply can be small). Now the inverted AC is used to drive the primary winding of a high-frequency transformer. That was the second step, the inverted step. Now for the third. The third is the transformation. For non-isolated supply a inverter is used. BUT for a special, switching supply a transformer is needed. Now the fourth and final step. Regulation (but I call it safety). The final voltage is made to go through numerous safety shut off circuits, like a spark gap. There also is a feedback circuit made to bring (in the event of a power surge) the voltage over the limit back to the transformer. Finally it can get to your radios!

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.