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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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!

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.

So Hmmmm. I Don’t Have A Radio….

StationSummary   So you just got your licence but the radios that you want are around 800$. You can’t afford it? Oh well… But wait! What do we have here? It’s EchoLink!

EchoLink is a free VoIP system that allows you to talk to operators without a radio! Developed by a ham,K1RFD, It’s completely ham friendly. So Whats VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol? Its a service that allows hams to talk from the internet to a radio or repeater. You can also, with special hardware, connect your radio to EchoLink and talk using special EchoLink repeaters. Also, some repeaters allow you to bridge to them, even 1000’s of miles away.

EchoLink is easy to download but requires  verification. First download it. Then you’ll need to verify your callsign with the system. When verifying  be sure to have your licence papers on hand! Once the vitrification process is over restart the program. When you reopen it you will see a page showing all of the online stations. Just today I talked to the UK! Comment below with the countries that you worked!

What to Use Ham Radio For

So you have a great radio, a great antenna and a good power supply. It all works fine. Well, what do you use it for!?

 

The most important thing that ham radio is used for is emergency communications. When there is an emergency the cell phone and telephones get jammed by so much traffic like things as simple as ‘I’m safe see you at 4:00.’ its a natural instinct to, after a crisis to tell whoever that they are safe.  Once the lines are jammed ham radio comes into play.  The Boston Bombings are a perfect example. The lines are jammed and the authorities use ham radio operators for Ecomm. When there isn’t an emergency hams talk about many things. Here is a list by hamuniverse.com that shows some topics.

Hf, Vhf and Uhf antenna projects, code practice, digital, ATV, short wave listening,  electronics, education, Ham Radio books, Elmer,  hf groups, humor, ham radio license study, how to become a ham radio operator, ham radio magazines, ham radio software, ham radio technical topics, shortwave listening, amateur radio in space and much more.