Sunday, December 18, 2016

Homebrew Yourself A Moxon Antenna This Spring

Moxon Antenna At The Top
 Yes we are in the cold weather and now is the time to start planning your homebrew antennas for your ham shack. One of the easiest ham antennas to build is the moxon ham antenna. There are plenty of ways to build one and most parts are available at your local lowes or home depot or your local hardware store.
 Most of your planning should be on where you plan to mount your moxon ham antenna. Always make sure there are no power lines close by. The next thing to tackle is what band are you planning to transmit on. For example will it be on the 17 meter band or the 40 meter band etc.... Just remember the higher in frequency you go the bigger the moxon ham antenna will need to be. In other words a 10 meter moxon will be smaller than a 40 meter moxon antenna.
 It is possible to multiband with a moxon antenna. You can have multiple bands with various lengths of wires. The more bands the more wires and the heavier the antenna will be. Many hams use lightweight fiberglass fishing poles that are around 16 feet in length. These will be used for the spreaders. Now you can buy the spreaders online, but they will be a little more expensive.
 The next piece of important equipment besides the coax cable is the rotor. This is going to be turning your moxon antenna in the direction you want to transmit. If you are dealing with a large moxon antenna, then I would buy a rotor that can handle the beast. If it is just a 6 meter moxon then a small tv rotor should do the job.
 I would also use a good antenna analyzer to tune the moxon antenna properly. MFJ makes some excellent ham antenna analyzers for a pretty good price. This is one piece of ham radio equipment that will serve your ham shack quite well for any future endeavors. You can click on this link to visit my website for ham antennas and equipment or search below.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

3 Ham Radio Licenses To Get

 You can buy a Ham Radio and listen without a ham radio license. If however you want to transmit on a given band or frequency you will need the proper ham radio license. There are many websites on the internet where you can download study material or download a program to study from. I myself had some older books and also used the material off the internet to do my studying. My honest advise is to purchase the books and the cd program for your computer. If you can go to one of the ham radio classes in your area I would advise that also.
 There are 3 Ham Radio Licenses that you will need to transmit on various bands. I will list them below.
  1. The Technician 
  2. The General
  3. The Extra
 You may find that most Hams only go up to the General License as it provides the opportunity to transmit on most of the high frequency bands such as the 20 meter, 40 meter, 80 meter and 160 meter bands. There are portions that you can not transmit on only if you have the Extra Ham License. I myself have the Technician and the General Licenses. I am thinking about spending the time and going for the Extra Ham Radio License.
 Never try to transmit on any Ham Radio Band without a the proper license. If you do and get caught you could face a nasty fine from the FCC. Si it is best to get the license and enjoy the Ham Radio Hobby. You will be amazed at what a simple basic ham radio and a wire dipole antenna can do. Below are some places at Amazon where you can purchase the proper study material.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Linux Mint and Ham Radio

   I do use linux mint once in awhile on one of my computers. It does seem to work very well.One of my favorites is the Andys Ham Radio Linux live cd. You can download it at . They do have a fairly up to date version and it does a really good job. I would suggest checking it out. The other popular linux live distribution I would suggest is the Shackbox. You can download it from this link . I am not sure how up to date this one is.
 My best advise is to build a computer to run your linux ham software on. I would just make sure you back it up. I have seen too many people including hams that did not back up their system and the hard drive failed. Now they have lost everything including all the work they put into it. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Stealth Vertical Ham Antenna And Happy 4th Of July

 First of all I would like to say Happy 4th Of July to everyone out there. Now there are alot of us that live in areas that are not antenna friendly. The reason is that we just don't have the space to put up a huge beam antenna on a nice 40 foot tower. Well one answer to that situation is the Flag Pole Antenna. There are quite a few Ham Radio Operators that disguise their Vertical Ham Antenna as a flag pole and yes with a flag on it. I guess you are showing that you are proud of your country and your getting on the ham radio bands.
 Okay so where do you buy a vertical antenna for this kind of situation. Well you may find a nice vertical on any one of the many ham radio websites on the internet. There is also the possibility of finding a nice vertical antenna on . My other advise would be to search on Ebay, because there are many excellent vertical antennas. Just make sure to check out the reviews before buying anything.
 Once you have the vertical ham antenna the next choice is what are you going to put it in or better yet how are you going to disguise it. Well what pretty much everyone does is place it inside some good heavy duty pvc pipe. Just make sure to paint the pvc pipe to protect it from the uv rays of the sun. I would also recommend using the grey electrical pvc pipe as it has the uv protection. You may have to do some guy roping to give it some good support.
 The other item that should be done is placing some ground radials at the base of the antenna. Most manufacturers will give instructions as too how many and what lengths the wires should be. Remember that the wires do not have to be straight. They can be bent in different ways to fit them in a smaller area. Now you can purchase wire from DX Engineering that is already cut or you can cut it yourself. When laying down the wire I would cut the grass short and use ground pins to hold the wire down. Generally the grass will grow up and hide the wire. You can also get a edge trimmer and dig a trench down a little and bury the wire. I have read that this does not cause a problem and you won't have to worry about wire getting chewed up in the lawn mower.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Famous People And Actors In Ham Radio

 You know when I think about who is famous and is in Ham Radio I think of Tim Allen. I even remember seeing a few of the shows involving something with Ham Radio. Now when I used to watch Home Improvement I don't remember anything with Ham Radio. It was only in his other show Last Man Standing. Here is a video below from Ham Radio Nation on Twitt TV about the show.


  If you are interested in a list of famous ham radio operators click on this link Famous Ham Radio Operators or Another List Of Famous Ham Radio Operators
 I think what gets are attention is just that these people are actors, actresses and other famous people. It makes us feel special that we now have somewhat of a tie or something in common with them. It's almost like being on facebook and having them as a friend. I have a friend who was in the wrestling business and new quite a few of the wrestlers I watch on the WWE Wrestling show and it is very interesting to me to hear about these people. In fact I remember a few years back my daughter was teaching at a daycare center and a coworkers boyfriend was a person on the show. Unfortunately I never got to meet him. Make sure to check out my new website at .
 Maybe because were in the same hobby we are all famous.
 Thanks For Stopping from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Best SWR Antenna Tuner For Your Ham Shack

 In my ham shack I mainly run the mfj 993b automatic antenna tuner. I did have the dreaded power button problem with it. After replacing it numerous times I replaced it with a toggle switch. I have not had a problem with it since then. It is a little tricky to take apart, but it can be done. I mounted the toggle switch in the lower right corner where there is just enough room.
 I had to remove the current power button, which was not too difficult. Just have a good soldering iron. I would also recommend using a esd static wrist strap and a static mat. Make sure the mat is grounded properly. I used a digital volt-meter to determine which contacts to solder the two wires from the toggle switch to. There are some traces that are connected, so you want to make sure you don't short anything out.

That's really all there is to replacing the push button and replacing it with a toggle switch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's Time To Put A Kenwood Transceiver In Your Ham Shack

 Check out the Kenwood Transceivers this year. They are the number one searched brand at this time. They are above Icom and Yaesu and are doing very well. I can tell you my Kenwood TS-2000 is still going strong. Don't get me wrong I just wanted a transceiver that would cover all the bands and the TS-2000 fit the bill. I know I hear some Hams that don't care for it and I have no problem. In fact maybe in the future there may be a Icom, Yaesu or Alinco Ham Radio coming to my truck or ham shack.
 If you are looking for some places for reviews on the Kenwood Radios there are a few websites that come to mind. First I would go on Amazon and search for a ham radio and then check out the reviews. The second place I like to go to is . It is an excellent source of information and reviews on all kinds of ham radio equipment. So use the amazon search below and find a awesome ham radio for you ham shack.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tilt Over Tower For A Small Ham Antenna

 If you are thinking of a low cost way of mounting a 2 meter, 6 meter or maybe a 10 meter ham antenna I would consider a tilt over tower. Yes you could construct one out of two by fours or maybe fence post. The nice thing is that most materials can be bought at your local hardware store such as lowes or home depot. Hey you could even build one out of heavy duty pvc pipe or grey electrical pvc pipe. Although pvc pipe would be good for very light weight antennas and I would definitely use guy rope to give extra support.

 If you would like to learn more about tilt over towers click the picture below.

  One bit of advise or should I say caution is to thoroughly check the area for any power lines. There are way too many hams or other people that have been killed by antennas coming into contact with electrical power lines. So by all means stay safe. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Home Brewing A Nice Big Moxon Antenna

 If you are thinking of home brewing an antenna why not try a moxon antenna. If the moxon antenna you are thinking of will be for maybe the 2 meter band or 6 meter band they can easily be made out of electrical pvc conduit pipe. I would suggest in using a pvc 5 way connector for the center support for the spreaders. If you want better strength you can use a Moxon Antenna Hub and spreaders that are Telescoping Fiberglass Fishing Poles that are 16 feet in length. There are spreaders made that you can buy as well.In this band region the size of the antenna is not huge so the weight is easier to manage. What I would suggest even on some of the larger arrays to use wooden dowel rod inside the pvc pipe for a little added strength.

 I have made some spreaders that way and then used some fiberglass driveway marker rods coming out of the ends of the pvc. I place the dowel rod inside the pvc pipe and drill a 6 inch hole in the end of the dowel rod to mount the fiberglass driveway marker rod into. I place a pvc cap over the end of the pvc pipe where the fiberglass driveway rod comes through. I can then attach the antenna wire for the moxon antenna on the ends. I have also found that this can make it easier to adjust the spreaders if needed.
 If you are looking for a good website for information on the moxon antennas I would check . There are plenty of other websites on the internet where you can find information on building moxon antennas. I would also suggest to check out youtube for some very interesting videos on fellow ham radio operators that have built some of the moxon antennas. I would look at designs and expand on them with your own imagination. That is what the ham radio hobby is all about.
Just make sure to get the correct pvc fittings that go with the correct size pvc pipe.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Start Planning A Homebrew Antenna Today

  The cold weather is here, so now is the time to start thinking and planning a new homebrew antenna project. If it's a simple antenna your thinking of then I would go with a wire dipole antenna. It can be a multiband antenna or designed as a mono band for one particular frequency such as the popular 20 meter band. Another type of wire dipole antenna would be a ocd or off center fed dipole antenna that to very well. There are also bazooka antennas and end fed wire antennas. If you don't have enough room some of these antennas can be bent into different designs to fit smaller areas. The signal transmit and receive may change a little, but experimenting is all part of the Ham Radio Hobby.
            The Double Bazooka Antenna - A Review by Rob Wagner 
  Another one of the Homebrew Antennas I am interested in is the Hexx Beam Antenna.
Everyone always asks what is the best antenna to use. The answer the one that works. You may want to go the route of home brewing your own antenna. There are plenty of free antenna calculators to use. I would definitely take into consideration how much power you are going to use. Will it be 100 watts or 1500 watts. If you build your own ham antenna you may want to look into a multiband hexx beam
antenna. This type of antenna does not take up alot of real-estate and is essentially a two element wire beam antenna. From what I have read and have heard hams talking about is how well they do. There are plenty of excellent websites on the internet for designing and building hexx beam antennas.
  If you are building you own antenna or buying your antenna I would make sure you have plenty of tools in your ham shack. Some of these tools are hand tools for general use. A couple of important tools for the ham shack would be an Antenna Analyzer and a good SWR Meter. MFJ as well as a few other manufacturers make some excellent antenna analyzers. The same goes for the swr meters. Just make sure your swr meter can handle the amount of wattage you intend to use.

                          Vertical antenna 60m to 6m with remote ATU by dx2hunt
  If you don't have enough space to put up a beam antenna, then I would suggest a vertical antenna. There are plenty of different ways to put up a vertical antenna. I have seen some individuals just use a vertical wire strung up in a tree. Just make sure it's a tall strong tree or you may get too much movement. Certainly you don't want the tree and your antenna to come down in a storm. Other ways to set up a vertical Antenna are to use aluminum tubing and a good antenna tuner as well as a unun balun. The video above gives a good example of this. 
 My best advise is to search on the internet and you can find all sorts of homebrew antennas to think about. Find one and then add your own touch to it. If you wish to leave a comment about your homebrew antenna project they are always welcome.

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