Two Delta Loops, one for 20 and the other for the 30 meter band. Each are vertically polarized and are fed 1/4 wave down one side. Both loops are fed with window line. Each loop performs best on the band they were cut for. Both Delta Loops were designed with MMANA-GAL.
Yaesu - 857D - mobile/portable
My portable operations occur during the fall and winter. There's a park nearby that offers an open area near one of the ponds that is prefect for a few hours of portable operation. The portable station consists of the 857D, a wire vertical cut for 20 meters w/ 16 radials, computer, interface, and cell phone to connect to the net. I mainly run JT65A and with a few watts have work all over North America and a number of stations in to Europe. the vertical is fed w/ RG8X with a dozen or so clamp-on ferrite chokes to remind the feed line that is in fact - a feed line.
I get visitors which I do enjoy as adds to the whole experience. Most them want to know what I am up to, so I show them PSK Reporter and go from there. I find that showing the map and the stations that hear my signal makes the connection with people. Many of them want to know where the microphone or key and are surprised about the fact that I am operating digital. Let's not about the 4 legged visitors who will show their appreciation by improving the soil conditions around the vertical - much to their owners embarrassment.
Complaints are rare. Usually has to do with someone's Wi-Fi not working in the neighborhood. I was visited by some claiming to be a high ranking official in the ARRL who preceded to inquire about my Ecomm operations and other questions that for some reason I don't recall as my attention span plummeted at the time for some unknown reason. I came to the conclusion that this person had obviously escaped from the local mental facility and called the police. How's that Ecomm for you big boy?
Digital Modes - JT65A/JT9
I am active on JT65A and JT9. Most of the time I am running 3 watts or less. I can operate at power levels at low as 10mW on 40 though 17 meters. Life at 10mW is difficult. My 10mW signal has been decode as far as 2500 miles. Making contacts is another story. At such a low power level, the stations that can decode my signal varies from minute to minute. Also, my average SNR at these distance averages -23 dB. Most assume that I am too weak t work or too difficult. Consisten decoding and success fully contacts start at the 90mW power level.
I must point out that I am not a QRP fanatic. I like the weak signal aspects of the JTx modes. If QRP operation will get my signal just above the noise, then so be it. You will never hear me lamenting about how I think everyone should run QRP, or throw barbs at those who what to operate ORO and they are not real hams or any of that foolishness. I have found at times that I must run up to 50W to make the long path around the globe to a station that can just pick my signal out above the noise - weak signal.
Application of choice for JT65A and JT9 is WSJT-X by K1JT. WSJT-X decodes JT65A and JT9 simultaneously and I consider it to be one of the most innovative applications for high frequency weak signal operations available.
Other Digital Modes
For ragchewing, I use FlDigi. It was the first application that I used for the digital modes. I like FlDigi because the application is multi-platform and is continually updated. Preferred rag chew mode with FlDigi is Contestia, followed by MFSK16.
FlDigi offers the operator the ability to customize Olivia and Contestia by changing the number of tones and bandwidth. The results are flavors of Olivia and Contestia that can very robust and perform well under poor band conditions. Use of the 1000 and 2000Hz bandwidth settings have interesting implications for those who prefer living on the edge of this hobby of ours.
I like to build antennas. I find this part of the hobby to be very rewarding and I learn something new each time one makes from the modeling software to the physical world. I started my antenna modeling with a wire ground mounted vertical for 80 meters. Next was a inverted-l for 160 meters. The delta loops came later. I think the subject of antennas, feed lines, and radio propagation are life long learning endeavors. If I had it my way, I would spend the rest of my life focusing on these subjects.
TLW - Transmission Line for Window
4nec2 - Just started learning this one.
ARRL Antenna Handbook
Low Band Dxing by ON4UN
AIMuhf Impedance Analyzer
W8JI's web site
HAMWaves.com - ON4AA
Yes, Facebook. Scared? You should be. In fact, I will not even attempt to sway you as I find it more entertaining to feed your fears. BOOO!
Ok, now that we have scared of the walking dead, I admin a couple of groups of Facebook:
Planet KA1GMN - It started out as place to post my ham radio activities so as to not bore my normal friends. The page now has a hanging out for a collection of outstanding individuals who engage in the hobby and have a sense of humor. Most hams do not have a sense of humor. I am sure you might be offended by that statement. If you are offended by that statement, then you can be rest assured that you will not be interested in Planet KA1GMN. The members have been labeled as anarchists, bad actors, hooligans, lids, scofflaws, and reprobates by prominent organizations and tight assed individuals. All unfair generalizations. Truth be told, we contesters, experimenters, CW enthusiasts, digi mode geeks, computer geeks, antenna nerds, SDR dabblers, RTTY dudes, errant Official Observer hunters, and mercs whose favorite breakfast meal is the head of a cheating contester on a light and fragrant bed of rice.
60 Meters - Tropical Digital Radio - A failed experiment. The idea was to promote digital operations on 60 meters. In the US, 60 meters has been a struggle when it comes to the operation of digital modes on this band. Unfortunately, the current collective mindset is to discourage any and all digital operations on 60 meters. According to true guardians of this great band (Whacker Preppers), these paltry channels must remain exclusive for the time "when all else fails".
People's Court of International Radio Justice - A public service. Created as a place for self-entitled hams who feel that their "quality of experience" has dropped below the threshold of their over inflated expectations. Hams who have feel the have been wrong can plead their case before the court. Judgment will be handed down. Most the of the time the judgment will not be in your favor. The hope is that you'll become outraged by the unfair treatment. We are expect you to throw a tantrum for the court at this point. Please do not disappoint us.
Dit Dit Dit Friggn' Da! - If any of the groups I've described so far have offended you in any way, skip on this one. The scene is at this group is a vast desert with the bones of scared cows scattered among the dunes.
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