Friday, May 30, 2008

Early Field Day Update

Well, we had planned on doing our field day this weekend however the threat of storms and the lack of preparation has led us to postpone until next weekend. With that being said, we started to make a pole to raise our dipole and will continue to make plans for next weekend. We just hope that the weather will hold up for us.
To further clarify, as I didn't mention it in the last post, the dipole we built is a ZS6BKV multi-band HF antenna. Of course as was mentioned in the last post we used an ugly choke on this to balance the twin lead to the coax.
Anyway, I don't have much more to add other than we've been keeping late hours on the local 145.470 repeater just outside of Knoxville, TN with various subjects of interesting conversation. Anyway, if your in the area, join us anytime.

73 de KJ4DLD


Monday, May 26, 2008

Field Day Antenna Building

So today we decided we would build a portable dipole to take to our Aunt Betty's field for an early field day next week since we were going to be on vacation during field day. We decided to build an Ugly Balun using two pieces of PVC fitting pipe in which we super glued together, then wound with our RG-8 coaxial cable which connects to the radio. The coax is connected to twin lead line that is 32 ft. in length. The dipole spans a total of 92'2". When we were completed with the antenna, we hooked it up to dad's HF rig, an ICOM IC-756 Pro. We were able to here some stations on a few bands which was a good thing as we built it to be a multi-band antenna. We made a couple test transmissions on 70, 20, and 10 meters without any issue.

Once we were done we wrapped everything up and stored it neatly so we can use come this next weekend. Anyway, that's all I have for now.

We will say 73.

Oh yeah, I forgot, I made my first HF contact on 10 meters this afternoon. I talked to K2WS, Alan in Long Island, NY. Anyway, Alan if you happen to read my blog, it was a pleasure talking to you this afternoon.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Radio Repair and Antenna Lifting

Hello everyone. I hope you all have been having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We have been having a wonderful weekend ourselves. I took a half day off of work on Friday, and I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday. So we've done a few projects so far this weekend. Yesterday, we worked on the little Yaesu FT-90R in mom's car. The receive was really broken so we took it out the car and hooked it up in dad's shack. Upon doing that we found that the radio was fine. So then we started looking at the antenna. We found the problem was in the small coax extender from the feed point was disconnected from big coax. So we pulled out the soldering iron and made the patch. The radio is now in good working order and in time for our trip down to Panama City.
Our other project for the day was to raise dad's 2 meter vertical antenna another 7-9 feet and guy it. His mast for that antenna is a three section mast and the middle section has not been raised in some time. Anyway, we sat around and did the math for how long to make the ropes for guying the mast. Once we had the measurements made we cut the ropes and prepared to raise the mast. Once it was all said and done, we raised the antenna another 7 feet or so and he was able to hit Mount Mitchell with no problem.
Today we have just been sitting around cooking out steaks and burgers, having a good ol' time listening and talking on the radio, and celebrating the start of my 33rd year in life. At this moment we are on the 147.360 repeater having a wonderfully odd QSO with Rick (KG4BGF), Cathy (KI4YPO), Dennis (KI4ZVU), Karen aka Mom (KF4SSI), Robin aka Wife (AJ4IJ) and myself aka Computer Monkey aka Tim aka Me (KJ4DLD).
Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day.

73 to all.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time to study for my Extra Ticket

Hello everyone. I thought I would just write a few lines and let everyone know that I'm starting to study for my Extra. I've got a lot of work cut out for me but lucky for me my wife Robin (AJ4IJ) just upgraded to Extra and she is going to help me study.
Anyway, not much has been going on, we've been enjoying our new station setup. Robin has been actively participating in the lady's round table on 145.470MHz. We've been consistently checking in on the Rat Pack net on the same frequency, the Rocky Top Swap Shop on the 145.230 repeater, and conversing with several HAMs: KU4ME, KF4SSI, N4JTQ, KI4YPO, KJ4CRU. KG4LGL, N4CQW, N4PXL, and many more than I can think of at the moment.
I would like to take a moment to thank KJ4CRU again for the QSL cards we received from him yesterday. We were all as excited as a bunch of kids on Christmas morning. I would also like to thank N4JTQ and KI4YPO for the QSL card they sent to Ashby (KJ4EGJ). She really enjoyed that too. She's got one more QSL card than me and 2 more than her momma.
Well, it's getting late and I'm listening to a very funny QSO at the moment. So, I'll wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day and tell everyone 73.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hoisting the 2meter Vertical

I thought I would post the pictures from our antenna project.The brackets to hold the antenna were mounted.

KF4SSI holds down the chair while KU4ME reads the instructions.

AJ4IJ (formerly KE4TKH) and KU4ME looked perplexed.

The Beast before the raising.

The Beast in the Air

We always forget something.
AJ4IJ putting on the radials.

Tough work for KU4ME and KF4SSI holding up the antenna.

KJ4EGJ Sittin' Pretty.

AJ4IJ with the drill, Look OUT!!!

AJ4IJ mounting the lightning arrestor.

KJ4DLD Patchin a hole.

Well That was all of it.
Here is one last look of the final product.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

HAM House part Deux

Well, it's official. We can now be considered HAM House II. You see my father in law (KU4ME) has this sign outside his house that is etched with the words HAM House and below it are three callsigns: (KU4ME, KF4SSI, and KE4TKH). Those calls represent him, his wife, and his daughter (My Wife). Well, as you may well know, and if you didn't know, well know you will, our daughter went and took her technician test and passed. At the ripe ol' age of 11 our daughter is now a HAM which makes all three of us in this house HAMs, and I'm thinking about getting a sign for our house and have put on it: HAM House II, and have our calls put on it as well. Of course I may wait until I pass the Extra and have my call changed to a 2x2. That way I won't have to have it redone like the one over at mom and dads will have to be once Robin gets her new call since she passed her Extra yesterday.
So with that, I will inform you all now, that we all passed and we now have 2 Extras, (Dad and Robin), 1 General (That's me), and 2 Technicians (Mom and Ashby). Additionally, we got our antenna up yesterday and we were on the air by the evening. WooHoo. Anyway, I guess the next goal is to get studying up for the Extra Exam and Robin is going to help mom upgrade to General. I think the rugrat will probably stay a tech for a while but that will all be up to her.
I reckon I will take some time to get some pictures ready for posting on here for our antenna that we put up yesterday so you can see what we ended up with. I still have to take a picture or two of our station as well. Once I have all that done, I will get them posted.

Until then, 73's to all.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Testing, Upgrades, and Antennas

Good morning folks. Just thought I would jot a few lines before I go let my brain absorb all the info I've consumed. I've been studying to upgrade to general class all week and really crammed it all in tonight by taking test after test on QRZed. I've taken at least 35 or so practice tests and finally got to where I was steadily passing them with high 80's and 90's with the occasional 100 here and there. Robin (KE4TKH), my wife, has been studying all week as well to upgrade to Extra. She has finally gotten to the point where she is passing her practice tests with 90's without having to look at the math formulas on paper. Finally, our daughter has gotten to the point where she should breeze through the technician exam without any problem.
Anyway, my brain is finally tired, well has been tired, and I'm about to sign off for the night. We have finally gotten in all the components to put up our 2M/440 antenna tomorrow, well that all depends really. We are still waiting on more thing to get here and it's possible that it might show up in the mail tomorrow which will be excellent. We only lack the split nuts for attaching the ground wire to the grounding rods. Once those show up we will be diligently working on getting the antenna up and the rig ready for communicating.
So ladies, be ready to hear Robin on the net from somewhere other than the car.

That's all I got for now. 73's and wish us all luck tomorrow.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Gathering Antenna Materials and Studying for Upgrades

Well folks, our stimulus check has arrived and we are beginning to order the supplies necessary to put up an antenna for our 2 meter base station. We are getting the Jetstream JTB1 208" 2 meter antenna. With that we already have a mast to erect next to the house. We have purchased out #6 bare copper grounding wire and are waiting for it to arrive. We are getting ready to order our coax cable. We are ordering 2 25ft. RG8/U double shielded coax cables, a 300U ICE lightning arrestor, mounting brackets, and some grounding strips. I believe that's about all we have to get. We've already got the rig and the power supply. The rig is a Radio Shack HTX-212 and the power supply is a Samlex America SEC 1223.
So once all the stuff gets here, we will have quite the project to work on. I will try to take pictures and post them once we have them. Anyway, That's about all I have for now. I've got to go do some more studying so I get my General Ticket. Wifey is also working on getting her extra, and the both of us are helping the youngin study to get her tech.

Until next time, 73's


Friday, May 9, 2008

Greetings and Salutations


This is KJ4DLD, Tim in Tennessee. I've just recently started my adventures in Ham radio not more than three weeks ago, way back in 2 thousand double ought 8. I've been surrounded by a couple, three Hams for the last 8 years or so (that'd be me wifey, and her mum and dad). I just got my technician's license three weeks ago and have already learned and done so many things. The day I got my license, we went to help dad put up an inverted V antenna so that he could talk on 75 meters. If you can imagine the site of two grown men and one woman standing out front a house one with a fishin' rod, one with a bow and arrow, and the other with a big spool of rope. Only HAMs can really appreciate that.
The next weekend I got to help install a new antenna for the 2 meter rig in the jeep. The previous antenna was a mag mount on the side window in the back. Dad didn't feel safe with us transmitting with it and our daughter sitting in the back seat. So we installed a new antenna on the roof.
This past weekend we put a 2 meter mobile rig in our car and installed a trunk mount antenna as well. Other than that I've been listening lots on several repeaters, checking in on some of the local nets, studying to upgrade to a general class license, and trying to gather the materials to put up a 2 meter vertical outside the house so we can hook up a base station.

Anyhow, stay tuned as I plan to update often.