Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ham Radio Antenna Design And Simulation Software

                             Antenna simulation tutorial 1 - 4nec2 user interface
                                                                   by dx2hunt
  When I started think about designing my own ham antennas I looked around the internet for any free software I could find. Yes there are quite a few good ham radio antenna calculators out there. Some of them are very good for Yagi Antennas, Dipole Antennas, Quad Antennas and many more. Most of the time like me I have to think of something that will fit in my small backyard. I do have my 10 to 80 meter dipole going from the backyard over the house to a tree in the front yard. The apex is on a mast on the chimney at about 35 feet. It does a very good job with the end points about 16 feet off the ground.

                    Antenna simulation tutorial 2 - building antennas with the editors
                                                                    by dx2hunt
 Back to the question of free antenna design software. One of the free Ham Radio Antenna design simulation software's out on the internet that are free is the 4nec2 software package. When looking around Ham Radio Operators are very happy with it. Here is a link to a website where you can download it from . I have not done a whole lot with it yet. I more or less am learning about it just like most ham radio operators out there. In fact that is partly what the amateur radio hobby is about, learning, building, sharing, helping and having fun.

               Antenna simulation tutorial 3 - 4NEC2 optimiser and impedance matching
                                                               by dx2hunt     
  After looking around the internet for as much help as possible I did come across some tutorials on how to use the 4nec2 ham antenna design and simulation software. So I thought I would share them with anyone that wants to watch and learn from them. So I hope you enjoy them and get some helpful information from them. I do know that these videos are a few years old, but they do help. Any other programs I come across I plan to share them on my blog.

                             Antenna simulation tutorial 4 - sweep frequency display
                                                               by dx2hunt                   

   I would also suggest that when building antennas think about what local supplies you can use in the building process. I my self have found many different types of supplies locally. I generally end up going to Home Depot, Lowes and Harbor Freight. There are other local stores as well such as ACE Hardware and maybe just a small local hardware store. Although small hardware stores are becoming harder to find. Some of the things I use are the grey pvc conduit electrical pipe, because it is UV Resistant and may last longer. Of course you can paint it with a UV protective paint. I also like to use the fiberglass driveway staff markers for quad antennas or small wire beam antennas. The ideas are up to your imagination.

                                         Antenna simulation tutorial 5 - what if? modelling
                                                                   by dx2hunt     

Well I hope this information is helpful. Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI  73s.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Let People Know You Are A Ham Radio Operator

  Once in awhile I will be driving down the road and I see a license plate saying something about Ham Radio. It may have the persons call sign on the plastic frame that holds the license plate. I also see the license plate with the call letters on it. Most people may not pay attention to what the letters mean. Maybe if the plastic license plate holder said something then people would know that is what the letters are your call sign letters. I just feel it would be another way to share the hobby and let other Ham Radio Operators know who you are out there on the open road. So get yourself a Ham radio License Plate holder today and show your call sign. If you are looking for a nice gift idea for a birthday or holiday I would look at some of the beautiful Ham Radio Plaques . I made my own Ham Radio Plaque and it is in one of my posts, so you can see how I designed it.
  Another way of letting people know that you are an Amateur Radio Operator is by wearing the ever popular baseball cap. I don't think there is any place that I have gone where someone is wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap with your call sign or just some saying about Ham Radio would make a nice gift. I know over the years my kids have given me various baseball hats. They range from worlds greatest Dad, lucky Dad or even Off Duty Dad. Then I have my favorite DX Engineering baseball cap. On our recent trip to the Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls I could not count the number of people with baseball caps on. There are lots of other types of Ham Radio Clothing ideas to choose from to show that you are proud of being a Ham Radio Operator.
  The next item I see all the time are stickers on the window of a SUV or someones car. If it is your parents vehicle they may not want you putting stickers on the windows. I have seen some signs being held in place by suction cups. If a window isn't possible then see if it can go on the bumper. Bumper stickers have been popular for years. I used to use a Kiss Delta Sonic sticker to cover up a small dent in the bumper on one of my old cars.
  The other popular item I see is the ever popular coffee cup. Of course you don't have to drink coffee to have a coffee cup or mug. I have seen some with callsign  letters or just a little Ham Radio saying. If you don't want a coffee mug then get a T-Shirt with your callsign or something said about Ham radio. Maybe you are in a club or working with emergency situations. If I remember the last time I went to the HamFest here in Rochester New York there were plenty of Ham Radio Operators with T-Shirts with call signs or even the Baseball cap with a callsign or club name on them. Once again any of these items would make a wonderful gift. There are plenty of Ham Radio Gift ideas out there on the internet for everyone especially if you are a Ham radio Operator. Christmas is just around the corner so start planning for gift giving as soon as possible.
  If you look around I would check out ebay or amazon for any Ham Radio gift idea. There are plenty of dealers on the internet that have various types of gifts. Just be sure to check out any seller or reseller for good or bad reviews. Once again I am sure there are plenty of other places to purchase gift ideas for that Ham Radio Operator.
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI   73s.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plastic Storage Containers For Your Ham Radio Equipment

  Do you need a place to keep all your Ham Radio tools and accessories for building your parts for your antenna projects . I have found it very handy to use PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS for the various things I have for Ham Radio. I would recommend using some kind of a Plastic Storage Container. If it is for electronic components keep the integrated circuit chip in a esd foam or in an esd static bag to protect the component from static electricity. I know I have collected various tools and equipment in my Ham Radio Hobby so far and have parts from other projects.  I kept some things in old metal toolboxes or any kind of box I might have come across.  I do have a small metal storage container with 25 little plastic drawers. This came in very handy for holding the small components such as resistors, capacitors, transistors and many other parts and components. I never know when I might to have to fix something. I also had all my noise generators and electronic projects that made lots of different sounds stored in this parts holder.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Buying Ham Radio Equipment Online Remember To Protect Yourself

  I have heard of a few different people buying something from places such as ebay only to either never to receive an item or just get a dead boat anchor. My advise is to always check the seller for their rating and any reviews good or bad. I had a friend who bid on something and then he was contacted by the seller telling him the shipping much higher than what was quoted in the auction on ebay. This almost reminded me of an illegal practice used by resellers known as bait and switch. In other words the seller gets your attention by a good price and he reels you right in. The next thing you know the resellers price has all of the sudden gone up. So my advise once again as buyers, protect yourself.  The same advise goes even if you are buying something new from amazon. I have even seen some computer repair services use the same shifty tactics.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Couple Of Yaesu Radios I Was Considering When Looking For My First Base

  When I was looking at various Ham Radios when starting out in the hobby I had a fun time trying to decide what to choose. As I have said before I received different catalogs in the mail from Universal Radio, DX Engineering, AES Electronics, Ham Radio Outlet and R&L Electronics. I also scoured the internet looking for any information I could find. I was looking at various youtube videos on various Ham Radios. I was also going to the websites where the catalogs came from and I was looking for reviews. I was also going to and reading all the different reviews. Checking for good or bad information.
  The few Ham Radios that I was considering were made by Yaesu. They were Ham Radios that can be used in a base situation in the Ham Shack or in a Mobile situation in the vehicle. The first one I was looking at was the Yaesu FT-897D. It is a High Frequency (HF), UHF and VHF Transceiver. It was indicating that it will put out 100 watts total power from 6 meters to 160 meters. This was a good point, because my budget did not have the room for a HF Amplifier. It carried a 4.6 out of 5 point rating on, which is not bad at all. There was also the optional battery pack that could be used while in the field, which was another good selling point. Well my search continued at that point.