Spiral Counterpoise

Jake, N0LX, has some nice antennas on display at his site. One of the more interesting ideas he writes about on his site is the idea of using a spiral of wire or ribbon as a counterpoise to a vertical. No room for radials, then perhaps this will work for you. Check out his article on a spiral counterpoise for a vertical antenna.

73, Al

Homebrew 20M Vertical

Here is a link to a homebrew 20M vertical by W4INF, easy enough that an 8 year old can do it. Vertical wire and radials are all 16.5′ long.

Note: the link to the original article is no longer available, this is a link to a copy of the original web page that I created.

73, Al

Hockey Puck launcher

VE3EIM Bob (now VE6RI) gave me this just before he moved from our area to Alberta. It has proven to be a good way to get antenna wires up into a tree.

73, Al

Portable Operating Sites

All of these spots are southwest of St Thomas, Ontario, Canada, some quite near the Lake Erie shoreline. I start my trip to the sites from the corner of Highway 3 and Highway 4 west of St Thomas. I include a map showing how to get to each site and pictures from that site. Enjoy.

  1. Talbot Line to Iona Road, south to lake
  2. Talbot Line to Currie Road, south to Lakview
    right on Lakeview, go to Erie Road, go south to lake
  3. roadside park west of Wallacetown on #3,
    33 km from corner of #3/#4 in Talbotville
  4. E. M. Warwick Conservation Area
    off #3 west of Wallacetown on McKillop Road

site1_miniOne nice Sunday afternoon, I went out for a drive looking for portable operating sites close to Lake Erie, initially I headed west out of St Thomas. In the end, I found 4 of them. The first site is found at the end of Iona Road right down close to Lake Erie. From the starting point, proceed west on Hwy #3 to Iona Station, then turn left and go towards the lake.



site2_miniFrom the Iona Road site, go north on Iona Road, and turn left on Thomas Line, to County Road 16, then on to Currie Road, south to Lakeview and turn left on Erie Road. Drive right down to the lake, just before you get there, you will notice a laneway leading into a field on your left with tall tress for antenna supports to operate radio in. A great sheltered site not very far from Lake Erie.



site3_miniFrom the Erie Road site, go north on Erie Road, and turn left onto Lakeview Line, then right onto Coyne Road, go north to Hwy #3, turn left and proceed to the roadside park on your left. This is a neat little park and rest area, with portable toilets, and very many trees for shade on the side of the highway. Lots of trees for long antennas.



site4_miniFrom the Hwy #3 roadside park, proceed west on Hwy #3 to McKillop Road, turn left and go towards the lake. You will approach the EM Warwick Conservation Area, parking is straight ahead. An ideal operating position is a few meters away, walk towards the lake down the lane, past the picnic shelter and you will see an observation tower. This provides a nice operating position in good weather, in poor weather, the picnic shelter you just passed will provide shelter from the weather. Again, lots of trees for antenna supports.



73, Al


ed wa3wsjEd WA3WSJ has an interesting site to me. I don’t know how I found it initially, probably searching on antennas, but I do return it every once in a while to check out his activities. This guy is an avid hiker with his dog Trevor (pictured) and has developed some interesting antennas. I have links to a couple, not sure if these are still available on his site or not, the bead wire antenna and the tri-band dipole antenna. Check out his website, I will add a link to my list on the side.

73, Al

QR Code

From Wikipedia: “A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the initialism of Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.”

Someone posted a link on a qrp forum I follow this morning that pointed to a video about QR Codes. I have never seen them before, but they seem quite interesting. They are readable by mobile phones, I have not been able to find an online reader. Anyone know of one? Just want to try it out.

73, Al

W7ZOI Technical Notes

Here’s a link to one of the technical wizards of our hobby. He has links to some nice material on his site. one of the first articles I noticed on his site was the one about breadboarding techniques from 2007, ugly construction and manhattan construction all mixed together.

73, Al

Teens in Ham Radio — great!

I was just reading an entry oin the QRP-L list and a new teen amateur radio web site teenradiojourney.com was mentioned. Here’s a link to the new site. Another new one is also mentioned on the teenradiojouney.com blog.

As a hobby, it is great to see it being promoted in the teen ranks, they are the future of this hobby.

73, Al

7-Band Semi-Vertical Trap Antenna

Scanning one of the local radio club’s web site, I spied an article about this antenna and liked what I saw. I have the aluminum pipe and will be building it over the next few months. A link to the article called the 7-Band Semi-Vertical Trap Antenna by Bob Rice VE3HKY gives the detiails on the antenna.

73, Al

What’s Your Grid Square?

In VHF/UHF, one of the main pieces of information usually exchanged is the grid square location. It consists of 2 letters, 2 numbers and then 2 letters and is derived from the latitude and longitude of a location. For example, the grid square location for a location in the middle of the river just above the Falls at Niagara Falls is FN03LC. Here’s a link to a web page which will tell you your grid square location, based on GoogleMaps. Just zoom in on the location you want the grid square location for and click on that location. The latitude and longitude of the location will be displayed, along with the grid square location.