After going through the materials I brought back from Dayton, I found a few things that I failed to mention in my previous post.
- Horse fence antennas by KF4BWG. I’ve seen this guy at the last couple of Daytons that I’ve attended, and every time I see his antennas, I think what a great idea this is. Then, I make a mental note to go to Tractor Supply or some such place and get some of this material and make my own. Then, I promptly forget to do it.
This does seem like a great idea, though. Not only would the antenna be very strong and light, but it should also be very broadband. KF4BWG claims an SWR less than 1.4:1 across the entire 80m band, less than 1.3:1 across the entire 40m band, and 1.1:1 across the 20m, 15m, and 10m bands.
When I mentioned to KF4BWG my plans to duplicate his antenna on my own (his cost $85), he told me that the quality of the fencing material that Tractor Supply sells is not as high as the stuff he uses. That may be true, but I’d bet it will work just fine. Now, I just gotta do it.
- TubeProjects.Com. I think that I may have written about this company/website before. The website lists three “products:” an audio amp, a benchtop power supply, and a VTVM. I called them products, but all the website is selling is construction manuals…at $35 a pop. They do mention that they plan to sell chassis for these projects in the future. Once nice feature is that they have a resources page that lists parts sources, books, and other websites with tube project information.
- Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA). As if I didn’t have enough going on, I’m tempted to join SARA. According to the website, the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) is an international society of dedicated enthusiasts who teach, learn, trade technical information, and do their own observations of the radio sky. SARA was organized in 1981, and today has hundreds of members worldwide. The group consists of optical astronomers, ham radio operators, engineers, teachers and non-technical persons.
At their booth, the SARA people were touting the Radio Jove Project, a “hands-on educational activity that brings the radio sounds of the Sun, Jupiter, and the Milky Way to terrestrial students, teachers, and the general public.” They sell a $190 starter kit that includes a 20m direct-conversion receiver, parts to construct two dipoles, and a CD ROM with SkyPipe software and general information. Since many hams will already have a 20m receiver, and know how to build a 20m dipole, it seems to me that all you’d need is the software.