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Centennial QSO Party site broken on later Firefox versions Jul 1st 2015, 17:31 2 1,549 on 9/7/15
Well done, ARRL! Jan 1st 2015, 14:26 2 1,372 on 1/1/15
Shortcuttng the SS exchange Nov 7th 2011, 20:56 3 3,335 on 8/6/12
QST feedback forum? Sep 15th 2011, 12:04 4 3,258 on 22/9/11

Latest Posts

Topic Author Posted On
QST archives or not 2001204744H80 on 27/12/16
Are you looking at the correct archive? On the main QST page there are two boxes, one is for the digital QST archive 2012 to present and the other for 1915 through 2011. The latter has scanned individual articles available as PDFs. The former is the digital version of QST available to all members.

What I don't know about the former is whether a new member gets access to issues older than your join date. Since I've been a member continuously for going on 34 years, I don't know.

73, Nate
Renewed Ham in Boston KA1TMA on 27/12/16
For QRP there are a number of active organizations. One such is the Four State QRP Group. Anyone from anywhere can get involved and buy the offered kits, if interested.

As for contesting, the best thing to do is jump in. I'm not sure if you qualify as a "rookie", but you might want to investigate the ARRL Rookie Roundup set of events staged throughout the year as a starting point. Another good starting point is your state's QSO Party, if it has one, where you can hone your craft. QSO Parties are generally far more relaxed affairs than the major contests and are a good introduction to such events.

73, Nate
Inverted v configuration around a corner?? ND9Y on 5/8/16
90 degrees is getting rather tight. I've never tried an antenna in that tight of a configuration. It may exhibit some interesting directional characteristics.

Right now the doublet I am using has about a 160 degree angle in the horizontal plane. I cannot detect any sort of operational issue. The doublet is about 205 feet overall, fed at the center with 450 ohm ladder line with the apex at 40 feet and the ends at about 25 feet. I use it with a large tuner on 160 and 80/75m. I will sometimes use it on the higher bands if it appears to have an advantage over the fan dipole I also have up.

A few years back I added 160m to my 80/75m doublet by adding 33 feet of wire to each end of the old doublet. The original doublet ran along the back of the rental lot and there was not enough room to extend it along the back side. At each front corner of the narrow lot stood a utility pole. I ran the attachments to the poles and the angle was slightly more than 90 degrees. The antenna continued to perform well enough on 80/75m and allowed me to get on 160m after a number of years absence.

73, Nate
Any truth to this rumor? W0SJF on 5/8/16
The OP is certainly puzzling as plenty of ops wear name badges to radio related events, not just hamfests.

Perhaps the confusion is that there are companies that will sell a facsimile of a law enforcement badge with one's callsign on it. I suppose it could have some usefulness but as one who never aspired to be a cop, I certainly would not get one. Perhaps these are what the comments the OP overheard are referring to.

Hats and the usual badge styles available from vendors at hamfests should not raise a concern.

73, Nate
My first year as a ham... bibliomane74 on 5/8/16
Firstly, welcome!

Secondly, it's good that you haven't lost your enthusiasm.

Thirdly, press on. While a club can be a good support mechanism, it's not necessary to success in amateur radio. In the absence of a club, having the advice of a few individuals you trust can prove valuable. Admittedly, it's not easy making a choice on a radio and for the newcomer anything used seems to have a high possibility of being someone's junk. If you're looking to buy new, most anything affordable will get you on the air in fine shape. If used, you may prefer to buy from an established dealer that will offer some guarantee that the unit will not be Dead On Arrival (DOA).

Fourthly, don't be discouraged that your first antenna will likely be a compromise. All antennas are compromises in some way having advantages and disadvantages. This is where you will learn a lot. You will also find at some point an antenna that suits your operating style and meets your goals. Funny thing about hams (humans?) is that they will project their style and goals on you, unfortunately, so some comments must be taken with a huge grain of salt (likely this one as well).

Fithly, Zach offers good advice. I would caution that eham reviews can sometimes be a (un)popularity contest. I have also found by reading eham reviews that there are apparently hams out there who can break an anvil with a rubber mallet! There are gems in the reviews. You'll need to apply your own common sense to separate the wheat from the chaff and arrive at a decision that you think is right for you.

Finally, the most important thing to do is get something together and operate! That is when you'll start learning. Like you, I've been of a mind that things have to be "perfect" to get started. Well, at that rate we'll never get started. Often times I've had to set that aside and go with "good enough" and then improve later. It often works out that the later improvement is much different than the "perfect" I envisioned at the outset.

Now, go forth and enjoy amateur radio!

73, Nate

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