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Topic Created Posts Views Last Activity
copy with one hand & send with the other Sep 13th 2014, 18:49 3 1,394 on 11/7/15
My first antenna questions ... Aug 22nd 2014, 06:32 3 1,042 on 22/8/14
hf radio direction finder? Aug 4th 2014, 00:17 6 1,272 on 22/8/14
Hi All Aug 1st 2014, 16:12 1 1,214 on 1/8/14

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copy with one hand & send with the other tuulen on 13/9/14
The following is written for a right-hander but is a mirror-image of what a left-hander can do.

A right-handed writer can learn how to send code with their left hand, and it is not hard to do. For instance, I am a right-handed writer and a graduate of US Army Signal School where I learned how to copy and send with just my right hand, many years ago. OK, that worked well when we students had a desk in front of us to copy and send on, but after graduating Signal School the Army pulled a switcheroo on us. We then had to learn how to operate a CW radio while sitting in a jeep, or in the back of a truck or somewhere out in the boonies where there were no desks at all to copy and send on, usually just a clipboard or whatever was flat enough to write on and that caused all sorts of problems in juggling back and forth between a pencil and a code key. Now, the code keys, the straight keys that we were using, were mounted on a big steel clip that clipped onto an operator's upper leg, just above the knee, and that arrangement made the situation at least halfway manageable. But what I learned was that it worked much better with the pencil and clipboard placed on my upper right leg while having the code key clipped onto my upper left leg, so that way my left hand could keep the clipboard from shifting around on my right leg while I wrote with my right hand, and then my left hand could move very easily to the code key on my left leg. And sending code does not require any difficult hand coordination, as with a straight key it is just an up or down movement and with a bug or paddle it is just a side to side movement, nowhere near as complicated as writing the letters of the alphabet. Really, it is much easier to do than you might now believe, and I am NOT the first person to have learned how to send with my non-writing hand, as other Army operators learned how to do it for the same reason that I learned how to do it. Anyway, they passed that trick on to me and so let me now pass that same trick on to you. Yeah, it is a bit awkward at first, but with not all that much practice it will come to you quickly. And that trick works just fine on a desk top, too.

Let me add that these days I am learning how to copy WITHOUT using pencil and paper, although I still do keep pencil and paper handy because my memory and Swiss cheese have a lot in common! ;-)

New to CW W2RRK on 10/9/14
Edit: my comment now moved to its own thread, see "copy with one hand & send with the other"

Dipole or loop? KO0Y on 5/9/14
Hi Zack,

The link you posted looks interesting

I have plenty of room to put one of those up, in regard to the length of the antenna, and can probably figure out how to get it up to the 70 foot height discussed in the article.

BTW, there has been a fair amount of discussion about sunspot cycles and why the coming years could present a particular challenge to radio operation. There is a lot of guesswork and speculation involved about that, but it is said that the high bands could take a hit and even 20 meters could become troublesome. It also is said that low sunspot numbers and low bands go together and that now is a good time to get low band antennas set up and ready to go, at 30, 40, 60, 75/80 and 160 meters. And so that link to an 80 m antenna that you posted comes along at just the right time, thank you.

Drone aka UAV to put up stationary antenna? xof7fox on 5/9/14
Stories about drones do appear in the news, for military applications, for delivery of medicine, medical supplies and AA radio and cell phone batteries in remote and/or disaster areas and even for Internet based package deliveries, but until you just now mentioned it I have not yet heard of hoisting and holding an antenna as a possible use for a drone, so congratulations to you for having such an original idea! It seems like it could be done, but requires a lot of planning, for an antenna light enough for a small, hobby type radio controlled helicopter to lift, and then there is the matter of how long it could be kept in the air. But yeah, that probably could be done.
My first antenna questions ... tuulen on 22/8/14
Yes, I can intuitively picture that an OCF dipole is not balanced, but somebody on a website said that a 1/4 x 3/4 ratio dipole is balanced and so I got to wondering about that, especially for multi-band use. After all, any information published on the Internet is always true, right? However, and with my thanks to you, I have now abandoned that theory and will instead focus only on dipoles having two equal-length elements. And yes, apparently the length and the orientation of transmission line is critical, especially of open-wire line.

I plan to avoid ground radial systems. Rental equipment is available to dig the narrow trenches needed to install such a system, but a ground radial system also helps to turn an antenna into a lightning rod, and then there are the similar hazards of grounded metal towers, too. I plan to avoid operating in lightning conditions and to disconnect any outdoor antennas when not in use, where a double-pole single-throw switch could make that quick and easy.


73, Doug

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