ARRL

News

Surfin’: Wire in the Spring

04/19/2013

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ considers spring outdoor maintenance -- with wire antennas in mind.

Last week, I started poking around the yard trying to prioritize spring outdoor maintenance and I discovered a dangerous situation: An underground cable had popped out of the ground during the winter and now invites the blades of my lawn mower so I called the utility company to investigate.

Meanwhile, I inspected my tower. All winter long, my crank-up tower has been cranked-down, looking forlorn. Last fall, I cranked the tower down to remove my log periodic antenna because the SWR was out of sight. I found the problem and it was a quick fix.

While I was removing the antenna, I broke some rusty rotor hardware and did not have the chance to get replacement hardware before winter had settled in. The local hardware stores did not have what I needed, so I added the hardware to my Hamvention shopping list.

Last fall’s tree work cleared the way for more wire, so I want to hang new wire antennas off the tower. My favorite source for wire antenna ideas is the HCDX Wire Antennas page. The DXZone’s antenna page is another favorite.

The Central California DX Club’s Wire Antenna Calculator is a very useful online tool to consult before taking the wire cutters to wire. By the way, there are other online antenna calculators; in fact, The DXZone lists 59. Then again, you don’t need a calculator for a random wire antenna.

I have a few weeks to consider my wire antenna options. After I decide what to do, I will add what I need to my Hamvention shopping list and have new wire in the air by Memorial Day.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



Back