Tag Archives: Mike (KE8PTX)

Mike turns a trailer wiring harness into ready-made ground radials

Many thanks to Mike (KE8PTX) who shares the following tip:

[Recently, I walked into a] big box store and this caught my eye:

When separated, they have very little memory.

So now we have four 25 foot radials. Bonus was all were different colors. Easy to untangle.

Performance, so far, is good. Total price with clip: 12 bucks.

That’s a brilliant tip, Mike! Thank you for sharing. Like you, I’m always on the look out for products that could serve double duty in the world of amateur radio. While one can find less expensive sources of wire, for 100% copper wire pre-cut to a standard radial lengths, this is a pretty good deal!

I did some searching and pricing varies between various suppliers. 

 

Sample Retailers:

Thanks for the tip!

POTA Fun: Pairing Mike’s “Oreo” Balun/EFHW with the Venus SW-3B

A few months ago, Mike (KE8PTX), contacted me with info regarding his latest 3D-printed creation: a compact housing for an end-fed half-wave balun.

Mike’s 3D drawing

He called it the “Oreo Balun.”

Once printed, and after he wound the coil and installed the BNC, he sent this photo:

It’s cute, isn’t it?

He then surprised me by putting it in a padded envelope and sending it to me as a gift. Wow–thanks, Mike!

Oreo plans

End-Fed Half-Wave antennas are popular portable antennas for a reason: they’re effective!

They’re compact, easy to deploy, and resonant.

I only needed to attach some wire to the Oreo Balun, trim it, and hit the field!

Earlier this year, my buddy Vlado and I built two doublets with some scrap wire I had in my antenna parts box.  I measured the amount of wire I had left from that same spool. I knew it wasn’t enough length for a 40 meter EFHW, but I did think there was enough for 30 meters.

After giving it a bit of thought, I liked the idea of having a dedicated 30 meter EFHW. For one thing, 30 meters is a great band for field deployments and in the past this band has saved my bacon when either 40 meters or 20 meters was wiped out. Thirty meters is also a refuge WARC band during contest weekends.  In addition, a 30 meter EFHW is short enough that it could be deployed on most SOTA summits (which often have shorter trees).

Fortunately, I had just enough wire for 30 meters. IN fact, after trimming the antenna, I only had about two feet of wire to spare. It’s as if I had planned it! I would have never guessed that spool of scrap wire would have made two doublets and one 30 meter EFHW.

The next logical thing to do was take the Oreo to the field and play radio! Continue reading POTA Fun: Pairing Mike’s “Oreo” Balun/EFHW with the Venus SW-3B