Exploring the End-Fed Half Wave Antenna

Ferrite core

Tony K6TTP sent us this article on the end-fed half-wave antenna written by John VA3KOT for Ham Radio Outside the Box. “This is probably the best overview article on end-fed half-wave antennas I’ve read in many many years. It broadly addresses in brief the fact and opinion that exists in the EFHW world, and explains the complexities, alternatives, and some variations on the type.” It’s a great introduction for anyone considering constructing one of their own. The caption for the image accompanying this post reads, “49:1 showing 2xFT140-43 ferrite cores. No case, insulated wire protects windings from moisture.”

You can tell us about your antenna building adventures on Instagram, Threads and Mastodon.

Amateur Radio Booklet by Noël F4JJD

Flying around the web, I found this useful booklet created by Noël Martin, F4JJD. It’s called, simply enough, the Amateur Radio Booklet 2024 Edition (3.3 MB PDF). It includes:

  • Band Plans
  • Classification of Emissions
  • Q Codes
  • Morse Code
  • Radio Abbreviations
  • Digital Modes
  • Radio Waves Physics
  • Prefixes Allocations
  • Amateur Radio Grid Locator

Noël maintains the booklet as a project on GitHub. According to his personal site, he’s a ham and software engineer in France. You can follow him on Mastodon here.

TNX to Cale K4HCK, and his great newsletter Amateur Radio Weekly, for the link!

A New Tool for SOTA

SOTALogs.com is a potentially time-saving tool for anyone who enjoys Summits on the Air. According to the site’s creator Brian Jester KB8UIP/VE3SPG, SOTALOGS is “a super simple 1-page bootstrap site to help create error-free CSV SOTA logs” ready to upload to the SOTA database.  “There are 3 ways to submit SOTA logs: the activator web form, the chaser/s2s web form or via CSV/TSV file.  Some might hand craft their own CSV in Excel, but I’m not fan of that, so I made tiny site to help make things easier.”

Thanks to Brian for his work. (Originally linked on the SoCal SOTA Groups.io.)

Help Keep the TELCO Repeater on the Air

Dear SPARC members and friends,
The South Pasadena Amateur Radio Club is holding a fundraiser from now until September 15 for maintenance and repair of the TELCO repeater. The TELCO repeater is a valuable amateur radio resource that serves the greater San Gabriel Valley and beyond. We are regular users of the repeater and benefit from its continued availability. The SPARC board has pledged to match the first $100 donated by club members. Please consider a small donation as an investment in our radio community. Please use this PayPal link or click the button below to make a contribution before September 15.

Support the TELCO Repeater

Thank you,

Rick Besocke, KI6ZKM
President, South Pasadena Amateur Radio Club

Photo of Bill Westphal WB6YPF with the TELCO Repeater antenna courtesy of Pasadena Radio Club

February 2020 Meeting: Adventures in FT8

At our February 2020 meeting, Frank O’Donnell, K6FOD presented “Adventures in FT8,” an introduction to the popular digital mode. Frank received his technician and general ham licenses two years ago, and within nine months earned the ARRL’s DXCC award for verifying contacts with 100 countries — all on FT8.

In 2019, he received the Southern California DX Club’s Clipperton Award for newcomer of the year. He has verified 143 countries, has earned Worked All States certificates on two bands, and he is completing a third, also using FT8. Currently, he is experimenting with digital modes on the new 630-meter band below the AM broadcast band.

A selection of QSL cards Frank has received.

The following are links that Frank discussed during his presentation.

WSJT-X Homepage
In order to use FT8, you must install WSJT-X on a computer and set up your radio to be controlled by the computer. WSJT-X was written by Joe Taylor, K1JT. It runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux (including on a Raspberry Pi).

WSJTX@groups.io
An active user community that discusses WSJT-X.

Frank explains all the fields in WSJT-X.

Maidenhead Grid Square Locator Map
You’ll need to know your grid square when setting up WSTJ-X.

Time.is and Meinberg NTP Software Downloads
These are tools to make sure your computer’s internal clock is accurate. If your clock is off by more than one second, you will not be able to decode incoming FT8 signals correctly.

The Daily DX Newsletter and ARRL DX Bulletin
Two useful emails covering propagation conditions.

PSK Info: Digimode Automatic Propagation Reporter
A map of beacons and signal reports in near real-time. Useful for seeing who can receive your FT8 signal.

eQSL and Club Log
Two sites for confirming your contacts.

Our next meeting will take place Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 pm in the South Pasadena Fire Department EOC at 817 Mound Ave. Our guest will be ARRL Los Angeles Section Manager Diana Feinberg, AI6DF, speaking about the 220 MHz band.

Frank K6FOD will return in April to demonstrate FT8 with a portable station. Hope to see you there. 

New Operating Event: Harvey Houses on the Air

Ginger Eldridge, KC5MTI contacted us to promote an operating event, the third annual Harvey Houses on the Air. The event will take place from 8:00am to 4:00pm PDT on Saturday, September 14. Hams will operate from the sites of historic hotels and “eating houses” founded by entrepreneur Fred Harvey beginning in the late nineteenth century. Locally, Union Station in downtown Los Angeles once had a Harvey House. Just under a year ago, the Harvey House space was reopened as the Imperial Western Beer Company and Streamliner Bar.

Full information on how to participate is listed on the event’s QSL.net page.

Ginger writes, “We hope you set up your mobile unit and practice your field day skills and have some fun. … Let us know you’re participating so we can try to chat with you on the air.”

Note that this event takes place during the ARRL VHF Contest.