Friday, August 6, 2010

T.G.I.F. and other Odds and Ends

Ah Friday at last.  The sky is clear and blue and the air is a very comfortable 70 degrees.  I decided to throw a leg over the Ti General Purpose Bike  for the commute this morning.  I'm sure it's true that in cities big and small that the mornings are one of the best times to be out and about on two wheels.  The air is cool and the sun has not yet heated up the pavement and bricks of the city.

Obligatory Drive line side picture with the Big Four Depot in the background.

This old depot from the steam era is named after the Big Four Route and the convergence of the Cincinnati-Cleveland-Chicago and St. Louis Rail Way Co.

My commute is very short at about 2 miles.  Just far enough to get energized for the work day yet not get hot and sweaty.  I have to make a short detour to the Post Office to pick up the mail so for that leg of the trip I take the alleys and avoid some of the downtown stoplights.  My morning ride is slightly uphill and then in the afternoons when it's hot I can take it easy and roll down shady residential streets.  Beats the car any day!

News from KD8JHJ

With the recent addition of the 20 meter end fed half wave antenna at KD8JHJ all the slots on the Alpha Delta coax switch are now filled.  Position 1 connects to a dummy load so technically I could plug in one more additional antenna in this spot.  Position 2 is 20 meters.  Position 3 and 4 are 30 and 40 meters respectively.  The COM position in the middle is the jumper cable to the rig. 
The feature I really like about this desk top switch is how it facilitates disconnection and re-connection of the antenna feed lines.   Part of my lightning safety protocol is unscrewing the coax, coiling and storing it about 6 feet from the desk.  Preventing arc-over in the event of a direct lightning strike.  As you can see in the photograph the coax connectors are also mounted at a relaxed angle that puts minimal strain on the cable just past the connector body.   A fine piece of engineering by an American company I am proud to support.

There is one last erroneous technical detail I wanted to correct from a previous post  where I stated I had measured a 1:1 swr (standing wave ratio) on the 40 meter EFHW.  The correct 1:1 swr falls between 7.040 MHz  to 7.068 MHz or about 28 KHz of bandwidth. 
1.5 : 1 swr  6.954 MHz to 7.150 MHz  (196 KHz bandwidth)
2 : 1 swr  6.884 MHz to 7.209 MHz  (325 KHz bandwidth)

Another busy weekend is just around the corner.  On the agenda is putting some aluminum paint on the tower and a visit to my Father up on the shores of Great Lake Erie.  In between I will try to make some contacts in the SKCC Weekend Sprint and The Feld Hell Club Sprint on Saturday morning.


  1. Very nice set ups (Bike and coax switch). I have been reading about the importance of a ground for the antenna. I am surrounded by concrete and brick so I may have to find some old steel piping to ground to as I am unable to go out and hammer a rod into the ground. Glad Friday is finally here.

  2. Hi Mike,
    Thanks. The GPTB is my pride and joy. I commuted on an old crappy Schwinn for about 10 years and one day I thought why am I riding this piece of crap all week when I should have something nice.

    Yes tie into some black iron running through your building. Try to make sure it does indeed go all the way to Earth and also be positive it is NOT a gas line. Also look into an "Artificial Ground" MFJ makes one.