Last Thursday night’s (5/7/15) Technical Mentoring and Elmering net was an informative one with 12 check-ins plus net control (K6HWN). The net began at with me (K6FLD) asking about one of last week’s subjects that came up regarding tuning an antenna using white noise while on frequency of choice without a carrier signal as to not cause interference on the frequency. This is of great interest to me because every time I switch bands I need to re-tune by finding a nearby open frequency to tune on then return to the frequency of interest. Shackmaster Dave (K6HWN) explained the concept first using the grid dip meter theory as an example because it’s very similar to using a white noise generator on the frequency you want to tune on. You can review the audio here. MFJ offers their MFJ-212 noise generator that they call a “Match Maker” at a very reasonable cost here.
Next Bob (KB6CTX) asked about the best way to evaluate antennas for his purpose. John (AG6LJ) suggested he work the problem backwards, i.e. consider any restrictions in your area (home owners associations, etc.), how much you have/want to spend, and the bands that will be required are all good considerations before looking for the suitable antenna. Shackmaster added that looking at the radiation pattern of the antenna. Depending on your surrounding terrain, buildings, etc., certain radiation patterns may perform better for you and where you want your signal to wind up. GW added that if you’re looking to use a dipole depending on the band they can be very long and require a lot of space.
Tune in to the SBARC Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net next Thursday at 0800 and see what interesting questions will arise or ask some of your own! All club members and visitors are encouraged to check in to the Technical Mentoring and Elmering net each week and join in with questions and /or answers to and contribute the knowledge of new and seasoned amateur radio operators alike.