Another brilliant piece from Diana Eng on the MAKE site about ‘Setting up a radio shack‘.
She shows a simple easy to follow step-by-step sequence to set up a simple HF base station. Very clear illustrations and simple advice. She has a healthy attitude to setting up an antenna. I imagine so many people might be put off by a technical consideration of all the factors at play. The priority of course to get people on the air safely and efficiently.
(Diana is one of my heroes. I think it’s because she’s also a fashion designer/dressmaker like my mum!)
The comments are a slice of amateur life as well, reflecting different notions of what some believe amateur radio is all about – not to mention MAKE amgazine. I’m always a bit worried about those who want to lay down the law and are too quick to dismiss attempts to explain and simplify the hobby. The faultlines run between home-brewer/appliance operator or technical wizard/novice driven by wonder. Of course most of the hams you enjoy spending time with are a delightful mix of all these tendencies! As a MAKE editor Phillip Torrone commented:
“the overall tone reminds me of many of the things i have seen/heard first hand in the ham community that don’t support or encourage anyone from getting interested in ham any more.
these are *great* articles and i’ve personally met more people who wanted to get interested in ham specifically because of the articles and diana’s work.”
This article also has some useful links to brief articles about antennas and ladder line – Steve Ford W8IMY’s ‘The Classic Multiband Dipole Antenna‘ and ‘The Lure of the Ladder Line‘ and ‘Wire Antennas for he Beginner‘ by George Woodward, W1RN.
And there’s a link to Diana’s five minute video on ‘How-To: Set up an HF portable radio while hiking‘.