Imagining a Ham Station at the Science Museum
Apr 06

Members of the Old Guard

I know this is a real imposition on your time but I plan to commence documenting things that seem to baffle us newbies and post them somewhere that others can benefit. So it is not just for yours truly that I beg of your time.

I want to get more serious about my antenna situation and although the “Yo-Yo-Vee’ is probably great for backpacking, etc. I really want to make sure my base station has adequate robustness so that it’s not adding a liability to my lack of wattage firepower. To that end I would like to get your feedback on what kind of coax I should use. I’ve done enough research on the internet to thoroughly baffle myself. Is it RG-8, 58 213? I’m going about 24 feet out to the dipole and up 16 feet for a total run of 40 feet. Add to that a 12′ connector that passes through the exterior wall of the domicile with a PL259 on either end, that can be disconnected in inclement weather. In fact it’s only connected when I want to Tx or Rx.
Also, currently I have a #12 gauge wire connected to an existing ground pipe that was evidently used to ground the aluminum siding on the house at some point although it has never been connected during the time that I have had the house nor have I read anywhere that it should be. Any thoughts on that would be much appreciated. My observation is that when I connect this “ground” wire to any of the QRP radios that I have (running of an ac power supply to produce the 12v - 13v needed) it causes a terrific hum and so I normally don’t hook it up. It does not seem to have that affect on my NC300 however and it is hooked up to that. One note is that my tests with the aforesaid QRP rigs has been by tatking it off the connector on the back of the NC300. Would that induce any hum? Would that be nay different than running both off of a ground plane consisting of a couple of large 1/4″ copper bars as put forth in the ARRL antenna book?

Hopefully this will culminate in my being able to join you on the 15M ” Thursday Night Ragchew” .

Thanks and 73,

Robert Bruce Thomas, KC4NYK
Public Information Officer

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