Toe Dipping & Antenna Modeling

Tin Foil works!

I still think the tin foil does the magic!

After years of neglect, this analog era ham is willing to admit I only understand a bit about digital electronics. (Yep! Pun intended.) Well into the second week of my sabbatical leave, I have begun to plot out a course of study to get up to speed on the state of the art that I have so long neglected. Should be fun. There seems to be a good bit of open source help online these days and I have my trusty ARRL Handbook, Extra Class study guide, Antenna Handbook and assortment of other aids.

Any suggestions from the veteran techies out there will be greatly appreciated.

I am a learn by doing/hands-on sort of guy and find deep theory puts me into a semi-catatonic state after a few minutes.  For me, it’s a whole lot more fun to take a stab at things and find out if they smoke, and it also makes a lot more sense when I can dink and tweak and see what that actually does. But since that is a bit expensive, perhaps I should learn how to use software like spice to do simulations? Any recommendations for how to learn this software?

Another area of toe dipping will be learning to do antenna modeling. For years I’ve looked at those charts and made little sense out of them. HA… I like to throw wire out and see what happens, but in the summer heat, maybe it is wiser to do a bit of modeling from my air conditioned den?

Wild Delta Loop Model

Thanks WX7S– Your site looks AWESOME for learning this stuff!

I’ll try to share some of the learning curve, but would love to hear from some of you that have gone before. Shortcuts are nice. WX7S your site looks like a great place for me to start! Thanks for the effort it takes to do that.

This weekend (Sat 14 Aug 2010) the Central Florida QRP Group will gather for breakfast at 0730 (Denny’s in Sanford, FL) and off to Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, FL at 0900 EDT to operate. If you like cw and qrp or are just plain curious… come join us!

Kelly McClelland, K4UPG, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Florida, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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