Thursday, November 19, 2009


Tonight I was asked to speak to the Rockwell-Collins Amateur Radio Club about Slinky antennas. It was a great privilege for me. A member of the Rockwell-Collins club was at ham radio in the park and asked me to come talk about it. I had a great time putting together the presentation and speaking to their club. I equally enjoyed meeting and visiting with the members of the RCARC club and appreciate their receptiveness to my presentation. I really enjoyed chatting with Bob Kirby (K3NT) and appreciate him giving me a tour of the ham shack they have there. It is a very nice set up. And yes, I was in awe of the 50th anniversary Rockwell-Collins S-Line radio there. Thanks again to all who were there and I look forward to seeing you again.


Guest Speaker

I have the privilege to speak about Slinky Antennas at the Rockwell-Collins radio club tonight. I look forward to it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ham Radio in the Park - Rockwall

Saturday was a full and busy day for me. To start the day, I helped with communications along with other ham's for the CASA Fun Run in Rockwall. It was similar to other events the club participates with here locally. A good way to test out the radios to see if they are working and training for R.A.C.E.S.

After that, I met up with my Dad and we went to the RARC sponsored Ham Radio in the Park. Several hams from around the area came to Harry Myers Park in Rockwall for this event. And you couldn't ask for better weather especially in November except for a little wind. It was fun to see what other hams had to bring and set up for mobile stations. Along with the Buddipole that Les Darlington brought (K5RXQ), there was all kinds of attempts at antennas. With the wind, Les put up a kite and the idea came to put an antenna on it. Just as the antenna was attached, the wind died down enough not to support the antenna. Good try though. We brought our new antenna that we just created this week, the Slinky J-Pole. It worked OK, but not like I had hoped. We tried some other configurations with the Slinky's and had some success. We took the long 20' pole and made a 40 meter vertical dipole and made a couple of state side contacts and even heard a station in Spain. We also trying a 40 meter inverted V that worked well also. Have to do some more work with the j-pole idea, but we are convinced it will work very well once we get it logistics of it tweaked a little better.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Slinky J-Pole?

When my Dad and I were playing with the slinky Buddipole, we started to talk about other possibilities. We talked about doing a j-pole for HF with regular size Slinky's. I have a j-pole that Ed Fong (WB6IQN) made for me off his design and article in QST. It works great for 2 meters and 440. I have that j-pole inside my chimney at the top of my house so no one can see it. From here I can hit repeaters in Arlington, Ft. Worth, Denton, Waxahachie, and even Commerce Texas. I had plenty of Slinky's so why not give it a try. I found this really good j-pole calculator ( and figured that it might be possible. Since a 40 meter j-pole would require a long side of almost 100 feet of wire, why wouldn't a slinky work since one slinky is 65 feet of wire. So off I went to Lowe's and Home Depot to find materials. PVC is easy to work with, but is really wobbly the taller you make it. I found some electrical conduit PVC pipe that was 1.5" in diameter. I picked this type because it had a built in coupler to join another piece. The 1.5" by 10' pipe should be sturdy enough for one 20' pole. I also found a 6' piece of re-barb. These three pieces cost me $7. I put the re-barb into the ground about 18"-24" and slipped the PVC over it. To my surprise, it did not tip over as I was sure it would. I tried to knock it over but is stayed up right. Must be the hard clay we have in the ground in Rockwall. I tried once to put a 20'-25' PVC pole up using 3/4" and 1" pipe, it would not stay up. I used what I already had in 1" pvc to make the short side of the j-pole at 10'. I joined two Slinky's together for the 20' pole and just one on the 10' pole. I heard several stations on 40 meters which I thought was a good sign since it was during the week and during the day. I heard a CQ from WA4PUB in Marietta Georgia. He and I talked for several minutes. So yes this antenna works. This is a quick set up and really cheap to make. This antenna would be great for Field Day or just hanging out in the back yard on a nice Saturday afternoon. Without modifying this antenna for 20 meters, I heard several stations as well, including one in Hawaii, Ecuador, and Chile. A 20 meter j-pole would be easier than 40 meters since it is about half the height on both legs. Next is to try this antenna at our club outing this Saturday. RARC's first Ham Radio in the Park. Should be really nice weather and a good time. Can't wait to try this antenna there.

The cost of the items for this antenna (40 meters):
3 Slinky's at $2.99 each at Target
3 10' PVC or PVC electrical conduit at $2.70 each
2 6' re-barb at $1.30 each

Total is about $20