Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rockwell-Collins Follow Up

The latest newsletter from the Rockwell-Collins radio club, mentioned me and my Slinky presentation that I did for them last month. I got a kick out of the article above and excited that someone else wanted to try the antenna. I really enjoyed my visit to their club and hope I can join them again.

To see the full newsletter, go to:

Today I got back in town just in time to try to make a 10 meter contact with the contest going on. I have not been able to even hear anything on 10 meters with the Slinky Antenna so I fired up the radio this afternoon and scanned around for a station. I heard a very strong signal running a contest station in Ohio. I gave him a call and he came back with a 59 report on my first try. I did not hear anything else on the band with my antenna, but happy I was able to make at least one contact on 10 meters.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Radio Programming Software

Ok a post that is not about Slinky Antennas. :-)

When I purchased my Yaesu FT-857D, I decided that a must accessory for that radio was programming software. After owning the IC-706mkiig, I had several occasions where I had to completely reset the radio, losing all my programming frequency's. Living in the Dallas Ft. Worth area, there are lots of repeaters to program. With my dual band J-Pole antenna, I can hit over 40 repeaters from my house. I purchased the programming software from Yaesu and it worked like a dream. So if it works so well with that radio, why not get software for my HT, Yaesu VX-3? I purchased the USB cable off of Ebay and after a month of waiting, it finally came (shipped from China). So now for the programming software. The place I bought the cable from said they would give me the programming software, so after downloading it, I found out it was not compatible with my radio, only the VX-2. So I researched the other software options and I found two. One was by the same company who makes the ADMS software for Yaesu at $25 and one from a Ham in Great Britain for $15. Since I could download the last one for free to try it out, I opted with that one. It connected to my HT and pulled all the frequency's I had already programmed in. If you are familiar with the "banks" feature in the VX-3, you know how cool but a pain it is to program. This software makes that easy to do. I love this software and would recommend any of this programming software for the radios if has. Check out his website at:

---Click on the images to see the screen shots better.

Update to attic slinky antenna

When I tell other Ham's what kind of antenna I have in my attic for HF and how it is configured, everyone says the same thing..... "That won't work!" Well I have proved that it does. However, I know there are some things I can do to improve the design. While cleaning my office/Ham station today, I ran across my LDG 4:1 balun that I had connected to a long wire. I got to thinking about the group on Ebay that sells Slinky Dipoles and how they have baluns on their design. So with my LDG Z100 auto tuner, why not try it with the slinky antenna I have in the attic? It was really easy to put up with a piece of wire connected to each side of the slinky antenna. After I did, I noticed less noise on the bands and receiving more stations, or at least I was able to hear more stations with the reduction in noise. I even noticed I could hear WWV on 15 MHz which I never noticed being able to do before. The biggest difference I noticed was the reception on 40 meters. At 2:30 in the afternoon when I usually do not hear anything on the band, I heard several stations on. Mostly all in Texas including a mobile station in Amarillo. Could be band conditions, but for my set up here it was unusual. May not be a big change in the performance, but every little bit counts I think.