Technical Discussion via Zoom

My brother, Robert Neufeld, amateur radio operator N3AU, who also has pretty much every commercial radio license and is a lifetime electronics hobbyist, is going to host a zoom technical discussion each Thursday night at 8 pm eastern time. He plans to have it run around an hour +/- depending on what questions people have.

You can email him at if you’d like information about the meeting.
The first session is tonight, March 25, 2021.

de KT4B

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Amateur Extra Class via Zoom

My brother, N3AU, a very active leader in Amateur radio in the Niagara Falls, NY area, will be offering an Amateur extra class via Zoom.

The class will meet every Thursday evening at 7 pm starting 10/15/20. It will continue as long as necessary. The textbook is the study guide by Gordon West, WB6NOA.

For more information, including the zoom link and meeting ID, contact Bob Neufeld.

Featured image credit: Image by Michael4Wien from Pixabay

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Betty Rae Neufeld Nick now WB7OIU

It’s usual to go for a vanity callsign to get a shorter one, such as when I turned in KE0OY in exchange for KT4B, inherited from my father, Ray Neufeld.

My sister Betty Rae, also an Extra Class, has now turned in AC2BM in exchange for mother’s callsign, WB7OIU. Mother became a silent key a year ago April.

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Testing an Antenna

This video from IZ2UUF is definitely worth taking the time to view. It puts visuals on some theory.

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Update to Family Ham History

My brother Robert Neufeld (N3AU/Bob) had been looking for the precise date on his novice callsign, which he earned when he was 11 years old. The image below is from a 1964 callbook, showing KN7YBE, Robert J. Neufeld.

Another piece of the history is documented!

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New Handheld

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Tilting My Hustler 6BTV Vertical

It takes some effort to tune this antenna properly, and the ability to tilt it is quite useful. The next three pictures show my poor (or stingy) man’s tilt option, based on a suggestion by my brother Bob, N3AU.

A 5/16″ drill bit creates a nice hole for a 1/4″ bolt. My bolt is slightly too long, but a few washers handle it.
Remove the u-bolts and tilt. Make sure your radials have the flexibility for the tilt.
Here’s the tilted antenna, waiting for me to adjust the 80m whip.
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My Rigs

Since I’m actually back on the air, I thought I’d post a couple of notes about where and how. First, here’s a picture of the shack before antenna cables.

Icom IC-706MKIIG with LDG Z100 autotuner. (The Yaesu FT-880 was headed to my car.)

The Icom rig has two antenna inputs, and one now connects to a Hustler 6BTV vertical, which is tuned adequately on 10/15/20 Meters, but needs some work for 30/40/80. It’s all within range. Here’s the picture. The branch with about a 2 inch clearance is scheduled to go, the rest of the foliage around I’m stuck with.

My 6BTV. The branch (2 inch margin!) will go shortly. The tree I’m stuck with.

Another vertical (not even sure of brand) serves me for VHF/UHF.

VHF/UHF Vertical. I use a 2×2 nailed solidly to the building. Under the duct tape, which is surprisingly resiliant, the antenna is connected to the post with a steel clamp. Yes, the building looks awful. It will look good for about two weeks when I pressure wash it.

For mobile use I have a Yaesu FT-8800. Yes, indeed, for those who debate the utility of this approach, I use one of the auxiliary plugs, rated and fused at 20 amps with a jack rated and fused at 15 amps. I have had no difficulty. I most commonly work 146.52 simplex and have had a number of fine QSOs while traveling.

Yaesu FT-8800 with connections. I can keep it in the hump in the center when necessary. Maximum simplex contact was about 40 miles, but that involved some altitude on one end of the QSO.

I have my brother Bob, N3AU to thank for most of this equipment. He’s set up for 160 Meters through 70 cm and very involved in VE work and emergency preparation.

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Playing with Antennas

I’m active again, and here’s a starting Facebook post:

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A Ham’s Night Before Christmas

This is great:

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