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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

A Day at the Beach – on 10 Meters Barry Manz

If you’re a ham and haven’t been active for a while, I have the just the ticket: Get involved with someone who just got the bug (no pun intended), and is ecstatic about making his or her first contacts. I speak from experience here.

A retired acquaintance of mine named Dave, after a career engineering industrial control systems, decided to get his ticket about a year ago. I had told him earlier that I was a ham and regaled him with stories about contests, communicating with people all over the world with 5 watts, the vagaries of propagation, Field Day adventures, and so on. We both vacation every year at the Jersey shore, so I noted that owing to the proximity of salt water and a clear shot to Europe (and elsewhere), the beach would be an excellent place to set up a battery-powered portable station.

Next thing I know, he’s built it: A Yaesu FT-897D 160m to 70 cm transceiver, homebrew 10-meter vertical and ground plane, battery pack, folding table, lantern, and chair, which he proudly displayed at my doorstep. He was ready to roll -- and so with great disappointment was I, as a 150-mile drive home up the Garden State Parkway awaited me.


Dave’s “beach-portable” Rig

Since then he’s lugged a modified version of the rig up a fire tower in the Jersey Pine Barrens, a 1.1-million-acre national reserve with a 360-degree clean shot in all directions. Up there he set up an Arrow Antenna 2-m/70 cm satellite antenna and easily managed to hit repeaters a pretty fair distance away.


60 feet above the Pine Barrens. Talk about line of sight!

All of this fun I have so far managed to be “too busy’ to share. But I soon will share in it: Dave has reignited the flame for me. Just think what I could do with his little rig on 2 meter CW? And how about 6 and 2 meter SSB, etc? Just the thought gives me goose bumps.

So if like me, work, family, and other activities have precluded you from getting back on the air, going back to your roots in the hobby by watching someone just getting started in amateur radio is a sure-fire remedy.

Now, if I Just save up some cash, by next summer I can…

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Barry Manz is president of Manz Communications, Inc., a technical media relations agency he founded in 1987. He has since worked with more than 100 companies in the RF and microwave, defense, test and measurement, semiconductor, embedded systems, lightwave, and other markets. Barry writes articles for print and online trade publications, as well as white papers, application notes, symposium papers, technical references guides, and Web content. He is also a contributing editor for the Journal of Electronic Defense, editor of Military Microwave Digest, co-founder of MilCOTS Digest magazine, and was editor in chief of Microwaves & RF magazine.

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