Category: Basics

Radio Gear Organization – The Small Kits Method

Some time ago I organized my radio gear in small kits.

Each one is completely self contained, including all relevant items.

i.e. The wire dipole kit contains both the antenna, its coax cable, possible coax adaptors, plus the necessary cord, zipties etc to mount the antenna. That method requires a lot of duplicate items (i.e. coax cables) and material, but it is easy to use without worrying about forgotten items. let alone there is lot of redundancy in the system, a fetish of mine.

Now it is time for labeling the contents in each bag plus coloring for fast access.


As always, if you liked the contents of the blog, please share…


Το Κιτ Ασυρμάτου για τους Εθελοντές Επικοινωνιών της Πολιτικής Προστασίας του Portland, Oregon

Αρχικά εντοπίσαμε ατό το video και αποφασίσαμε να σας το δείξουμε γιατί είναι καλογυρισμένο και πολύ περιγραφικό.

Περιέχει τον προ-προγραμματισμένο ασύρματο, οδηγίες χρήσης, καλώδια σύνδεσης με κεραία, εφεδρική κεραία, τροφοδοτικό ρεύματος, κτλ.  Ένα πλήρες δηλαδή, αλλά βασικό, κιτ επικοινωνιών στα VHF.

Σκοπός του είναι να χρησιμοποιηθεί στους περιφερειακούς σταθμούς πυρόσβεσης από του εθελοντές του προγράμματος NET Amateur Radio Operators, δηλαδή το δίκτυο επικοινωνιών εκτάκτων αναγκών οργανωμένο σε επίπεδο γειτονιάς.

Πείτε μου τώρα εσείς τι από την παραπάνω παράγραφο συμβαίνει στην Ελλάδα.

A Practical Interpretation of Antenna Gain, donuts included.

Antenna gain is not an easy notion for a new radio operator to pick up. Some even go as far as supposing that the antenna gain shows the increase in radio power.

But is not that the actual energy radiated is increased by the better antenna, this is not allowed by the law of the conservation of energy. It is because the radiated energy is handled, shaped-formed and directed better towards you.

A look at wikipedia tells us: ” In electromagnetics, an antenna’s power gain or simply gain is a key performance number which combines the antenna’s directivity and electrical efficiency. In a transmitting antenna, the gain describes how well the antenna converts input power into radio waves headed in a specified direction. In a receiving antenna, the gain describes how well the antenna converts radio waves arriving from a specified direction into electrical power.”

Now this explanation is correct but let’s make it simpler.

Continue reading “A Practical Interpretation of Antenna Gain, donuts included.”

Do NOT miss out on Bret’s SurvivalComms Youtube Channel

By a strike of luck the SurvivalComms name is used by me for this blog, and by another guy (Bret) for his YouTube channel.

It also happens that we both are focused on practical HAM radio matters for Survival and Prepping.

Bret is not only knowledgeable but also good at breaking down matters and applications  into simple, layman’s terms. Among these are his DIY simple antennas.

So DO subscribe to his channel.

Radio Communications Musings no1.

What is Communications?

The word has obviously has to do with “Community” in the sense of Sharing. Sharing of information that is. But what kind of information?

To put it straightforward, it is about information that will allow proper decision making on all levels of involved parties, and for the task at hand.

Imagine you are in a rescue team searching for an injured hiker. What kind of information would you beam back to base once you find him?The victim status is an obvious one. Time of arrival is another, needed resources and assistance on route is another, etc.

But does the base needs to know that you have arrived at a tight spot and you will have to rig a way to pass the stretcher along a crevice? So in the process you need to judge what to pass on and what to leave out. Cos too much of data may needlessly  burden and clog the command center, delaying decisions.

Continue reading “Radio Communications Musings no1.”

Μια ματιά στις Απώλειες των Ομοαξονικών Καλωδίων των Κεραιών μας

Ο παρακάτω πίνακας συντάχθηκε κατά την προετοιμασία της παρουσίασης για το επόμενο Σεμινάριο Ραδιοεπικοινωνιών.

Δεν είναι λίγες οι φορές που ένας νέος ραδιοερασιτέχνης ή χειριστής επιλέγει ένα κοινό ομοαξονικών καλώδιο μεταφοράς για την κεραία του, το RG-58. Αυτό βρίσκεται εύκολα, είναι σχετικά οικονομικό, εύχρηστο αλλά παρουσιάζει μεγάλες απώλειες ισχύος, ειδικά στις μεγάλες συχνότητες.


Continue reading “Μια ματιά στις Απώλειες των Ομοαξονικών Καλωδίων των Κεραιών μας”

More Easy Antennas for the VHF/UHF

For the purposes of the next Radio Communications Seminar I constructed 2 antennas.

The first one is a ground plane field antenna using a folding handheld radio antenna.


An SMA to chassis mount adapter is used and the radials are just solid core wire twisted through the adapter mount holes. The good thing about this method is that the antenna requires no tuning as the vertical element is already pretuned.

Continue reading “More Easy Antennas for the VHF/UHF”

Basic Antennas for VHF-UHF Field Communications part 1

You have your first radio for some time now, you want to increase its performance in the field and also make a better radio kit for it. If you haven’t heard or read yet, the three most important words in radio communications are: Antenna, Antenna, Antenna

(which are followed by the next three: Location, Location, Location)

So, let’s see what your starter antenna options are . And that means simple, economic, easy to deploy -or even make- radio antennas for the VHF and UHF bands.


The Groundplane

It is the antenna that uses an artificial “ground” to work. In a base antenna the “ground” is the 3 or 4 radials that extend from its base. In a mobile (car) antenna the “ground” is defined by the car’s metallic body.

So a way for a ready-made option is to take a mobile antenna (that is already pre-tuned) and create its ground yourself.

One option is to get a magnetic base antenna and nail a metal sheet on top of a pole. This can be a lid of a paint can, a cookie baking tray etc etc. Then you stick the magnetic mount antenna on top.

Continue reading “Basic Antennas for VHF-UHF Field Communications part 1”