“Antenna Launcher” from Mike KD9POE

Mike KD9POE has shared his own version of how to get a wire antenna up into a tree.

A solid stick through a dog ball on a fishing pole. This thing is easy to launch 60 feet up with accuracy. You could go higher up if you’re more athletic than me, not any challenge to do that! This goes straight up and turns straight down. It’s padded so I can even use it in the front tree with cars around, although I avoided them. Two tries at most. I don’t have much experience except days of doing other less successful things and looking stupid in the process.

Using a ball without a stick or a fishing weight gets stuck way too easy. I think I went through a whole package. You have to pull down in front of you , no jerking overhead, lol, kill yourself with that fishing weight! Weight helps a lot too. I start with very heavy fishing line so it’s heavy enough to pull 60 feet up a tree.  It has to have quite a bit of weight.  Materials used. 2 inch dog ball, fiberglass marker piece, hot glue(love that stuff), ear plug, paracord, shrink tube, zip ties….

This works super well.

Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFDs)

We’ve had an ongoing discussion on our internal message board SARC-all about nixie tubes, vacuum fluorescent displays and designing circuits to drive them. One of our members, Mike AC9CG, has a long history working for a VFD manufacturer and compiled a very nice history and technical overview of the devices. His notes follow. –Ed.

Vacuum Fluorescent Display, from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vacuum_fluorescent_1.jpg

VFD Sales in USA

  • From around 1970 to 1997, there were 3 Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) manufacturers, and they were all Japanese: NEC Electronics, Futaba Corp and Noritake Corp.
  • The 2 top VFD manufacturers were NEC and Futaba Corp, who produced VFD (displays) for appliance, automotive, Consumer electronics (VCR and AV equipment) and point-of-sale terminal applications, and the much smaller Noritake Corp, who produced mostly just point-of-sale terminal displays (for gas pumps, cash registers, etc.). NEC Electronics also had a full line of semiconductors, including 4bit microcomputers that could directly drive 40Volt VFDs and high voltage driver ICs capable up to 120VDC VF drive.

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Winter Field Day 2021: K9KMV

Winter Field Day 2021 – K9KMV              

There was no doubt that this year’s Winter Field Day would have a winter feel to it.  Winter Field Day occurs on the last full weekend of January each year, starting at 1900 UTC and finishing 24 hours later at 1900 UTC on Sunday.

My plan was to operate in one location on Saturday afternoon, and then at a different location on Sunday morning.  I would be operating as 1 Oscar (1-O), which references 1 Operator, Outdoors.  I also wanted to activate a POTA (Parks on the Air) park on one of the days. Continue reading “Winter Field Day 2021: K9KMV”