Duh: Learning Curve #5 Old Lessons Remembered

POLL RESULTS SO FAR:  West Virginia is in the lead for best Ham Radio QTH in the USA… One more week of voting… Have you voted yet? Here’s the link to vote!

Last weekend I played in the QRP Afield event and had fun with fellow Polar Bear QRP Club members on the air. It was a great time. Once again, the antenna tweak won out and under the influence of a great blog post by Polar Bear #20 VA3SIE, Martin in Ontario about the 88ft Doublet, I caved in and put one together the night before the event. Oops, I did it again! But this time I had excellent results and the antenna worked as advertised.  LESSON: Sometimes it pays to follow your heart and not your head.

cd logo
Civil Defense Logo

I also remembered how I learned a lot as a young teen aged ham via the Civil Defense program. Remember that time?

Watching a weather report about tornadoes reminded me of a great learning experience. The Palm Sunday Tornadoes of 1965 hit the counties north and east of my home in Elwood, IN. At only 15 yrs old, I was the assistant emergency coordinator and ran the 6 meter emergency communications net on Sundays.  Our county and city Civil Defense teams had setup equipment and were ready for disasters and those tornadoes reeked havoc on our area.

Palm Sunday Tornado Map
Path of the Palm Sunday Tornadoes

Our teams rolled out the emergency vans, and the adults helped this young ham handle traffic for the state police and other government emergency responders.  The old yellow CD Gonset Goonie Bird rig is still something I remember fondly. I loved running that thing!

LESSON: Give the young hams some responsibility and empower them. They will be there when the time comes and will never forget how older folks treated them as peers and gave them an opportunity to do something important. I bet that kind of opportunity will still attract young people to our great hobby. We need them! They need us!

The Yellow Goonie Bird


  1. Alex says

    Not wanting to sound “negative” but adults in today’s society, for the most part, cringe at accepting responsibility, that may just rub off onto their children. So don’t kknow if giving kids additional responsibility will draw them to Ham Radio. Just my thought, no conclusive evidence. You and I are from a different era!!!

    Now to your 88ft Doublet. I’ll bet your outstanding results where on 20M ? The 88ft should load a lot easier on 40 and 80 than a 44ft doublet. If your results were on 20M then recall that the 88ft doublet is very close to being a Double extended Zepp on 20 which will give you approx 3Db gain broadside to the antenna.
    The pattern on 40 shud be more braodside than a 44ft. The 44ft is a Double Extended Zeppp with gain on 10M. Mostly vertical rf radiated on 40M.
    I am not an antenna expert so stand to be corrected if I am wrong in the above statements.

    73 and keep experimenting
    Alex K5UNY

  2. kmack says

    It was 20m… grrrrr! Just takes some space to get that hummer up in the air.

    Kelly K4UPG PB #173

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