slim jim ladder line for 2 meter

Hurray antenna build! This isn't my first, but it was the smallest. The other antennas I've built have been for CB, 11 meters. This one was for frequencies on the 2 meter band. I found some directions here. They served me very well and I had the foresight to take photos as I made the thing.

I've been planning to make a larger 2m J-pole antenna out of 1/2" copper pipe for awhile now. This is not that. I was wanting a better antenna for chatting on the 2m net in my area. Last week I had to drop out because my little handheld just wasn't getting out like it needed to. The J-Pole I want to build will be larger, about 8' tall. When that goes up I want it to be in a more permanent way. So something for the intermediate, ahh yes I have a bunch of 450ohm ladder line in the garage! Some quick googling and reading in my new antenna building book and boom a design is ready to try. See the earlier link.

Behold! Ladder line

Step one I stripped the top. Then proceeded to do…

Joliet 2m Wed night net

I've participated twice now in a net that is held on a local repeater. First one I had better signal, not sure what was the issue this time around. I know an antenna outside the house would help out. Also being able to output more than 5 watts would be grand. That'll be the next radio though. I've considered a VHF amp for this one, but I'd rather just wait a bit longer for a shiny new radio. All that stated here are some of my notes from the net though.

Start time 7:00 on the WCARL's 146.820 repeater.

Net Control:
KE9ZM Gary

Other check ins:
KA9SPL Steve
N9HLG Rick
KD9MDO Mike (me)

Topics bounced around a bit, main thing I learned about and am looking forward too is a hamfest coming up on the 20th. I'm looking forward to checking out all the gear and etc. I should start studying up too if I want to pass the general test by the end of Jan. Of course that'll mean I need another radio. Darn.


Full in, all out, all about, and so on. No idea why I wrote that sentence that way, it was fun though. I all in to this radio hobby though. It started with a small handheld CB and now I've got another CB a 10m radio and a small dual band handheld for analog and digital VHF/UHF. I'm on the air call sign and all. No super long distance contacts made yet, but the possibility is there. This digital radio thing is taking me a minute to wrap my head around.There are several competing modes for digital at the moment. Each coming from different manufacturers. My handheld is currently capable of working the DMR networks. I'll update more as I learn it. The basic idea of digital radio is that you can have multiple conversations on the same frequency without hearing each other. You can even have private conversations with singular users. So here is another thing that I'll be posting updates about. Also a means to make the international lounge truly international.

"I can't believe we didn't listen to ska"

Holy shit it's about time I got these photos up!

Come on, that shit is clever.

The talismans of our past, We'll get a post together later detailing their origins.

Where I got my first pipe, and where we used to get our cigars. 
We were not able to make a visit this time around. The picture is a bit blurry because it was dark out and I had my flash off. I made a choice early in the trip that I was going to put forth some effort to photo document this weekend. I didn't want to go selfie crazy, this wasn't for instagram or any of that shit. So when I snapped the first photo of the evening in a bar I quickly decided to turn the flash off. Nobody wants that bright fucking light in their face, and I don't want to announce to the bar "LOOK AT ME, I'M TAKING PICTURES!"
Start of the evening Scotch and Cigars
Scott shares with us his winnings. The plan was, give him a dollar each. Then he'll take that to the slot machine and win our drinking money for the ev…

Red Red Wine, and some white tooOOoooOOooo

We had a meet up of Idiots this last weekend and it was grand. Spencer, Chad, Reginald IV, and Todd all hit up the wine trails. Bottles drank, laughs had, business deals struck. Video on the way. You can also expect some photos from the weekend  to be shared by Mikey. Also plans for a weekly podcast adventure.

Stay foolish,
The Idiots


Hope we don't get sued! Here it is the intro to the podcast about..... ummm, should have figured this out first. Too late now though!

Episode 0

Finally Nice Out

Well I wasn't the first, but I was one of the early ones. To mow my lawn this year that is. It's finally nice out. Managed some yard work today and just sat out and enjoyed the lovely weather. Got my Menards card today too. Was expecting more of a credit card looking thing. This is more of a cross between a gift card and a Costco membership card. Dinner with the brother and folks later today, should be a fine time.

Found some new podcasting stuff, hope to be trying it out soon. With luck I'll be able to record something on the Carbondale trip.

Beer in hand, Blog online