Foundations of Amateur Radio Shakespeare and Coax Stub Filters If you read it on the Internet, it must be true. but what happens if you read it and there are 700 different answers? In my day job I search countless times a day for answers to problems. Based on my experience I can look at a list of responses to a question and tell myself what the skill-set is of the poster, they don't know what they're talking about, they're guessing, they've got no clue, they tried it, ah, this one knows what they're talking about. As an aside, a company once advocated that we should use social media as a way to provide support to customers, but based on my experience, seeing the correct answer in a series of posts being voted down into oblivion and seeing the wrong answer being promoted is a fantastic example of why that won't work, ever. Infinite monkeys with typewriters might eventually write Shakespeare, but it will take an infinite amount of time and before they succeed there will be a whole lot of rubbish. When I started researching magnetic loop antennas several years ago I went through the same process, search for answers online. I found lots of different stories, opinions, measurements, contradictory statements and formulas. I spent some weeks reading everything I could on the subject and after a while a picture started emerging that started to explain to me how a magnetic loop antenna works. I'm no expert, my foray into this died when two ADSL modem transformers died within seconds of me hitting the PTT on my radio and I sort of lost interest. I have a magnetic loop antenna standing behind me, on loan from a friend and I use it to scan the bands. It's compact, easy to tune and one day I'll make more than a single contact on it. All this to say that I've been investigating coax stub filters. If you're not familiar with the notion, you can cut a piece of coax cable to a specific length and connect it with a t-piece to your antenna feed line. If you do that, depending on the length of the coax you cut, you get interesting effects. These effects include filtering, or notching out frequencies, passing other frequencies and all in all affecting what your radio is able to receive and transmit. If you've ever set up your radio with some friends nearby for a field day, a contest or a camp-out, you might be surprised to learn that even across the space of a field or a caravan park you'll be able to hear the other station, even if they're not on the same band. You might hear their actual voice, or more likely, you'll hear all manner of overload sounds that essentially show up as noise blocking out the station you're really trying to hear and work. Of course, the reverse is also true. When you're transmitting, your friend is hearing the same horrible gunk coming out of your radio. One of the ways that you can manage this is to set up filters, either notch filters which reduce the strength of undesired transmissions or pass filters which only allow certain frequencies to get to your radio. Combining these will make your life much easier. Coax stub filters are a tried and true method to achieve this and the Internet is full of expert opinion on how to exactly do this. With infinite budget and time, you can try them all out and with your trusty network analyser you can find the combination that works just for you, but in the real world you have a limited amount of coax, money and your lottery winning didn't cover that network analyser. I started this process in earnest two or so weeks ago and frankly I'm no closer now than I was then. I'm still in the reading articles stages. I think I'd like to create two sets of band pass filters and connect each set to a radio. If I'm on 10m, I set my radio to use a 10m band pass and set the other radio to use a pass filter for their band. I figure between the two of them I have something that resembles what I'm looking for. If wishing made it so. To make matters more interesting, I have two rolls of Quad Shield RG6 coax left over from my days climbing roofs and installing satellite dishes for broadband Internet in the bush. If you're familiar with that you already know that this is 70 Ohm coax. Of course none of the documentation I've been reading even talks about using 70 Ohm coax. I like it because it's strong, low loss and I have loads of it. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on. Friends have been sending me emails with copies of copies of copies of a hand-scribbled note written by a guy 30 years ago with the magic combination. I have several of these, all different. This morning I came across some electrical circuits that purport to do the same thing with a handful of components. One thing I do know, if the Internet has a thousand answers on how to do something, no-one really knows, or one of them does and is buried among the not-yet correct copies of the works of Shakespeare written by monkeys. I'm Onno VK6FLAB To listen to the podcast, visit the website: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/ and scroll to the bottom for the latest episode. You can also use your podcast tool of choice and search for my callsign, VK6FLAB, or you can read the book, look for my callsign on your local Amazon store, or visit my author page: http://amazon.com/author/owh If you'd like to participate in discussion about the podcast or about amateur radio, you can visit the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundations.itmaze Feel free to get in touch directly via email: email@example.com, or follow on twitter: @VK6FLAB (http://twitter.com/vk6flab/) If you'd like to join the weekly net for new and returning amateurs, check out the details at http://ftroop.vk6.net, the net runs every week on Saturday, from 00:00 to 01:00 UTC on Echolink, IRLP, AllStar Link and 2m FM via various repeaters.