How Do I Get a Better Antenna?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Makes diff eq into algebra:)
    Makes convolution into multiplication:)
    Makes deconvolution into division:)

  2. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly! Just another tool to make life easier. FFT algorithm.
    W1YW likes this.
  3. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So to be a real "HAM" you have to build all your own equipment?
    John, WB0MPB
    WU8Y likes this.
  4. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree if it were not for hams licensed since the simplification of the exams, there would be little activity on the bands and what activity that was found would be the same guy you have worked a dozen times.

    I wonder about the level of curiosity surrounding the physics of an antenna or propagation that is within our new generation of hams. Curiosity is a strong motivator for learning. As exciting as it may be in the beginning, simply working other stations via skywave propagation soon for many will lose its luster if that's all there is to it.

    In my view many hams who have been with it for a long time find the driving force in longevity to be the curiosity of how it all works and the continued study to learn more. That's true for me. In the not so distant future will amateur radio reflect a revolving door of licensees leaving at a higher rate rate than those coming in. Is that already happening.

    An academician once told me the purpose of an effective test - in a field of endeavor where advancement of knowledge was desired - is to determine by passing of the test if a person has the will to continue on and learn more.
    WN1MB, W0GFE, AJ4GQ and 1 other person like this.
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Related - from another thread:

    And the problem starts way before the test. The wonder or magic of radio (and other things) just isn't what it used to be. For the most part, television comes from a wall jack or router cable. Most automotive antennas aren't whips these days. Cellphones dumped whips years ago. Ask some school age kid what an antenna is. Note the doe eyed stare...

    Buttons replaced knobs. Digital readouts replaced dials and meter movements. Auto-ranging replaced range switches. Ask some school age kid to read the time off an analog clock. Note the doe eyed stare...

    Ask some school age kid to put the window down in an older car with crank handles, and witness the search for a button switch. Then note the doe eyed stare...

    Ask some school age kid to call a friend with a rotary dial telephone, or even a cord type push button phone. Then note the doe eyed stare...

    Yes, there will be exceptions - some will fiddle, poke, and otherwise experiment to accomplish the requested task. However, I venture to say these will be rare exceptions and most certainly not the majority.

    Who's to blame? Well, in some cases it's the parents, or parent - singular, who don't, or doesn't, foster curiosity and encourage wonderment. Same for some school systems.

    Who else? Black box technology that's largely plug and play with incredibly dumbed-down user interfacing. No need to know. Just. Push. This. Just. Do. That.

    These are just some observations and thoughts. Before the masses pile on and take me to task for this post, I'll confess to being an old, white guy - but I will not confess to being a Luddite. Though advances in modern technology have brought us some wonderful things, I do believe that there are some definite downsides to the disguising and obfuscation of the how-and-why of the "pieces parts."

    Let the deluge of finger pointing, criticism, and hate commence.
    W1YW likes this.
  6. W4MHZ

    W4MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am saddened by the "dumbing down" of our people as well. Sadly today we are informed that the use of "smart phones" is literally causing abnormal brain development in our children. That's going to be a problem and the Physicists brought us that blessing ... Sometimes a little knowledge goes a really long way, the wrong way.

    Welp, I just do HAM radio because I enjoy CW QRP ... I am really glad that they have eliminated the CW requirements though ... I positively know the guys I spend 99% of my time talking with are on the radio because they also enjoy CW ... It's kind of like Physics, you don't learn it because you HAVE too ... You learn it because you WANT too. There isn't much point in making a religion out of a science or a job out of a hobby.
    WN1MB likes this.
  7. NN2X

    NN2X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I read through some of the content when it pertained to passing Ham Exams.

    I did an experiment with my 12 year old son with today's exams..

    The goal was to see how easy (or hard) it was to learn the pass the Technician Class License. I performed two methods

    1. First Method...Memorize the questions which is today's method. Using Ham online which has all the exams questions spelled out to Memorize (I used Ham online, which is very good by the way, it does have explanation, but for the experiment, my son simply memorized the material).

    2. Second Method...Old fashion way, read the material and comprehend.

    I have to state, my son initially did not have interest in Ham radio..(Unfortunately), but I asked to to take the practice exam (Ham online). I went through the sequence of questions using Ham online, and asked him to simply memorize the material. This is easy for kids nowadays

    It took him about 3 days, and that was about it..He could easily pass. He took one of the Prep Exams. score nearly 90%

    Then I had Adam try the 2nd method. which was read the material to pass the exam and understand /I had several books from yesterdays on Ham material ...We just started about a month into it, and there was an interesting phenomena. Please read on, and you will see something that all of us Ham Operators who passed many decades ago knew of the sliver lining

    After understanding some of the material (We built a Dipole for example), my son actually like the Ham radio little more...Well, go figure, learning, comprehending, maybe the answer after all!

    From my little experiment , it seems to "Spark real Interest" and retained my son's interest. Adam loved to experiment, especially after comprehending, my son said, the following; "Ham radio is actually is fun"

    What a concept..I can tell by modest experiment, my son might embrace a hobby, but with method 1, using the memorization method , my son would not go further with the hobby, (He may pass the exam, but that is about it).

    I will keep you all posted on my my son's progress

    Bottom line, the exam are far easier today to pass than yesterday..(But yesterday's method (Reading, comprehending and yes some experimenting), spark's the interest, and more than likely retains the prospective student in the Hobby

    Maybe it is all flawed but it was sure fun to see my son's eye's spark the interest for Ham radio using the old fashion way, (Reading, comprehending, experimenting, rather than memorizing a pool of questions)


    C U on the bands

    NN2X. Tom
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    KD0CAC, AJ4GQ and WN1MB like this.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    Physicists are too self-absorbed to create you the smart phone. Wrong target.

    Marty Cooper invented the cell phone and he hardly espouses such dumbing down. Great guy.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  9. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The family car circa 1956-63.... ;-)

    W4HM likes this.
  10. VE3BXG

    VE3BXG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just a little arrogant and nasty, don't you think? I am neither "stupid" nor do I have any working knowledge of electronics or the physics of antennas. (It is possible for both propositions to be true.) I have an amateur radio license and enjoy the hobby. Wow, imagine that!!!

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