Monthly Archives: August 2011

Par EndFedz Antennas – LnR Precision Inc

Decided to do a little antenna experimenting – I’ve long wondered what I could do with very portable antenna for traveling. As far as I know the TSA shouldn’t be too upset if I have one of these in my carry on, but then you never know…..

HF EndFedz® (Patent Pending)

The UV resistant ABS plastic housing encloses an efficient matching network allowing the antenna to be fed with common 50 ohm coaxial cable.

All hardware is stainless and the SO-239 connector is silver/teflon.

The radiator wire is custom made for us in 21 mile runs.

It is a #18 gauge stranded copperweld with a tough polyethylene jacket.

Breaking strength is 200# and, unlike the vinyl jacket found on the vast majority of antenna wire, the polyethylene jacket is 100% UV stable, very tough and slippery – almost like Teflon®.

One end comes with a #10 solder lug making attachment to the matchbox simple and allowing the radiator portion to be replaced if ever necessary.

Power rating is a conservative 100 watts. (Ed: 25 watts for the EF-10/20/40)

Lightweight (the 20 meter version is only 0.5 pounds), they are ideal for portable work.

The all black construction makes them difficult to see.

via Par EndFedz Antennas – LnR Precision Inc.

I’ve ordered the EF-10/20/40 version – a 66 ft long version covering 10m, 20m and 40m as is, and usable on any band between 10m and 60m as a mono band with a user substituted antenna wire connected to the EF-10/20/40’s matchbox.

Downside of this version is a 25 watt power limit, which is more than adequate for QRP or portable digital & casual operations, but not suited for anything “cooking with an amp.”

You can find the manual & specifications for this antenna at:

Full report when it arrives and I have a chance to play with it!



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What are You Reading This Year?



Among my other interests, I do like to read. Usually each year it is a mix of technical, novels, historical and business books. I’d set myself a challenge of finishing a book each week for 2011, which isn’t as much as it first seems. Being blessed with a good reading speed helps, and a balance between types of books makes it fun.

If you want to look over my bookshelf, anything recent is listed at

The “Goodreads” system is quite a step up from the notebooks which I had kept since Junior High School. Some day I will backfill my Goodreads list from my notebook and about ten large crates of books in storage.

By title and author is list of Books read so far in 2011 in alphabetical title order (as of August 2011):

  1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand, Ries, Al
  2. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Ries, Al
  3. 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius, Monk, Simon
  4. 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read, Ventura, Jesse
  5. Acres Of Diamonds, Conwell, Russell H.
  6. Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea, Callahan, Steven
  7. The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, Skoolland, Ken
  8. The ARRL Antenna Designer’s Notebook, Cake, Brian
  9. The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, Crossley, Richard
  10. Daemon (Daemon, #1), Suarez, Daniel
  11. Dark Night of the Soul, Cross, St. John of the
  12. Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition, Trout, Jack
  13. Djibouti, Leonard, Elmore
  14. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Mlodinow, Leonard
  15. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics, Hazlitt, Henry
  16. Farmer in the Sky, Heinlein, Robert A.
  17. Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction, Babauta, Leo
  18. Freedom (Daemon, #2), Suarez, Daniel
  19. Get Your Black Belt in Marketing: 81 Power Moves to Outperform, Outmaneuver, and Outsmart the Competition, Pervez, Ali
  20. Getting Started with Arduino, Banzi, Massimo
  21. Hologram of Liberty: The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance With Big Government, Royce, Kenneth W.
  22. How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, Rath, Tom
  23. How to Choose and Use Advisors: Getting the Best Professional Family Business Advice, Aronoff, John L. Ward Craig E.
  24. I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It, Luskin, Donald
  25. The Immortality Virus, Amsden, Christine
  26. No Country for Old Men, McCarthy, Cormac
  27. Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, Updegraff, Robert R.
  28. Once Upon a Magic Night, Peterson, John A
  29. One More Day Everywhere: Crossing 50 Borders on the Road to Global Understanding, Heggstad, Glen
  30. Product Analysis Pricing, Jaques, Elliott
  31. The Road Home, Baze, Andrew
  32. Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, Jr., Walter M. Miller
  33. The Secret, Byrne, Rhonda
  34. The Small House Book, Shafer, Jay
  35. Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, Babiak, Paul
  36. Speed-Speed-Speedfreak, Farren, Mick
  37. Stealth Antennas, Nichols, Steve
  38. The Story of John Nightly – Part 1, Taylor, Tot
  39. A strange manuscript found in a copper cylinder, Mille, James De
  40. StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths, Rath, Tom
  41. Three Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the heart on the Appalachian Trail, Blanchard, Dennis R.
  42. Understanding Manhood in America, Davis, Robert G
  43. Unreasonable Inferences: The True Story of a Wrongful Conviction and its Astonishing Aftermath, Griesbach, Michael
  44. Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, Corsi, Jerome R.
  45. Zen and Now: on the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Richardson, Mark

I’ve added Italics for those amateur Radio related or connected.

You can find my reviews and ratings at the Goodreads link.

What are you reading this year, and of course anything you can recommend would be appreciated!

NOTE on August 21st I did add a few crates of books I had previously read to my Goodreads list.  WIll put up the next batch later this year.



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National Traffic System – Pen Pal Program

From this month’s Wisconsin Section news update:

NTS Pen Pal Program
by Ivin Flint, W9ILF, NM and ORS

The purpose of the NTS Pen Pal Program is to gain new friends within amateur radio through the national traffic system. It will create a traffic flow back and forth between two stations. This traffic flow will become a consistent path through the NTS. It will very likely cross modes and forge a strong, reliable link between two points that may incidentally be beneficial in a time of emergency while two stations get to know each other though frequent correspondence.

To get this started I have created a yahoo group with a page to place interested operator’s name, call letters, city, & state. To gain a new pen pal simply look through the list and choose an area of the United States you would like to correspond with someone. Write a radiogram message to the individual you choose, inviting them to be your NTS pen pal. Next, just bring your traffic to any traffic net of your choice.

If you receive a request, respond with an agreement or a response as to why you cannot be a pen pal with this station at the moment. You may get multiple pen pal requests so keep the number to a comfortable amount. If you feel you have enough pen pals indicate you are not currently available for more on the web site. When you have an opening due to more time or a loss of one pen pal then indicate your availability again on the pen pal web site.

On the website there will be lots of information on how to correspond and “break the ice” to get started and ways to track your message to delivery.

Regular NTS participation with one or more traffic nets is encouraged as this will then ease delivery of your traffic. Daily check-in isn’t required but multiple times weekly is good. Local NTS operators will get to know what traffic net/nets you are most active with and will route your messages there.

The benefit the NTS pen pal program will have to ARRL traffic nets is that as traffic is routed to nets pen pal participants will show up eager to get their traffic from the net and inject more unique traffic into the system. Individual traffic is a joy to handle from a relay operator’s point of view so more operators will be interested in moving traffic along getting an expected message though. The more traffic two stations generate to each other the stronger and more efficient the path to get traffic delivered will become.

If you feel your message may not have been delivered and got stalled along the way, I would encourage you to follow up with the person you gave your message to. Good record keeping is important and part of the NTS system. Each relay station should be able to tell you who they gave the message to, the date and time. Most of the time the message will have been delivered or there is a good reason your message has gotten stuck. By your interest in following up it will encourage the relay station to hunt and find an outlet for your traffic. Once the outlet is established by a relay station they will use it time and time again. You can see then, how your regular traffic to a specific station makes the NTS path stronger.

Please do not use e-mail to contact your pen pal. If there is a reason a single letter has to be lengthy spend just a little money and send it via the United States Postal Service. They could use the extra letter and it is in the spirit of a good pen pal. Those I have been in correspondence with regularly have required a letter from time to time, but most of our communication has been through the NTS.

Chess was once a common use of the NTS. If you would like to add extra fun to your NTS experience then indicate you know the game and how to notate chess moves. It works very easily with NTS messages and it has been very enjoyable for me the few times I have tried it.
Adding a game into the mix of your correspondence is easy and adds to the anticipation of getting another message though with your next move.

Have fun and enjoy getting more involved with the National Traffic System.

What an excellent idea – will need to find me a buddy to do this with with whom I don’t email (much)!



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Mancorad Mid-August “Dashes & Dots”

Hello Everyone!

A quick update on Mancorad, and welcome to our August 2011 issue of “Mancorad Dashes & Dots” club email briefing.


A lot of background work has been going on. Most of the outstanding tasks have been completed. We have recovered all but two of the keys the city has asked for, and have sent that couple a prepaid mailer so they can mail them in.

The major Constitution & By-Laws update started back two-three years ago (some drafts at updates are six+ years old) is complete and adopted! Yeah!


Look for the restart of membership meetings in September, with our first meeting this autumn on Saturday September 17th starting at 10AM at the Club Room!

More details will follow – the dates for the rest of the year are: 9/17, 10/15, 11/19 and 12/17 and for the start of 2012 they are 1/21, 2/18, 3/17. 4/21 and 5/19

We have our first program presentation volunteer – Scott W9JSB – who will fill us in on how the big cranes communicate – a lot more going on there than you might suspect. Don’t miss his presentation at our September meeting!

Again, if any of you have an interesting in being on the program schedule please let us know.

As a reminder there are no member meetings scheduled for August.

Watch for more on the exact times, programs and locations for meetings!


As you may well have noticed the club’s additional call signs have been assigned to the repeaters in the repeater listings.

Our 146.610 repeater will eventually become W9MTW and our 145.110 repeater has already become K9MTW

The 145.110 K9MTW repeater is back up after being checked out by WE9R and KD9TZ – many thanks!.

This Autumn it will receive the controller update that has been planned for some time. so we can start adding features.

Then the plan is to relocate the 145.110 to the Franklin Street Fire Department tower this fall!

Exciting times!

Once the 146.610 is reprogrammed to W9MTW our W9DK club call sign is being reserved for club shack and club activity usage.

One big item, the Antenna for the 145.110 repeater that was dropped shipped to Frank’s Radio was picked up a club member and we need to locate it. Any assistance appreciated!


The website is a work in progress, under construction. Scott W9JSB has been working to add content – thank you!


Except for special events, Mancorad will be very light in using Twitter or Facebook. This may change as the youth membership become more active in Autumn.


It is with deep thanks that the club is acknowledging donations from the family of WW9P Joel “Whitey” Hofslund, Sr. Whitey had passed on some years ago, and his XYL passed this winter. Joel Jr has arranged to donate most of Whitey’s gear to the club. In the donation is a Vintage TRS-80 CoCo Computer – whew! Thank you Joel Jr!

K9SAZ Steve Burk has made a generous donation of much needed VHF and UHF gear. Many thanks Steve K9SAZ!

A large donation of vintage computers came from Bob N9LVU this winter. The youth in the club will have a chance to see some “boat anchor computers” first hand! Thank you Bob N9LVU

Once inventoried the donations will be divided into items that will remain part of the club’s property and those that will be passed along by sale or auction.


The info email remains active. All other email addresses may be intermittent or not working.

Club Leadership is President Tim N7TAL, Vice-President Scott W9JSB and Secretary/Treasurer Steve K9ZW


Mancorad Secretary/Treasurer


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