The Charlotte Amateur Radio Club - W4CQ is a general interest radio club serving the Charlotte, NC area. We generally meet on the first Saturday of every month at 10:00 AM at the Salvation Army Divisional headquarters, our served agency. We're located at 501 Archdale Drive in Charlotte, NC. 28217, near I-77 Exit 4 (Nations Ford Road).

Check our Calendar of Events for changes and additions to the meeting schedules.

Feel free to come by and meet the members. We have a working club station on site with active HF, VHF and UHF equipment. This is a secured facility, please arrive no later than 9:35 AM to assure access.

A quick note on random wire antennas.
If making your “Random” wire length is a-kin to throwing a dart at a dartboard and picking a length, then you are likely to have moderate to satisfactory results. Just keep in mind that random lengths can and do have lengths to avoid and lengths that are best suited for your application. Start with the length that works best for your area and see what it is with a section folded back on itself and the end supported with rope. If you find you are having issues, make the rope longer and the antenna length shorter or vice versa to find a good spot. This is the “hunt and peck” version of using a random wire antenna and works when you have an odd location to put an antenna. Once you are happy, secure your ends.
However, if you run into issues with your length selection, a silent key, John H. “Jack” Clarke VE3EED took the time to find out many of these lengths up to 450 feet and list many good options like 29  35.5  41  58  71  84  107  119  148  203  347  407  423 feet. So, move from hunting and pecking and try a few lengths Jack suggests and move closely around them with your adjustments. You can find Jack’s research information easily on the internet and dwell way down the rabbit hole on this. Just remember with antennas, that the one that gets you out on the air with no issues is a good one.
73,
KO4BYR

Credit for image.

I wanted to share an antenna build I found in a military book about ship antennas.

It is basically a 50′ wire and a 4:1 UNUN with a short ground wire.

For the radiating wire, I chose a 50′ section of #10 THHN.

To build the UNUN, I bought a FT240-43 Torroid and a waterproof Box from Amazon.

You will need one SO-239 connector which can be can be found here.

I drilled and mounted my hardware into the box as pictured below.

I like to use copper strap to tie the ground and SO-239 together. (Instead of the coax in the diagram)

It can be bought here for $4 per 10′.

Winding the torroid is 15 simple bifilar turns. I like to use this silicone wire.

If you follow the diagram, the wound torroid  should turn out like this…

It mounts in the box like this…

Chris and I used the air cannon to hang the 50′ vertical in a tree. A folding knife was used as a ground rod.

N4CPW making 40m contacts.

Video of 80m in early morning…

Video

 

Conclusion…

It was impressive how effortlessly the LDG auto-tuner matched 80/40/20/17/15/10. Looking back, I should have tried to tune 30m and 60m, but was taken into the distraction of chasing easy contacts on 80/40/20. I also should have tried the IC-7300’s internal tuner, but again, blame the aforementioned good time for not doing so. I should have run WSPR too. Darn.

N4CPW took the “UNTENNA” with him for further testing.

Maybe we can get the answers to those questions from him in a future update.

-KK1LL

UPDATE: 72′ radiating wire vastly outperforms 50′ wire on 80m, and allows a good tuner to use 160m.

We call this version the KW4RD antenna because it was developed with extensive testing by Ronnie Flemings.

On the horizon is a pair of digital repeaters to replace the 147.060 and 444.675 atop of 2 Wells Fargo in Uptown Charlotte.

There is currently a membership and donation drive to fund this project, as it will be a complete replacement and overhaul of the existing setup.

There is also a project in the works  to give W4CQ members Allstar access to a remote station, capable of accessing the 444.450 via internet!

Reach out to officers@w4cq.org if you wish to contribute to the cause!

Updates to follow.

Two Wells Fargo Center - The Skyscraper Center

 

Amateur Radio License Exam

Saturday, October 7th 2023 at 12 Noon. The Test Session will start promptly at 12 Noon, so please show up around 11:30 – 11:45, to fill out paperwork.

 

Any questions please email w4cq@w4cq.org

The testing site is 501 Archdale Dr, Charlotte NC 28217.

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Upcoming Events

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02Mar2024

Monthly Club Meeting

Monthly Club Meeting

From 10:00am until 12:00pm

At W4CQ Radio Room @ Salvation Army Community Services Bldg.

501 Archdale Dr Charlotte NC 28217

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02Mar2024

License Testing

From 11:00am until 3:00pm

At Must Make Reservation!

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06Mar2024

W4CQ Trader Net

W4CQ Trader Net

From 7:30pm until 8:30pm

At W4CQ Repeater 444.450mhz +5 / 82.5 tone

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