4 Band Off Center Fed Dipole OCFD

I have been looking for a field expedient  antenna that does not need any band switching. I am using my linked dipole but to change bands I need to link/unlink the connectors which can be time consuming. So looking through various antenna books in my reference library I found a simple 4 band antenna that is efficient and NO TUner needed.

In 20 minutes I had spooled out the wire and soldered up the connectors and the next day went out in the field to try it out.

However, I have found variations in the design and baluns. I have done some testing with the 4:1, 6:1, 5:1 and even a 9:1 balun and have found the 6:1 seems to work best for my situation. I do find that the height of this antenna can vary the swr a bit so the radio internal tuner can handle the swr and match it quickly but i have a radio that does not have a built in tuner (hence the use case for this antenna).

A quick check into the net with a temporary install proved a easy 5×7 at 20 watts signal report.

4 band ocfd ve3ipscopyscape-banner-white-200x25


Heil PR-40 Icom HF Transceiver Settings

The Heil PR-40 is a studio grade pro series microphone that offers a wide frequency response. It is typically mounted in a shock mount in the shack using an external trigger switch for PTT. It includes a built pop or breathe filter in the mic eliminating and external screens. Bob really thought this one out.

It uses a dynamic cartridge offering a very smooth response with some peaks at 100hz and around 5Khz

This microphone as such would not need any EQ settings but experimenting with it there can be some adjustment to start from. I suggest trying a -4 for Bass and +4 for Treble and adjust from there.

The compressor if used should be set to wide.

This is not really a DXer mic but a rag chewers mic based on the response pattern. I would look at the Pro Series 7 boom sets with the legendary dream machine HC-4 cartridge that is peaked for speech that will cut through the noise and pile ups. You can also swap out cartridges to change the frequency response.

The other mic for Icom is the iCM which is an electric mic cartridge to provide some more gain into the radio.

I am looking forward to trying the Heil HMM mic but it seems to be a mess of cables as it needs an adapter cable. It would be nice for them to make a rig specific model to keep the cabling neat and tidy. Bob has engineered some improvements that offer better sound over the OK Icom mics included in the box.

I also recommend a Heil over any Icom desk mic.

Field day is a few months away so there is lots of time to throw all your spare change into the Heil Fund jar but it will need lots of loonies and toonies. Remember you are making an investment not just for an ergonomically better mic design bit also in sound quality.





Heil Microphone DIY Trigger Switch

The Heil microphones have a jack for a separate trigger switch or foot switch to activate microphones that are on a boom.

This is also ideal for Contesters that use a boom mic so they have an extra hand for logging and tuning.

Heres the thing – its just a switch so mount it however you wish.

DMR Presentation

Andre VE3WZW has given a presentation on DMR from an experts point of view. Many know Andre as the Father of DMR in the GTA as one of the original experimenters on this mode. He is also the Founder of the DMR TRanscanada net promoted good will and technical discussions across Canada.

Andre has developed countless code plugs for the different radios to assist new hams being able to get on the air quickly.

DMR has been growing at a rapid pace with double digit growth as many hams can get on the air with a hotspot and a entry level radio for under $250. The ability to make contacts around the world from a home, hotel room and even your car using a hotspot is incredible.

Check out his website and a link to the presentation.




International Marconi Day: GB4IMD Saturday, April 21, 2018


Further information is available from various Marconi websites and this one is a good start



Dayton (Xenia) 2018 Hamfest – AirPlanes

Please note that the Dayton national Air Force Museum has a very special event planned for the entire weekend. The place is HUGE.  It will take a couple of days to see it all.  They have B-17s, B-29s, Mustangs, Apollo spacecraft, Wright B Flyers, MiGs and just about everything in between. My favorite has always been the XB-70. The Memphis Belle B17 along with two additional B17s and numerous other aircraft will be flying in that weekend. It’s World War 2 Weekend at the Dayton Air Force Museum along with FourDaysInMay and the Hamvention!


http://www.n8mdp.com/hamvention.php for a ton of photos and I am even in one of them OMG too funny!

Durham Radio RIP!!!!!!!!!

Its a sad day when a popular retailer has to pull the plug due to economics

Thanks Durham Radio for the value, customer service and alternative shopping source for ham and CB radio radio stuff that I need.

73s and God Speed


We regret to inform you that Durham Radio Sales & Service Inc. after nearly a 25 years in the industry – closed its doors forever at 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 14th. We would like to thank our dedicated staff, loyal customers and friends for your continued support and for many great years in this hobby. Unfortunately, times have changed and it has become impossible to remain competitive in this industry without making drastic changes to our business model. We have decided that it would be better to close the business rather than change the products we carry and reduce customer service.

If you need product support please contact the manufacturer.
If you’ve recently ordered something and it did not arrive, please track your shipment to make sure it’s on the way. If tracking is not available please contact your credit card company for a refund.