Field Operations with the Chameleon CHA Hybrid Micro

Antenna works great as I shake out my frame pack at the farm location. I used the stock 60 radiator and a 30 foot counterpoise. I just threw it up a tree turned it on 20m, hit tune button and bingo a contact right away.

The Harris Military Radio is 10 watts on HF and has a built in tuner

Will try it with the stock whip antenna next time out


Let’s Operate and Make Contacts out in the Field

Instead of spending your time at a “breakfast” spreading negativity and hate why not spend your time in a positive manner playing radio.

I have no interest in engaging in such behaviour over a plate of bacon and eggs with other hams. I am so glad i changed the subject to “more important” issues like antennas, morse code keys and portable radios.

Now, as this breakfast meet up spreads into an east and west location then the negativity will continue. I will spend my time operating out in the field instead.

Thank You



Update on Hurricane Irma: SATERN Bulletin

The following news item is an update on Hurricane Irma from the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN):

International SATERN Operators
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Emergency Coordinators


SATERN Newsletter / Bulletins List

Hurricane Irma:

As everyone knows by now, Hurricane Irma is a “potentially catastrophic” hurricane forecasted to make landfall on the Florida Keys and southern tip of Florida sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday (09/10/2017) morning. It is then forecast to move straight up the entire Florida peninsula into Georgia and Tennessee with potentially serious impacts on South and North Carolina and the midwest.

Serious communications interruptions are very likely, especially in Florida.

In addition, Hurricane Irma has already had a devastating impact on several island nations and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean.

International SATERN SSB Net:

The International SATERN SSB Net will remain in Delta II mode through Saturday, 16 September 2017. This includes operations on Sunday 10 September. The hours will remain as they have been all of this week – 0900 (CT) / 1400 Z through 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z each day.

Southern Territory SATERN Net:

The Southern Territory SATERN Net will be activated beginning on Saturday 09 September 2017 through Saturday, 16 September 2017. The Southern Territory Net will begin at the same time the International SATERN Net ends – 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z – and will operate until 2200 (CT) / 0300 Z. It will resume operations at 0700 (CT) / 1200 Z until 1000 (CT) / 1500 Z

In other words, the International SATERN Net will be active during the daytime hours when the 20 meter band is generally open (barring atmospheric disruptions) and the Southern Territory SATERN Net will be open in the late evening and early morning hours when 20 meters is not active yet.

Net Operations Protocols:

All Net Control Operators need to do the following:

1. Ask for, and leave a break for, emergency, priority or health & welfare message traffic between each station’s comments. Collecting this information is the primary duty of the SATERN Net during this emergency.

2. Collect a brief situation report from the stations’ location that includes:
a. Is there any hurricane wind damage? If so, is it minor moderate or severe?
b. Is there any tornado damage? If so, is it minor moderate or severe?
c. Is there any flood or storm surge damage? If so, is it minor moderate or severe?
d. Are there any power outages? If so, how wide-spread?
e. Are there any communications disruptions? If so, what kind and how wide-spread?

Neither the SATERN Net nor will be accepting INBOUND Health & Welfare Inquiries (Health & Welfare Messages inquiring about the health and welfare of people inside an impacted area). INBOUND Health & Welfare Inquiries should be referred to the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at:

SATERN is only accepting OUTBOUND emergency, priority or health & welfare messages that are coming OUT OF the disaster impact area.


Any who wishes to volunteer as a Net Control or Assistant Net Control Operator for a one hour time slot or has questions about this activation for the International SATERN SSB Net should contact Net Manager Ken Gilliland (AG6SV) and Bob Rogers (WA5EEZ) at

Any who wishes to volunteer as a Net Control or Assistant Net Control Operator for a one-hour time slot or has questions about this activation for the Southern Territory SATERN Net should be forwarded to Net Manager Ken Standard (AD5XJ) at

Both the International SATERN SSB Net and the Southern Territory SATERN Net strongly encourage the participation of bilingual (English & Spanish) Amateur Radio operators on their Nets.

International SATERN Digital Net: There are no current plans to activate this net at this time.

William H Feist
Divisional Disaster Liaison
National SATERN Liaison

Update on September 7, 2017:

Radio Amateurs of Canada is monitoring the progress of the storms in the Caribbean and any necessary Amateur response.

The National Hurricane Center has issued another public advisory with an update on Hurricane Irma:

Stay tuned to this website and to our social media sites for more information: Twitter and Facebook

Here is a list of frequencies:

Puerto Rico: 3.803, 3.808, 7.188 MHz. Radio Amateurs in Puerto Rico also will cooperate with the Hurricane Watch Network on 7.268 and 14.325 MHz.

Cuba: Daylight hours, 7.110 MHz (primary) and 7.120 MHz (secondary); Provincial Net: 7.045, 7.080 MHz, and on other lower frequencies as necessary. Nighttime, 3.740 MHz (primary) and 3.720 MHz (secondary) and on other lower frequencies as necessary.

Dominican Republic: 3.873 MHz (primary), 3.815 MHz (secondary), 7.182 MHz (primary), 7.255 MHz (secondary); 14.330 MHz (primary), 21.360 MHz (primary), 28.330 MHz (primary).
Your usual cooperation is appreciated.


For your listening pleasure this weekend on HF, these are the Caribbean & Florida Hurricane Net Frequencies:
VE3IPS: Traffic is light meaning that Digital radio is not for ARES/RACES/EMCOMM
stick to 2m and FRS ch 1
Caribbean Hurricane & Weather Net   3.8150 LSB  (This is a 24/7 Net operated since after WW2).
7.2680  LSB
14.3250  USB
According to the ARRL, the 5 allocated 60m frequencies will be also used:
5.3320  LSB
5.3480  LSB
5.2585  LSB
5.3730  LSB
5.4050  LSB

Florida D-Star DV Reflectors:

REF034A – Florida Jacksonville  Hurricane Nets

REF034B – Florida Jacksonville  ARES Tactical Nets

REF034C – Florida Jacksonville  NE Florida D-Star Network

REF037A – Florida Orlando  Central Florida Reflector

REF037B – Florida Orlando  Central Florida Reflector

REF037C – Florida Orlando  Central Florida Reflector

REF046A – Florida Orlando

REF046B – Florida Orlando

REF046C – Florida Orlando  ARES Use

REF078A – Florida Vero Beach  Digital Mode Training

REF078B – Florida Vero Beach  WA4AKH/St. Lucia Group  (Caribbean)

REF078C – Florida Vero Beach  General Communications 1

REF078D – Florida Vero Beach  General Communications 2



National SOS Network – Hurricane Harvey and Irma – FRS can save your life


FRS can save your life

Before the storm arrives, go to Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Costco, Office Depot, Staples, Target or another store and buy two or more FRS (Family Radio Service) walkie talkies.

Keep at least three sets of extra Alkaline batteries on hand for each radio. Rechargeable batteries cannot be charged if your electricity goes out.

Tune your radio to Channel 1. Turn OFF all privacy codes (the second number should read 0 or 00). This is usually the radio’s condition when batteries are first inserted.

Practice using the walkie talkies with your family and neighbors before the storm arrives. Plan what you are going to say and do in different situations.

If you find yourself trapped after a hurricane without a landline phone or cell phone that works, your FRS walkie talkie may be heard by rescuers in the area.

Keep extra FRS walkie talkies and extra Alkaline batteries in your home, boat and car.

In a REAL emergency, follow these 3 steps:

1) Turn on your FRS walkie talkie to Channel 1. Broadcast every hour on the hour with privacy codes turned OFF. Say your name, your.exact location, and the nature of your emergency.

2) Keep calling for 2 minutes. Say, for example: “Emergency! This is John Smith. I am 1  miles South of Interstate 10 on Route 7. My car won’t start. Please send help.”

3) Listen 3 minutes for an answer. If you don’t hear one, save your batteries by turnig off your walkie talkie. Wait until the top of the next hour to call again.

It’s as easy as 1… 2… 3…

Call for help on Channel 1 every hour. Talk for 2 minutes. Listen for 3 minutes.



NVIS 80/60/40m Correct AS-2259 values

The values for ham radio use of the AS-2559 NVIS antenna made by Harris Corp are very different from the original design.

I have the AS-2259 antenna and it required a tuner when I deployed it for various NVIS and ARES operating events. It did not take long to realize that the SWR was off. However, it is a multi band design useful for milspec radios that can operate anywhere in the HF bands and all have built in antenna tuners so for a RTO or a signaller it doesnt’t matter.

The antenna design as seen in many websites is WRONG WRONG WRONG for ham radio operators

These are just v shaped dipoles and in this case we can add an extra element to sneak in the 60m band

The actual military version will resonate on 6 Mhz and 9 Mhz using the 25 foot and 38 foot 1/4 wave antenna lengths. You will need an antenna tuner to match it for ham radio use.

Why not design it properly with the need for no tuner and increase the antenna efficiency thus more radiated power?

The correct values for the 1/4 lengths are as follows:

80m – 62 feet

60m – 44 feet

40m – 32 feet

nvis ham.jpg

Advantages of an NVIS Antenna:

  • Usable on the HF bands below 10 Mhz
  • To work stations within 1200 km outside the ground wave range
  • This antenna is for regional communications not DX