Dave Richards AA7EE

March 16, 2010

A Sabbatical

Filed under: Amateur Radio,Ham Radio — AA7EE @ 3:43 pm

If you’ve been reading my occasional blog posts you’ll remember that not long ago I was talking about a move to San Diego, followed by a mention that while that move was off, my current landlord had agreed to allow me to place an antenna on the roof of my apartment building. This was encouraging, but I then decided to look around for a cheaper place.  I’ve been out of work since April 2009 and it looks like once I am employed again, it may be on a part-time basis, so cost-cutting for the future is a necessary tactic.

I found a new cheaper place a few days ago.  Happily, it is just two blocks from where I live now.  It’s significantly smaller than the apartment in which I’ve been living, so this is going to be a fun exercise in downsizing even more. The size of my living spaces has followed an arc over the last 15 years, from a small studio in Hollywood, to a 3 bedroom house in the hills above Los Angeles, to successively smaller and smaller spaces in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been reminded of George Carlin’s skit on “stuff” as I’ve acquired and then gradually shed possessions. This new living space is going to be tight, but it’s in a lovely 100 year-old house with a large shared kitchen, large shared balcony, and an easy-going landlord who is open to me clambering about on the roof and putting up antennas (that was the clincher.)

Although it could easily be a couple of months before I blog again, while moving, I’m having plenty of antenna ideas. The first was to put a 31 foot vertical with 4 elevated radials on the roof and tune it at the base with a remote ATU. The second was some kind of trap dipole in an inverted vee configuration. Then I started thinking that there just might be a way that I could erect a multiband dipole fed with ladder line.  There may even be a way to get the ladder line all the way to my window. If that happens, you just KNOW that I’m going to jump at the chance to build my own ladder line and blog about it (with pictures). I mean, in the same way that REAL photographers use film and get their hands wet in messy chemicals in the darkroom, REAL radio amateurs build their own ladder line don’t they? I’m just kidding, but it would feel like some kind of ancient initiation rite if I were to do it, (so naturally I want to.)

So goodbye for now, but I’ll be back.

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4 Comments »

  1. I move around every year or two due to my job and I have come to really enjoy the challenge of installing antennas. Every place has a different geography and generally requires a different antenna. I’ve learned that there is no one perfect antenna, but there is a perfect antenna for each location. The fun part is trying to figure out what the antenna will be. Best of luck with the move!

    73 AD7MI Scott

    Comment by AD7MI — March 17, 2010 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  2. Good luck on the move, Dave. Hope to hear you on the air soon!

    Comment by haskelltx — March 17, 2010 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  3. I hope the downsizing is enlightening and the move proves uneventful. Congratulations on the job as well…73 Brad WF7T

    Comment by WF7T — March 20, 2010 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  4. Hope your move goes well. The occasion is a good time to get rid of a lot of the excess “stuff” we accumulate over the years (including Ham Stuff). Very liberating to see it in the Salvation Army/Thrift Shop store.

    Comment by Dick — March 20, 2010 @ 11:27 am | Reply


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