Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Playing With Kids Toys (Antenna)

Bulldog Man here.

First, I wanna thank all you kind folks for the thoughts, prayers, and kind words while I was laid up after my most recent surgeries. Although I am still not back to 100 percent, it amazes me that I can feel my hands and feet, I can feel heat and cold, and I can move my head without the agonizing pain of pinched nerves in my spinal cord.  It was far worse than we thought, but the doc is hopeful for a full recovery.  Life gets better day by day.

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While I was laid up, I did some studying, and picked up on the idea of building a slinky shortwave radio antenna.  If I can find the source again, I will be happy to give credit where due. Update, found the site credit goes to Frank Dorenberg

First, I took a 1 ½” PVC “T”, three plugs, some eye hooks and associated hardware, and an SO-239 connector, and built the basis for the antenna. I drilled holes to mount the eye hooks.  The one on the top of the “T” is used to connect to a tree or mast.  The other two are to support the slinkies and the rope/cord/paracord to hold the slinkies up in the air.



I soldered some 12 gauge wire to the SO-239.  After that, I screwed the SO-239 connector into the bottom plug of the “T”.
I pulled the wire through the open holes in the side of the “T”. 




I bent the end loops of the slinkies to be able to connect them to the eyehooks.  I soldered them to the 12 gauge wire. I then taped the soldered connections up to minimize Oklahoma eating away at the connection! 




I then sat down with a yard stick, and drew out 20 yards of mason’s line (twice).  These lines hold the slinkies up in the air, and gives the user a line to secure the slinkies out in any direction you need them spread out to. The end result is the slinky antenna, minus the connecting cable as shown.




Then came the fun part!  Since I still can’t work above my head, or lift more than 10 pounds, Tank came to the aid of the old man.   He beat the far end of an antenna mast that I picked up (actually it was the top rail for a cyclone fence) into a nice flat surface. He bent over the top to minimize the chance of rain getting into the mast.


We drilled a hole, put in another eye hook, a clip, and a pulley.  I’m lazy.  I don’t want to work hard enough to take down a mast.  A little untying of a piece of paracord and the antenna is down at my level.  I attached the coax using a PL-259 connector, and stripped and dressed the other end for the shortwave radio.



We tied the antenna up on the mast; I tied the slinkies out as far as I comfortably wanted to pull them out (about 13 feet). I pulled the “T” up the mast, tied off the paracord, and now I get far better reception on my shortwave radio.






This antenna is more of a permanent but mobile device.  I removed the green telescoping antenna to use for camping.


There you have it folks a better antenna made out of children’s toys, costing less than $20.00.

21 comments:

  1. Glad you are recovering nicely. The first thing Hubby noticed was no pain. Doc thought he might never regain the feeling in one leg but he did!

    Great idea for an signal booster.

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    2. It's amazing how much better I feel, without having to deal with the meds. I had fun with the antenna, it kept me from going stir-crazy!--BDM

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  2. oh my - that's pretty awesome! and all from some children's toys!!! and thank goodness Tank was there to help! i'm happy that you are recovering so well and able to keep yourself thinking up new stuff. we love Oklahoma Transient because of all of Sweet Sandy's excellent posts...but posts from the BDMan are pretty awesome too! and we look forward to many more from you! now we just need the two of you to come for a visit so we can take you both out fishing! sending much love to all of you! give that Sweet Sandy a big hug from both of us - if you haven't noticed already - we love the crap out of her!

    your friends,
    kymber and jambaloney

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    1. BDM here......I'm simple man, I like to make new gadgets with old toys!! I'll give Sandy a hug, and one day we will all go fishing!!!

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  3. Very cool indeed. And if you ever need to entertain the future grandchildren you can always cannibalize the antenna too :)

    That's seriously thinking ahead :)

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    1. BDM here. My antenna is safe, as the grandkids we have now drive, ride motor bikes, and aren't worried about slinkies!!!!

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  4. So very, very glad this surgery went well and that you are improving each day. Good health (pain-free!) is so vital to a happy, productive life. Sending best wishes that it's all better and better for you from this point on. (And, in turn, for Sandy!!! That's how it works in a good partnership!)

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    1. BDM here. I'm so surprised to be living without the constant pain....to me it's still amazing that I don't hurt. And thanks to Sandy for putting up with me through the whole thing!!

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  5. Bull dog is one talented man:):) Hug B

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  6. Bull dog is one talented man:):) Hug B

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  7. Now this is amazing! How's it working for you?

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    1. BDM here, the antenna works better I get many more stations than I used to.
      I'll know more the more I get to use it.

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  8. Glad the surgery went well and you are feeling better. The slinky antenna is pretty clever.

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    1. BDM here, thanks! Wish the idea was mine but I did modify it for my own use.

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  9. Pretty Slick! Will have to remember this post for future use! Thanks BDM

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    1. BDM here, hope it works for you the way it did for me :-)

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