How To Calculate The Height Of A Tree Or Some Other Antenna Support Candidate
from Feburary 2014 QST magazine by Richard Fisher (KI6SN)
But How Do I Calculate Tree Height? Length is one challenge. Height, another. Here are four easy steps to calculate the height of any distant object.
• Find a stick that is equal in length to the distance from your cheekbone to your fingertips when your arm is fully extended in front of your face. Breaking a branch to proper length will work just fine. This isn’t rocket science.
• Hold the stick vertical by the tips of your thumb and index finger and put it in front of you with your arm fully extended and parallel to the ground.
• Walk toward or away from the tree until the top of the stick is visually lined up with the top of the tree and the bottom of the stick is lined up with the bottom of the tree. Visually, think of the stick eclipsing the tree — like the Moon covers the Sun in a solar eclipse.
• The distance from where you are standing to the base of the tree is equal to the height of the tree. Use a measuring tape if there’s one handy. If not, measure the approximate distance between your steps as you walk naturally. Count the number of steps you take to the base of the tree and multiply it by the number of feet and inches each of your steps cover.Write comment (1 Comment)
I decided to participate in the ARRL 160m CW contest this weekend and although I was not expecting a tremendous showing (which proved to be accurate) I did realize how slow my code copy was and how much I really need to work to try to gain some accuracy and speed if I am to participate in any other upcoming CW contests.
There were "tells" of those that were using completely computer interfaced operation at the 25+ wpm speeds as well as the ones that were actually doing it by hand. Those that were doing it by hand tended to be a bit 'sloppier' and really provided a challenge to finally get the call correct (I think) before returning an exchange. This has lead me to two options that I can see; either get a better setup for interfacing with the computer or actually get my hands on speed in copying and sending code up above the 21 wpm level. I think the former may be the more practical for me to do since I am still very slow at copying code. Either use it or lose it!
Now with that contest (nightmare) out of the way I am now looking at a couple of upcoming contests that should prove to be more enjoyable and possibly I can present a better showing.
- ARRL 10m Contest (Phone, CW) - Dec. 10th through 11th
- ARRL RTTY Roundup [Digital | 80,40,20,15,10] - Jan. 7 – Jan. 8, 2017
- CQ World-Wide 160-Meter Contest [CW | 160] - Jan. 27, 2017 – Jan. 29
- CQ WPX RTTY Contest [RTTY | 80,40,20,15,10] - Feb. 11, 2017 – Feb. 12, 2017
- CQ World-Wide 160-Meter Contest [SSB | 160] - Feb. 24, 2017 – Feb. 26, 2017
Above are the main ones that I am looking to participate in and even though my CW skills are lacking, I would hate to pass up a World Wide DX 160m contest since that is when I am able to gain the most new countries on one of the hardest bands to work DX without a very elaborate transmitting and receive antenna setup.
Now the CQ WW 160m SSB Contest is indeed one of my favorites and I am working to do all that I can in preperation for this years event. I was fortunate enough to make it into the top 5 for the state of Georgia (5th) for the 2016 year and I am really hoping that I can more than double my 35,035 points in the 2017 contest. It is a very hard row to hoe. Effective 160m contesting and DX stations are very difficult to set up and generally require a great amount of land for the multiple beverage receive antenna arrays which tend to work best for hearing the very weak stations.
Some amateurs despise contesting and don't understand why anyone would 'waste' parts of the bands to participate. For me it tends to accomplish two goals. The first being just an alternate activity that breaks the monotony of the same ole same ole. The second, there is rarely a better way of racking up the hard to get DX contacts on bands such as 160m than during a contest when all world wide amateurs are participating.
Just the fact Jack!
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Although I did not do nearly as well as I had hoped, I did beat my score for last years contest by a considerable margin. If anything this tells me that I am doing a better job at working the pile-ups when in the 'run' mode, however my 'search and pounce' performance was hampered by a number of contributing factors such as manual tuning of both the Palstar AT2K tuner as well as my AL-80B amplifier, the congested band conditions, and the lack of a better receive setup. Although I am able to tune both the amp and tuner relatively quickly, it is a far cry in comparrison to a solid state amplifier along with a high quality stepper auto tuner but you do the best with what you have to work with.
I had purchased a DX Engineering RF-PRO-1B active magnetic loop antenna prior to this contest with the intention of putting it into operation for the duration in reducing the RFI from the power poles nearby as well as increasing the S/N ratio to pull out some of the weaker signals (particulary on 75m and 160m) but due to an apparent faulty power injector for the pre-amp and the location I placed it not being ideal, I was not able to use the loop to the full advantage as I thought I might. I will also add that the 160m activity was nearly non existent as I only worked 2 stations during the period I gave it a try and I noticed that out of all the submitted scores on 3130 Scores, there was only one other station to have worked any contacts on the band and that was only about 5 or 7 contacts. Dismal for them as well as me.
The high points in the contest - my K4HEX.com 6 band Hex beam continues to perform excellently on the bands from 20m to 6m and the SWR fails to rise above 1.7:1 with the majority of the bands (20, 17, 10, 6) being below 1.5:1 at all times. A real performer for only being about 30 feet from the ground. I will also add that my 160m doublet antenna at 240 foot in length and about 75 feet at the apex continues to perform very well on the 160m, 75m, and 40m bands producing a very good amount of gain on the 40m band. Based off the models I produced in a previous article below, I feel as though the angle of radiation and lobes in the models are very close to being accurate with the 75m band seeming to have the highest angle of radiation which works well for rag chews yet not so well with long distance contacts.
All in all I found the contest to be a great amount of fun and as in the game of golf, I tend to be happy just playing against myself (or more accurately - past performances). In that aspect you can see below the difference one year has made in my contesting evolution, at least on this particular contest. Could I have done a better job? Sure I could. As always in hindsight one thinks about if they had gave it a bit more in the seat time or possibly worked another hours worth of contacts before calling it quits they could have made a much better showing but considering I had my grand Daughter over for the weekend I chose to spend time with her - which in my opinion was way more valuable than a couple hundred more Q's!
Comparrison Between 2015 and 2016 Results
Some Of The Particulars From 2016 Results
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