An Australian Antenna Story

On 40m i use 40m quarter wave. Its a hellically wound wire on a sota beams light weight fiberglass poll. At each joint in the pole I have used electrical tape to stop the pole from collapsing in wind and rain. This is only temporary till I get arsed to drive into Brisbane and buy some aluminium tube. Or so i said 18 months ago LOL

Anyway, if you look closely the blue tape is evenly spaced out up the pole but is missing in places. When i taped the seams I taped all of them. I only noticed yesterday that some were missing, when I saw the thief in action.

A Satin Bower bird, who has his bower in my neighbors yard, flew in, landed sideways on the poll and started to undo the tape. He started by pulling with his beak to get a hold, then swung around the pole like it was a swing until the tape fully unraveled and he dropped to the ground. Then picked up his bounty and flew back to his bower hoping to impress his girlfriends.

My mistake? Using blue electrical tape. Satin Bower birds collect blue things. When it comes to blue things they are kleptomaniacs and this one has decided to steal my antenna. HAHAHAHA

Here he is in action, trying to steal the blue tape from my antenna. HAHAHA


End Of An Era


I have been thinking about writing this post for a couple of weeks now. How to do it justice, how to say what I think without being a total arsehole or sounding whiny. Well lets just see how it goes 😉

What do you do when your radio hero’s decides its time to pack up and end their illustrious careers in home brew? But not only retire but also rage quit and remove all their published materials? So rather than rush into things and immediately post my thoughts, I have sat on this for a while and tried to be a little more rational in my response.

I have followed Pete from almost since I became a ham in 2014. I found out about him from the Soldersmoke podcast where he was a co-host and found Pete to be very approachable, friendly and willing to share his knowledge and skill with you.

Unlike Bill who I would not piss on if he was on fire, who would not give you a smell of his shit, let along answer a question help anyone other than himself and his handful of favorites. Even now, he posts his crap in the home brew group I help moderate in facebook and when someone asks him a question you get nothing. He is all about self promotion of his site to get amazon referrals to fund his retirement rather than being about community.

Anyway, Pete always answered his emails and took an interest in what others were doing, learning or sharing. Sort of the way it should be. His blog as been on my RSS feed page for years, as seen in the image above and I have been following his various builds, rants and stuff for years. I have even build some of his projects, not in full, but in part borrowed stuff he has designed.

Pete also taught me the value of LT Spice, that simulation was a very valuable tool and skills well worth having. Just about all of his projects had oodles of simulations screens, comparing and contrasting theory with the reality of the build. Something I always appreciated, because he also explained the thought process that went into the design, the tweaking and the final execution.

Even his rants were mostly entertaining, but the amount of radio’s he built was amazing and always something different or unique in each one. He was a champion for Arduino and the SI5351A, where others moaned and groaned and begged others for code. Pete just got on with learning enough C to be able to do what he wanted. Which is an admirable trait.

I know we all get old and at some point or rather we are all going to have to make the decision about when its the right time for us to hang up the soldering iron and say my time in this part of the hobby is done. Or worse, become silent key. But that does not mean we have to like it.

So to N6QW, Pete Juliano, I wish you the best for the next chapter of your ham radio journey. While i might not like your decision I do respect it and hope that you still find enjoyment in ham radio, even if its not home brewing, but just using all those radios you have build, repaired and restored over the years.

73’s you have been an inspiration. If i can manage 1/4 of what you have done, my time in ham radio will have been a success. I hope the future is good to you. Thanks for the journey.