down load a text version of this file:  tree.txt

  With all apologies to Joyce Kilmer!  I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as an antenna. ?  Be it ham, commercial or military, they are beautiful as can be to me. Be it a Ringo Dipole, Quad or Yagi, they are all lovely as a tree. (???)  I love them hidden in the trees and out in the open.  I love them on a chimney mount or tower. What ever, whose ever, and where ever they are.  I love yours and mine, his and hers.  What I really love (and this might sound like a fetish) is porcelain insulators.  There it's out, I prefer them to plastic, which I feel is just a fad!  I like to build antennas without insulators, (tubing) I use shorted quarter wavelength stubs for support.  My favorite material is copper. In wire antennas I prefer coperweld, which is technical for copper coated steel.  The only problem is when you buy it is in a coil and it is a coil ever more.  If you ever take the antenna down, it will wrap around you like an anaconda, if you let it.  The trick to removing the curl is to pull it between two, two by fours bolted together and stuck behind two trees (or a fork) and pull the wire through the boards with a car or a golf cart. (or what ever?)  Some one should un-spool the coil as it goes, to prevent a kink from forming. For tubing antennae  I prefer copper plumbing tubing.  I prefer the « inch rigid trade size, which is .61 inches in outside diameter.  I use silver solder which is truly a braze welding rod.  It is made of 5% silver, 1% phosphorus and 84% copper.  The other two ingredients lower the melting temperature. (there is a `no silver' type that is a lot cheaper)  The solder's 1,750ø melting temperature anneals the tubing, which is technical for soften, so it becomes weaker in the heated area, but if you use a plumbing fitting like a `T' or `el', which I prefer not to, (because they take up too much length to make the turn. etc.) the added thickness reduces the possibility of breaking or bending.  I cut short sections and slightly flatten them a bit and butt silver solder the pieces together instead of using the plumbing fittings.  When I make wire antennae I cut the wire about four feet too long and I loop the end through the end insulators and back toward the center insulator and secure it there (at the calculated length) with a electrical fitting called a "split bolt."  Other than costing over a dollar each they fit the need perfectly.  I can slide the split bolt back and fourth to "fine tune" the antenna. I even changed my 20 meter into a 15 meter antenna this way. I think the loop at the end increases the bandwidth as a bonus!  I usually use a pair of split bolts at the center insulator, because I change between an insulator and a balun sometimes. (to change whether I have feed line radiation or not, when I want to add vertical radiation to the horizontal radiation or not.  If any one can tell me where I could find baluns made in porcelain (or glass) containers, I would be grateful, I have not been able to find any . . . But only God can make a tree.