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I'll start with a mystery.

This was a real mystery that still is a mystery.
Thanks to a suggestion from Peri, I finally fixed the problem. I added an extension of 20 ft to the coax & it works fine.

Here is the mystery.
1. Got a new dual band VHF/UHF radio. (Powerworx Commercial) Set it up in our embroidery shop and 440 worked fine but when I keyed on 146.880 the radio either screamed at me with feedback through the speaker or died. I assumed it was the radio.
2. I took it to 2 Way Communications in Vegas thanks to a lead from KT7JOE. Curt put it on a scope & said it works fine. I then took my mag mount antenna off the car (that I had been using for my HT) and connected it in his shop. Again worked fine.
3. I then had his installer add the power cord to my Excursion so I could operate it mobile. (This installer did an absolutely fine job. He installs commercial units in vehicles so he really dresses it up cleanly.) I used the radio on various frequencies all the way home with no problem.
4. I came home and set it back up & it failed.
5. I then swapped radios to determine if it was really the radio. I took the Powerworx radio in the house to my ham shack, set it up there in place of my Kenwood TM-D700 that has always been a workhorse. It worked great in the house.
6. Then I took the Kenwood out to the shop and set it up the same as the Powerworx expecting it to work fine. IT FAILED TOO.
7. Note: I have 3 mag mount antennas. It did the same with all 3 as long as the antenna was outside no matter where I placed it. In the shop with the antenna sitting right next to the radio. it worked OK but the signal was weak. (Note: 2 mag mounts are bases that were originally for 2 meters. I just put a dual band antenna on them. Both cheap Chinese antennas. The third one is a Diamond dual band on a mag mount. So cheap antennas had no apparent effect on it. And the result was the same with both radios so cheap Chinese had nothing to do with it.
8. I put the outside antenna back on- it still would not work. Tried all 3. Same result. Moved it around- no change.
9. Then at Peri's suggestion (AA6WB) I added a length of coax using an extension & it worked fine! on all 3! He said the length of coax causes the RF to feed back into the radio. The mystery is why only in this one location. and it was not antenna location because moving it around outside had no effect. Only when placed inside did it work.
10. The location I had chosen for the mag mount outside was at the edge of my roof on a metal bracket. Once it was working the signal was still weak. The coax was fed thru the wall directly behind the radio & straight up to the antenna.
11. I moved the antenna (now that I had another 20 ft of coax) to a better location. I have a 40 ft metal container for storage next to the shop. I put the antenna on an iron corner of it & got full signal from the repeater on Mount Potosi about 60 miles away.
12. The mystery is still what causes the RF to feed back only here in the shop, not in the car, the house ham shack or the radio store in Vegas. BTW, I had to create a tool to feed the coax through the wall. So here is the tool I made:

I had a coax adapter that adapted from a PL259 to an RCA. I also had some small copper tubing about a foot long. I also have a soldering iron. It's nice to have junk and tools. Occasionally they work well together. Now I can feed the coax through the wall with ease instead of fighting the insulation.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Feel free to email me with comments (KG7KA at

Here is a story submitted by Todd WH6DWF that shows how we can use our "hobby" to benefit in times of emergency.

RESCUE RADIO: HAMS ASSIST NWS AS SEVERE WEATHER HITS HAWAII (As reported in Amateur Radio Newsline. Check the link on our main page)

A strong thunderstorm brought penny sized hail to parts of the Big Island of Hawaii Sunday night, December 29th, 2013 and once again ham radio operators were there as severe weather spotters. The National Weather Service said the storm hit the island state shortly before 11 p.m. local time with forecasters saying that wind gusts to 30 miles per hour and intense lightning were expected. A flash flood warning being issued for the Big Island until 6:30 a.m. the following morning. As the severe weather approached, Todd Wilson, WH6DWF, of Waikiki Beach began receiving reports from Glenn Kadota AH6IO on the BIWARN repeater system of a freak electrical storm affecting the windward side of the Big Island. Wilson then relayed this information to the National Weather Service office in Honolulu. As the storm progressed AH6IO was reporting lightning strikes due north of his station location. A few hours later WH6WDF began receiving new severe weather reports that he again forwarded to the National Weather Service. Soon the reports were of downed trees, lightning strikes, heavy rains and dime size hail. News reports mentioned a sink hole that swallowed a full size pick-up truck on a heavily traveled road. Fortunately, the truck's driver emerged with only minor injuries. The storms continued for about 12 hours as did the ham radio response. Other hams involved in this severe weather alert included Mark Foster, WH6IM, Scott Bosshardt KH7SB, Glen Kadota, AH6IO, Robert Oliver NH6AH, Greg Datlof WH7FC and Bob Schneider, AH6J, and several other radio amateurs. All in all, another good job well done by the ham radio community of Hawaii, when they were needed the most. (WH6DWF, KHON, Honolulu Star Advertiser)

With the recent floods and earthquakes, I'm sure some of you may have stories of how hams have been involved.

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